House slaves, like the ones in this painting, did all of the household chores. They cooked, cleaned, sewed, took care of the garden, and cared for animals and children. These enslaved people usually lived in their master’s homes. They often had better food, clothing, and rooms than those that worked outdoors in the fields. They might even have the chance to learn how to read and write. But, house slaves had to work around the clock, and they were always watched by their masters.
This resource is part of the A State Divided: Exploring the Civil War Through Images collection.