The slaves are generally fed upon salt pork, herrings, and Indian corn. The manner of dealing it out to them is as follows: Each working man, on Monday morning, goes to the cellar of the master where the provisions are kept, and where the overseer takes his stand with someone to assist him, when he, with a pair of steelyards weighs out to every man the amount of three and a half pounds, to last him till the ensuing Monday - allowing him just half a pound per day. Once in a few weeks there is a change made, by which, instead of the three and a half pounds of pork, each man receives twelve herrings, allowing two a day. The only bread kind the slaves have is that made of Indian meal In some of the lower counties, the masters usually give their slaves the corn in the ear; and they have to grind it for themselves by night at hand mills. But my master had a quantity sent to the grist mill at a time to be ground into coarse meal, and kept it in a large chest in his cellar, where the woman who cooked for the boys could get it daily. This was baked in large loaves, called steel poun bread." Sometimes as a change it was made into Johnny Cake," and then at others into mush.
The slaves had no butter, coffee, tea, or sugar; occasionally they were allowed milk, but not statedly; the only exception to this statement was the "harvest provisions." In harvest, when cutting the grain, which lasted from two to three weeks in the heat of summer, they were allowed some fresh meat, rice, sugar, and coffee; and also their allowance of whiskey.
At the beginning of winter, each slave had one pair of coarse shoes and stockings, one pair of pantaloons, and a jacket. At the beginning of the summer, he had two pair of coarse linen pantaloons and two shirts.
Once in a number of years, each slave, or each man and his wife, had one coarse blanket and enough coarse linen for a "bed-tick." He never had any bedstead or other furniture kind. The men had no hats, waistcoats or handkerchiefs given them, or the women any bonnets. These they had to contrive for themselves. Each laboring man had a small "patch" of ground allowed him; from this he was expected to furnish himself and his boys hats, &c. These patches they had to work by night; from these, also, they had to raise their own provisions, as no potatoes, cabbage, &c., were allowed them from the plantation. Years ago the slaves were in the habit of raising broom-corn, and making brooms to supply the market in the towns; but now of later years great quantities of these and other articles, such as scrubbing brushes, wooden trays, mats, baskets, and straw hats, which the slaves made, are furnished by the shakers and other small manufacturers, from the free states of the north.