Slave Narratives Volume 1

Slave Narratives Volume 1

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Excerpt: ...quiet." Older women on the plantation acted as nurses for all the small children and babies while their parents worked in the fields. The mistress would keep a sharp eye on the children also to see that they were well cared for. A slave's life was very valuable to their owners. Punishment was seldom necessary on the Willis plantation as the master and mistress did everything possible to make their slaves happy; and to a certain extent indulged them. They were given whisky liberally from their master's still; and other choice food on special occasions. "I remember once," remarked Mrs. Callaway, "my aunt Rachel burned the biscuits and the young master said to her, "Rachel, you nursed me and I promised not to ever whip you, so don't worry about burning the bread." My mistress was very fond of me, too, and gave me some of everything that she gave her own children, tea cakes, apples, etc. She often told me that she was my mother and was supposed to look after me. In spite of the kindness of the Willis family there were some slaves who were unruly; so the master built a house off to itself and called it the Willis jail. Here he would keep those whom he had to punish. I have known some slaves to run away on other plantations and the hounds would bite plugs out of their legs." The Willis family did not object to girls and boys courting. There were large trees, and often in the evenings the boys from other plantations would come over to see the girls on the Willis plantation. They would stand in groups around the trees, laughing and talking. If the courtship reached the point of marriage a real marriage ceremony was performed from the Bible and the man was given a pass to visit his wife weekly. Following a marriage a frolic took place and the mistress saw to it that everyone was served nice foods for the occasion. Frolics were common occurrences on the Willis plantation, also quilting parties. Good foods consisting of...show more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 5mm | 177g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236727932
  • 9781236727930