Texas Slave Narratives

Texas Slave Narrative

  Mary Young

I was owned by Alton Bailey , married to Tom Young about the time the war was over. My fathers name was Charley Bailey . My mothers name was Alice Bailey . I had one sister named Susie Grant . I was born in Kentucky, and came to Texas in 1900, long after we was freed. No sir, I do not remember much about my parents, cause the white men went to Africa and caught them. As soon as they was freed, they went back to Africa, and I never seen them again.

Master Bailey , he have good home, rock home and our quarters were pine logs and did not have but one door to the room and only two rooms, one for the men slaves and one for the women slaves. I cooked, that was about all I did until after I was free. I have cooked hole calf at time and great big skillet plum full of corn bread. We did not have flour them days. Yessir, I have cooked rabbit and fish bos until I looked like rabbits. Oh, yessir, I like rabbit the best. I wore loyal clothes bos that looks kinda like cotton sack cloth do now. No sir, I always went bare footed. I never had shoes in cold weather. We have woolen clothes to ware. We wrap our feet and legs with woolen slip to keep our feet warm. Master and his mistress they was young and fiery, but they was durn good to their black folks. Master he have about 30 acres in his farm. He growed tobacco. He have six grown slaves and I'se just about grown. Master he wake the slaves bout 4 o'clock every morning and they work just long as they could see how. Oh, yes, they whip the slave when they get unruly just like you do mule. He would hit him 39 lick that is just how the patter roller would get them. Yessir, master he have jail on his farm for slave, when whipping wouldnt do good. It was about high enough for him to stand good but he couldnt lay down he could sit down. He put him in there the first three days without anything to eat, but little piece of bread and water that would make good negro out most slaves. I'se seen plenty slaves auctioned off. Master he make slave wash good and grease they face then he would trot him by so people could see him and all the hollering and bawling it took place just like cattle do now when they take their calves away from their mammy. We then were just about like cattle are now. We never hardly knew who our father were. No sir, they did not try to learn us how to read. We did not have church on our masters plantation, but we always went to church on another plantation. Master he always taught us to tell the truth. Master he read the bible to his slaves every Sunday morning and talk to us about the Bible. Glory to him. I'se been to what they called them old camp meetings where every body shouts and shore enough gets religion they have they baptizing. The white preacher he baptized the white folks first then the negro last. Old brother Si , he was my best friend cause he always joking us about the bible and telling us that bad negro he go to place where he burn and burn and the fire never die down.