From the WPA Slave   Narratives:
Levi Ashley

Levi Ashley lives about two miles northeast of Liberty in Amite County. He is   very old and somewhat feeble.

“My name is Levi Ashley. I don’t know how old I is, but I was tol’ I was nine   year old when I was sot free. Yes-sum, I ‘member a heap ’bout de War. I was   born on de Atacha-falaya River in Louisiana, on Mr. Dan McCraney’s plantation.   No’m, I don’t know whut parish. Mr. Dan had a lot of slaves, an’ he an’ his   wife, Miss Elviry, sho’ was mean an’ hard on ’em. All his cullud folks said he   was hard an’ laid de lash heavy. Dey tell me de levee broke, an’ Marse Dan tuk   ever’thing he had an’ moved over in East Feliciana Parish, I reckon ’bout five   or eight miles frum Baton Rouge.

“Marse Dan owned a man an’ his wife, name Rich an’ Viney. Dey was good   Christian people. Dey was Baptist, an’ Marse Dan wouldn’ let none of his   slaves go to chu’ch. So dese darkies had prayer meetin’ in dey home. Marse Dan   hear’d ’bout it an’ whupped ’em. Dey done it ag’in, an’ he called ’em out to   be whupped. Marse Dan sai, ‘Rich an’ Viney, didn’ I tell you I’se gwine whup   you ever’ time I hear’d of you prayin’?’

  “Dey said, ‘Yessir, but you can whup us ever’ day, but you can’t make us stop   prayin’ to my Jesus.’

  “Well, Marse Dan said to Miss Elviry, ‘Whut mus’ I do wid ’em?’ Miss Elviry   said, ‘Sot ’em free,’ an’ den she walked off.

“Marse Dan sot ’em free. Den when de levee broke an’ he moved off, he lef’ ’em   to drown. Nobody ever knowed whut become of ’em. Maybe dey drowned an’ maybe   dey got outer dat high water.



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