Victoria Adams

Project #1655

Everett R. Pierce

Columbia, S. C.



"You ask me to tell you something 'bout myself and de slaves in slavery

times? Well Missy, I was borned a slave, nigh on to ninety years ago,

right down here at Cedar Creek, in Fairfield County.

"My massa's name was Samuel Black and missus was named Martha. She used

to be Martha Kirkland befo' she married. There was five chillun in de

family; they was: Alice, Manning, Sally, Kirkland, and de baby, Eugene.

De white folks live in a great big house up on a hill; it was right

pretty, too.

"You wants to know how large de plantation was I lived on? Well, I don't

know 'zackly but it was mighty large. There was forty of us slaves in

all and it took all of us to keep de plantation goin'. De most of de

niggers work in de field. They went to work as soon as it git light

enough to see how to git 'round; then when twelve o'clock come, they all

stops for dinner and don't go back to work 'til two. All of them work on

'til it git almost dark. No ma'am, they ain't do much work at night

after they gits home.

"Massa Samuel ain't had no overseer, he look after his own plantation.

My old granddaddy help him a whole heap though. He was a good nigger and

massa trust him.

"After de crops was all gathered, de slaves still had plenty of work to

do. I stayed in de house wid de white folks. De most I had to do was to

keep de house clean up and nurse de chillun. I had a heap of pretty

clothes to wear, 'cause my missus give me de old clothes and shoes dat

Missy Sally throw 'way.

"De massa and missus was good to me but sometime I was so bad they had

to whip me. I 'members she used to whip me every time she tell me to do

something and I take too long to move 'long and do it. One time my

missus went off on a visit and left me at home. When she come back,

Sally told her that I put on a pair of Bubber's pants and scrub de floor

wid them on. Missus told me it was a sin for me to put on a man's pants,

and she whip me pretty bad. She say it's in de Bible dat: 'A man shall

not put on a woman's clothes, nor a woman put on a man's clothes'. I

ain't never see that in de Bible though, but from then 'til now, I ain't

put on no more pants.

"De grown-up slaves was punished sometime too. When they didn't feel

like taking a whippin' they went off in de woods and stay 'til massa's

hounds track them down; then they'd bring them out and whip them. They

might as well not run away. Some of them never come back a-tall, don't

know what become of them. We ain't had no jail for slaves; never ain't

see none in chains neither. There was a guard-house right in de town but

us niggers never was carried to it. You ask me if I ever see a slave

auctioned off? Yes ma'am, one time. I see a little girl 'bout ten years

old sold to a soldier man. Dis soldier man was married and didn't had no

chillun and he buy dis little girl to be company for his wife and to

help her wid de house work.

"White folks never teach us to read nor write much. They learned us our

A, B, C's, and teach us to read some in de testament. De reason they

wouldn't teach us to read and write, was 'cause they was afraid de

slaves would write their own pass and go over to a free county. One old

nigger did learn enough to write his pass and got 'way wid it and went

up North.

"Missus Martha sho' did look after de slaves good when they was sick. Us

had medicine made from herbs, leaves and roots; some of them was

cat-nip, garlic root, tansy, and roots of burdock. De roots of burdock

soaked in whiskey was mighty good medicine. We dipped asafetida in

turpentine and hung it 'round our necks to keep off disease.

"Befo' de Yankees come thru, our peoples had let loose a lot of our

hosses and de hosses strayed over to de Yankee side, and de Yankee men

rode de hosses back over to our plantation. De Yankees asked us if we

want to be free. I never say I did; I tell them I want to stay wid my

missus and they went on and let me alone. They 'stroyed most everything

we had 'cept a little vittles; took all de stock and take them wid them.

They burned all de buildings 'cept de one de massa and missus was livin'


"It wasn't long after de Yankees went thru dat our missus told us dat we

don't b'long to her and de massa no more. None of us left dat season. I

got married de next year and left her. I like being free more better.

Any niggers what like slavery time better, is lazy people dat don't want

to do nothing.

"I married Fredrick Adams; he used to b'long to Miss Tenny Graddick but

after he was freed he had to take another name. Mr. Jess Adams, a good

fiddler dat my husband like to hang 'round, told him he could take his

name if he wanted to and dats how he got de name of Adams. Us had four

chillun; only one livin', dat Lula. She married John Entzminger and got

several chillun. My gran'chillun a heap of comfort to me."

Home Address:

Colonial Heights,

Columbia, S. C.

Victor Duhon Victoria Mcmullen facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail