|In this first person narrative, Albert Todd describes the cruelty he witnessed and experienced as an enslaved person, including how his enslaver fed him only once a day and punished him for stealing food. Albert Todd also recounts how he remained a slave for years after he was technically free.
*Historically-used terms that are offensive, marginalizing and/or disparaging have been removed from the transcripts and replaced with [redacted]. See more information.
…Our missus was good to us, but one white man neighbor got a new set of [redacted] every year. He would say if they didn’t die, there wasn’t any good work left in them after they worked for him for a year. He always cut off one of their ears so if they ran away he’d know them.
My clothes were a long shirt, made out of a meal sack. That’s all I wore in those days. I was a slave for three years after the others were freed because I didn’t know anything about being free. A Mrs.Gibbs got a hold of me and made me her slave. She was a cruel old woman and she didn’t have any mercy on me. She gave me one sausage and one biscuit in the morning and nothing else all day. One day she was gone and I stole some biscuits. She comes back and says, ’Did you take them biscuits?’ She tells me if I tell the truth she won’t punish me, but she knocks me down and beats me till I don’t know anything. But after a while, her house burned and she burned up in it. But before that, I was going to run away…
Formerly enslaved person
|Birth Year (Age)
|San Antonio, TX
|Themes & Keywords
|First Person, Dialect, Witnessed Extreme Cruelty, Sold, Logan County