On Highland Plantation in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, Bennett H. Barrow was the law. Owner of more than 200 slaves in the midnineteenth century, Barrow punished his human property with abandon. Some days Barrow whipped all of his cotton pickers for shirking work, other times he had “a general whipping frolic” for no particular reason. He thrashed slaves for stealing, including two house servants who broke into his storehouse and were whipped “worse than I ever whipped any one before.” Eight or ten slaves who stole some hogs were ducked before they were beaten. When the slave Demps hit his wife Hetty and locked her up, Barrow intervened, “turning her loose and fastening him.” He whipped Dave and Jack for their “rascality” and planned to chain them at nights and on Sundays “till I think they are broke in.” Later he built a jail, where he imprisoned Darcas for, “pretending to be sick, repeatedly,” and some slaves who were bad mannered when he gave them a dinner in his ballroom.
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