Former Slaves, Freedwomen, Georgia


A bright-eyed little girl about the age of four or five, dressed adorably in a lacy dress with matching shoes, carried a basket of fruit as she circled the crowded dining-room breakfast table. "Anna, Anna," they called out as she cheerfully brought the basket to each person who requested fruit. Her small hands could not yet perform the laborious tasks required of a house servant but still, she was working, doing her small yet important part. Though what she was doing may seem like a minor task, it symbolized the fact that Anna, despite her young age, was a slave, legally bound to a life of servitude that she could not yet fully comprehend. She was owned by a relatively kind master; a judge whom she later recollected never beat or sold any of his slaves. But Anna was not free. As she grew, her tasks became more difficult. She labored continuously as a house slave until she was granted freedom in 1865. After gaining freedom, her life did not dramatically improve. Instead of being enslaved and depending on her master for her needs, she now was dependent on her mother. When she married she became dependent on her husband, and at the end of her life she relied on her daughter for her needs. All throughout her life she depended on other people and the small amount of money washing and ironing could provide.