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Slaves were divded up into two distinct groups in the American south, house slaves and field hands. House slaves were usually more loyal because they had a more desirable position in the home. The work load was lighter and because of their proximity to the master they were less likely to cause trouble or try and escape. Some of them were even allowed to go into town and start businesses to add extra income for their master.
Field hands had worse working conditions, less desirable duties, and horrible living conditions. They were more likely to run away or rebel to get out of work.
Slaves performed every imaginable job and labor from common farming to complex crafts and construction. Most slaves were simple agricultural laborers, but other were skilled carpenters, cooks, or semstresses.
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