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Image 'Cabins where slaves were raised for market', c1903

TLF ID M008735

This is a photographic image produced from one half of a stereographic card showing five former slave cabins on the Hermitage plantation on the Savannah River in Georgia, USA. Nine African Americans are shown outside the brick cabins. They are believed to be former slaves or the descendants of slaves on the plantation. The card was produced by Underwood and Underwood of New York, one of the largest producers of stereo cards at the time.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This card is a useful source for the year 9 history depth study elective Movement of peoples (1750-1901), which involves a study of the influence of the industrial revolution on the movement of peoples throughout the world, including the transatlantic slave trade. The card shows the Savannah River plantation where, according to the title, slaves were bred for sale in the internal slave trade in the USA that flourished from the 1810s to the 1860s.
  • The Hermitage was one of the most famous plantations in the USA. It was primarily a centre of industrial rather than agricultural production, functioning according to the task system. The plantation of more than 160 ha operated a brickworks, a lumber mill, an iron foundry and a rice mill as well as growing rice. Every slave was allocated a particular task, often one requiring a high degree of industrial skill. Once their tasks were completed for the day, the slaves could work for themselves.
  • It is hardly surprising that the claim was made that plantation owner Henry McAlpin produced another commodity - slaves. He is known to have bought, borrowed and traded slaves, using them to maintain his cash flow and provide loan collateral. The truth or otherwise of the claim in the title of the stereo card, that the cabin pictured was used to raise slaves for market, is unclear. Most modern sources do not view McAlpin as a harsh master, at least by the standards of the time, and do not specifically mention the production of slaves.
Learning area
  • History
  • Studies of society and environment

Other details

  • Author
  • Name: Underwood & Underwood
  • Organization: Underwood & Underwood
  • Description: author
  • Contributor
  • Name: The Library of Congress
  • Organization: The Library of Congress
  • Description: content provider
  • Address: UNITED STATES
  • URL:
  • Name: Underwood & Underwood
  • Organization: Underwood & Underwood
  • Description: author
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Commonwealth of Australia, 2011, except where indicated otherwise. You may copy, communicate and modify this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.