Samuel Lyons

Samuel Lyons was an enslaved person during his childhood and teenage years.  In the excerpt below, he gives a brief overview of life on the plantation.
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Evall had about 200 slaves on a big plantation and fine race horses. He raised cane, wheat, and corn, and he had a big stillhouse to make his own whiskey, and he made it to sell, too. 

We did our cooking in our cabin, and it wasn’t much except jowl bacon, cornbread, and syrup. I and part of our family were sold once, and ole Miss Evall’s mother brought us back the same day.     

I saw slaves whipped at the whipping post in Paris, Kentucky, until their backs bled. And then they sprinkled the cuts with salty water. 

Different slave owners would take their slaves to help other slave owners cut their winter’s wood, or husk corn, or shear their sheep.  We got good food then and sometimes they used to let their slaves have dances together whilst they were working to get the work done. 

Evall bought our shoes in Paris, (Kentucky) and if they were too big, we wore them, and if they were too little we wore them just the same, But sometimes we cut the toes out of the shoes to make them long enough.   

Formerly enslaved person
Birth Year (Age)Interviewer
WPA Volunteer
Enslaver’s Name
Samuel Lyons1847 (About 90)UnknownEvall
Interview LocationResidence StateBirth Location
Clark County, OHOhioSawhill Station, KY
Themes & KeywordsAdditional Tags:
Violence, EmancipationFirst person, dialect, whipped