The great majority of slaves were employed in agriculture
The great majority of slaves were employed in agriculture, or in occupations relating to it. Most worked on the cultivation of the great staple crops of the South. The census of 1850 offered estimates which may be little more than reasonable gays all of the numbers employed in the production of the major crops. Out of 2.5 million slaves directly employed in agriculture, it calculated that 350,000 we’re engaged in the cultivation of tobacco; 150,000 in Sugar; 125,000 in rice; 60,000 in hemp; and a massive 1,815,000 cotton. The working life of the slaves of smaller owners was not in many respects very different from the lot of the farm laborer elsewhere.