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Cabin from Point of Pines Plantation in Charleston County, South Carolina

This cabin is located on Edisto Island in South Carolina. It was a cabin for enslaved people built in 1853 on the Point of Pines plantation, owned by Charles Bailey. The original cabin included two rooms, one door, and three windows. After emancipation, changes included the construction of a back door.
Author
Unknown
Grade Level

This text is part of the Teaching Hard History Text Library and aligns with Key Concept 4.

 

cabin, south carolina
Source
This text is in the public domain. Retrieved from https://nmaahc.si.edu/object/nmaahc_2013.57.
Text Dependent Questions
  1. Question
    What stands out to you about this cabin?
    Answer
    Answers might include the simplicity of the structure, the minimal space of the structure, the exposure to the elements, the deterioration of the structure over time, etc.
  2. Question
    What does this cabin demonstrate about the experience of enslaved persons?
    Answer
    This cabin demonstrates that enslaved persons lived in simple conditions that lacked many basic comforts of life, that even the most basic necessities of life were barely provided. It demonstrates the absurdity of traditionalist and apologist arguments that enslavement offered comfortable and happy living conditions for enslaved persons.
  3. Question
    What does this cabin demonstrate about the interests and motivations of enslavers?
    Answer
    This cabin demonstrates that enslavers sought to provide enslaved persons with a minimum of comfort in their lives—only the basic necessities of life required to keep them alive so that enslavers could reap the largest profits. Even in those basic necessities, such as shelter, this cabin demonstrates that enslavers provided enslaved persons with the bare minimum required.
  4. Question
    Why is it important to preserve structures such as this?
    Answer
    Physical artifacts and structures serve as powerful reminders of the realities of the past, often beyond the capabilities of written sources. Reading descriptions of the quarters of enslaved persons requires a reader to imagine. A physical artifact such as this cabin—even if it underwent some structural changes after emancipation and maintenance since then—remains a powerful source for our understanding of the system of slavery in the United States.
Reveal Answers
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