I Was Born Into Slavery
When you think of early Texas history, you think of freedom fighters at the Alamo and rugged cowboys riding the plains. You usually don’t think too much about slavery in the Lone Star State. Although slavery existed in Texas only from the second decade of the 19th century to the close of the Civil War, the majority of early settlers came to Texas from other Southern states. When they moved westward, they brought their slaves with them.
When the Federal Writers’ Project sent interviewers across Texas to find former slaves and document what their lives were like during slavery, they filed over 590 slave narratives, the largest collection of any state. The 28 selections in I Was Born in Slavery show that Texas slaves had their own distinctive voices, often colored by their Western culture.
Along with descriptions of the frontier, the words of these slaves provide poignant insights into what it was like to live as a slave in this area. Through their voices, we are given a moving glimpse into an important part of American history.
Edited by Andrew Waters
2003 John F. Blair, Publisher
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