Many people know that the slaves who would run errands for the slave owners in the north and the south got their tattoos. If there is one thing I know of that isn’t commonly known or spoken of about tattoos, this is it. Tattoos are only granted to slaves when a masters death comes. It may have been to a gunfight that ended in the slave owner’s death. Maybe that owner wanted a slave’s attention to be focused on him when his owner died. Maybe the owner had a tattoo on his body. Maybe a slave owner who ran a small business didn’t want to be seen by potential buyers who might be looking at an illegal slave. One of my slaves, John, got all his tattoos done and was given a license plate that read “LOYAL”. This slave would not have liked the fact that he had a tattoo on his face (his tattoo artist would have had a hard time doing that!), but it was more about him.
Did slaves work for their masters? Slave owners would take a slave who was not going to be useful and try to get him to work. He may not be working because he isn’t the person who can provide for him like he wants him to or because he wants to be able to keep his skin. Sometimes slaves couldn’t stand it and ran off. Sometimes the master would get mad. Sometimes the master would tell the slave to clean up the mess he made at the master’s place and he would do it. The master may have put him to work in the kitchen for lack of time or he may have been out of the area. If the master did not like what the slave did, he would discipline the slave into doing things for the master, such as eating with his master’s hands, or doing laundry or any other job. This is known as “punishment”. These punishments may be carried out for any or all of the following reasons:
-They just made a problem with the master’s clothes, bed, etc or just for being a disobedient slave
-He was found stealing from the master’s house or house cleaning or stealing money or goods from the master’s house or stealing goods from the master’s storehouse
-He was disobedient to the master’s orders and wanted out
-He simply did not want to work
-It is more important to be loyal to the master than to the master’s wife, father, sons, or slaves.
-A master felt he needed to punish a slave for no
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