Considering past events, George Washington and other plantation owners sometimes talked about the possibility of slave rebellions.
Thinking of this, one day Washington asked one of his guests, the Rev. James Francis Armstrong of The First Presbyterian Church of Trenton, to speak to his slaves about Jesus when they came in from their 14-hour work-day in the broiling, humid fields at Mr. Vernon.
(What if . . . Thus spake the Rev. Armstrong to the raggedy, dusy, sweaty crew as they sat on the grass under the apple trees - the overseer standing behind to prod any who might doze off or faint from fatigue:
“All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.
These are the things you are to teach and insist on. If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions . . . ” - 1 Timothy 6:1-4
quote: “The majority of enslaved people at Mount Vernon were assigned to agricultural work on the plantation’s four outlying farms. Under the supervision of overseers, field hands toiled from sunrise to sunset, which could mean 14-hour days in the summer.”
quote: “So, did African-American slaves rebel? Of course they did. As early as 1934, our old friend Joel A. Rogers identified 33 slave revolts, including Nat Turner’s, in his 100 Amazing Facts. And nine years later, the historian Herbert Aptheker published his pioneering study, American Negro Slave Revolts, to set the record straight. Aptheker defined a slave revolt as an action involving 10 or more slaves, with “freedom as the apparent aim [and] contemporary references labeling the event as an uprising, plot, insurrection, or the equivalent of these.” In all, Aptheker says, he “has found records of approximately two hundred and fifty revolts and conspiracies in the history of American Negro slavery.” Other scholars have found as many as 313.
Let’s consider the five greatest slave rebellions in the United States, about which Donald Yacovone and I write in the forthcoming companion book to my new PBS series, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.” - Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (read more in article)
What if. . . what? A slave revolt? I am not speaking from authority, but I am certain a slave revolt was ever present in the minds of owners and slaves. I imagine it is dangerous living in close proximity to the people you are subjugating, much like prison guards must be ever vigilant for prison riots.
Apparently American slavery conditions worsened for the slaves when the Haitian slave revolt was successful.