Sartoris Plantation Molasses Mill (Location Key)


Owned, apparently, or at least run by one of the black tenant farmers on the Sartoris land in Flags in the Dust, this mill sits "beside a spring on the edge of the woods" (289). In use in the South from as early as the 18th century, this kind of mill crushes stalks of sugar cane into a pulp from which molasses is made as a sweetener. Its "motive power" was typically provided by a horse or, as at this mill, a mule, whose movement around and around in a circle drove the stone that did the crushing. Although it is described from the perspective of Bayard and Narcissa Sartoris, the white owners of the land, the mill site, at least "after dark" (291), is a very 'black' space. The Negroes - "old men and women," "young men and girls" and "children" - gather around a fire; "sometimes they sang" - although "when the white folks arrived the singing ceased" (291).

Display Name: 
Sartoris Plantation Molasses Mill
Sort Name: 
Sartoris Plantation Molasses Mill