14 Reading 34-1 18. “Seasoning” (which would today be called acclimatization) involved certain severe changes in the Negroes’ life-style. The diet consisted mainly of cassava and corn—it was better than that on board ship, but not so good as in Africa. New diseases, of which the worst was yellow fever, threatened them. The work was strange, the “education” very painful, and the overseer almost certainly a brute. Curiously, men survived seasoning better than women. States, the 19th century cotton industry found itself short of workers, and slaves were energetically encour-aged to breed, the slave population, with minimum imports, increased by 9 times in 60 years—nearly twice the free rate. This was despite a shorter expectation of life for slaves than for free women. Depression among slaves on sugar estates lowered their animal spirits. Subjugated people have a low conception rate, and there was in any case an imbalance between genders, with males outnumbering females. Young slaves could do little real work until their teens, and it was cheaper to buy an adult slave than to debit the enterprise with a dozen years of keep for the young. The survival of infants born to slaves, therefore, was very much subject to the mood of the parents, who could see little hope for their children and did not
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