|The interviewer records this interview with Nannie Eaves in the first person. Both Nannie Eaves and her husband Ben Eaves fathers were their enslavers. Their father’s were brothers, making Nannie and her husband first cousins. In this excerpt, Nannie Eaves explains this relationship and how it impacted her life while enslaved. Nannie Eaves also references her husband’s service during the Civil War and slave traders.
…I guess I was about twenty one years old when I was freed. I was never once treated as a slave because my master was my very own Daddy. Ben Eaves, my husband, was a slave and child of George Eaves, my master’s brother. He ran away from his master and Daddy and joins the U.S. [Union] Army during the Secess War [the Civil War] and is now drawing a pension from Uncle Sam. I’m sure glad that he had sense enough to go that way [since his pension provides her with money to survive]…
…We had two slave traders in this town. They were Judge Houston and his son-in-law, Dr. Brady. They gathered up all the slaves that were unruly or that people wanted to trade and housed them in an old barn until they had enough to take to New Orleans on a boat. They traded them down there for work in the cotton fields.
Formerly enslaved person
|Birth Year (Age)
|Themes & Keywords
|McLean County, First Person, Dialect, Enslaver Father, Slave Traders, Veteran or Widow