The Tylers farmed and lived at Blackacre from the late 1700s to the mid 1800s. During this time, Kentucky had an economy based on agriculture (farming), but there was no mechanical farming equipment, such as tractors. All work — including plowing, planting, harvesting, gardening, household tasks, caring for livestock, etc. – had to be done by hand and with hand tools, such as axes. To accomplish this, the Tylers owned slaves, as did similar families in Kentucky at this time. Owning slaves was an economic necessity in an economy based on agriculture before the development of farming machinery.
The documents you’ll read in this section are evidence that the Tyler family owned and used slaves. As you’re reading, consider these questions.
- What are the various ways in which ownership of a slave passed from one person to another?
- Besides ownership, in what other ways did a landowner obtain the work of a slave?