Oklahoma Slave Narrative
Sam AndersonI was born in de Robian family in 1839. I wasn't sold, but transferred upon the marriage of Mos Robian' s daughter to Master Pruitt and was later transferred to Master Sam Anderson when I was old enough to work. I was born in Amit County, in Mithippy (Mississippi) in 1839 and was raised in Pike County after being transferred. Me oldest bud, b'long to de Robian family in Texas. He says, "I's 90 years old" and when you question him and go back and ask him, "how old are you?" he will say lammesse I's born 1839, then laugh "ha, ha, ha, ha." He never forget this year, 1839, yet does not remember the number of brothers and sisters he has so well. When you ask of him about his brother and sisters he says, "Lemmesee, my oldest brother call Bud and my other brother and my baby brother, and there was one girl that was my sister. I married two times and has two boys and one girl. See there was some that died", says he when you ask if that was all. "I was born in 1839," he says, "been right smart back younder." Master and Mistress had eleven children and one died, six boys and five girls. Me Master had heap money, bring it home in sack and throw it over the fence and Mistress could't pick it up. My Mother was name Clara Robian , Father now Daniel Robian , staying in quarters, wood beds with shacks and moss mattress. He said, "had to put moss in hot water to kill it so it wouldn't grow in mattress." He says, "You put moss in mattress it grow have boil it and kill him. Man him grow. " In slavery, I work in corn, cotton, peas, taters. Never made or had any money, I was young and full of fun, but some of the older men, when had Saturdays evening off, would plant a patch of cotton and get $60.00 for it. One uncle Dollie did this for a number of years until he had saved $500.00 and paid this money to Master for a girl for his wife, Aunt Onie , and his Master had him to build them a house out from the quarters as he set her free but Uncle Dollie continued a slave. After slavery Uncle Dollie bought 80 acres of land and stayed dere till death, hence this land fell to his son-in-law who gave a deed trust to Conaway , a railroad man who later took it for the money he had loaned him. We were fed greens, peas, and such as was raised on the farm. Gave biscuits once a month. We all et at Masters house where all feeding was done. But when go hunting at nights and catch possums and rabbits, we cook um at home like you like um. He said, "I's always gladdest when they cooked buscuits and fresh meats. Me first Master, I liked him best, as he would give Saturday evenings. We didn't work, but when transferred to Master Pruitt he worked night and day and was mean. In slavery time we wore shirts, I wore a shirt 'till I was ten Years old and these shirts were split up the side and when we ran they would sail out behind. Shirts were made of old lowell and even weaved. Though the shirts were split up the side they had buttons so could button up in winter. After large, we wore pants and shirts made with dem old looms. Nothing different on Sundays only clean clothes. No shoes at all until about 10 or 12 years old. When I married I had coat, pants and shirt to marry in. Me Master lived in a log house of 5 rooms, with dirt chimney first, then brick chimney. My Masters overseer, at first, was a good man, but others, he said pretty rough. Can't tell how much land Master had, but land was mile from house. Don't know how many slaves, he had, "heep of um." Overseer, he said, a darky to ring bell or blow horn 4 o'clock to get up mornings. Slaves were shipped when didn't work suitable, whip with bull whip with lead on one end and long, color red and blue. Sometime when negroes would not want to be whip, boss would go and get other white men to hold him. One slave name Mose , was tied so he pulled up the stakes and started to the overseer with a stake in his hand and his Master knocked him in the head with ax. Later and shortly they put him up for sale and sold him for $1200.00. When they auctioned him off there were three bidders or bids, viz., $1,000, $1150.00 and $1200.00 respectively by 3 different men. He said, "me Master didn't allow church on plantation, but there were two preachers who he would allow to preach under a tree on Sundays and even white people would visit their churches. My brother usta run away all time and dey couldn't catch or track him wid dogs. One day he ran away and Master went and got 2 sets of and they couldn't track him. He says, "He didn't know why." Christmas, lasted a week with me boss and the settlement would give balls all night dancing, by fiddle and banjo. When death on plantation, they all would stop work and bury the dead. Doctor Heart was our doctor, had blasmass and calomel pills and turpentine. When had itch, boil pork root and bathe. "Abraham Lincoln was good man but they turned in and killed him. Jefferson Davis was butting against Lincoln .
I think slavery was dem, white folks trying to make us slaves so dat dey wouldn't have to work. Git rich off us. Dat is why I played and got ligion (Religion) keep from being slave and work. Didn't like Booker T. Washington , he helped white people to keep negroes trained to serve as slaves to white people as servants. 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 . Amit 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 clothes, 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 had a darky to ring bell or blow horn at four o'clock to get up by mornings. Slaves was whipped when dey didn't work suitable; whip 'em with a long red and blue bull 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 tied down to a stake, and when de overseer start to whip 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 Heart 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 of 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 .