The Emancipation Proclamation freed only the slaves in disloyal states. While this immediately freed 20,000 or so, it left thousands more in bondage within the border states of Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky.
Despite efforts by the Federal government to recruit black men into the army during the summer
William M. Adams was born enslaved to the Davis family in Texas. In an interview he gave in the late 1930s, he told of slave catchers, singing and dancing, and how white preachers told the slaves to pray that the South won the war. He also tells how the slaves
Charles Hall was born a slave in 1811. Over the course of his life, he was owned by three different men. On March 24th, 1856, Hall emancipated himself via the Underground Railroad.
In the 1860s, Hall was interviewed while living in Canada. Here, he tells of his life in bondage,
Leah Garrett was born a child of slavery. In an interview given in the late 1930s, she recalls several instances of abuse and murder dealt out by her masters. She also recounts the escape and hiding of a slave couple who fled to a cave to escape the punishment of
Eda Harper was born a slave in Mississippi. During a short interview with a worker from the Federal Writers Project in 1937, she shared a few of her remembrances. Discussed are her hatred for the song "Dixie," as well as how she learned of her freedom come the end of
In this edition of our Voices of Slavery series, we hear from Laura Clark. Mrs. Clark was born enslaved in North Carolina. She never knew her father, who was sold when she was too young to remember him. Her mother, whom she can only recall in tears, was sold shortly
Like many former slaves, Lorenzo Ivy was interviewed by the WPA in 1937. At that time, he was 87 years old. But long before that, way back in 1874, he was interviewed while a student at the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, the alma mater of Booker T. Washington -