Annie Young Henson was born in Northumberland, Virginia. Daughter of Mina and Tom Miller. She worked on Travelers Rest along with 60 other slaves. Her position there was second nurse for the doctors family. She was treated fairly well for her title. Since she worked as a nurse, the mistress of the house had better clothes made for Annie to suite the mistress taste.Slaves would work sunrise to sunset and had quarters where they would get together and enjoy the rest of the time they had before another shift began. 

Slaves were only punished when proven guilty and Annie had only been whipped once for a lie that was told on her by a the first nurse who was jealous of her looks. She never resisted and her relationship with the master and mistress was very respectful. The memories that shaped her experience was her uncle running away and never knowing what happened to him. But also the seeing colored people being punished I believed gave her a sense of caution but also fortune. She was fortunate to live on farm where she was treated well.  

When Annie was seventeen or eighteen she was freed by her master along with 65 other slaves. Some free men stayed and worked for a fair wage while others fled. She later worked for a flour merchant and getting paid six dollars a month. She was 86 when she was interviewed. 

Noemi Cervantes

Adeline Crump, daughter of Marie Cotton and Cotton, a twin to one, and a sibling to 10 other children. Adeline thought very highly of her living situations, her parents would tell her that they loved their “white folks” I find this very interesting because I have never heard of slaves call their maters folks usually many expect a negative relationship between the two, however “folks” gives the impression of a closer bonding and understanding. She explained they would clothe, feed, and even bring a doctor when they were sick including time off. She also explains that the work hours were long, but it was expected. It seems that the masters were the least of her worries; it was “The Ku Klux Klan” that gave her some bad feelings. Unfortunately she was the last of her family to live and tell the tale of her life growing up on a plantation.

- Jessica Bravo 

Sylvia Watkins is an ex-slave. She is 91 years old and was born in Bedford County, Virginia. Her mistress’s name was Emily Hatchet. Emily had two daughters who were twins, Mittie and Bettie. She has 9 brothers and sisters. Her mom and two of her sisters were sold and dragged to Alabama and she hasn’t heard from them since. She stayed to live with her dad after she was freed because his master gave him crops and animals and land. She was married twice. She lived with her first husband, Jimm Ferguson, for 20 years and then he died. She lived with her second husband, George Watkins, for 8 years and he died two years before the article was written. She had no children of her own. She always wanted to adopt but her first husband didn’t want to. Her second husband came home with a baby and said he adopted it and she clearly saw that the baby looked like him but he denied it. She says it has been hard taking care of him alone after George died.

I think the most powerful memory she has that shaped her experience as a slave was her childhood and how well (compared to others) her mistress treated her. When she talks about her actual slave days she only has good memories. The only time she mentioned that her mistress whipped her, she said that she deserved it. She says that she and her siblings had good clothes and her mistress let them sit at the table to eat until “our stomachs full.” She wishes she could go back to those days because they had such great food. Her mistress even let her play hide and seek and other games when she and her siblings finished working. Her work life consisted of working in the fields, making food, and making clothes. She learned how to knit and sew because of this.

She was treated pretty good. She had her moments where her mistress was kind of trifling. They didn’t let her read or write. They didn’t want the slaves to be educated. Her mistress also promised her and her siblings some goods if they stayed with her for a year, after the slaves were freed. They agreed and after that year her mistress didn’t give her anything. She wasted a year. There wasn’t any specific times where she mentions resisting but she says she fought a lot and because of that her mistress would whip her. 

She said she was with her young mistress, so one of the twins, when one of them got married. She also said that one of her young mistresses was blind before she died and she would visit her once a year. Her mistress would always bring things to her to take to the house. She would call her, her “little nig” which kind of sounds like a term of endearment mixed in with some racism. I think she liked one of her young mistresses. It sounds like they kind of had a relationship. Maybe they played hide and seek together when they were younger. 

-Valerie Turcios 

  Harriet Barrett 86, was born in 1851 in Texas to her father who was from Africa and her mother who was from Virginia. She had a brother who was named after their master. The family was owned by Steve Glass. During her time as a slave, she worked in the kitchen. As she recalls, she’s started working in the kitchen since she was little. There was always plenty of food to go around in the big house. Growing up as a slave, Harriet’s bedding consisted of log quarters, stick posts, and deerskin.Some slaves often tried to escape to the North. Unlike the other slaves she had a good relationship with her master and his wife Her master and his wife often allowed her to participate in dances and were off on holidays.

 When the war started Glass’ first wife died in which he got remarried. Unlike his first wife his second wife as strict. Harriet experienced learning to make remedies for colds. Because of her skills, Glass took her with him for assistance in the for in New Orleans.

 After the war was over Harriet became free. She still however wanted to work in the big house. She was paid $2.50 a month. She used her money and held a wedding. She married  Armsted Barrett. They made living together faming. Harriet and Armsted have shared 51 yeas in marriage.

 Brionna Adams  History 275

The slave’s narrative that I read is by a woman named Emaline Neland. She was born in the middle of Tennessee. At the point in time that the narrative was written, the individual was about 79 to 80 years old. I think that her most powerful force that shaped her memory, as a slave was when she gained freedom. She hardly spoke of her time as a slave, because freedom was more important and frankly much more significant to her. Work was difficult for her, although she hardly spoke of it, especially since she was young when she gained freedom. She did not mention her relationship with her master at all. However, she did live with her family and was freed with them. She spoke of her parents and how they both lived together as free people before they died. She lived with her father for a short time after she was freed as well.


- Jessy Foster


     Victoria Perry was from Spartanburg, South Carolina. She was eight years old when the African American, people including herself, were set free in 1865 by the Yankee Generals and soldiers. Victoria Perry’s Master was Bert Mabin who owned a farm near Newberry. Her Master kept the slaves ages written down in a big Bible, but Victoria never dared to ask for her master for her age. Once she was freed, her mother told Victoria to say she was eight years old.

    While she was a young slaved girl she would be awoken every night by her mother’s prayers and cries. Her mother would cry because she was always being beaten by their master, Bert Mabin. Victoria would witness when her mother would be whipped on her back until blood would come out. Bert Mabin was extremely violent and so Victoria would always try getting out of her master’s sight and show no emotion in front of him including when her mother would be beaten. Bert Mabin would not only beat her mother but every slave at once when one slave will get him mad. In her eyes her master was a cruel man. Victoria knew her father was a white man who worked as an overseer at the farm but had no relationship with him.

   Finally, in 1865 a Yankee general with his soldiers came to the farm and freed all the African American slaves. All the slaves including her mother rejoiced with joy in how Lord heard her prayers. Once freed, work was very scarce. Her mother got a job at a plantation, but later along the way Victoria ended up in Spartanburg. She married a man named Tom Perry, but ended up widowed. In 1937, she calculated she was eighty years old when she wrote this paper.

Yasmin Alvizures History 275 Fall 2014

ALICE HOUSTON was born October 22, 1859, if she was alive today she would be 158 years old.  She was a nurse and midwife for her mistress, and after she became a free woman she continued being a nurse and midwife for many white families in Texas. Rewind Alice’s story,  Alice began her life as a slave with her parents on a small plantation in Hays County,Texas. Alice was considered a house girl, tending to the needs of the mistress being her nurse and midwife. From  the interview it seems like Alice had a nice life (for a slave), she was able to go to school  and church, while in school she learned how to read and write. She seems to had a better upbringing then many slaves. Alice was able to live with her family, never to worry about being sold, taken away  from her family or being in chains. Once the war was ending her master freed all the slaves, her family and many other families living on the plantation. But instead of living the plantation they decided to stay. The families decided to stay and live on the plantation for several years before moving on. Another reason they didn’t leave the plantation was due to not knowing anything different. Alice had a nice relationship with her Master and Mistress, they treated the slaves like actual human beings. Once Alice left the plantation she got married  and moved to San Angelo, Texas. Once in San Angelo she continued her life being a nurse and midwife to many white families in the community.   

Jour ‘Dan Peters

Kelly Mary Jane was a slave serving Bill Jeter. She was born in the Santuc section between Richard Dawkins and Martha Shelton Dawkins, they were also serving Jeter when she was born. Her age is unclear because it is not mentioned in her testimony. According to the document, Kelly had a very difficult time when she was a slave. She was working in the cotton fields and had to work very hard like men. Her owner Jeter never allowed his slaves to go out of his place and he even hurt her sometimes. Although he gave them nice food on Christmas day, he usually fed them in a trough and treated them very poorly.

What I think is the most remarkable in her statement is the fact that she was never allowed to learn how to read and write. Her master prevented his slaves from having the education because all he wanted them to do was working. Since she had no chance to have education and was forced to work in the cotton fields all day, she merely knew about very famous politicians such as Lincoln, Jefferson Davis and Washington.

                After going through such a hard time, she married Ike Kelley and they had a daughter. When she was interviewed, her husband had already passed away and she lived in a rented house with her daughter.,+Mary+Jane))

Teppei Tominaga History 275 Fall 2014

Mary Jane Wilson was from Portsmouth, Virginia. To be honest the paper did not say or give clues. I believe that the most powerful memory was that her master had a good heart. The thing I noticed was that the master the had a heart to give back and when they had Mary Jane Wilson father for sale, Mary Jane Wilson master bought him so he could live with his family. I felt that this shaped Mary Jane Wilson to be a giving person and give back to the community. The reading said that she was small and did not have to work much just help around the house.

             The master family would treat her well she was not being pushed to go really hard stuff due to her young age. She had a family mother and father. Her father was one of the first African Americans to buy a home. Mary Jane Wilson father had built it himself. The thing that really got me was that Mary Jane Wilson really enjoyed going to school and very gave up. She was so passionate about teaching that she became a teacher and opened her own school in her backyard. 

Daniel Velasco

Estella Jones 

Estella Jones was born and raised in Colorado Springs at Powers Pond Place, She was 9 years old at the time. Her interview states all her memories and recollections of what she experienced as being a child slave in Pre-Civil War days. 

Estella recounts her experiences at the “nuss house” where all slave children were taken care of until they reached a certain age were they were strong enough to work. All children were put into this “nuss house’ so their parents could work. She recounts how an elderly woman would take care of all the children that were placed in this house, all children were fed, milk was poured on the floor and they were given wild oyster shells to eat. Estella kept some of the oyster shells she was given as spoons. She also recounts what the “nuss house” surrounded, she remembers the “masters house’ being adjacent to the “nuss house”. She describes the house as being wooden with two big rooms, she also described the sleeping rooms as being furnished with bunk beds the house also had a playroom. 

Estella Jones storied that slaves had a hard time. They had to work day and night. Men had it harder than woman, men worked until twelve o’clock. She stated that slaves always enjoyed selling corn, she quoted “Dey enjoyed dat better den dry did, or at least jist as much.” Estella recounts all the great memories she has of all the parties that were thrown. She talked about the food and prizes that were given. One event she mentioned was “Cake walkin”, she said it was a lot of fun during slavery time, They swept the yards clean and prepared for the big celebration. She mentioned that banjos were used for music making as, also she explains that woman wore long, ruffled dresses with hoops and males wore high hats, long split-tailed coats and some wore walking sticks. She also mentioned that the best couple that danced better would win a prize. Estella Jones, in her interview recounts all her memories and stories. She also mentioned some songs she used to sing in church. Some of the songs are ; The Wind Blows East, You’s Better Be Praying, Come Change My Name and I’m On My Way. 

-Stephanie Islas, History 275, Fall 2014 

Emma Crockett is an 80 year old ex-slave. She lives six miles northeast of Livingston, Alabama. Emma lives in this house that doesn’t sound very pleasing when she explains it. It seems like she lives in a well working house just not very appealing on the inside and out. She was born from Cassie Hawkins and Alfred Jolly. She doesn’t really talk about her parents so I’m assuming that she didn’t really know them that well. Emma became Emma Crockett by marrying a guy name Henry Crockett. She had five kids with him.

Her master was Bill Hawkins and her mistress was Lisa Betty. I think her most powerful memory that shaped her experience as a slave was when she saw everyone get whipped whether they were good or bad but she never got whipped. She was probably scared for her life, telling by what I read. Emma really didn’t have a work life because she was kind of old at that time but all she wanted to do was read and write and somebody finally taught her that but she never went through with it so she isn’t very good at it now. 

Emma was treated very well by her owners. Judging by her story I don’t think there were any moments she resisted. I also think she seems kind of lost and her memory isn’t fully there to tell her whole story. I would say the relationship between the master and mistress with Emma was very good because they treated her very well. Emma does have family, she lives with her grandchildren now on Mr. Davis place. I don’t really know if her husband is still alive or any other family members.

Mariah Gonzales

Bean, Nancy Rogers 10-19-38
Nancy Rogers Bean was an eighty two year old slave from Hulbert, Oklahoma. She was born while her folks were on their way to Fort Gibson and during the trip she was born at Boggy Depot which is located in Southern Oklahoma. She lived in a one room log cabin with fourteen other children on their master’s property. She received her name from the Roger’s in which she worked for them. Often times she was loaned around to the Roger’s relatives, where she helped around their houses. Overall, Nancy Rogers was treated very nice by the Roger’s relatives. When she was freed, her mistress was Ms. O’Neal who was a wife of an officer at Fort Gibson. Ms. O’Neal treated Nancy Rogers the best. She gave Nancy her first doll she ever had. It was a rag doll and allowed for her to play with it one hour every day. When the war ended mistress O’Neal wanted to take Nancy with her to Richard, Virginia. But O’Neal couldn’t take her due to Nancy’s people not letting her go. Nancy wanted to stay with her because O’Neal was good to her. O’Neal promised she was going to come back for Nancy when she was older but she never did.

One of Nancy’s aunts was a mean and frightening woman. She had to be sold and when the bidding began her aunt grabbed a hatchet, laid her hand on a log and chopped her hand right off. The aunt then grabbed her bloody hand and threw it to her master’s face. Nancy would than try to get mean like her aunt did. But that always lead for her to get a whipping for it. When she was a little girl she always had to be moving from one family to the other. Where she did housework, ironing, help the main cook, and peeled potatoes. In which Nancy had to do it barefoot. She was barefoot most of her life.

Nancy Rogers mentions that slaves didn’t know much about Sunday in a religious way. Her master had a brother who preached to the slaves. But got caught one day and was punished. During Nancy’s later years in life she married Joe Bean had children but they died as babies. Later on she separated from Joe Bean. Nancy Rogers didn’t have it to difficult while she was a slave. She mentions that the good Lord knows that she is glad that slavery is over. Now she can stay peacefully in one place and that is what she aims to do with her life.

Melisa Jurado
History 275

Lula Jackson










Lula Jackson lived to be about 79 years old in Alabama, Russell County on a place called Sand Ridge near Georgia. She was a slave after the war who started off as half-a-hand and later on when she was recognized she was hired as a whole hand. She worked in a farm for a few years then was transferred to another farm where she met her first husband. Unfortunately her first and second husband died which resulted her into being single and poor for a lot of years. Within the year that she lost her first and second husband she went through a phase where she could not support herself. She had to beg for food, she was getting to old to work, and she was not getting paid the same amount she started with. There came a point where welfare helped her financially, however they questioned how she got the money to pay for the application since she was stating that she did not have any money. Eventually, they agreed to help her pay for a few of her appliances, however it was not enough to pay for her rent.  

                Growing up she went through a similar situation since she was one of the nineteen children her mother, Bertha Williams had. Although they did not all come from her father, Fred Williams, she considered them as family so she had to stay home and take care of all of them. Since she had a huge responsibility, school was not an option and neither was learning English. When she was finally had the opportunity to receive some sort of education, she was whipped at least once a day and a lot of the times was because she was standing up for others. However, the little education that she received eventually helped her find a job. Working as a half-a-hand slave was her first job away from home, however as mentioned above that job did not help her or her family out in the long run.

                Since both her husbands died that became her powerful force because she realized that no one would be able to help her financially. While the income that was brought home from two people it escalated to become a one person household income. Her family could not help her, let alone her parents. At this point in time she realized that slavery was not like before since her master treated her differently. Her master was now stricter and did not want her around because she was not able to work as fast as before. New people would eventually come and take her spot which was not what she wanted or needed at the moment.

-Daisy Estrada



    In this interview an ex-slave who goes by the name of Elvira Ross explains in graphic detail the many hardships and experiences she faced as a slave in the 1800s. At the time of the interview Elvira was 94, and already lived passed her nine children, and lives with her tenth a girl named Minnie. Though born in the sound during the time of the interview she currently lived in El Paso, Texas where her and other slaves were brought as refugees during the last year of the Civil War. Elvira’s life began with a turbulent start. She was a bastard child of her white slave master father, and was sold out of spite by his wife to the Boles family in the town court. 

      During the first years of her life on the Boles plantation she was in her words “worked to death” in the brick yard, and firing furnaces. She notes her masters weren’t brutal enough to carry out whippings, instead murdered their slaves in cold blood if necessary. At the age of 17 she married a slave, and was allowed to have festivities for her ceremony. However she faced back breaking labor for the majority of her life carrying out jobs mostly men where capable of but she did them. At times her master’s where generous to give the slaves treats on special occasions, and allow them to have small parties in their quarters. A doctor was hired to make sure the master’s investments were in tip top shape, however prayer was not openly welcomed and whoever was caught would receive 100 lashes. 

    A pivotal moment in Elvira’s life came during the last year of the civil war. Though slaves were by law free January 1, 1865 they didn’t know until June of that year. The Boles master took his family and slaves by wagon to flee from coming Yankee soldiers so he may keep his property. In my opinion her most powerful memory as a slave was losing her child on this journey and having to bury her child on a random road. She had no time to mourn and was ripped away from her deceased child. While fleeing in Texas Boles was forced to relinquish his slaves out in the world with no money or even clothes. While still in Mississippi the slaves were told the Yankee’s where coming to kill them instead of freeing them thus resulting in there leaving with nothing but a small bundle of items. Now on their own in Texas they were forced to make their own lives.

- Fabian Hernandez

       Catherine Slim was an ex slave from Rockingham, Virginia. Although her masters denied her the knowledge of knowing her date of birth, court records found in Harrisonburg Virginia indicate she was 87 years old. Her father was a white man named Jack Ross and her mother whom was of African decent went by the name of Sally. Given that Catherine was born into a multiracial, family with a white father she was denied her freedom. Growing up she was the youngest in a family of six. She had three sisters named Frances, Sarah and Mary. Catherine also had two half-brothers named John and Berwin. Unfortunately, all her siblings and mother died in bizarre matters. Both her half-brothers died after being free and were never able to experience freedom. Catherine’s mother died when she was only just an infant and hardly remembered her.

         The court bounded her to a couple named Barley and Sally since she was a child.  Catherine lived amongst 20-30 other slaves in the plantation owned by her masters. She attended to household duties and working in the fields. As a slave, she tried to gain an education but was denied the privilege when asking to do so. She was threatened of being killed if she ever tried to learn on her own or even ask for permission again but this never stopped her. Catherine grew to learn the necessities like being able to tell time, something her masters saw as disturbing. She was treated and seen as less than within the household of her masters. Catherine was forced sleep on the floor in a bed stuffed of wool and walked around barefoot.

         Although Catherine described the brick house in which she lived in as “lovely” the experiences she underwent within those closed walls were not. They were traumatizing and nearly fatal.  She was constantly beaten and whipped for no reason at all. As she describes she was treated like a “petty dog.” Catherine continuously received harsh mistreatment as a slave, never receiving the pay she earned from working. She believed her masters were denying her of her wage so she would forcefully runway on her own and she did. The beatings and mistreatment were a driving force that led her to make such a risky decision. The relationship she had with her masters did not help her situation either. Although, seen as “typical” that most masters would treat their slaves poorly with the exception of others, Catherine was not able to handle it.  Her life as a slave and her personal life were both tough and took a toll on her. She was shaped by many experiences like the mistreatment she received as a slave and the tragedies in her personal life as well.

- Karla Rodas