Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Ex-slave Ellen Thomas, about 89, Remembers serving dinner blindfolded in 19C America

Ellen said that her training as a house servant was very broad and involved every feature of a well kept household of that period. She has special pride in her ability to serve at table, particularly when there were guests present. A feature of the training given her and which Ellen says she never knew of anyone else receiving was, after being taught to set the dining table complete for guests, she would be blindfolded and then told to go through the motions of serving and so learn to do so without disturbing anything on the table...So proficient did she become in serving, that a few times when they had guests, Judge Kimball would for their amusement have Ellen blindfolded and direct her to serve the dinner.

Photos and quotes of former slaves used in these blog posts come from the Slave Narratives.