Title: Mississippi Slave Narratives from the WPA Records
Submitter: MSGenWeb Slave Narrative Project
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From the WPA Slave Narratives:
Foreword: Sarah Patterson, was born in slavery, the property of William Wilbourne of Panola County, she is a small black negro, in feeble health, weighing about 100 pounds and is about 5 feet tall.
Miss "Cloy" Wilbourne raised me, I was a sickly child and Miss took me in her room and made me a bed right at the foot of her bed, and raised me there, I'll always thank Miss Cloy for raising me so nice. I staid right with her and did what she tole me to until I married, I have had thirteen chillun but ain't but three of them living, one daughter is in about two miles of me, and lets my little gran chile help me some.
I'm in very pore health, but I try to do a little cooking and I can see to patch a little, I aint got any specticles, and I pulled out all my teeth but three myself. I have to hobble along with a stick but I've been walking over a mile to pick cotton all this fall, to try to git my a pair o' shoes, my close are all worn out.
Lawsy I reckon we all gonna freeze this winter, I never can go where I want to now. I am so far away I can't walk to town but I wish I could go to see some of my ole Miss folks, they lived down about Sardis. The last time I went to see Miss before she died she followed me out in the yard and shook my hand and said "Come back to see me Sack", you see the white folks called me Sack. Miss Cloy would let me sleep in one of her beds, she always said I was clean and perticular like her.
My white folks were always good to me and I had plenty as long as I staid with them, but times have changed and I've had a mighty hard life.
Transcribed by Ann Allen Geoghegan
The Federal Writer’s Project of
The Works Progress Administration
For the State of Mississippi
"If you teach them where they come from, they won't need as much help finding where they are going!"
Cordelia Carothers " Aunt Dee" Geoghegan (1894-1987)
Project Manager: Ann Allen Geoghegan
Assistant State Coordinators and
Transcriptionists: Ann Allen Geoghegan, Debbie Leftwich, and
Rose Diamond and Linda Durr Rudd
Banner designed by: Melissa McCoy-Bell
Unknown worker photograph provided by L. Stephen Bell Photography, and family photo albums of Karen Schweikle, Lucy Gray and Jens Burkhart.
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