The Slave Narrative Collection
An OKGenWeb Special Project
We strongly recommend that you read the information below from the Library of Congress explaining the language used in these interviews.
Age 98 yrs
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Lemme see, I guess I is about ninety. I was born in de Robian Family in 1839. I wasn't sold. I was transferred to Master Pruitt when he marry Master Robian's daughter, and when I was old enough to work I was transferred to Master Sam Anderson. Amite County, Mississippi, was where I was born, but I was raised in Pike County.
Lemme see, my oldest brother was called Bud, and he belong to de Robian family in Texas. Den I had another brother and a baby brother, and one sister. My mother was Clara Robian, my father named Daniel Robian. Master Robian had eleven children, six boys and five girls. He had heaps of money; bring it home in a sack and throw it over de fence and mistress couldn't pick it up.
We slaves live in de quarters. Beds made out of wood with shuck and moss mattress. We always put de moss in hot water so it don't grow. I wore a shirt until I was ten years old. Shirts was made of old lowell or maybe weaved. They was split up de sides so dey would sail out behind when you ran, but dey had buttons so you could button 'em up in winter. Nothing different on Sunday only clean cloths, but after we gets large we wear pants and shirts. Wears shoes when we gets about ten or twelve years old.
We all eats at Master's house. Greens, peas, and such as was raised on de farm, with biscuits once a month. I was always gladdest when dey cooked biscuits and fresh meats, and sometimes we go hunting at nights and catch possums and rabbits.
Can't tell how much land Master had, but dey was a heap of slaves. Some of the older men would plant a patch of cotton for theirselves when dey had time, and maybe get sixty dollars for it, but I never made any money. My Uncle Dollie worked for years and save up five hundred dollars and paid it to Master for his wife, Aunt Onie. His master had him to build them a house out from de quarters as he set her free, but Uncle Dollie was still a slave. After slavery he bought eighty acres of land and lived there till death.
De overseer have a darkey to ting bell or blow horn at four o'clock go get up by mornings. Slaves was whipped when dey didn't work suitable; whip 'em with a long red and blue bul whip with lead on one end. Sometime when dey would try to keep from being whipped de overseer would get other white men to help him. One slave named Mose was tired down to a stake, and when de overeer start to hip him he pulls up de stake and makes for 'im, and his master knock him in de head with an ax. Later and shortly dey put him up for sale and sell him for twelve hundred dollars. My brother used to run away all de time, and dey couldn't catch or track him with de dogs. One day he run off and Master set two sets of dogs after him, but dey still couldn't catch him.
Master didn't allow church on de plantation, but they was two preachers dat he would let preach under a tree on Sunday. Doctor Hart was our doctor. He doctor us with blackmass and calomel pills, and turpentine. When we have de itch we bathe in boiled pork-root water.
I believe white folks trying to get out of work was what caused slavery. Dey get rich off us without working. Didn't like Booker T. Washington. He teach de Negroes to serve de white folks.
Abraham Lincoln was a good man, but they turned in and killed him. Jefferson Davis was butting against Lincoln.
Contributed by M. Dawson, July 2002