Slave Narrative of David Lee

Person Interviewed: David Lee
Location: Dade County, Florida

David Lee, 1006 NW 1st Court, Miami, Fla. is proud of his “missus” and the training he received on the plantation.

“Ah can’t tell y’ ‘zackkly mah age, but ah knows dat when Freedom was declared, ah was big ‘nough ter drive a haws an’ buggy’, for ah had nice folks. Ah could tell u’ right smart ’bout ’em.

“Ah libbed near Cusper, Ga. on Barefield’s fahm. Dare daughter, Miss Ann Barefield, she taught a school few miles away, ’round pas’ the Post Hoffice. Ah s’posen ah mus’ bee 9 or 10 years hold, for ah’ carried Miss Ann backwards and forwards t’ school hev’ry marnin’ and den in the hevenin’, ah’d stop ’round fer de mails when ah’d go fer to carry her home.

“Miss Ann, she used ter gibme money, but hi didn’t know what t’ do wid hit. Ah had all de clothes ah could we ah and all ah could eat and didn’t need playthings, couldn’t read much, and didn’t know where to buy any books. Ah had hit good.

“When peace wuz signed, dey gib me lots of Confederate bills to play with. Ah had ten-dollah bills and lots o’ twenty-dollah bills, good bills, but y’know dey wus ‘t wuth nothing. Ah have a twenty-doll ah bill ‘roun som’ers, if hi could evah fin’ hit.

“Yes, ah had hit good. My mothah, she stayed on de plantation, too. She did de churnin’ and she run de loom. She wuz a good weaver. Ah used ter help her run de loom.

“We stayed on a while after Freedom and den our Massy he giv’ my mothah a cow and calf along wid other presents an ‘he carried us back to my father an’ we had a little home.

“Ah loved man Missus just as good as ah did my own mothah. She whipped me a few times but then de whippins wuz honly raps on de head wid her thimble. Ah spose ah needed hit, for ah “did like sugah”! (Growing more confidential he explained);

“Now, ah wouldn’t steal nothin’ else, but–uh–ah,–uh–ah did like sugah!”

“Missus, she had a big barrel ob lumpy sugah in de pantry. De doo’ wuz ginnerly looked, but sometimes when hit wuz hopen, ah’d go in an’ take a han’ fu’.

“Ah ‘rembah once, ah crawled in tru de winder and mah Missus she s’picionated ah wuz in dare eatin’ sugah, so she called, “David, you anser me, you all’s in [TR: rest of page cut off.]

Barefield, Lee,

Federal Writers' Project. WPA Slave Narratives. Web. 2007.

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