The most common form of resistance by slaves to the masters' wishes
Once a slave was set to work, there were many avenues open for resisting the worst aspects of slavery. [ One of the most prevalent was the stealing of the master's provisions and livestock, a response to slavery itself as well as to chronic food shortages amongst slave populations. Charles Ball, an ex-slave, revealed that he "was never acquainted with any slave who believed that he violated any
rule of morality by appropriating to himself anything that belonged to his master, if it was necessary to his comfort." Slaves were also thought to be chronic liars, especially towards their masters and managers. As well, they would work as slowly as they could and would try to appear as stupid and dull as the slave owner assumed they were in order to do as little work as possible for the fewest number of whippings. This "laziness" was so ubiquitous amongst slave societies that Africans were thought to have peculiar ailments that prevented them from working. One Doctor was so duped by this subtle method of resistance that he defined the condition as "Dyaesthesia Aethiopica", which had symptoms including "breaking the tools he [the slave] works with, and spoiling everything he touches that can be injured by careless handling. Hence the overseers call it 'rascality,' supposing that the mischief is intentionally done." ]
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