Slave Narrative of Amanda E. Samuels

Interviewer: Anna Pritchett
Person Interviewed: Amanda Elizabeth Samuels
Location: Indiana
Age: 80
Place of Residence: 1721 Park Avenue

Federal Writers’ Project of the W.P.A. District #6 Marion County Anna Pritchett 1200 Kentucky Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana


Lizzie was a child in the home of grandma and grandpa McMurry. They were farmers in Robinson County, Tennessee.

Her mother, a slave hand, worked on the farm until her young master, Robert McMurry was married. She was then sold to Rev. Carter Plaster and taken to Logan County, Kentucky.

The child, Lizzie was given to young Robert. She lived in the house to help the young mistress who was not so kind to her. Lizzie was forced to eat chicken heads, fish heads, pig tails, and parsnips. The child disliked this very much, and was very unhappy with her young mistress, because in Robert’s father’s home all slave children were treated just like his own children. They had plenty of good substantial food, and were protected in every way.

The old master felt they were the hands of the next generation and if they were strong and healthy, they would bring in a larger amount of money when sold.

Lizzie’s hardships did not last long as they were set free soon after young Robert’s marriage. He took her in a wagon to Keysburg, Kentucky to be with her mother.

Lizzie learned this song from the soldiers.

Old Saul Crawford is dead, And the last word is said. They were fond of looking back Till they heard the bushes crack And sent them to their happy home In Cannan. Some wears worsted Some wears lawn What they gonna do When that’s all gone.

Interviewer’s Comment

Mrs. Samuels is an amusing little woman, she must be about 80 years old, but holds to the age of 60. Had she given her right age, the people for whom she works would have helped her to get her pension.

They are amused, yet provoked because Lizzie wants to be younger than she really is.

Submitted December 1, 1937 Indianapolis, Indiana

McMurry, Plaster, Samuels,

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

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