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Eva Martin in Beaumont Texas. Eva was part of the WPA slave narrative project during the 1930's.

She was freed when she was ten years old. According to her, her father was dead by the time that she was born. Her mother was Mary Thibedoux. This is a part of her narrative (she grew up in Louisiana and spoke mostly French - her "American" as she called it was pretty rough - but the narrative project attempted to create transcripts as close as possible to the original in order to preserve historical accuracy):

"I was bo'n close to Opelousas, Lou'sana. Ol' marster was Clairville Prejean . He raise me up in de big house wid de white folks. Dey tuk me from my mother 'cause she hafter wuk in de fiel'. I didn' know much 'bout de cullud folks on de place 'cause I raise up in de big house. Dey raise me up hard 'cause I didn' had nobody to proteck me. Ol' marster and missus not good to dey slaves. Dey blin' my ol' mother. She hafter min' de white chillen. Dey don' want her to go to sleep at night when she tendin' to dem chillen and dey rub salt and pepper in her eye' so she can't go to sleep. Another time dey tuk a stick and beat her so hard dey broke her shoulder. But she live' a long time. She 101 year' ol' when she die'"

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress
in Beaumont, TX USA


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