As the previous educator has noted, conditions for slaves were harsher in South Carolina, where conditions for them more closely mirrored those in the Caribbean than in other American colonies.
During the late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-centuries, the Chesapeake focused on the tobacco trade but changed to cotton due to later difficulties with the cultivation of tobacco and a subsequent drop in profits. The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 made it much easier to cultivate cotton, due to the machine's ability to separate seeds from the cotton. This function eliminated the additional time that slaves spent to perform this step in their labor.
During the nineteenth-century, both the Chesapeake and South Carolina had high populations of slaves. In some counties, the slave population was even higher than that of whites. However, slaves in the Chesapeake enjoyed slightly more freedom than those in South Carolina. They were allowed, for example, to visit neighboring plantations where they may have had a spouse or children. They were also allowed to go to towns, like Richmond, and take part in the learning of a trade. All of this changed after Nat Turner's rebellion, when he and several other slaves killed 62 whites in Northampton County, Virginia. There were increased fears of slave rebellions by the late-eighteenth to early-nineteenth centuries, resulting in harsher restrictions on slaves' lives. For example, groups of slaves were no longer allowed to congregate without the supervision of a master or an overseer, due to fears that such gatherings suggested the creation of rebellion plots.