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--Mickle in the uplands of South Carolina. "This gentleman," said he, "appears to me to be a rare example of pure and undefiled religion, kind and gentle in manners. Seeing a swarm, or rather herd, of young negroes creeping and dancing about the door and yard of his mansion, all appearing healthy, happy and frolicsome and withal fat and decently clothed, both young and old, I felt induced to praise the economy under which they lived. 'Aye,' said he, 'I have many black people, but I have never bought nor sold any in my life. All that you see came to me with my estate by virtue of my father's will. They are all, old and young, true and faithful to my interests. They need no taskmaster, no overseer. They will do all and more than I expect them to do, and I can trust them with untold gold. All the adults are well instructed, and all are members of Christian churches in the neighbourhood; and their conduct is becoming their professions. I respect them as my children, and they look on me as their friend and father. Were they to be taken from me it would be the most unhappy event of their lives.' This conversation induced me to view more attentively the faces of the adult slaves; and I was astonished at the free, easy, sober, intelligent and thoughtful impression which such an economy as Mr. Mickle's had indelibly made on their countenances."

William Faux, Memorable Days in America (London, 1823), p. 68, re printed in Thwaites, ed., Early Western Travels, XI, 87.





HEN Hakluyt wrote in 1584 his Discourse of Western

Planting, his theme was the project of American coloni

zation; and when a settlement was planted at Jamestown, at Boston or at Providence as the case might be, it was called, regardless of the type, a plantation. This usage of the word in the sense of a colony ended only upon the rise of a new institution to which the original name was applied. The colonies at large came then to be known as provinces or dominions, while the sub-colonies, the privately owned village estates which prevailed in the South, were alone called plantations. In the Creole colonies, however, these were known as habitations-dwelling places. This etymology of the name suggests the nature of the thing an isolated place where people in somewhat peculiar groups settled and worked and had their being. The standard community comprised a white household in the midst of several or many negro families. The one was master, the many were slaves; the one was head, the many were members; the one was teacher, the many were pupils.

The scheme of the buildings reflected the character of the group. The "big house," as the darkies loved to call it, might be of any type from a double log cabin to a colonnaded mansion of many handsome rooms, and its setting might range from a bit of primeval forest to an elaborate formal garden. Most commonly the house was commodious in a rambling way, with no pretense to distinction without nor to luxury within. The two fairly constant features were the hall running the full depth of the house, and the verandah spanning the front. The former by day and the latter at evening served in all temperate seasons as the receiving place for guests and the gathering place for the

household at all its leisure times. The house was likely to have a quiet dignity of its own; but most of such beauty as the homestead possessed was contributed by the canopy of live-oaks if on the rice or sugar coasts, or of oaks, hickories or cedars, if in the uplands. Flanking the main house in many cases were an office and a lodge, containing between them the administrative headquarters, the schoolroom, and the apartments for any bachelor overflow whether tutor, sons or guests. Behind the house and at a distance of a rod or two for the sake of isolating its noise and odors, was the kitchen. Near this, unless a spring were available, stood the well with its two buckets dangling from the pulley; and near this in turn the dairy and the group of pots and tubs which constituted the open air laundry. Bounding the back yard there were the smoke-house where bacon and hams were cured, the sweet potato pit, the ice pit except in the southernmost latitudes where no ice of local origin was to be had, the carriage house, the poultry house, the pigeon cote, and the lodgings of the domestic servants. On plantations of small or medium scale the cabins of the field hands generally stood at the border of the master's own premises; but on great estates, particularly in the lowlands, they were likely to be somewhat removed, with the overseer's house, the smithy, and the stables, corn cribs and wagon sheds nearby. At other convenient spots were the buildings for working up the crops-the tobacco house, the threshing and pounding mills, the gin and press, or the sugar house as the respective staples required. The climate conduced so strongly to out of door life that as a rule each roof covered but a single unit of residence, industry or storage.

The fields as well as the buildings commonly radiated from the planter's house. Close at hand were the garden, the orchards and the horse lot; and behind them the sweet potato field, the watermelon patch and the forage plots of millet, sorghum and the like. Thence there stretched the fields of the main crops in a more or less solid expanse according to the local conditions. Where ditches or embankments were necessary, as for sugar and rice fields, the high cost of reclamation promoted compactness; elsewhere the prevailing cheapness of land promoted dispersion.

Throughout the uplands, accordingly, the area in crops was likely to be broken by wood lots and long-term fallows. The scale of tillage might range from a few score acres to a thousand or two; the cxpanse of unused land need have no limit but those of the proprietor's purse and his speculative proclivity.

The scale of the orchards was in some degree a measure of the domesticity prevailing. On the rice coast the unfavorable character of the soil and the absenteeism of the planter's families in summer conspired to keep the fruit trees few. In the sugar district oranges and figs were fairly plentiful. But as to both quantity and variety in fruits the Piedmont was unequaled. Figs, plums, apples, pears and quinces were abundant, but the peaches excelled all the rest. The many varieties of these were in two main groups, those of clear stones and soft, luscious flesh for eating raw, and those of clinging stones and firm flesh for drying, preserving, and making pies. From June to September every creature, hogs included, commonly had as many peaches as he cared to eat; and in addition great quantities might be carried to the stills. The abandoned fields, furthermore, contributed dewberries, blackberries, wild strawberries and wild plums in summer, and persimmons in autumn, when the forest also yielded its muscadines, fox grapes, hickory nuts, walnuts, chestnuts and chinquapins, and along the Gulf coast pecans.

The resources for edible game were likewise abundant, with squirrels, opossums and wild turkeys, and even deer and bears in the woods, rabbits, doves and quail in the fields, woodcock and snipe in the swamps and marshes, and ducks and geese on the streams. Still further, the creeks and rivers yielded fish to be taken with hook, net or trap, as well as terrapin and turtles, and the coastal waters added shrimp, crabs and oysters. In most localities it required little time for a household, slave or free, to lay forest, field or stream under tribute.

The planter's own dietary, while mostly home grown, was elaborate. Beef and mutton were infrequent because the pastures were poor; Irish potatoes were used only when new, for they did not keep well in the Southern climate; and wheaten loaves were seldom seen because hot breads were universally preferred. The


standard meats were chicken in its many guises, ham and bacon. Wheat flour furnished relays of biscuit and waffles, while corn yielded lye hominy, grits, muffins, batter cakes, spoon bread, hoe cake and pone. The gardens provided in season lettuce, cucumbers, radishes and beets, mustard greens and turnip greens, string beans, snap beans and butter beans, asparagus and artichokes, Irish potatoes, squashes, onions, carrots, turnips, okra, cabbages and collards. The fields added green corn for boiling, roasting, stewing and frying, cowpeas and black-eyed peas, pumpkins and sweet potatoes, which last were roasted, fried or candied for variation. The people of the rice coast, furthermore, had a special fondness for their own pearly staple; and in the sugar district sirop de batterie was deservedly popular. The pickles, preserves and jellies were in variety and quantity limited only by the almost boundless resources and industry of the housewife and her kitchen corps. Several meats and breads and relishes would crowd the table simultaneously, and, unless unexpected guests swelled the company, less would be eaten during the meal than would be taken away at the end, never to return. If ever tables had a habit of groaning it was those of the planters. Frugality, indeed, was reckoned a vice to be shunned, and somewhat justly so since the vegetables and eggs were perishable, the bread and meat of little cost, and the surplus from the table found sure disposal in the kitchen or the quarters. Lucky was the man whose wife was the "big house" cook, for the cook carried a basket, and the basket was full when she was homeward bound.

The fare of the field hands was, of course, far more simple. Hoecake and bacon were its basis and often its whole content. But in summer fruit and vegetables were frequent; there was occasional game and fish at all seasons; and the first heavy frost of winter brought the festival of hog-killing time. While the shoulders, sides, hams and lard were saved, all other parts of the porkers were distributed for prompt consumption. Spare ribs and backbone, jowl and feet, souse and sausage, liver and chitterlings greased every mouth on the plantation; and the cracklingbread, made of corn meal mixed with the crisp tidbits left from the trying of the lard, carried fullness to repletion. Christmas

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