Welcome to All About the Revolution. Our topics range from historical insights to updates on plans for the next generation of the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. We encourage your thoughts and reactions to each post.
What Kinds of Jobs Did Enslaved African Americans Do?
In the 18th century, most enslaved African Americans worked as agricultural laborers, but not all did. Below is a list of 78 different occupations mentioned in The Virginia Gazette, a late-colonial-era newspaper. How many of these jobs were sometimes performed by slaves in Virginia?
(Answer: All of them.)
Bakers; Barbers; Basket Makers; Blacksmiths; Brewers; Bricklayers; Brick Makers; Butchers; Cabinet Makers; Canoe Men; Carpenters; Carters; Cartwrights; Caulkers; Coachmen; Colliers; Cooks; Coopers; Curriers; Dairy Maids; Dancers; Ditchers; Drivers; Doctors; Dressmakers; Farmers; Ferrymen; Fiddle Makers; Fiddlers; Finers; Firemen; Fish Dealers; Fishermen; Foremen; Forge Men; Founders; Furnace Men; Furnace Keepers; Gardeners; Glaziers; Gunsmiths; Hairdressers; Hammermen; Harness Makers; Hostlers; House Joiners; Knitters; Millers; Mill Wrights; Miners; Musicians; Nurses; Overseers; Pilots; Plasterers; Preachers; Rope Makers; Saddlers; Sailmakers; Sailors; Sawyers; Seamstresses; Ship Carpenters; Ship Builders; Shoe Makers; Smiths; Skippers; Spinners; Stone Masons; Tailors; Tanners; Turners; Wagon Makers; Wagoners; Waiters; Watermen; Weavers; and Wheelwrights.