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Enslaved Farm Family of Two

  • I work in my master’s tobacco fields from daylight Monday until sundown on Saturday. It is now Sunday morning and my work is done. Instead of resting, I’ll spend time tending my garden and chickens.

  • Field hands have time off on Sunday. After caring for my garden and chickens, I’ll go to the Baptist meeting to worship and visit with my friends and family. Perhaps my husband, Daniel, will get permission from his master to meet up with me and our son, Cuffy.

  • The afternoon is for business. I put my best chickens into a basket, and then my son and I walk the three miles to Williamsburg, Virginia.

  • In good weather, the trip should take a little more than one hour—but it could take longer if my son is tired and has trouble keeping up. On the way, we may meet friends who want to hear share the latest news from their part of the county. We will be delayed if we stop and talk.

  • I want to arrive in Williamsburg as quickly as possible to sell my chickens. My best customers are cooks at the big houses. Most of them are enslaved women like me, and know I raise fat, good-tasting chickens.

  • The money I make selling chickens can mean a pretty new piece of cloth to wrap my head or some tea for a hot drink on a cold night.

  • I wonder how will I care for my son if he isn’t able to make the long walk to town? What should I buy with the money I get from selling the chickens? What would you do with the money you earned from selling something? After a hard week’s work, how would you like to spend your free time?



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