|Kisey McKimm spent her entire enslavement (and some time after) on the same plantation. In this excerpt, McKimm describes how her enslaver treated her and her family better than most enslavers, but how his son was cruel. It describes an instance of the son whipping one of the enslaved. The excerpt goes on to describe how McKimm’s family was given land after Emancipation, but when the enslaver father died, the son took over the land and kicked them out.
Master Jacob was good to his slaves, but his son, Clay was mean. I remember once when he took my Mammy out and whipped her cause she forgot to put cake in his basket, when he went hunting’. But that was the last time, because the master heard of it and cussed him like God had come down from Heaven.
. . . The great day on the plantation was Christmas when we all got a little present from the Master. The men slaves would cut a whole pile of wood for the fireplace and pile it on the porch. As long as the whole pile of wood lasted we didn’t have to work but when it was gone, our Christmas was over. Sometimes on Sunday afternoons, we would go to the Master’s honey room and he would give us sticks of candied honey, and Lord child, was it good! I ate so much once, I got sick enough to die.
One time, dey sent me down the road to fetch something’ and I heard a bunch of horses coming, I jumped over the fence and hid behind the elderberry bushes until they passed, and I ran home and told them what I had seen. Pretty soon they came to the house, 125 Union soldiers and asked for something to eat. We all jumped around and fixed them a dinner, when they finished, they looked for Master, but he was hidden. They were gentlemen and didn’t bother or take anything. When the war was over the Master gave Mammy a house and 160 acre farm, but when he died, his son Clay told us to get out of the place or he’d burn the house and us up in it, so we left and moved to Paris. After I was married and had two children, me and my man moved north and I’ve been here ever since.
Formerly enslaved person
|Birth Year (Age)
|Betty Lugabill (or Lugabell)
|Paulding County, OH
|Bourbon County, KY
|Themes & Keywords
|First person, dialect, Union soldiers