During the Revolution, indentured “imports” basically ceased and the decline continued after the formation of the United States.
The enslaved in urban areas were used as domestic servants, trained as artisans, and even employed.The enslaved were considered primarily to be property, but were also seen as people, albeit a lowlier race fit only for enslavement.Some Americans, like Benjamin Chew Jr., felt that the enslaved were better off in bondage than free.“Will, I hear, has made his escape to some other country but the hardship he must experience from a different way of living than that in your employ will sufficiently punish his ingratitude.” – Benjamin Chew II (1778)Much of the Chew family wealth created and sustained during the 18th and 19th centuries was founded on investments directly or indirectly connected to slavery. Samuel Chew to send his son Benjamin to law school in London was built, in part, on the labors of the one hundred and forty enslaved Africans he owned.However, we have made every effort to ensure bibliographic accuracy and the correct identification of both primary and secondary sources from which the images have been obtained, as well as correct identification of the area, country, or region to which the image refers.
The dates we assign may refer to the date an image was published, at other times to when an author visited an area; in other cases, we could only assign a general time period.
Whatever social life they enjoyed in town was limited in the country.