not odious, but many recent authorities support the conventional
view that slaves worked longer hours and had fewer days off even
than nineteenth-century industrial workers, and certainly longer
hours and fewer days off than free blacks after the Civil War.27 As a
general rule, slave labor was both intensive and extensive.
Questions concerning the work of the slaves show how far the
controversy provoked by Time on the Cross has helped to shape the
agenda for recent debate and further study, though few of the book's
conclusions remain unchallenged or unscathed. The work of Genovese and others will almost certainly prove more durable, not least
because it never loses sight of the interconnections between slave
labor and many other aspects of the South's peculiar institution and
the life of the slave community. Slave work is central to the study of
slave society. It leads directly into consideration of even broader
issues--on one hand, the overall efficiency and profitability of the
Southern slave economy, and on the other, the quality of slave life,
the nature of the slave personality, and the development of slave
For discussion of the implications
of this trend, see below, 60.
Boles, Black Southerners, 107. See
also 75-6. Some of the implications of the
statistics on slave ownership are discussed in Oakes, The Ruling Race, 37-41.
Charles Joyner, Down by the Riverside: A South Carolina Slave Community
( Urbana, Ill., 1984), 34.
Otto H. Olsen, "Historians and the
Extent of Slaveownership in the Southern
United States", Civil War History 18
( 1972): 101-16, especially 111-3, 115-6.
Oakes, The Ruling Race, chapter 2,
"Master-Class Pluralism," especially 37- 40, 51-2, 57-65.
Willie Lee Rose, ed., A Documentary History of Slavery in North America
( New York, 1976), 362.
Paul D. Escott, Slavery Remembered: A Record of Twentieth-Century Slave
Narratives (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1979), 56-
7; Orville V. Burton, In My Father's House
Are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina (Chapel
Hill, N.C., 1985), 182-4.
Drew Gilpin Faust, James Henry
Hammond and the Old South: A Design for
Mastery ( Baton Rouge, La., 1982), 74-5, 92.
Oakes, The Ruling Race, 153-79.
There is a considerable literature
on the organization and management of
slave labor. See for example William K. Scarborough
, The Overseer: Plantation
Management in the Old South ( Baton
Rouge, La., 1966); William L. Van Deburg
, The Slave Drivers: Black Agricultural
Labor Supervisors in the Antebellum South
(Westport, Ct., 1979); James O. Breeden,
ed., Advice among Masters: The Ideal in
Slave Management in the Old South (West-