The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography - Vol. 5

By George P. Rawick | Go to book overview
Miss Effie Cowan, P. W. October 16, 1937
McLennan County, Texas (No)
Dist. #8

William Irving

This story of a slave born in the days of ante- bellum tells of life in the quarters, and some of his personal experiences and memories of the Civil War.

"I wuz born in Walker County, near de town of La Fayette, Georgia, in de year 1850. I wuz one of four chillun. My mother wuz a slave of Tom Martin in North Carolina. He brought her to Georgia an' sold her to Judge Easterling who later bought me.

"My father wuz a slave of Tom White, from whom he took his name. He wuz sold w'en he wuz a young man to Judge Easterling, de man who bought my mother, an' so they lived together an raised a fambly of four chillun, three girls, an' one boy, I wuz de boy.

"My first 'membrance wuz livin on Judge Easterlin's place, an' seeing him going in his buggy an' on horse-back to La Fayette to his office. We lived in de quarters. Dey wuz log cabins, built of de logs dat wuz cut from de big trees, an' de cracks wuz chinked wid clay. We lived about fifty or a hundred yards from de big house whar de Judge lived. De overseer lived between de cabins, an' de Judge's house. He wuz a white man, an' de Judge had him to tell us what to do an' to see dat hit wuz done. If de slaves did'nt work, or if dey run away, de overseer set de dogs on dem or had de patty-rolles to ketch dem.

"De patty-rollers wuz somthin' like w'at dey call de law here. Hit wuz dey business to ketch de run-a-way slaves an' others who had

-1864-

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