Henry Kirk Miller remembers when the day the big freedom came
Digital History ID 4207
Henry Kirk Miller
We got free in Georgia June 15, 1865. I'll never forget that date. What I mean is, that was the day the big freedom came, but we didn't know it and just worked on. My father was a showmaker for old mistress. Only one in town, far as I recollect. He made a lot of money for mistress. Mother was a houseworker for her. As fast as us children got big enugh to hire out, she leased us to anybody who would pay for our hire. I was put out with another white woman who lived about 20 miles. She worked me on her cotton plantation. Old mistress sold one of my sisters; took cotton for pay.I remember hearing them tell about the big price she brought because cotton was so high. Old mistress got 15 bales of cotton for sister, and it was only a few days till freedom came and the man who traded all of them bales of cotton lost my sister, but old mistress kept the cotton. She was smart, wasn't she? She knew freedom was right there. Sister came right back to my parents.
Source: Library of Congress
Additional information: Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938, Arkansas Narratives, vol. II, pt. 5,
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