Women in the south were quite powerless. The law assumed that an owner would never intentionally kill his slave and thus destroy his own property, and therefore he could not have the requisite intent to sustain a charge of murder. I can't imagine violence being inflicted on black slaves, or any slaves throughout history, to the extent it's often said because they were needed. Punishment through mutilation is well recorded, and it was more often an act of brutality rather than one of rehabilitation. An Old Regime Business. It required a government that was willing to use violence to protect slavery. Indeed, control loomed large in the minds of slave owners and legislatures. The master ran out of the room, mounted his horse and rode off to escape, 'though well he knew that [his wife's] full fury would fall upon the young head of his victim. An Autobiography of the Rev. Williams told me what he bought me for I thought, now I shall be committin' adultery, and there's no chance for me, and I'll have to die and be lost. Some slaves who accidentally touched whites had their hands or the body part used in the touching cut off. Moses Roper, who had lived as a slave in the Carolinas and Georgia recalls in her narrative of her master pouring tar on her head and face and setting her on fire, and following up this action by placing the fingers of her hand in a vise and removing her finger- nails and having another man smash her toes with a sledge hammer. Quoted on page of Slavery in America Also: Documents also show that on the Middle Passage, ship captains would make use of a tool called the speculum oris, an instrument shaped like a pair of scissors with serrated blades that was forced in the mouths of captives who refused to eat. Many "mulatto" or racially mixed children also resulted from these relations. Master-Slave Relations Slave women were forced to comply with sexual advances by their masters on a very regular basis. The parties whose names he mentioned were ladies of some of the best families.