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A Folk History of Slavery in the United States

From Interviews with Former Slaves





Illustrated with Photographs






Prepared by

the Federal Writers* Project of

the Works Progress Administration

for the State of Texas ‘•


Adams, Will
Adams, William
Adams, William M.
Allen, Sarah
Anderson, Andy



Anderson, George Washington
(Wash) 17

Anderson, Willis 21
Armstrong, Mary 25
Arnwine, Stearlin 31
Ashley, Sarah 34

Babino, Agatha 37
Barclay, Mrs. John 39
Barker, John 42
Barnes, Joe 45
Barrett, Armstead 47
Barrett, Harriet 49
Bates, John 51
Beckett, Harrison 54
Bell, Frank 59
Bell, Virginia 62
Bendy, Edgar 66
Bendy, Minerva 68
Benjamin^ Sarah 70
Bess, Jack 72
Betts, Ellen 75
Beverly, Charlotte 84
Black, Francis 87
Blanchard, Olivier 90
Blanks, Julia 93
Boles, Elvira 106
Bormer (Bonner), Betty 109
Boyd, Harrison 112
Boyd, Issabella 114
Boyd, James 117
Boykins, Jerry 121
Brackins, Monroe 124
Bradshaw, Gus 130
Brady, Wes 133
Branch, Jacob 137
Branch, William 143
Brim, Clara 147
Brooks, Sylvester 149
Broussard, Donaville 151
Brown, Fannie 154

Brown, Fred
Brown, James
Brown, Josie
Brown, Zek
Bruin, Madison
Bunton, Martha Spence
Butler, Ellen
Buttier, Henry H.
Byrd, William

Cain, Louis
Calhoun, Jeff
Campbell, Simp
Cape, James
Carruthers, Richard
Carter, Cato
Cauthern, Jack
Chambers, Sally Banks
Choice, Jeptha
Clark, Amos
Clark, Anne
Cole, Thomas
Coleman, Eli
Coleman, Preely
Collins, Harriet
Columbus, Andrew (Smoky)
Connally, Steve
Coimier, Valmar
Cornish, Laura
Crawford, John
Cumby, Green
Cummins, Tempie
Cunningham, Adeline

Daily, Will
Daniels, Julia Francis
Darling, Katie
Davenport, Carey
Davis, Campbell
Davis, William
Davison, Eli
Davison, Elige
Day, John
Denson, Nelsen
Duhon, Victor





Facing page

Will Adams 1

William Adams 4

Mary Armstrong 25

Sterlin Arnwine 31

Sarah Ashley 34

Edgar and Minerva Bendy ^ 66

Jack Bess1s House 72

Jack Bess 72

Charlotte Beverly 84

Francis Black 87

Betty Bormer (Bonner) 109

Issabella Boyd 114

James Boyd 117

Monroe Brackins 124

Wes Brady 133

William Branch 143

Clara Brim 147

Sylvester Brooks 149

Donaville Broussard 151

Fannie Brown 154

Fred Brown 156

James Brown 160

Josie Brown 163

Facing page

Zek Brown 166

Martha Spence Bunton 174

Ellen Butler 176

Simp Campbell 191

James Cape 193

Cato Carter 202

Amos Clark1 s Sorghum Mill 220

Amos Clark 220

Anne Clark 223

Preely Coleman 240

Steve Connally 249

Steve Connallyfs House ‘ 249

Valmar Cormier 252

John Crawford 257

Green Cumby 260

Tempie Cummins 263

Adeline Cunningham 266

Will Daily’s House 269

Will Daily 269

Julia Francis Daniels 273

Katie Darling 278

Carey Davenport 281

Campbell Davis 285

Nelsen Denson 305



WILL ADAMS was bom in 1857,
a slave of Dave Gavin, in
Harrison Co.f Texas* He re-
mained with the Gavins until

1885, then farmed for himself.
Will lives alone in Marshall,
Texas, supported by a $13,00
monthly pension.

MMy folks allus belongs to the Cavins and wore their name till

after fmaacipation. Pa and ma was named Preeman and Amelia Gavin and

Massa Dava fotches them to Texas from Alabama, along with ma’s mother,

what we called Maria.

The Cavins allus thank lots of their niggers and Grandma Maria

say* ‘Why shouldn’t they – it was their money.1 She say there was plenty

Indians here when they settled this country and they bought and traded

with them without killin’ them, if they could. The Indians was poor folks,

jus1 pilfer and loaf fround all the time. The niggers was a heap sight

better off than they was, ’cause we had plenty to eat and a place to stay.

11 Young Massa Tom was my special massa and he still lives here. Old

Man Dave seemed to think more of his niggers than anybody and we thunk lots

of our white folks. My pa was leader on the farm, and there wasn’t *i° over-

seer or driver. When pa whip a nigger he needn’t go to Massa Dave, but pa

say, * So you way# you nigger. Freeman didn’t whip you for nothin1. f

Massa Dave allus believe paf ’cause he tells the truth.

M0ne time a peddler come to our house and after supper he goes to

see ’bout his pony. Pa done feed that pony fifteen ears of corn. The

peddler tell massa his pony ain’t been fed nothin1, and massa git mad

|||^ you gwine *cuee my niggers of lyin1.’

lllllil^ . • ■ ■■
^*%^ ‘■■’..-■■ ■-” . ‘

Ex-slave Stories Page Two ^ p
(Texas) *; ^

wWe had good quarters and plenty to eat, I ^members when Ifs jus*

walkin* round good pa come in from the field at night and taken me out

of bed and dress me and feed me and then play with me for hours. Him bein*

leader, hefs gone from ‘fore day till after night. The old heads got out

early but us young scraps slep’ till eight or nine o*clock, and don’t you

think Massa Dave ain’t comin’ round to see we is fed, 1^’members him like

it was yest’day, comin1 to the quarters with his stick and askin’ us, ‘Had

your breakfas’?’ We’d say, ‘Yes, suh.’ Then he’d ask if we had fnough or

wanted any more. It look like he taken a pleasure in seein’ us eat. At

dinner, when the field hands come in, it am the same way. He was shof that

potlicker was fill as long as the niggers want to eat.

“The hands worked from sun to sun. Massa give them li’l crops and

let them work them on Saturday. Then he bought the stuff and the niggers go

to Jefferson and buy clothes and sech like. Lots saved money and bought

freedom ‘fore the war was over*

“We went to churcjz and first the white preacher preached and then he

lams our cullud preachers. I seed him ordain a cullud preacher and he told

him to allus be honest. When the white preacher laid his hand on him, all

the niggers git to hollerin1 and shout in’ and prs^in1 and that nigger git

scart mos’ to death.

wOn Christmas we had all we could eat and drink and after that a big

party, and you ought to see them gals swingin* they partners round, Then

massa have two niggers wrestle, and our sports and dances was big sport far

ilifl white folksu They’d .sit on the gallery and watch the niggers put it oh


Ex~slave Stories Page Three g&- 3

“Massa didn’t like his niggers to marry oix txxe place, hut sometimes

theyfd do it, and massa tell his neighbor, ‘My nigger m corain’ to you place*

Make him behave.1 Jftl the niggers ‘haved then and they wasn’t no Huntsville

and gallows and burnin’s then.

“Old massa went to war with his boy, Billie. Theyfs lots of cryin1

and weepin’ when they sot us free* lots of them didn’t want to be free, ’cause

they knowed nothin1 and had nowhere to go. Then what had good massas stayed

right on. ^

MI ‘members when that Ku KLux business starts up. Smart niggers causes

that* The carpet-baggers mint the niggers and the white men couldn’t do a

thing with them, so they got up the Ku ELux and stirs up the world. Them carpet-

baggers come round larnin’ niggers to sass the white folks what done fed them.

They come to pa with that talk and he told them, ‘Listen, white folks, you is

gwine start a graveyard if you come round here teachin’ niggers to sass white

folks.*1 Them carpet—baggers starts all the trouble at ‘lections in Reconstruction*

Niggers didn’t know anythin’ *bout politics*

MMos’ theyoung niggers ain’t usin’ the education they got now* I*s been

here eighty years and still has to be showed end told by white folks. These

young niggers wonft git told by whites or blacks either. They thinks they done

knowed it all and that gits them in trouble.

wl stays with the Gavins mos1 twenty years after the war. After I

leaves, I allus farms end does odd jobs round town here. I’s father of ten

Chilian by one woman* I lives by myself now and they gives me $13.00 a month.

!*<!©. proud to git it If it wasn’t oore’n a dollar, ’cause they ain’t nothin’

****** man can do no more.


EX~SXdtfS STCRW3 Page On© ^ 4

WXIAXJM ABIKS, 33, was bom in
slavery, with no opportunity
for an education, except three
souths in a public school. He
has taught hiaself to read and
to write. His lifelong ambi-
tion has been to become naster
of the supernatural powers which
be believes to exist. He is now
well-known among Southwestern
Hegroes for his faith in the

“Yous want to know and talk about de power de people tells you

I has* Welle sit down here, right there in dat chair, befo9 we’uns

starts* I gits sose ice water and den we9uns can discuss de subject,

I wants to f splain it clearly9 so yeus can understand,

“I’s born a slave, 93 years ago, eo of course I ‘aeabers de

war period, Sitoe all de other slave* X has no chance for edonaca&ion.

Three months em de total time I’s spent going to school* I teached

myself to read and write. I* a anxious to lant to yead so I could

study and find out about aany things, £afcf I has done,

“There am lots of folks, and edumacated ones, too, what says

we’uns heliewes in superstition. Well, its • cause dey don’t under*

stand, ‘Ifasber de £awd, in some of His ways9 can be aystenlous* Be

Bible says so, There em soae things de Lawd wants aLl folks to know,

sose things jus9 de chosen few to know, and sene things no one should

know, ffowf jus
1 ’cause yous don’t know 9bout sane of de Lawd’a laws,

9 taint superstition if some other person understands and believes in


“There is eo&e bora to sing, some born to preach* and sane

born to know de signs* There is seme bom under de power of de devil

S*»slav* Stories Page Two 5

and have de power to put injury and aisery on people, and some born under

da power of de Lawd for to do good and evercoae de evil power* low* dat

produces two forces* like fire and water0 De evil forces starts de fire

and I has de water force to put de fire out*

“How I l&rnt sicht fell, I’* done lam it. It cone to ae. When

de lawd gives sich power to a person* it Jus1 cones to 9ea* It aa 40 years

ago now when I’s fust fully realise9 dat I has de power, Bowever, I1* allus

int9rested in de werkinU of de signs, When V* a little piccaninny, ay

aany and ather folks used to talk about de signs. I hears den talk about

what happens to folks 9 cause a spell wae put on ^ea. Be old folks in dea

days knows more about de signs dat de lawd uses to reveal His laws dan de

folks of today. It m also true of de cullud folks in Africa, dey native

lend* Some of de folks laughs at their beliefs and says it aa superstition,

hut it as knewln1 how de Lawd reveals His laws,

“Now, let ae tell yous of something Vs seen. What am seen, can9t

he doubted. It happens when I9s a young nan and befo9 I1* realise9 dat

I9s one dat an chosen for to show de power* A aule had cut his leg so had

dat hi* aid hleedln9 to death and day couldn’t stop it. An old cullud aan

live near there dat dey turns to. He coaes over and passes his hand over

de cute Befo1 long de hleedln9 stop and dat9s de power of de Lawd workln9

through dat nigger, dat*a all it m.

*I knows ahout a woaan dat had lost her mind. Be doctor say it

wai caused fkoa a tuacr in de head. Dey took an ex-ray picture, hut dere’s

ne tuaor. Bey glwes up and says its a peculiar case* Bat wosun was took to

one with de power of de good spirit and he say its a peculiar case for dea

dat don9t understand* Bis aa a case of de evil spell* Two days after* de


Ex-el are Stories
Page Three


wonan hare her mind hack,

“Day’s lots of dose kind of cases de ord’nary person never

hear about. Tons hear of de case de doctors can’t understand, nor will

dey ‘spend to treatneat. Bat an * cause of de evil spell dat an on de


“Bout special persons bein’ chosen for to show de power,

read yous Bible. It says in de hook of Mark, third cheater, »&nd Ee

ordained twelve, dat dey should he with Hin, dat He night send then forth

to preach and to hare de power to heal de sick and to cast out devils.*

If it wasn’t no evil in people, why does de Lawd say, ‘cast out sich?’

ATA in de fifth chapter of Janes, it further say, ‘If any ac sick, let

hin call de elders. Let den pray over hla. De prayers of faith shall

save hin.’ There His again, faith, dat an what counts.

“When I tells dat I seen nany persons given up to die, and

den a nan with de power cones and saves sich person, den its not for

people to say it an superstition to believe in de power.

“Don’t forgit — de agents of de devil have de power of evil.

Dey can put nisery of every kind on people. Dey can nake trouble with

de work and with de business, with de fan’ly and with de health. So

folks SBIS’ he on de watch all de tine, folks has business trouble ’cause

de evil power have control of ‘en. Dey has de evil power cast out and

save de business. There an a nan in Waco dat cone to see ne ’bout dat.

He say to ne everything he try to do in de las’ six nonths turned out

wrong. It starts with hla lesia’ his pocketbook with $60*00 in it. He

boys a carload of hay and it catch fire and he loo’ all of it. He spends


Kx-sla?® Stories Page Four , ‘/

$200.00 adwertlsln* de three~dagr sale and it begin to rain, so he >e>s§

money. It oho1 am de eril power#

“Well,1 he say, •Bat am de way It go, so I comes to you.1

111 says to him, ‘Its de evil power dat have you control .ad

we*uns shall cause it to be oast out*’ Its done and he has no more


“You wants to know if persons with de power for good can be

successful In east in9 oat derlls in all eases? Well,, I answers dat$ yes

and no. Dey can in every case if de affected person liiar* de faith. If

de party not have enough faith, den it ays a failure*

•Wearin1 de coin for protection ‘gainst de evil power? Dat

as simple* Lots of folks wears sich and dey uses mixtures dat am rprink-

led in de house, and sich. Dat am a question of faiths If dey has de

true faith in sich, it works. Otherwise, it won’t.

*Sorae folks wonH think for a minute of golJii1 without lods~

stone or de salt and pepper mixture In de little sack, tied round d»y

neck. Some wears de silver coin tied round dey neck, ill sich am for

ana aef acc^dently lose de charm, Hey sho1 am miserable.

w£n old darky dat has faith in lodestone for de eh&ra told

me de ‘sperlence he has in Atlanta once. Re carry in* de hod and d*

fust thing he does m drop some brick on he foot. Be next thing, *e

foot slip as him starts up de laAder and him and de bricks drag* to £e

ground. It am lucky for him it wasnH far* Jus1 a sprain ankle aad

de boss sends him home for de day. He am *cited and gits on de street

car and when de conductor call fer de fare, Eufas reacts for be acney

Ix-slare St tries Face Tire W Q

out he loe1 it or ferjlts It at hone, Be conductor say he let hia pay

nex’ tlae anil aaks where he Live. Bufus tells hia and he say* ‘Why,

ulgger, you is on de wrong cur.* $al cause *ufus to walk farther with

de lame foot dan if he st&rtnd wait in’ la de fust place. He thinks there

aus* he soaethlag wrong with he chant, and he look for it and it gone! //

Sho» »noughf it aa loo’. He think, »Iere I sits all day, and I won’t y-‘

aake another acre till I giti! de lacleitone. When de chillen cc«ei^§rom

school I tends den to de tirutfstore for soae of de stone and g*£ls fisted. •

“low, BOW, I*II toon w«it;lii» for dat one ’bout io black eat

orossia* de road, and.sho’ Miough,, it eoue. Let BO ej^you one. How


aany people can youa find dab llk$s t<# hare de bl^jfc oat cross in front

of lejiT Dat’ii right, no (me liken 1st. &et d*;» old cullud person in-

form youa dat it aa she’ de ‘)ad luck ilga. It is sign ef bad luck ahead,

so turn hack. Stop what youi doin*,

“I’s tellin’ ye is of i’yx, of aany cases of failure to took

warnla1 from 4le black cat. I fe»’:#we» a aan call* Miller. His wife and bin

aa takln’ an auto ride and d> Mack at eross de road and he cussed a

little and goes on. Den f/tu not long till he terns de corner and his wife

falls out of da ear duyiii’ 4* turn, then he goes back and picks her upg

she an dead, /

“iioVher fallow, call’ Br»wa, was a-rldia* hosabaek and a

black eat or<r/» de path, bu1 he 4riw»-i on. fell, its not long till hit)

hose *tR*bye a%4 throw hd.a iff. Vm Kill breaks his leg, so take a

wassiia’/^”** &<»’* orerlook: di> blaek eat. Bat aa a waraln’,

■-■/ .’ i . ;


XX»SLA7M ST0BI18 Pace One 9
$> ‘ (Jexaa)

WIKEJAM M. ADAMS, spiritualist
preacher and healer, who lives
at 1404 Illinois Are., Jt. Worth,
Texas, was horn a slave en the
James Davis plantation, in San
Jaeinto Co., Texas. After the
war he worked in a grocery,
punched cattle, famed and preach-
ed. Bo moved to It. Worth la 1902.

“I was ho*n 93 jeers ago, dat la vhut my mother says.

We didn* keep no record like folks doea today. All I know is

I been yere a long time. My mother, si* was Julia, Adawa and

my father he was James Adams. She’s bo’n in Holliu Springs,

Mississippi and my father, now den, he was bo’n ill. Tier Ida*

He was a Black Creek Indian. Sere was 12 of us eMllen. When

I was ’bout seven de missus, the oome and gits me for her serv-

ant. Z lived in de hi** house till she die. Her <*nd Marster

Davis was powerful coed to ae.

“Marster Davis he was a bic lawyer and de owner of a

plantation. But all I do was wait on ole els BUS. I’d li<ht her

pipe for her and I helped her wld her knlttia’ • She give me money

all de tiae. She had a little trunk who keeped noney la and lots

of times I’d have to pack it down wid ay feet a.

“I dl■•member Jus’ how many slaves dere was, hut dere was

more’n 100. I saw as much ae 100 soil at a time, When day tuk a

bunch of slaves to trade, day put ohajLas on »ea.

“De other slaves lived in log cabins back of de bic house.

Dey had dirt floors and beds dat waa made out of ee’n shucks or

straw. At nits dey burned de lamps for ’bout as hour, den de ever-


S*»slave Stories Pace Two

seers, dey come knock on de door and tell «em put de light out, lots

of overseers was mean, Sometimes dey9d whip & nigger wid & leather

strap •bout a foot wide and lone a* ?<**? •*» end wld a wooden handle

at de end*

“On Sat1 day and Sunday nltes deyfd dance and sine ell nite long.

Dey dldn9 dance like today, dey danced de roun9 dance and jig and do

de pigeon wing, and seme of den would jump up and see how many time he

could kick his feets 9fore dey hit de ground Dey had an ole fiddle

and some of 9sm would take two hones in each hand and rattle 9em, Dey

sang songs like, fDiana had a Wooden Leg,* and ‘A Hand full of Sugar,9

and Cotton-eyed Joee
f I disfmember how dey went*

“De Blares dldn9 have no church den, but dsy’d take a big sugai

kettle and turn it top down on de groun9 and put logs roun1 it to kill

de soun9* Dey9d pray to he free and sing and dance*

M When war cone dey come and got de slaves from all de planta-

tions and tuk 9em to build de breastworks, I S*»T? lots of soldiers*

Dey9d sing a song dat go something like dls:

H9Jeff Davis rode a big white hossf
Lincoln rode a mole;
Jess Davis is our President,
Lincoln is a fool*9

tf I 9member when de slaves would run away, Ole John Bllllnger,

he had a bunch of dogs and he9d take after runaway niggers. Sometimes

de dogs dldn9 ketch de nigger, Ben ole Bllllnger* he’d cuss and kick

de dogs,

*Ws dldn1 have to have a pass but on other plantations dey did*

or de paddlerollers would git you and whip you, Dey was de poor white


Ex*?slave ftoriea Pa^ Three ^ j
(Texas) -*■-*-

folks dat didn9 hare no slaves. We dldn1 call 9ea white folks

dem days. Ho, suh, we called dem9Buskrys.9

HJus9 fore de war, a white preacher he come to us slaves and

s&yss 9Do you wan1 to keep you homes whar you sit all to eat, and raise

your Chilian, or do ycu wan1 to he free to roam roun1 without a home,

like de wil9 animals? If you wan9 to keep you home* you better pray

for de South to win. All day wanfs to pray for de South to win, raise

the hand.1 We all raised our hands • cause we was skeered not to, hut

we sho1 dldn* wan9 de South to win*

“Dat night all de slaves had a meet in* down in de hollow.

Ole Uncle Mack, he cits up and says: ‘One time over in 7irginny dere

was two ole niggers, Uncle Boh and Uncle Tom. Day was mad at one

* nut her and one day dey decided to have a dinner and bury de hatchet.

So day sat down, and when Uncle Boh wasn’t look in9 Uncle Tom put some

poison in Uncle Boh9s food, hut he saw it and when Uncle Tom wasn’t

lookin9. Uncle Boh he turned de tray roun9 on Uncle Tom, and he fits

de poison food. 9 Uncle Mack, he ssys: 9Dat9s what we slaves is

Swine do, jus9 turn de tray roan9 and pray for de Horth to win.*

“After de war dere was a lot of excitement fmong de niggers.

Dey was rejoicin1 and singin1. Some of 9em looked pussled, sorter

skeered like. But dey danced and had a hig jsahoree.

“Lots of 9em stayed and worked on de halves, Others hired

out* I went to work In a grocery store and he paid me $1.50 a week.

I give ny mother de dollar and keeped de half. Den I got married

and famed for awhile. Den I come to Tort forth and I heen yere since.



E&-SLAVE STORIES Page One • >§ Q
(Texas) *~

SUUH A£LEN was bom a slave of
John and Sally Goodren, in the
Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

*^ Before the Civil War, her owners
^?** came to Texas, locating near a

^ small town then called Freedom*
She lire* at 3322 Trata* St,9
El Paso, Texas*

“I was birthed in time of bondage. You know, some people

are ashamed to tell it, “but I thank God I was f 11 owed to see them

times as well as now* Itfs a pretty hard story, how cruel some of the

marsters was, “but I had the luck to he with good white people. But

some I knew were put on the block and sold. I ‘member when they’d

come to John Goodren’s place to buy» but he not sell any. They’d have

certain days when they*d sell off the tlock and they took chillen fway

from mothers, screamin* for dere chillen,

“I was birthed in ole Virginia in de Blue Ridge Mountains.

When de white people come to Tex^s, de cullud people come with them.

Datfs been a long time.

“Hy maw was named Charlotte, my paw Parks Adams. He’s a

white man. I guessVm about eightv some years ole.

“You know, in slavery times when day had bad marsters dey’d

run away, but we didnf want to. My missus would see her people had

something good to eat every Sunday mornin1. You had to mind your missus

and marster m& you be treated well. I think I was about twelve when

dey freed us and we stayed with marster ’bout a year, then went to John

Ecols1 place and rented some Ian’, We made two bales of cotton and it

was the first money we ever saw.

“Back when we lired with Marster Goodren we had big candy

Ex-slave Stories Page Two 13
^ (‘JPexas)

pullin!s. Invite everybody and play. We hstd good times. De worst

thing, we dicta* never kave no schoolin1 till after I married. Den I

went to school two weeks. My husban* was teacher, Ee never was a

slave, His father bought freedom through a blacksmith shop, some way.

“I had & nice weddin1. My dress was hite and trimmed with blue

ribbon. My second day dress was white with red dots, I had & beauti-

ful veil and a wreath and fbout two, three waiters for table dat day.

MMy mother was nearly white. Brighter than me. We lef* my

father in Virginia. I was jus1 as white as de chillen I played with.

I used to be plum bright, but here lately Vm gettin1 awful dark.

HMy husban1 was of a mixture, like you call bright ginger-cake

color, I don1 know where he got his learnin1. I feel so bad since

hefs gone to Glory.

“Now I1^ ole, de Lord has taken care of me. He put th*.t spirit

in people to look after ole folks and now my chillen look after me.

I*ve two sons, one name Jaxaes Allen, one IUM. Both live in SI Paso.

“After we go to sleep, de people will know these things, *cause

if freedom hadn1 come, it would have been so miserable.



BX-SLA7X 8T0BIXS Page One ^ 14


AHDY AHDERSOV, 94, was bora a
slave of Jack Haley, who owned
a plantation In Williamson Co.,
Texas. During the Clril far,
Andy was sold to W. T. Bouse, of
Blanco County, who in less than
a year sold Andy to his brother,
John louse. Andy now lives with
his third wife and eight of his
children at 301 Amour St., fort
Worth, Texas.

“My name an Andy J. Anderson, and 1*8 horn on Massa Jack Haley* s

plantation in Williamson County, Texas, and Massa Heloy owned ay folks and

’bout twelve other families of niggers, I*s horn in 1843 and that Bakes ae

94 year old and 18 year when do war starts. I’s had *aperlenees duria’ dat


“Massa Haley an kind to his cullud folks, and Mat am kind to every-

body, and all do folks likes him. De other unite folks called we’uns do pet-

ted niggers. There aa ‘hout 30 old and young niggers and ‘tout 20 piccaninnies

too little too work, and de BUSS cares for den while day Beanies works.

“I’s gwino ••plain how it aa aaaaged on Massa Haley’s plantation.

It aa sort of like de saall town, ■ cause everything we uses aa aade right there.

There aa da shoemaker sad ho is de tanner and Bake de leather from da hides.

Dvn aassa has ‘boat a thousand sheep and he gits de wool, and de niggers cards

and spins and weaves it, and dat makes all de clothes. Ian aassa have cattle

and slch purvide da milk and de butter and beef meat for eat in’. San massa

have de turkeys and chickens and de hawga and de hoes. With all that, us never

was hongry*

“So plantation aa planted la cotton, mostly, with de com and da

wheat a little, »cause aassa don’t need much of dem. He never sell nothia*

Kifet de> cotton. ■ ■ ‘

Bx-alare Stories Page Two 15

“De llTla* for de cullud folks an good. De quarters an built froa logs

like dey’s all in dea days* Be floor aa de dirt but we has de baches and

what is aade on de place. And we has de big fireplace for to cook and we

has plenty to cook in dat fireplace, ‘ cause aassa allus ‘lows plenty good

rations, hut he watch close for de wast in’ of de food,

“De war Breaks and dat Bake de Dig change on de aassa1 s place. He

jines de aray and hires a nan call* Delbridge for orerseer. After dat, de

hell start to pop, ’cause de first thing Delbridge do is cut de rations.

He weighs oat de neat, three pound for de week, and he aeasure a peck of

seal* And ‘twarn’t enough. He half starre us niggers and he want ao’ work

and he start de whippia’s. I guesses he starts to eduaacate *ea. I guess

dat Delbridge go to hell when he died, but I don’t see how de debbil could

stand hia,

“ffe’uns aa not use* to sich and soae runs off. then day an cotched

there an a whlppla’ at de …