Memories of a Childhood's Slavery Day Essays

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In Memories of Childhood's Slavery Days, Annie Burton was born into slavery in 1858 on a plantation outside of Clayton, Alabama and raised by her mistress after her mother ran away. She grew up during the Civil War and remembers her early days on the plantation. After being set free, Burton's mother returned for her children. Annie was hired as a nanny by Mrs. E. M. Williams, who taught her how to read and write. After her mother died, Annie took responsibility for her three younger siblings and moved to Boston in 1879. She later moved to Georgia and then Jacksonville, Florida, where she worked in a restaurant before returning to Boston. In 1888, she married, and ran a boarding house with her husband. She began taking evening classes at the Franklin Evening School, and the headmaster, Frank Guild, suggested that each of the students write their life story. It was this suggestion that gave Burton the push to write her autobiography. Burton's Memories of Childhood's Slavery Days (1909) is divided into four parts. In the first section, called "Recollections of a Happy Life," Burton talks about her childhood on the plantation in Alabama and her marriage to Samuel H. Burton. In the second section, "Reminiscences," Burton reflects on being set free and the way it changed her life. The third section, "Vision" gives a detailed account of Burton's religious change. Burton also includes an essays and poems she wrote. “The memory of my happy, care-free childhood days on the plantation, with my little white and black companions, is often with me. Neither master nor mistress nor neighbors had time to bestow a thought upon us, for the great Civil War was raging. That great event in American history was a matter wholly outside the realm of our childish interests. Of course we heard our elders discuss the various events of the great struggle, but it meant nothing to us.” Burton talks about knowing that the Civil War was going on but not being old enough to know or care about it....
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