Historical Autobiographical Essay

Topics: Family, African American, Plantation Pages: 3 (893 words) Published: April 28, 2013
Historical Autobiographical Essay
A new year had just begun which was 1805; my family and I packed up and moved to a different state. The move wasn’t really by choice, but because the plantations had dried out and so had the money. Originally from Alabama, Mississippi, but we had just recently moved to Chesapeake, Virginia. I go by the name of Courtney Rich now, but in my past life I went by Courtney Bennett. It was very hard being a twenty four year old African American woman and married with a child in the eighteenth century.

 Three months of schooling was all I ever had. That was at a school for whites; though a few colored children were permitted to attend. To this school I walked five and a half miles each day, in going and returning, and the attention we received while there was only such as the teacher could give after the requirements of the more favored pupils had been met. In view of the deficiency in my early education, and other disadvantages in this respect, under which I have labored, I crave the indulgence of all who may read this simple and unvarnished story of my life because it was hard and sometime I felt like giving up. My husband and I both worked on tobacco plantations. Being that we really did not have a choice as to working or not, we worked on a farm as well. Cultivation began in late January with the preparation of the fields for planting, mending tools, and laying out the seed beds. Once the soil was ready, tobacco seedlings were transplanted to the fields. By mid-summer, tobacco was growing in the fields, but the delicate plant required constant care. While working on farms, the work was a little less tedious than tobacco cultivation, but no less demanding. The variety of food crops and livestock usually kept us busy throughout the year. We barely had any “family” time and hardly ever seen our son, whom mostly is with the master’s wife.

Farming was not a way to get rich in the 18th century, not for the middling farmer and...
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