Tempie Cummins, Age Unknown- Describes the Day Her Mother Found Out They Were Free..
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"They call me Tempie Cummins and I was born at Brookeland but I don’ know jus’ the ‘xact date"
When freedom was ‘clared, marster wouldn’ tell ‘em, but mother she hear him tellin’ mistus that the slaves was free but they didn’ know it and he’s not gwineter tell ‘em till he makes another crop or two. When mother hear that she say she slip out the chimney corner and crack her heels together four times and shouts, ‘I’s free, I’s free.’ Then she runs to the field, ‘gainst marster’s will and tol’ all the other slaves and they quit work. Then she run away and in the night she slip into a big ravine near the house and have them bring me to her. Marster, he come out with his gun and shot at mother but she run down the ravine and gits away with me.
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WPA Slave Narrative Project, Texas Narratives, Volume 16, Part 1
Federal Writer’s Project, United States Work Projects Administration (USWPA); Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
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