Sugar Plantations of the Old South

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,982
#31
Was the "sugar maker" a slave or a hired or contracted white?

Slaves were valuable because they got no pay, minimum food and shelter, and pretty much nothing else. Slaves doing skilled work could obviously make more for the owner than slaves working in the field. It was also cheaper to use slaves than hired workers for unskilled work.
 
Jul 2012
4,379
Here
#32
Was the "sugar maker" a slave or a hired or contracted white?
In all cases I know of, the sugar maker was a hired white man. As I said in an earlier post, sometimes he stayed on the plantation several years, but more often he moved from plantation to plantation each year.

I don't think there was any more likelihood of a plantation owner putting a slave in charge of a profitable process like sugar making than making a slave an overseer. I'm not saying it never happened, but the none of the three studies I read about sugar plantations mentioned slave sugar makers.
 
Sep 2013
820
Chattanooga, TN
#33
If there is no violence, there is no slavery. The rest of this is meaningless.
I meant that if you take away the threat of imminent violence, and if you don't replace the threat of violence with a suitable reward, the slave would probably make a lackadaisical effort to learn the sugar making trade.


You are confused. As the article I posted earlier said, there was only one "sugar maker" on a plantation. He had the special skill of knowing the whole process. The sugar was made by slaves. It was basically unskilled labor. They followed the sugar maker's directions. There is no special need to pay them incentives (but some plantation owners did pay unskilled field slaves incentives. And I assume that went for some sugar plantation owners and their unskilled sugar making slaves - the carrot and the stick, instead of just the stick).

So if you had one slave per plantation trained to make sugar, that would only be one less hand in the field. And you haven't shown that paying incentives to one slave "undermines the idea of using a slave to save money" versus paying a white sugar maker a salary.
I'm not confused.

I never said that there was more than one sugar maker on a plantation.

If a sugar planter paid his slave sugar maker $200 per year, this $200 incentive paid to the slave would subtract $200 from whatever the sugar planter was saving per year by not hiring a white sugar maker.
 
Sep 2013
820
Chattanooga, TN
#34
So you are sticking with the slaves cannot concentrate nonsense even after I have established that they could concentrate well enough to be carpenters and masons? This is as ridiculous as it was the first time you said it.
I'm entitled to have my own opinion.

Yep, I am not going to change my opinion just because you disagree with me.

In general, slaves cannot concentrate as well when they are being assaulted or under imminent threat of being assault as when slaves are not being assaulted and not under an imminent threat of being assaulted. If a slave was being taught how to be a sugar maker while under a perceived imminent threat of being assaulted, that slave would be at a disadvantage compared to a white apprentice sugar maker who was not under a threat of being assaulted.



Do you know that slaves worked in southern factories like the Tredegar Iron works up to and into the Civil War?
Yes; some factory work takes a fair amount of skill and concentration. Other factory work is very tedious, repetitive tasks that don't require much concentration. Look at the sentence before this sentence.
 
Sep 2013
820
Chattanooga, TN
#35
In all cases I know of, the sugar maker was a hired white man. As I said in an earlier post, sometimes he stayed on the plantation several years, but more often he moved from plantation to plantation each year.

My contention is that, from the planter's perspective, it's not good idea to instruct a slave to do skilled work like sugar making because of the nature of slavery makes slavery best for simple tasks.

Your contention is that, from the planter's perspective, it was a good idea to instruct a slave to do skilled work like sugar making because there is nothing in slavery that makes slavery best for simple tasks.

Then you say that in all cases that you know of, the sugar maker was a hired white man.

Whose contention does that support?
 
Jul 2012
4,379
Here
#36
I meant that if you take away the threat of imminent violence, and if you don't replace the threat of violence with a suitable reward, the slave would probably make a lackadaisical effort to learn the sugar making trade.
Thanks for the clarification.

If a sugar planter paid his slave sugar maker $200 per year, this $200 incentive paid to the slave would subtract $200 from whatever the sugar planter was saving per year by not hiring a white sugar maker.
Let's say it cost $500 a year to hire a white sugar maker. Now let's say it cost the plantation owner $150 to feed and house a slave for a year. Then the plantation owner pays the slave a $150 bonus to be the sugar maker. The slave sugar maker costs $300 a year and the free one $500. The plantation owner saved $200.

Boy am I glad I took math in elementary school. :lol:
 
Sep 2013
820
Chattanooga, TN
#37
Let's say it cost $500 a year to hire a white sugar maker. Now let's say it cost the plantation owner $150 to feed and house a slave for a year. Then the plantation owner pays the slave a $150 bonus to be the sugar maker. The slave sugar maker costs $300 a year and the free one $500. The plantation owner saved $200.

Boy am I glad I took math in elementary school. :lol:
Let's say it cost $500 a year to hire a white sugar maker. Now let's say it cost the plantation owner $150 to feed and house a slave for a year. Then the plantation owner pays the slave a $150 bonus to be the sugar maker. The slave sugar maker costs $300 a year and the free one $500. Then, because the slave did not trust the person enslaving the slave to keep his word (gee, I wonder why ) and pay him the $150 bonus, the slave made a lackadaisical effort to learn the sugar making job when the slave was in training. The slave accidentally burns up $200 worth of sugar and he accidentally destroys the shredder, costing the sugar planter another $200. A plantation with the free market job sugar maker sells the sugar made during the year for $2,000 minus the $500 for the white sugar maker's salary and has a $1,500 profit. A plantation with the slave sugar maker sells the sugar made during the year for $1,800 (since the slave accidentally burn $200 of it). Then after paying $200 for a new shredder (since the slave accidentally destroyed the old one) and $150 for the slave's bonus, the plantation with the slave sugar maker makes $1,450 profit. The plantation with the hired white sugar makes $50 more money just off sugar making alone.
 
Jul 2012
4,379
Here
#38
Let's say it cost $500 a year to hire a white sugar maker. Now let's say it cost the plantation owner $150 to feed and house a slave for a year. Then the plantation owner pays the slave a $150 bonus to be the sugar maker. The slave sugar maker costs $300 a year and the free one $500. Then, because the slave did not trust the person enslaving the slave to keep his word (gee, I wonder why ) and pay him the $150 bonus, the slave made a lackadaisical effort to learn the sugar making job when the slave was in training. The slave accidentally burns up $200 worth of sugar and he accidentally destroys the shredder, costing the sugar planter another $200. A plantation with the free market job sugar maker sells the sugar made during the year for $2,000 minus the $500 for the white sugar maker's salary and has a $1,500 profit. A plantation with the slave sugar maker sells the sugar made during the year for $1,800 (since the slave accidentally burn $200 of it). Then after paying $200 for a new shredder (since the slave accidentally destroyed the old one) and $150 for the slave's bonus, the plantation with the slave sugar maker makes $1,450 profit. The plantation with the hired white sugar makes $50 more money just off sugar making alone.
I don't have time to play your silly games with all your added scenarios about the slave being lackadaisical and destroying property and such. Slaves could be purposely destructive, but that goes to what I said in my recent post about planters not being likely to use slaves as sugar makers. You have no evidence of slaves being paid a bonus being any more "lackadaisical" than a white sugar maker.

I have no doubt you could keep up this foolishness for days. You have provided no evidence of slaves not being able to concentrate or slaves not being able to do factory work being a factor ending slavery in the North.

You asked how a sugar plantation worked and I gave you two credible researched sources. Now I'm done with your nonsense.
 

Similar History Discussions