|Dan Bogie lived in enslavement on a small plantation with few enslaved persons. In this excerpt, he describes the relationship he developed with the enslavers’ children, as well as his first experiences with education and religion.
There were four slaves. My mother did cooking and the men did the work. Bob Wheeler and Arch Bogie were our masters. Both were good and kind to us. I never saw a slave shipped, for my boss did not believe in that kind of punishment. My master had four boys, named Rube, Falton, Horace, and Billie. Rube and me played together and when we acted bad old Master always licked Rube three or four times harder than he did me because Rube was older. Their daughter was named American Wheeler, for her mother.
White folks did not teach us to read and write. I learned that after I left my white folks. There was no church for slaves, but we went to the white folks’ church at Mr. Freedom. We sat in the gallery. The first colored preacher I ever heard was old man Leroy Estill. He preached in the Freedom meeting house (Baptist). I stood on the banks of Paint Lick Creek and saw my mother baptized, but do not remember the preacher’s name or any of the songs they sang.
We did not work on Saturday afternoon. The men would go fishing, and the women would go to the neighbors’ and help each other piece quilts. We used to have big times at the corn shuckings. The neighbors would come and help. We would have campfires and sing songs, and usually a big dance at the barn when the corn was shucked. Some of the slaves from other plantations would pick the banjo, then the dance. Miss America married Sam Ward. I was too young to remember only that they had good things to eat.
Formerly enslaved person
|Birth Year (Age)
|Bob Wheeler, Arch Wheeler
|Garrard County, KY
|Themes & Keywords
|Family, Gender Roles, Education, Literacy, Religion