|Dan Bogie was enslaved on a small plantation with few slaves. In this excerpt, he describes the living conditions he and his family experienced.
Master Bogie owned about 200 acres of land in the eastern section of the county, and as far as I can remember there were only four slaves on the place. We lived in a one-room cabin, with a loft above, and this cabin was an old fashioned one about hundred yards from the house. We lived in one room, with one bed in the cabin. The one bed was an old fashioned, high post corded bed where my father and mother slept. My sister and I slept in a trundle bed, made like the big bed except the posts were made smaller and were on rollers, so it could be rolled under the big bed. There was also a cradle, made of a wooden box, with rockers nailed on, and my mother told me that she rocked me in that cradle when I was a baby. She used to sit and sing in the evening. She carded the wool and spun yarn on the old spinning wheel. My grandfather was a slave of Talton Embry, whose farm joined the Wheeler farm. He made shingles with a steel drawing knife that had a wooden handle. He made these shingles in Mr. Embry’s yard. I do not remember my grandmother, and I didn’t have to work in slave days, because my mother and father did all the work except the heavy farm work. My Mistus used to give me my winter clothes. My shoes were called brogans. My old master had shoes made. He would put my foot on the floor and mark around it for the measure of my shoes.
Most of the cooking was in an oven in the yard, over the bed of coals. Baked possum and groundhog in the oven, stewed rabbits, fried fish and fried bacon called streaked meat all kinds of vegetables, boiled cabbage, pone cornbread, and sorghum molasses. Old folks would drink coffee, but children would drink milk, especially buttermilk.
Formerly enslaved person
|Birth Year (Age)
|Bob Wheeler, Arch Wheeler
|Garrard County, KY
|Themes & Keywords
|Family, Gender Roles