“De master of de house was better to us dan de mistress. We didn’t have to     work none too hard, ’cause we was so young, I guess. We cut weeds along de     fences, pulled weeds in de garden and helped de mistress with de hoeing. We     had to feed de stock, sheep, hogs, and calves, because de young masters wouldn’t     do de work. In de evenings we was made to knit a finger width and if we missed     a stitch we would have to pull all the yarn out and do it over. De master’s     girls learned us to read and write. We didn’t have hardly no clothes and most     of de time dey was just rags. We went barefoot until it got real cold. Our     feet would crack open from de cold and bleed. We would sit down and bawl and     cry because it hurt so. Mother made moccasins for our feet from old pants.     Late in de fall master would go to Hannibal or Palmyra and bring us shoes     and clothes. We got dem things only once a year. I had to wear de young master’s     overalls for underwear and linseys for a dress.



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