The better to be killed than punished,

The sufferance of her race is shown, and retrospect of life(Herman Melville)Poems such as these were and still are written to show the hardships that many African Americans faced as their everyday life. Slavery in the South made lives unbearable, especially for the African American victims. Slavery all started when in 1619 African Americans were brought down to the state of Virginia to help out with crops. Slave owners liked to use slaves because they could buy them for cheap and they didn’t have to pay them for labor. Most major plantation owners needed slaves for crops like tobacco. The first slave, John Casor, was actually owned by another African American known as Anthony Johnson signed a document when he purchased John and that was the moment where owning a slave was legal. From that point on the number of slaves only grew, no one would ever have guessed the miserable outcome known now as slavery. Slavery not only made life by the work that was endured upon them but also hard because their families were split apart.  African American families were separated, infants were taken away from their mothers and spouses were forced apart. They had no idea where they themselves or family members would end up, they weren’t even sure if they were alive. African Americans were also made to give up their heritage and tradition. Most slaves felt as if they had nothing to live for. So not only was their freedom taken away but so was the things that they cherished to make their lives enjoyable. Slavery only increased in size from that point on. Slaves tried and tried again to escape and some did make it to freedom, but most were caught and either killed or brought back and punished. Most of the time it would be better to be killed than punished, because their punishments were very brutal. They began to create systems to help out like the Underground Railroad. The Underground railroad was a chain of people both black and white they would help to offer African Americans safety and an escape plans.(, n.d.) The people that lead were called conductors they would risk their lives to go out and help store away the slaves. There were routes that headed up North sometimes all the way to Canada or New England, the most used were through Ohio to Indiana and Iowa. Conductors and slaves usually travel during the night by lantern so that there was a smaller chance of being caught. Many very important famous people came from the Underground railroad.  Like Harriet Tubman who was the most famous conductor for the Underground Railroad (, n.d.).  Harriet was born a slave in Dorchester County, MD . After marrying her husband, which was not allowed, she ran away from her Maryland plantation with her two brothers. They then went back, but once again Harriet escaped and made it to Pennsylvania. She went back to the plantation several other times to rescue friends and family. She then joined the Underground Railroad and help to smuggle escapees to Maryland and occasionally to Canada. Another famous figure is Frederick Douglass, he was a former slave, a writer and he helped with the Underground Railroad. He hid over 400 slaves in his house in NY, allowing them get to Canada. Frederick Douglass also wrote an autobiography, called Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass ( Editors, 11/20/17). Many African Americans like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass helped to save many lives, but there were also people to help end slavery.Abraham Lincoln, the 16 President, had felt as if the U.S. needed more free states to help out with voting, but even though Northern Politicians liked the idea the politicians in the South disagreed. The Southern part of the U.S. felt that if there were more free states not as many things would go their way. On September 22, 1862 after the battle at Antietam, Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves free in the rebellious states as of January 1, 1863. On January 1, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery(, n.d.) But even though the Proclamation was signed and declared didn’t mean that all slaves would be free, some slaves like the ones in Texas didn’t get their freedom until two years later. Slavery has been a long fought process that still continues today, African Americans are still looked at in a negative way and are treated differently than whites at times. Slavery and racism has never truly ended.  Slavery made many lives miserable and it was a very tragic event that will be remembered forever.  Slavery made the world a different place along the lines of how we see others by the color of skin and by their religion. Slavery was the beginning of other tragic events against others’ race and religion, slavery would forever change the way people think about others. As Americans we decided to treat people, who hadn’t done anything, terribly because the color of their skin and even though slavery was abolished it will live on forever.