I Was Born in Slavery edited by Andrew Waters
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.
Andrew Waters is the editor of two other volumes in the Real Voices, Real History series: Prayin’ to Be Set Free: Personal Accounts of Slavery in Mississippi and On Jordan’s Stormy Banks: Personal Accounts of Slavery in Georgia.