Slave Narrative of Acemey Wofford

Person Interviewed: Acemey Wofford
Date of Birth: June 13
Age: 100 (about)

The folks say I’m about 100 years old but there’s no way of me telling about that. I remember the master told me I was born on June 13, but I don’t know what was the year. Maybe I know once, but not now, for the only things I remember now is about the master. I mean my second master who brought me from somewhere in Mississippi to Texas. He was Doctor Hayes; the mistress was Malissa. She was mean, not like the master himself. When the mistress got mad, and that was likely to happen most any time, the slaves got pretty rough handling. She would pick up anything close and let it fly. Buckets or stone jars, sticks or boards, didn’t make no difference just so’s it was loose. I didn’t get around during the slave days. Just worked in the fields like a man and toted water to the master’s house. It was a big log house and it seemed like somebody was always wanting water; I wear myself out keeping water in the house. The night peace was told me I prayed to the Lord. I was thankful. And then after the freed Negroes got to leaving their old homes my husband left Mississippi and come to Texas for me. We stayed in Texas on a farm about four miles in the country from Midway. My first son died during the last year of the war. About three years after the surrender my second son was born and I live with him now. His name is Enlow, same as his father who died December, 1925, in Muskogee. That’s all I know about slave times and when I tries to think more it brings a hurting in my head.

Hayes, Wofford,

Federal Writers' Project. WPA Slave Narratives. Web. 2007-2024. The WPA Slave Narratives must be used with care. There is, of course, the problem of confusion in memory resulting from (73+ years) of the participants. In addition, inexperienced interviewers sometimes pursued question lines related to their own interests and perspectives and attempted to capture the colloquialism of the informant's speech. The interviews provide fascinating insight and surprisingly candid information, however.

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