HIST 1301 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.
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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 in the North were more likely to attend church services. Drums, which were used in traditional religious ceremonies, where banned because overseers worried that they would be used to send messages. Garner raised 12 children. When her son got old enough to care for himself, she moved away. She had three sons. When her son died, she came back here.
Her 12 children including her daughters all grew up to go elsewhere. Most of them went North. Some went to Philadelphia, New York or Virginia. Her youngest son died shortly after he was married. She believed that they were in God’s hands, and did what God wanted. They all went their own separate ways when the got old enough. They come back to see family sometimes. Garner becomes excited when asked about life up North, until she sees the labor involved, and she thinks about the work she used to do at home. She lived a healthy life and she enjoys being free.
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