Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Ex-slave Fannie Brown Remembers dancing to fiddle music in 19C America



Fannie recounted, "My how dem niggers could play a fiddle back in de good ole days. On de moon-light nights, us uset to dance by de light ob de moon under a big oak tree 'till mos' time to go to work de nex' mornin'. One time de bes' fiddler in de country was playin' fer us to dance, an' he broke a string. It was too fur to go to Austin to git anodder, so he jus' played on widout de string what broke an' de tune sounded more like a squeech owl dan eny thing, but us danced jus de same."

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

Sunday, May 19, 2019

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

Cornelius Krieghoff (Dutch-born Canadian painter, 1815-1872) Ice Bridge at Longue Point 1847

Cornelius Krieghoff 1815-1872 was born in Amsterdam, spent his formative years in Bavaria, & 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 & moved to the Montreal area, where he painted genre paintings of the people & countryside of Canada. According to Charles C. Hill, Curator of Canadian Art at the National Gallery, "Krieghoff was the first Canadian artist to interpret in oils... the splendour of our waterfalls, & the hardships & daily life of people living on the edge of new frontiers" Krieghoff moved to Quebec from 1854-1863, before he came to Chicago to live with his daughter.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Ironing before a Log Fire

1890-1910 After Slavery - Ironing before a Log Fire by North Carolinian Mary Lyde Hicks Williams.  Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Ex-slave Leithean Spinks, about 82, Remembers her bossy 1st husband in 19C America



Leithean remembered her first marriage, "Ise gits mai'ied in 1872 to Sol Pleasant. Weuns have 2 chilluns befo' weuns sep'rated in 1876. De trouble am he wants to be de boss of de job an' let me do de wo'k. 'Twarnt long 'til Ise 'cides Ise don't need a boss, so Ise transpo'ted him. Ise told him, 'Nigger, git outer heah, an' don't never come back. If yous come back, Ise smack yous down.' Ise never see him after dat."

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

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Churning and Dish Washing

Churning and Dish Washing by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams.  Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Ex-slave Mary Armstrong, about 91, Remembers finding her mother after she was freed in 19C America



Mary remembered, "...when the war was over, I started out an' looked for mamma again, an' found her like they said in Wharton County near where Wharton is. Law me, talk 'bout cryin' an' singin' an' cryin' some more, we sure done it. I stayed with mamma an' we worked right there 'til I gets married in 1871 to John Armstrong an' then we all comes to Houston."

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

Monday, May 13, 2019

Fighting for Equality & Bloomers - Amelia Jenks Bloomer 1818-1894

Amelia Bloomer edited the first American newspaper for women, The Lily. It was issued from 1849 until 1853. The newspaper began as a temperance journal. Bloomer felt that as women lecturers were considered unseemly, writing was the best way for women to work for reform. Originally, The Lily was to be for “home distribution” among members of the Seneca Falls Ladies Temperance Society, which had formed in 1848. 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s cousin Elizabeth Smith Miller introduced the outfit and editor Amelia Bloomer publicized it in The Lily.

Like most local endeavors, the paper encountered several obstacles early on, and the Society’s enthusiasm died out. Bloomer felt a commitment to publish and assumed full responsibility for editing and publishing the paper. Originally, the title page had the legend “Published by a committee of ladies.” But after 1850 – only Bloomer’s name appeared on the masthead.
1851 Currier and Ives

Although women’s exclusion from membership in temperance societies and other reform activities was the main force that moved the Ladies Temperance Society to publish The Lily, it was not at first a radical paper. Its editorial stance conformed to the emerging stereotype of women as “defenders of the home.” 
Photo c 1855

In the first issue, Bloomer wrote:  It is woman that speaks through The Lily…Intemperance is the great foe to her peace and happiness. It is that above all that has made her Home desolate and beggared her offspring…. Surely, she has the right to wield her pen for its Suppression. Surely, she may without throwing aside the modest refinements which so much become her sex, use her influence to lead her fellow mortals from the destroyer’s path. The Lily always maintained its focus on temperance. Fillers often told horror stories about the effects of alcohol. For example, the May 1849 issue noted, “A man when drunk fell into a kettle of boiling brine at Liverpool, Onondaga Co. and was scaled to death.” But gradually, the newspaper began to include articles about other subjects of interest to women. Many were from the pen of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, writing under the pseudonym “sunflower.” The earliest Stanton’s articles dealt with the temperance, child-bearing, and education, but she soon turned to the issue of women’s rights. She wrote about laws unfair to women and demanded change.
Bloomer was greatly influenced by Stanton and gradually became a convert to the cause of women’s rights. Recalling the case of an elderly friend who was turned out of her home when her husband died without a will she wrote:  Later, other similar cases coming to my knowledge made me familiar with cruelty of the laws towards women; and when the women rights convention put forth its Declaration of Sentiments. I was ready to join with that party in demanding for women such change in laws as would give her a right to her earnings, and her children a right to wider fields of employment and a better education, and also a right to protect her interest at the ballot box.  
Bloomer became interested in dress reform, advocating that women wear the outfit that came to be known as the “Bloomer costume.”  Actually the reform of clothing for women began in the 1850s, as a result of the need for a more practical way of dressing . The reform started in New England where the social activist Elizabeth Smith Miller (1822-1911), called Libby Miller. Mrs Miller  was the daughter of abolitionists Gerrit Smith and his second wife, Ann Carroll Fitzhugh. She was a lifelong of the women's rights movement. She  became famous when she  adopted what she considered a more rational costume: Turk trousers - loose trousers gathered at the ankles like the trousers worn by Middle Eastern and Central Asian women – worn under a short dress or knee length skirt. The outfits were similar to the clothing worn by the women in the Oneida Community, a religious commune founded  by John Humphrey Noyes in Oneida, New York in 1848.
This new fashion was soon supported by Bloomer, by then a women's rights and temperance advocate. Bloomer popularized Mr Miller’s idea in her bi-weekly publication The Lily. And this women's clothing reform soon was named bloomers. The rebellion against the voluminous and constraining fashion of the Victorian period was both a practical necessity and a focal point of social reform. Stanton and others copied a knee-length dress with pants worn by Elizabeth Smith Miller of Geneva, New York. 
For some time the "Bloomer" outfit was worn by many of the leaders in the women's rights movement, then it was abandoned because of the heavy criticism in the popular press. In 1859, Amelia Bloomer herself said that a new invention, the crinoline, was a sufficient reform.  The bloomer costume returned later, adapted and modified, as a women's athletic costume in the 1890s and early 1900s.
 1864 Godey's Lady's Book

Although Bloomer refused to take any credit for inventing the pants-and-tunic outfit, her name became associated with it because she wrote articles about the unusual dress, printed illustrations in The Lily, and wore the costume herself. In reference to her advocacy of the costume, she once wrote, “I stood amazed at the furor I had unwittingly caused.” But people certainly were interested in the new fashion. She remembered: “As soon as it became known that I was wearing the new dress, letters came pouring in upon me by the hundreds from women all over the country making inquiries about the dress and asking for patterns – showing how ready and anxious women were to throw off the burden of long, heavy skirts.”  In May of 1851 Amelia Bloomer introduced Susan B. Anthony to Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Stanton said, "I liked her immediately and why I did not invite her home to dinner with me I do not know."
The circulation of The Lily rose from 500 per month to 4000 per month because of the dress reform controversy. At the end of 1853, the Bloomers moved to Mount Vernon, Ohio, where Amelia Bloomer continued to edit The Lily, which by then had a national circulation of over 6000. Bloomer sold The Lily in 1854 to Mary Birdsall, because she and her husband Dexter were moving again this time to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where no facilities for publishing the paper were available. She remained a contributing editor for the two years The Lily survived after she sold it.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Ex-slave Lucy Thomas, about 86, Remembers the 50 gallon barrel of whiskey in 19C America



Lucy remembered, "All the hands was up and in the field by day light. Nobody laid in bed up in the morning like folks do today. Dr. Baldwin allus had a fifty gallon barrel of whiskey on the place. He kept a demijohn of whiskey on the front porch all the time for the darkies to get a drink on the way to the field in the morning. You never heard of nobody getting drunk then."

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

Friday, May 10, 2019

Portrait of Ernestine

PORTRAIT OF ERNESTINE by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings  reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Ex-slave Millie Williams, about 86, Remembers stealing a chicken in 19C America



Millie laughed, "I's 'member well de time we'ns steal one of de marster's big chicken's. I's had it in a pot in de fireplace an' it waz sho' smelling good an' seen de mistress cumin'. I's grab dat chicken, pot an' all an' put it under de bed, I's grab de bed clothes an' put 'em on de pot. De mistress, she cums 'round an' says, "I's sho do smell somethin' good. I's say, "Whur Miss's? I's don' smell anythin'. She looks 'round an' don' find anythin' an' go's back to de house. Whin she gits gone I's tak dat chicken out from under dat bed an' we'ns eats it in a hurry."

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

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

19C American Woman

1830 Elizabeth Kinchen Kearny by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings  reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

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

Cornelius Krieghoff (Dutch-born Canadian painter, 1815-1872) The Toll Gate 1861

Cornelius Krieghoff 1815-1872 was born in Amsterdam, spent his formative years in Bavaria, & 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 & moved to the Montreal area, where he painted genre paintings of the people & countryside of Canada. According to Charles C. Hill, Curator of Canadian Art at the National Gallery, "Krieghoff was the first Canadian artist to interpret in oils... the splendour of our waterfalls, & the hardships & daily life of people living on the edge of new frontiers" Krieghoff moved to Quebec from 1854-1863, before he came to Chicago to live with his daughter.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Ex-slave Ellen Butler, about 78, Remembers praying for freedom in 19C America



Ellen related, "Massa never 'lowed us slaves go to church but they have big holes in the fields they gits down in and prays. They done that way 'cause the white folks didn't want them to pray. They used to pray for freedom."

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

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Portrait of Julia Faison

JULIA FAISON WITH BOUQUET by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams.   Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Ex-slave Anne Maddox, about 100, Remembers eating milk & ash cake out of a trough in 19C America



Ann remembered, "Bout four o'clock in de evenin' all de little niggers was called in de big yard where de cook had put milk in a long an den trough an' crumbled ash-cake in it. Us had pot licker in a trough, too. Us et de bread an' milk wid shells an' would use our minds, out it was good."

Thursday, May 2, 2019

North Carolina Quilting Party

North Carolina Quilting Party by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams. Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Fighting for Equality - Abby Hadassah Smith (1797-1878) & Julia Evelina Smith, (1792-1886)

Born today in 1797, Abby Hadassah Smith (1797-1878) & her sister Julia Evelina Smith, (1792-1886).  The sisters were American suffragists who relentlessly protested for their property & voting rights, drawing considerable national & international attention to their situation & their cause.
Julia Evelina Smith, left, and Abby Hadassah Smith.

The Smith sisters lived almost their entire lives at the Connecticut farm homestead where they were born. Abby & Julia were the youngest of 5 daughters born to noted intellectual scholars Zephaniah Hollister Smith & Hannah Hadassah Hickock. The couple emphasized the importance of learning, nonconformity, & imaginative thought to their children. Educated at Emma Willard’s Seminary in Troy, New York, Julia Smith was known to have kept a diary in both French & Latin. She also translated her own version of the Bible from original Greek, Hebrew, & Latin sources, which she published in 1876. The sisters were active in temperance work & local charities, and reflecting the influences of their parents, they were notably independent in judgment & action.
A painting of Kimberly Mansion, the home of the Smith Sisters, located at 1625 Main St. in Glastonbury. The painting by Laurilla Smith, the sister of Julia & Abby Smith.

Totally against slavery in America, the Smith sisters invited William Lloyd Garrison to give abolitionist speeches from a tree stump in their front yard, when he was denied access to Hartford pulpits. The sisters also widely distributed the anti-slavery Charter Oak newspaper throughout Glastonbury. Their mother, who had authored one of the earliest anti-slavery petitions presented to Congress by John Quincy Adams, fully supported her daughters' abolitionist actions. 

Once slavery had been abolished in the United States, the Smith sisters focused their attentions on women’s suffrage. Before they could concentrate much energy on that movement; however, Julia & Abby, at the ages of 81 & 76, found themselves waging a personal battle against sexual inequality after inheriting the single most valuable piece of property in Glastonbury—their home, known as Kimberly Mansion.  

By 1869, Abby  & Julia were the only surviving members of the family. In November 1873, the Glastonbury tax collector informed the sisters that their recently reassessed property had raised $100 in value. Two widows in the town also had their property reassessed, but none of their male neighbors’ property values had risen.  The sisters immediately became indignant at what they perceived to be a grave injustice. Being women, they were politically powerless, since they lacked the right to vote. Despite this, Abby quickly composed a speech to present before the Glastonbury town meeting. In this speech, Abby declared:

"The motto of our government is ‘proclaim liberty to all the inhabitants of the land,’ and here, where liberty is so highly extolled and glorified by every man in it, one-half of the inhabitants are not put under her laws, but are ruled over by the other half, who can take all they possess. How is liberty pleased with such worship?. . . All we ask of the town is not to rule over them as they rule over us, but to be on an equality with them."

The male voters of Glastonbury ignored Abby’s speech, so the sisters decided they would not pay taxes to the city, until they gained equal representation in government. The Glastonbury tax collector responded by seizing 7 of the sister’s cows for auction, 4 of which Abby & Julia bought back.  The sister thereafter refused to pay taxes, unless they were granted the right to vote in town meetings.

First to recognize the national importance of the sisters’ plight, the editor of The Republican, a newspaper published in Springfield, Massachusetts, wrote, “Abby Smith and her sister as truly stand for the American principle as did the citizens who ripped open the tea chests in Boston Harbor, or the farmers who leveled their muskets at Concord.” Without the sisters’ knowledge or permission, he reprinted Abby’s entire speech & set up a defense fund in her name. Soon, newspapers across the country began to reprint their story. A Harper’s Weekly author referred to Abby as “Samuel Adams redivivus.” Their cows became so famous that flowers made from their tail hair with ribbons reading “Taxation without Representation” were sold at a Chicago bazaar.
 Photo of the home of the Smith sisters at 1625 Main St. in Glastonbury

At a 2nd town meeting in April, Abby was refused permission to speak, whereupon she mounted a wagon outside & delivered her protest to the crowd. In June, authorities seized 15 acres of the Smiths’ pastureland, valued at $2,000, for delinquent taxes amounting to about $50. The sale of the land was conducted irregularly, however, & after a protracted suit, during the course of which the sisters had almost to study law themselves, they succeeded in having it set aside. Their cows, 4 of which they had been able to buy back, were twice more taken for taxes & soon became a cause célèbre throughout the country & even abroad as newspapers spread the story. 

Published versions of Abby’s speeches, along with witty  & effective letters by both sisters to various newspapers, brought them considerable prominence. In 1877, Julia edited & published an account of the events, Abby Smith & Her Cows, with a Report of the Law Case Decided Contrary to Law. Both sisters spoke at numerous suffrage meetings & also testified before state & federal legislative committees concerning woman suffrage. In 1879, a year after her sister’s death, Julia married & moved to Hartford.

Information in this posting comes from:
The Encyclopedia Britannica online
The Smith Sisters, Their Cows, and Women’s Rights in  Glastonbury written by Molly May

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Portrait of Mary Lyde Faison

MARY LYDE FAISON IN PENSIVE MOOD by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams.  Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Ex-Slave Mary Crane Remembers giving a slave to each newlywed daughter in 19C America



Mary explained, "In those days, slave owners, whenever one of their daughters would get married, would give her and her husband a slave as a wedding present, usually allowing the girl to pick the one she wished to accompany her to her new home."

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

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Portrait of Edith

PORTRAIT OF EDITH by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams.  Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Ex-slave Betty Powers, about 80, Remembers owners having sex with any slave they wanted in 19C America



Betty said, "Did we'uns have weddin's? White man, you knows better'n dat. Dem times, cullud folks em jus' put together. De massa say, 'Jim and Nancy, you go live together.' and when dat order give, it better be done. Dey thinks nothin' on de plantation 'bout de feelin's of de women and dere ain't no 'spect for dem. De overseer and white mens took 'vantage of de women like dey wants to. De woman better not make no fuss 'bout sich. If she do, it am de whippin' for her."

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

Thursday, April 25, 2019

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

Cornelius Krieghoff (Dutch-born Canadian painter, 1815-1872) Indian Woman Moccasin Seller

Cornelius Krieghoff 1815-1872 was born in Amsterdam, spent his formative years in Bavaria, & 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 & moved to the Montreal area, where he painted genre paintings of the people & countryside of Canada. According to Charles C. Hill, Curator of Canadian Art at the National Gallery, "Krieghoff was the first Canadian artist to interpret in oils... the splendour of our waterfalls, & the hardships & daily life of people living on the edge of new frontiers" Krieghoff moved to Quebec from 1854-1863, before he came to Chicago to live with his daughter.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Ex-Slave Lou Williams Remembers the large food gardens of her childhood in 19C America


Lou explained, "We had big gardens and lots of vegetables to eat, 'cause massa had 'bout 800 slaves and 'bout a 1,000 acres in he plantation. In summer time we wore jes' straight cotton slips and no shoes till Sunday, den we puts on shoes and white dresses and ties a ribbon 'round our waists, and we didn't look like de same chillen."

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

Monday, April 22, 2019

Collard Greens as Natural Cure for a Headache

WOMAN WITH COLLARD LEAF ON HER HEAD TO CURE A HEADACHE by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams.  Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Ex-slave Charlotte Beverly, about 90, Remembers slave babies in 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.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Maggie during Reconstruction

PORTRAIT OF MAGGIE by Mary Lyde Hicks William.  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.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Ex-slave Frances Black, about 87, Remembers being stolen from her family in 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.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

North Carolina Corn Shucking in the Moonlight

Corn Shucking in the Moonlight  by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams. Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

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 the Saturday night pass 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."

Saturday, April 13, 2019

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

Cornelius Krieghoff (Dutch-born Canadian painter, 1815-1872) J B Jolifou, Aubergiste

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.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Ex-slave Tempie Cummins Remembers her mother announcing freedom 19C America


Tempie remembered, "Mother was workin' in the house, and she cooked too. She say she used to hide in the chimney corner and listen to what the white folks say. When freedom was 'clared, marster wouldn' tell 'em, but mother she hear him tellin' mistus that the slaves was free but they didn' know it and he's not gwineter tell 'em till he makes another crop or two. When mother hear that she say she slip out the chimney corner and crack her heels together four times and shouts. 'I's free, I's free.' Then she runs to the field, 'gainst marster's will and tol' all the other slaves and they quit work. Then she run away and in the night she slip into a big ravine near the house and have them bring me to her. Marster, he come out with his gun and shot at mother but she run down the ravine and gits away with me."

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

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Peacock Broom

PEACOCK BROOM IN THE DINING ROOM by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams. Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Ex-slave Amy Chapman, about 94, Remembers a mean overseer 19C America



Amy recounted, "One day Marse Reuben come home an' when he foun' out dat de overseer was mean to de slaves he commence to give him a lecture, but when Miss Ferlicia tuk a han' in de business, she didn't stop at no lecture, She tol' dat overseer dis: 'I hear you take my women an' turn dere cloth'n over dere haids an' whup 'em. Any man dats got a family would do sich a thing oughter be sham' of hisself, an' iffen Gov. Chapman can't make you leave, I kin, so you see dat road dere? Well, make tracks den.' An' Mistis, he lef' right den. He didn't wait for no coaxin'. He was de meanes' overseer us ever had."

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