April 13, 2013
Summary of Interview with Sarah Garner
Mrs. Sarah was a slave in Westmoreland County, and conducted an interview with Archibald Hill. She describes that she did not have an overseer for her labor, in which he expected them to do good work. If they didn’t complete the work, he was at liberty to whip them. She also describes her first time getting whipped as very unpleasant when she didn’t know how to do the labor. Garner was born in Tennessee and her mother, Jula, was born in Virginia. Garner’s husband, Theodore, was born in Blackground, and married him when she was eighteen. Her master bought him and his mother when he was 8 years old. Garner also had two brothers.
Next, she describes planting the farm as a child. She’d have to pick it off wit her feet. They had plows so all the work wasn’t done by hand. She explains that she could do as much work as any man could handle. You had to stake the land crossways and plow the open rows. The master had one plow but was having more made at the shops. They made the plows by hand.
She was never a house person, which her mother was. She thought of herself as a farmer. She could do any gung; milked cows and hauled flowers. She never had to cook, iron, clean, or wash for the white people. She worked from the day she was born until the day she left. Her mother raised her to be strong. Garner worked outside while her mother stayed inside doing housework.
Garner never talked about being able to read and write. Her mother cooked them all meals after the white family ate. At night her mother taught life lessons to all of her siblings. Her father usually worked from early mornings to late at night. On of the main reasons masters didn’t want their slaves to become Christians involved the Bible. This was one reason why most plantation owners did what they could to stop their slaves from learning to read. In the South, black people were not usually allowed to attend church services. Black people...
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