Art Work > American History

"American History" is about the lives of enslaved people in the United States from 1619-1865. Laws known as slave codes were rigorously enforced in the Southern U.S., prescribing punishments for slaves who learned (or taught others) how to read and write, the work hours slaves were expected to toil, food they were rationed, clothing they were to wear, conditions for marriage, child care and all aspects of daily life.

I became interested in learning more about the daily lives and living conditions of slaves after learning about Sally Hemmings, a Black slave, said to be the mother of several children by Thomas Jefferson. It is also believed that Sally Hemmings, herself, was a half sister to Jefferson’s wife, Martha Wayles.