The The horrors and harshness of slavery are documented in Elizabeth O. Carter’s diary. Three women in particular endured upheaval and trauma from Elizabeth’s decisions.
Enslaved people were often hired out if their enslaver needed money or did not have enough work for them to do. This often happened in December or January, and the “hiring out” agreement was usually for the upcoming year. It spelled out the rate of hire by the employer and conditions, such as providing clothing, shoes, and blankets.
The end of the year could be an anxious and uncertain time as an enslaved person waited to hear about their fate. Such was the case for DELIA and ANNE. Delia was hired out to two different people in consecutive years. The diary entry for Anne notes the condition for providing clothes. They were sent away from Bellefield to live and work on another property, tearing them from family, friends, and familiar surroundings.
The strength, endurance, and resilience of enslaved people to survive the conditions of bondage is truly remarkable.
NANCY BUCHANAN experienced one of the cruelest practices in slavery. Her act of resistance to enslavement was deemed “improper conduct” by her enslavers, and she had no control of the outcome. Being thrown in jail was harsh treatment. Five days later she was sold to a nearby plantation owner.