Saturday, February 07, 2015

Norm enforcement

For rebellious behaviour, slaves are pinned to the ground, and burned by degrees from the feet and hands, burning them gradually up to the head, whereby their pains are extravagant...For crimes of a lesser nature Gelding [castration], or chopping off half of the foot with an Ax...For Negligence, they are whipt by the overseer with Lance-wood Switches, till they be bloody, and several of the Switches broken, being first tied up b the hands in the Mill-Houses...After they are whip'd till they are Raw, some put on their Skins Pepper and Salt to make them smart; at other times their Masters will drop Melted Wax on their skins and use several exquisite tortures.
from an 1698 account by Sir Hans Sloane about practices on sugar plantations in the West Indies, quoted by Andro Linklater in Owning the Earth (2013).

Slaves or sage slaves by Jerry Toner is insightful on the Roman institution of slavery, with only mild teases.

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