Amanda Elizabeth Samuels

In this third person narrative, the interviewer describes how the “old master” and “young master” treated Amanda Elizabeth Samuels (called “Lizzie”).  While the interviewer concludes that Lizzie’s life was relatively better with the “old master,” the interviewer explains that the first enslaver was motivated by profit, not kindness. The teacher may need to point out to students that the enslaver did not treat enslaved people “just like his own children,” because he enslaved and sold them, while his own children were free. 
See full document • Visit the Library of Congress to see the original document


Her [Lizzie’s] mother, a slave hand, worked on the farm until her young master, Robert McMurry was married. She was then sold to Rev. Carter Plaster and taken to Logan County, Kentucky.

The child, Lizzie was given to young Robert. She lived in the house to help the young mistress who was not so kind to her. Lizzie was forced to eat chicken heads, fish heads, pigs’ tails, and parsnips. The child disliked this very much and was very unhappy with her young mistress because in Robert’s father’s home all slave children were treated just like his own children. They had plenty of good substantial food and were protected in every way.

The old master felt they were the hands of the next generation and if they were strong and healthy, they would bring in a larger amount of money when sold.

Lizzie’s hardships did not last long as they were set free soon after young Robert’s marriage. He took her in a wagon to Keysburg, Kentucky to be with her mother.

Formerly enslaved person
Birth Year (Age)Interviewer
WPA Volunteer
Enslaver’s Name
Amanda Elizabeth SamuelsUnknown (80-85)Anna Pritchett  Robert McMurry,Rev. Carter Plaster
Interview LocationResidence StateBirth Location
Marion County, ININTN
Themes & KeywordsAdditional Tags:
Emancipation, EconomicsThird Person, Sold, Union Troops