William Quinn

William Quinn was born into enslavement in a rare family that paid a small sum of money to their enslaved people.  Here, he describes this practice and how rare it was.
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Mr. Quinn said that they were what were called “gift slaves”. They were never to be sold from the Stone farm and were given to Stone’s daughter as a gift with that understanding. He said that his “Old master paid him and his brother ten cents a day for cutting down corn and shucking it.”

It was very unusual for a slave to receive any money whatsoever for working. He said that his master had a son about his age, and the son and he and his brother worked around the farm together, and “Master Stone” gave all three of them ten cents a day when they worked. Sometimes they wouldn’t, they would play instead. And whenever “Master Stone” would catch them playing when they ought to have been at work, he would whip them—”and that meant his own boy would get a licking too.”

Formerly enslaved person
Birth Year (Age)Interviewer
WPA Volunteer
Enslaver’s Name
William QuinnunknownHarry JacksonSteve Stone
Interview LocationResidence StateBirth Location
Marion County, INIndianaHardin County, KY
Themes & KeywordsAdditional Tags
Family, EconomicsThird person, hired out


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