The Drinking Gourd

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The Drinking Gourd
By: Jordan Kaylee Van Voorhis

I guess you might call me the Big Dipper, but during the time of slavery I was known as the Drinking Gourd. Some people say that I led them to freedom, but if it wasn’t for their bravery and courage they wouldn’t have made it past the land their masters owned, let alone all the way to the North. I have seen so many slaves cross over that Mason-Dixon line to freedom, all of them thanking God for helping them come all that way. There were also many slaves that weren’t as fortunate and didn’t make the whole journey, which lead to many hard years on their maters plantation, if not death. I’ve seen families get torn apart by cold-hearted men, the whole time I wondered why they would treat another human being this way. There are so many slaves that I watched over at night, all of them surviving on what they had, and just trying to make the best of it.

One little girl that I remember very well, named Lydia, was born into slavery on the eighth of August in 1821. She lived on Reading and Lucy Bout Plantation in Belmont of North Carolina. Stephen and Rachel were her parents. Stephen was killed when she was only four months old. The white men say that it was an accident, but I know that they did it. At the age of three, her momma was sold to John Woodard. The plantation wasn’t that far away, so just about every night Rachel would sneak off her plantation and travel seven miles just to see Lydia. Many people thought Rachel would get caught, but she knew the Lord was with her.

Lydia had just turned six and it had been two long months since the last time her momma had been able to come see her. She went running to the door when she heard the squeak of the rusty knob turning open. As soon as her momma came through the door, she quickly took Lydia by the arm and rushed her over to the straw filled mattress on the floor. As Rachel gestured to the sky she said, “Jonas told me that he heard if ya follow that...
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