“At home, at work, but never at liberty” reads one of the signs at Hampton Plantation State Historic Site.
Even though we know that most of us hail from European cultures that also had systems of serfdom, it would be easy to forget the human cost of systems where people “own” other people when touring South Carolina’s beautiful plantation homes and their sprawling lands, were it not for the excellent job of reminding us that the park rangers and interpretive signs do to bring it to the forefront.
I’ll let the photos from today’s experience tell the story.
Incredibly emotional – and disturbing – to see in black and white the list of how much each human slave was “worth”. After emancipation, the plantation owners had neither the knowledge nor the manpower to keep the Carolina rice plantations viable.