Sunday, April 21, 2019

Ex-slave Charlotte Beverly, about 90, Remembers 19C America

Charlotte explained, "The white folks had interes' in they cullud people where I live. Sometimes they's as many as fifty cradle with little nigger babies in 'em and the mistus, she look after them and take care of them, too. She turn them and dry them herself. She had a little gal git water and help. She never had no chillen of her own. I'd blow the horn for the mudders of the little babies to come in from the fields and nurse 'em, in mornin' and afternoon. Mistus feed them what was old enough to eat victuals. Sometimes, they mammies take them to the field and fix pallet on ground for then to lay on."

Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves.
Photo from 20th century.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Ex-slave Frances Black, about 87, Remembers 19C America

Francis remembered, "I was born in Grand Bluff, in Mississippi, on Old Man Carlton's plantation, and I was stole from my folks when I was a li'l gal and never seed them no more. Us kids played in the big road there in Mississippi, and one day me and 'nother gal is playin' up and down the road and three white men come 'long in a wagon. They grabs as up and puts us in the wagon and covers us with quilts. I hollers and yells and one the men say, 'Shet up, you nigger, or I'll kill you.' I told him, 'Kill me if you wants to - you stole me from my folks."

Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. Photo from 20th century.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Women on the North American Canadian Frontier in 19C - by Dutch-born Cornelius Krieghoff 1815-1872

Cornelius Krieghoff was born in Amsterdam, spent his formative years in Bavaria, and studied in Rotterdam & Dusseldorf. He traveled to the United States in the 1830s, where he served in the Army for a few years. He married a young woman from Quebec and moved to the Montreal area, where he created genre paintings of the people & countryside of Canada. According to Charles C. Hill, "Krieghoff was the first Canadian artist to interpret in oils... the splendour of our waterfalls, and the hardships and daily life of people living on the edge of new frontiers" Krieghoff lived in Quebec from 1854-1863, before he came to Chicago to live with his daughter.
Cornelius Krieghoff (Dutch-born Canadian painter, 1815-1872) The Blizzard 1857

Monday, April 15, 2019

Women Processing Cotton in 19C Reconstruction South Carolina

Cotton Picking After Slavery - Six African American Women in a Cotton Field by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams  

Mary Lyde Hicks William (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.  The central figure with her hands on her hips is Aubt Betsey George.  The woman with the basket on her head Anna Stevens, who worked as a housemaid. Cotton was traditionally picked in splint baskets, or in cotton sheets, which would be tied to make a bag.  When it was "cotton picking time," all hands were utilized in order to get the cotton safely stored before bad or wet weather came.
 Cotton 1890-1910 After Slavery - Weighing Cotton by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams

Cotton 1890-1910 After Slavery - Seeding and Carding Cotton by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Ex-slave Louise Mathews, about 83, Remembers 19C America

Louise remembered, "Marster Turner am very reasonable 'bout de wo'k. He wants a good days wo'k, an' all de cullud fo'ks gives it to him. Weuns had Saturday afternoons off, an' co'se, Sundays too. Weuns does de washin' an' sich wo'k as weuns wants to do fo' ourselves on Saturdays, den weuns could go to parties at night. De Marster gives weuns a pass ever' Saturday night if weuns wanted it. Weuns had to have de pass 'cause de Patterollers am watchin' fo' de cullud fo'ks as don't have de pass. Weuns have singin' an' dancin' at de parties. De dancin' am quadrilles an' de music am fiddles an' banjoes."

Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. Photo from 20th century.