Field Gang at Work, Martinique, 1826

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Image Reference

Alcide Dessalines d'Orbigny, Voyage pittoresque dans les deux Amériques...(Paris, 1836), facing p. 22, fig. 4. (Copy in Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library)

Caption, "Negres au Travail" (blacks at work). Shows men and women with long-handled hoes, guarded by overseers with whips. The slaves are called to work by the plantation bell at 6 in the morning, each person takes his hoe to the field under the supervision of overseers, either European or Creole; in a single line, they work in unison while chanting some African work song; the overseers occasionally use the whip to increase the work pace; at 11 the bell sounds, they take a meal, then resume their work until 6 in the evening (p. 26).