|After the Civil War started, Dr. Warren Wortham moved his family and about 40-50 enslaved people (including young Caroline Wright) from Louisiana to Texas. Caroline was 12 when she was freed. In this excerpt, the interviewer records Caroline Wright in the first person. The interviewer recounts a time Caroline Wright was possibly going to be sold and describes broadly cultural aspects of her life.
… in Louisiana, we were all put on the block and valued. I was six years old and I was valued at $1,500. But our family wasn’t sold to anyone. I was given to Miss Muriel, Dr. Wortham’s daughter. Me and my sisters was made house slaves and my mammy and pappy and brothers was made field slaves.
Our master, Dr. Wortham, sure was a fine doctor. He never whipped us. The young missus learned us our A B C’s ’cause there was no school for the slaves. There wasn’t no church on the plantation, but we all went occasionally to a big log cabin and camp shed. Sometime a white would preach and sometimes a colored preacher…
On Christmas, the white folks always give us presents and plenty to eat, and we always had a big dance five or six times a year. Dr. Wortham lived in a great big log house made from cedar logs…
[Describing enslavement in Texas:] we got up about four in the morning and ate breakfast about nine o’clock. All the slaves had to work from sun to sun, and when we were sick, the master treated us…
Formerly enslaved person
|Birth Year (Age)
|Unknown (about 90)
|Hayes White, Miss Muriel, Dr. Warren and Annie Wortham
|Jones Creek by Baton Rouge, LA
|Themes & Keywords
|First Person, Third Person, Dialect, Enslaver Father, Hired Out