Lula Washington





Willie H. Cole

10-8-37



THE STORY OF AN EX-SLAVE

[MRS. LULA WASHINGTON, Age 84]





Mrs. Lula Washington was born a slave. She claims to be eighty-four

years old.



Mrs. Washington was confined to bed because of a recent accident in

which she received a broken leg.



She is the mother of twenty-three children of which only two are living.

She lives in one room at 64 Butler St., N.E. with one of her daughters.

Since the death of her husband several years ago she has been making her

living as a dray-women, driving a mule and wagon.



Following are some of the events she remembers. "Ah wuz born in

Randolph, Alabama on de plantation of Marster John Terrell, de sixth

child of my mammy and pappy".



"When ah wuz six years old marster John sold me an' my sister, Lize and

brother, Ben to Marster Charlie Henson."



"Marster Charlie wuz good to his niggers.



"He never whipped dem 'less dey done somethin' awful bad, like stealin

chickens or slipping off de plantation without permission."



"It wuz funny, de white folks would whipped de niggers for stealin' but

if dey saw a hog in de woods, dey would make the niggers catch de hog an

kill him an hide him under dey bushes. Den at night de niggers would

hafta' go down to de spring, build a fire, heat water an skin de hog."



"De man on de plantation next to us' shore wuz mean to his niggers,

Marster Jim Roberts wus his name. He would take his niggers an strip

there clothes to dere waist an' lay dem 'cross a barrel an beat dem 'til

the blood run. Den he would pore salt water on de sore places."



"Oh 'member one time he tied two wimmen by dere thumbs to a limb of a

tree for blessin' out the missus."



"Us had plenty to eat and plenty to wear, calico dresses an' brogan

shoes. Sometimes dere misses would give the wimmen some of her old

clothes".



"All de niggers on Marster Charlie's plantation had to work in de field

'cept Malindy Lu, a Mulatto nigger gal. Marster Charlie kept her in de

house to take care of Missus Jane, dat wuz Marster Charlie wife."



"One thing 'bout de mulatto niggers, wuz, dey thought dey wuz better

than de black niggers. I guess it wuz 'cause dey was half white. Dere

wuz a bad feelin' 'tween the mulatto slaves an de black ones."



Asked, how did the slaves marry? She replied, "Ah jest don't 'member

seeing any marry 'cause ah wuz so small. Ah wuz jest eleven years old de

time of de war but ah' members hearing some of dem say dat when two

slaves wanted to git married dey would hafta get permission from dere

marster. Den dey would come 'fore de marster an' he would have dem to

jump over a broom an den 'nounce dem married."



"When de Yankees come thru" de white folks told us to go down to de

swamp an hide cause dey would git us. When de war wuz over de white

folks told us we wuz free."



"Marster Terrell gave my mammy an pappy a oxcart an mule an a bushel of

meal. Den my pappy an mammy come got me an my sister an' brother. Den we

come from Randolph, Alabama to Georgia."



"Sometimes I wish I wuz back in slavery, times is so hard."



Mrs. Washington's chief concern now is getting her old-age pension.





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