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Douglass describes the slaves on Colonel Lloyd's massive plantation as living in fear of beatings and other forms of physical abuse. He is a child, but he remembers seeing older slaves whipped for even very minor offenses. Labor on the plantation was back-breaking, and slaves were generally supplied with only very bare necessities for survival. In addition to agricultural labor, the slaves also did all sorts of skilled work, including "shoemaking and mending, the blacksmithing, cartwrighting, coopering, weaving, and grain-grinding." The slaves had different overseers, one of which, Mr. Severe, was very cruel and almost sadistic, beating slave mothers in front of their children. The whole plantation was run in a very business-like way, and slaves tended to differentiate among themselves based on division of labor on the farm.
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