Georgia Slave Clothes

Georgia Slave Clothes

Slave Narratives are a collection of accounts taken by government workers assigned to go out in about the year 1937 and record the experiences of former slaves before they had all passed away. This work was done under the Work Projects Administration, an agency of the United States government, brought into being by President Roosevelt during his administration. There are many more states where this work was done and many more slave narratives but my research to date has only included South Carolina and Georgia. For a substantial collection of the slave narratives go to Gutenberg Project under Work Projects Administration for further accounts.

What follows are accounts by former slaves from Georgia describing in their own words their clothes as slaves. Keep in mind the accounts were based on memory and about 72 years had passed since they had had that experience. Of the broader list of slave narratives accounts (this list only includes interesting accounts from those who shared their stories about their experience) many could not remember the various things that had happened to them and some did not want to give their experience on various subjects.

“Summertime, us jus’ wore homespun dresses made lak de slips dey use for
underwear now. De coats what us wore over our wool dresses in winter was
knowed as ‘sacques’ den, ’cause dey was so loose fittin’. Dey was heavy
and had wool in ’em too. Marse Lewis, he had a plenty of sheep, ’cause
dey was bound to have lots of warm winter clothes, and den too, dey
lakked mutton to eat. Oh! dem old brogan shoes was coarse and rough.
When Marse Lewis had a cow kilt dey put de hide in de tannin’ vat. When
de hides was ready, Uncle Ben made up de shoes, and sometimes dey let
Uncle Jasper holp him if dere was many to be made all at one time. Us
wore de same sort of clothes on Sunday as evvyday, only dey had to be
clean and fresh when dey was put on Sunday mornin’.”

[Rachael Adams, Part I, Georgia]

“Each family was provided with a loom and in Mrs. Avery’s family, her
grandmother, Sylvia Heard, did most of the carding and spinning of the
thread into cloth. The most common cloth for women clothes was homespun,
and calico. This same cloth was dyed and used to make men shirts and
pants. Dye was prepared by taking a berry known as the shumake berry and
boiling them with walnut peelings. Spring and fall were the seasons for
masters to give shoes and clothing to their slaves. Both men and women
wore brogan shoes, the only difference being the piece in the side of
the womens.”

[Celestia Avery, Part I, Georgia]

“Summertime us jus’ wore what us wanted to. Dresses was made wid full
skirts gathered on to tight fittin’ waisties. Winter clothes was good
and warm; dresses made of yarn cloth made up jus’ lak dem summertime
clothes, and petticoats and draw’s made out of osnaburg. Chillun what
was big enough done de spinnin’ and Aunt Betsey and Aunt Tinny, dey wove
most evvy night ’til dey rung de bell at 10:00 o’clock for us to go to
bed. Us made bolts and bolts of cloth evvy year.

“Us went bar’foots in summer, but bless your sweet life us had good
shoes in winter and wore good stockin’s too. It tuk three shoemakers for
our plantation. Dey was Uncle Isom, Uncle Jim, and Uncle Stafford. Dey
made up hole-stock shoes for de ‘omans and gals and brass-toed brogans
for de mens and boys.

“Us had pretty white dresses for Sunday. Marse Alec wanted evvybody on
his place dressed up dat day. He sont his houseboy, Uncle Harris, down
to de cabins evvy Sunday mornin’ to tell evvy slave to clean hisself up.
Dey warn’t never give no chance to forgit. Dere was a big old room sot
aside for a wash-room. Folkses laughs at me now ’cause I ain’t never
stopped takin’ a bath evvy Sunday mornin’.”

[Georgia Baker, Part I, Georgia]

“On the Coxton plantation all slaves always had a sufficient amount of
clothing. These clothes which were issued when needed and not at any
certain time included articles for Sunday wear as well as articles for
work. Those servants who worked in the “big house” wore practically the
same clothes as the master and his wife with the possible exception that
it met the qualification of being second-handed. An issue of work
clothing included a heavy pair of work shoes called brogans, homespun
shirts and a pair of jeans pants. A pair of knitted socks was also
included The women wore homespun dresses for their working clothes. For
Sunday wear the men were given white cotton shirts and the women white
cotton dresses. All clothing was made on the plantation by those women
who were too old for field work.”

[Henry Bland, Part I, Georgia]

“I never seed no store bought clothes twel long atter freedom done come!
One slave ‘oman done all the weavin’ in a separate room called the ‘loom
house.’ The cloth was dyed with home-made coloring. They used indigo for
blue, red oak bark for brown, green husks offen warnicks (walnuts) for
black, and sumacs for red and they’d mix these colors to make other
colors. Other slave ‘omans larned to sew and they made all the clothes.
Endurin’ the summertime we jus’ wore shirts and pants made outen plain
cotton cloth. They wove wool in with the cotton to make the cloth for
our winter clothes. The wool was raised right thar on our plantation. We
had our own shoemaker man–he was a slave named Buck Bolton and he made
all the shoes the niggers on our plantation wore.”

[James Bolton, Part I, Georgia]

“Tell you ’bout our clo’es: us wore home-made clo’es, pants an’ shirts
made out of cotton in summer an’ in de winter dey give us mo’ home-made
clo’es only dey wuz made of wool. All de clawf wuz made on de loom right
dar on de plantation. Us wore de same things on Sunday what us did in de
week, no diffunt. Our shoes wuz jus’ common brogans what dey made at
home. I ain’t seed no socks ’til long atter de War. Co’se some folkses
mought a had ’em, but us didn’t have none.”

[Alec Bostwick, Part I, Georgia]

“Cloth for clothing was woven on the place. Della’s grandmother did most
of the spinning, and she taught her child to spin when she was so small
that she had to stand on a raised plank to reach the wheel. After the
cloth was spun it was dyed with dye made from “shoemake” (sumac) leaves,
green walnuts, reeds, and copperas. One person cut and others sewed. The
dresses for women were straight, like slips, and the garments of the
small boys resembled night shirts. If desired, a bias fold of
contrasting colour was placed at the waist line or at the bottom of
dresses. The crudely made garments were starched with a solution of
flour or meal and water which was strained and then boiled.”

[Della Briscoe, Part I, Georgia]

“No’m, us Niggers never wore no clothes in summer, I means us little
‘uns. In de winter us wore cotton clothes, but us went barefoots. My
uncle Sam and some of de other Niggers went ’bout wid dey foots popped
open from de cold. Marster had 110 slaves on his plantation.”

[Easter Brown, Part I, Georgia]

“They taught me to do everything. Ah’d use battlin’ blocks and battlin’
sticks to wash the clothes; we all did. The clothes wuz taken out of the
water an put on the block and beat with a battlin’ stick, which was made
like a paddle. On wash days you could hear them battlin’ sticks poundin’
every which-away. We made our own soap, used ole meat and grease, and
poured water over wood ashes which wuz kept in a rack-like thing and the
water would drip through the ashes. This made strong lye. We used a lot
‘o sich lye, too, to bile with.”

[Julia Brown, Part I, Georgia]

“In summer time us wore checkedy dresses made wid low waistes and
gethered skirts, but in winter de dresses was made out of linsey-woolsey
cloth and underclothes was made out of coarse unbleached cloth.
Petticoats had bodice tops and de draw’s was made wid waistes too. Us
chillun didn’t know when Sunday come. Our clothes warn’t no diffu’nt den
from no udder day. Us wore coarse, heavy shoes in winter, but in summer
us went splatter bar feets.”

[Susan Castle, Part I, Georgia]

“I was laughing at myself just the other day about those homespun
dresses and sleeveless aprons I wore as a child. I reckon that was a
sign you were coming to ask me about those things. I kept one of those
dresses of mine until my own baby girl wore it out, and now I am sorry I
let her wear it, for it would be so nice to have it to show you. We wore
just a one piece costume in summer and had calico and muslin dresses for
Sunday. Wintertime, I wore a balmoral petticoat, osnaburg drawers, and
er-r-r. Well, Jacob! I never thought I would live to see the day I’d
forget what our dresses were called. Anyway they were of woolen material
in a checked design, and were made with a full skirt gathered on to a
deep yoke. Uncle Patrick Hull–he was a deep slave belonging to Mr. A.L.
Hull–made all the shoes for Marse John’s slaves. We all wore brass-toed
brogans.”

[Mary Colbert, Part I, Georgia]

“Us had plenty of clothes made out of homespun checks, and Marse John
give us brass-toed shoes. Our dresses was well sewed and made wid belts
to ’em. Nobody went ’bout half naked on our plantation lak some of de
old folks f’um other farms talks ’bout. Us had good well-made clothes,
even if dey was made out of common cloth.”

[Julia Cole, Part I, Georgia]

“In summertime us chillun wore just one piece of clo’es. It wuz a sack
apron. In winter grandma made us yarn underskirts and yarn drawers
buttoned down over our knees. Ma made our home-knit stockings. Dey
called our brass toed shoes ‘brogans.’ I don’t speck you ever seed a
brass toed shoe!”

[Martha Colquitt, Part I, Georgia]

“In the summertime we wore homespun dresses made with a full skirt
gathered onto a tight-fitting waist. In the wintertime the dresses were
made of checked woolen material called linsey cloth. For underwear, we
wore balmoral petticoats and osnaburg drawers. We went barefooted most
of the time. I remember one particular time when the ground was frozen
and I went about without any shoes, but it didn’t bother me. Barefooted
children seldom had bad colds in winter. We wore just anything on
Sunday, but we had to look nice and clean.”

[Minnie Davis, Part I, Georgia]

“Although there was only one distribution of clothing per year nobody
suffered from the lack of clothes because this one lot had enough to
last a year if properly cared for. The children wore one piece garments,
a cross between a dress and a slightly lengthened shirt, made of
homespun or crocus material [TR note: “crocus” is a coarse, loosely
woven material like burlap]. No shoes were given them until winter and
then they got the cast-offs of the grown ups. The men all wore pants
made of material known as “ausenberg”. The shirts and under wear were
made of another cotton material. Dresses for the women were of striped
homespun. All shoes were made on the premises of the heaviest leather,
clumsely fashioned and Uncle Mose says that slaves like his father who
worked in the mansion, were given much better clothing. His father
received of “The Colonel” and his grown sons many discarded clothes. One
of the greatest thrills of Mose’s boyhood was receiving first pair of
“ausenberg” pants. As his mother had already taught him to knit (by
using four needles at one time) all that he had to do was to go to his
hiding place and get the socks that he had made.

None of the clothing worn by the slaves on this particular plantation
was bought. Everything was made by the slaves, even to the dye that was
used.”

[Mose Davis, Part I, Georgia]

“Clothing on the Ormond plantation was usually insufficient to satisfy
the needs of the slave. Each year one issue was given each slave. For
the men this issue consisted of 1 pair of brogan shoes, several homespun
shirts, a few pairs of knitted socks, and two or three pairs of pants.
The brogans were made of such hard leather until the wearers’ feet were
usually blistered before the shoes were “broken in.” The women, in
addition to a pair of shoes and some cotton stockings were given several
homespun dresses. On one occasion Mr. Eason says that he wore his shoes
out before time for an issue of clothing. It was so cold until the skin
on his feet cracked, causing the blood to flow. In spite of this his
master would give him no more shoes. All clothing was made on the
plantation except the shoes.

Those women who were too old for field work did the sewing in addition
to other duties to be described later.

Indigo was cultivated for dyeing purposes and in some instances a dye
was made by boiling walnut leaves and walnut hulls in water. In addition
to her duties as cook, Mr. Eason’s mother had to also weave part of the
cloth. He told of how he had to sit up at night and help her and how she
would “crack” him on the head for being too slow at times.”

[George Eason, Part I, Georgia]

“Our clothes was made new for us in de fall out of cloth wove in looms
right dar on de plantation. Top clothes was dyed wid hick’ry bark. De
full skirts was gathered to tight fittin’ waisties. Underskirts was made
de same way. De dresses had done wore thin ‘nough for hot weather by de
time winter was gone so us wore dem same clothes straight on through de
summer, only us left off de underskirts den. Slave chillun didn’t never
wear no shoes. Our foots cracked open ’til dey looked lak goose foots.
Us wore de same on Sunday as evvy day, ‘cept dat our clothes was clean,
and stiff wid meal starch when us got into ’em on Sunday mornin’s.

“Old Aunt Martha what nussed de chillun while deir Mammies wukked in de
field was de quiltin’ manager. It warn’t nothin’ for ‘omans to quilt
three quilts in one night. Dem quilts had to be finished ‘fore dey
stopped t’eat a bit of de quiltin’ feast. Marse Billy ‘vided dem quilts
out ‘mongst de Niggers what needed ’em most.

“Dem blue and white beads what de grown ‘omans wore was jus’ to look
pretty. Dey never meant nothin’ else.”

[Callie Elder, Part I, Georgia]

“Everybody wore the homespun cotton clothes that were made on the
plantation by the slave women. The women wore striped ausenberg dresses
while the men wore ausenberg pants and shirts that had been made into
one garment. My clothes were always better than the other little
fellows, who ran around in their shirttails because I was always in the
house of the “Widow.” They used red clay to do the dyeing with. In the
winter time cracked feet were common. The grown people wore heavy shoes
called brogans while I wore the cast-off shoes of the white ladies. We
all wrapped our feet in bagging sacks to help them to keep warm. We
were given one complete outfit of clothes each year and these had to
last until the time for the next issue.”

Sheets for the beds were also made out of homespun material while the
heavier cover such as the quilts, etc., were made from the dresses and
the other clothing that was no longer fit for wear.”

[Lewis Favor, Part I, Georgia]

“Boys wore long blue striped shirts in summer and nothin’ else a t’all.
Dem shirts was made jus’ lak mother hubbards. Us wore de same thing in
winter only dem shirts was made new for winter. By summer dey had done
wore thin. When de weather got too cold, Marster give us old coats, what
grown folks had done most wore out, and us warn’t none too warm den wid
de wind a-sailin’ under our little old shirt tails. Our shoes was rough
old brogans what was hard as rocks, and us had to put rags inside ’em to
keep ’em from rubbin’ de skin off our foots. Us didn’t know what socks
and stockin’s was dem.”

[Anderson Furr, Part I, Georgia]

“Us jus’ wore common clothes. Winter time dey give us dresses made out
of thick homespun cloth. De skirts was gathered on to tight fittin’
waisties. Us wore brass toed brogan shoes in winter, but in summer
Niggers went bar’foots. Us jus’ wore what us could ketch in summer. By
dat time our winter dresses had done wore thin and us used ’em right on
through de hot weather.

Discarded bed clothing was given to slave families on the Griffin
Plantation and often it was necessary to keep a big log fire in the
winter, in order to sleep comfortably. Clothing for individual needs
consisted of one pair of brogan shoes a year and homemade cotton
garments, shirts, pants, dresses, etc. Every person went bare footed in
the summer and saved their one pair of shoes for the winter.”

[Heard Griffin, Part II, Georgia]

“After the work in the fields was completed for the day, women were then
required to work at night spinning thread into cloth. Each woman had a
task which consisted of making so many cuts a night. As Mr. Hammond
remarked, “You couldn’t hear your ears at night on some plantations, for
the old spinning wheels”. At 9 o’clock the overseer would blow the horn
for every one to go to bed. The cloth woven by women was used to make
men clothing also, and was dyed different colors from dye which was made
by boiling walnut hulls and berries of various kinds. Color varied
according to the kind of berry used. One pair of shoes, made to order,
was given each person once a year.”

[Milton Hammond, Part II, Georgia]

“What us wore in summer? Well, it was lak dis–little Nigger chillun
didn’t stay out of de branch long ‘nough to need much clothes in hot
weather, but in de winter dey give us dresses made out of coarse cloth
wove on de loom right dar on de plantation. Some of dem dresses was red
and some was blue. De cloth was dyed wid red oak bark and copperas, and
dey used indigo what dey raised on de place to dye de blue cloth. De
waisties was close fittin’ and sorter skimpy skirts was gathered on to
’em. De underskirts was unbleached white cloth made jus’ lak de dresses
only some skimpier. Old Marster raised plenty of cattle and saved de
hides what he sont to de tannery to be got ready for my uncle, Moses
Downs, to make our brogan shoes. Dem shoes had brass toes to keep ’em
from wearing out too quick. Uncle Mose was sho’ a smart shoemaker. He
had to make shoes for all de slaves on de whole plantation.”

[Dosia Harris, Part II, Georgia]

“Chilluns didn’t wear but one piece of clothes in summer; dat was a
shirt. In winter dey doubled up on us wid two shirts. I ‘members how dem
shirt tails used to pop in de wind when us runned fast. Us chillun used
to tie up de ‘bacco, what us stole f’um Miss Annie, in de under-arm part
of de long loose sleeves of our shirts. Us didn’t git no shoes for our
foots, winter or summer, ’til us was ten years old.”

[Tom Hawkins, Part II, Georgia]

“Slaves clothes was all made at home. Gals spun de thread and old ‘omens
wove de cloth on home-made looms; my Mammy was one of dem weavin’
‘omans. Clothes for summer was jus’ thin cotton, but cotton and wool was
mixed for cold weather, and don’t think dem wool and cotton clothes
didn’t keep out de cold; dey sho did. Deir clothes was dyed wid barks
from trees, ink balls, walnut hulls, and red bud. Most evry plantation
had its own shoemaker man dat tanned all de leather and made up all de
shoes. Leather for slaves’ shoes warn’t allus tanned and shoes made out
of untanned leather looked lak dey had done been dyed red.

“My Daddy said slaves went to de white folks’ church ’til dey got some
churches for colored folks. Church days was big days wid folks den
’cause dey didn’t have meetin’ evvy Sunday. Slave ‘omans had percale or
calico dresses, brogan shoes, and big home-made bonnets wid slats in de
brims for Sunday-go-to-meetin’ wear, and if it was cold dey wropt up in
shawls. Menfolks wore cotton shirts and pants. Dey had grand preachin’
dem days and folks got honest-to-goodness ‘ligion.”

[Bill Heard, Part II, Georgia]

“Dye for coloring the cloth was provided by collecting sweet gum, dogwood
bark, and red clay. Mixing these together produced different colors of
dye. Sweet gum and clay produced a purple; dogwood, a blue.

Two dresses a year were allowed the women, while two cotton shirts and
two pair of cotton pants were given the men. Everyone received one pair
of shoes. Emmaline’s father was a shoemaker by trade and made shoes for
both slaves and the Harper family. The slaves shoes were called “nigger
shoes,” and made from rough horse and mule hide. The white folks’ shoes
were made from soft calf leather. Mr. Harper had a tanning vat on his
plantation especially for the purpose of tanning hides for their shoes.
Emmaline said these tanning vats reminded her of baptismal holes. The
water was very deep, and once her sister almost drowned in one. Barks of
various kinds were placed in the water in these vats to produce an acid
which would remove the hair from the hides. Layers of goat, calf, and
horse hides were placed in the vats and, after a certain length of time
removed and dried.”

[Emmaline Heard, Part II, Georgia]

“Each family was given a spinning wheel and loom. After the day’s work
each slave home was the scene of spinning and weaving cloth for the
occupant’s clothes and bedding.

The master gave each slave a pair of shoes; Benjamin received his first
pair of shoes when he was five years old. All slaves went barefoot in
summer months.”

[Benjamin Henderson, Part II, Georgia]

“Our clothes warn’t nothin’ to talk about. In summer boys wore just one
piece and that looked lak a long nightshirt. Winter clothes was jean
pants and homespun shirts; they was warm but not too warm. Thar warn’t
no sich things as Sunday clothes in them days, and I never had a pair of
shoes on my foots in slavery time, ’cause I warn’t big enough to wuk.
Grown Negroes wore shoes in winter but they never had none in summer.”

[Jefferson Henry, Part II, Georgia]

“All de cloth for our clothes was wove in de loom room up at de big
house. Little gal’s dresses was made just lak deir Ma’s, wid full skirts
gathered on to plain, close fittin’ waisties. Little boys just wore
shirts. Didn’t no chillun wear but one piece of clothes in summer.
Winter time us wore de same only dey give us a warm underskirt, and
rough red brogan shoes. Didn’t no Niggers wear shoes in warm weather
durin’ slavery times.”

[Carrie Hudson, Part II, Georgia]

“Winter time dey give chillun new cotton and wool mixed shirts what come
down most to de ankles. By de time hot weather come de shirt was done
wore thin and swunk up and ‘sides dat, us had growed enough for ’em to
be short on us, so us jus’ wore dem same shirts right on thoo’ de
summer. On our place you went bar foots ’til you was a great big
yearlin’ ‘fore you got no shoes. What you wore on yo’ haid was a cap
made out of scraps of cloth dey wove in de looms right dar on our
plantation to make pants for de grown folks.”

[Charlie Hudson, Part II, Georgia]

“Probably because of the absence of male slaves, no shoe-maker was
maintained. Footwear for the entire group was purchased at Strong’s Shoe
Store in Macon.”

[Annie Huff, Part II, Georgia]

“Cloth spun from cotton produced at home was woven into the material
under the watchful eye of the mistress, afterwards being cut into
dresses for the women, shirts and trousers for men. Winter garments were
made of wool from home raised sheep. Some of this home-spun material was
colored with dye made from powdered red rocks. With a shoe hammer, last,
pegs (instead of nails) and a standard pattern slave cobblers fashioned
shoes from the hides of their master’s cattle. They were no models of
beauty, but strong, durable shoes designed for hard wear.”

[Bryant Huff, Part II, Georgia]

“De gal chillun in dem days wore little slips, and de boys had shirts
split up de sides. Dey jus’ wore one piece in summer, no drawers or
nothin’. In de winter us had good warm clothes, made out of coarse
ausenburg (osnaburg) cloth. Us wore de same clothes Sundays as evvyday,
only us was s’posed to put ’em on clean on Sunday mornin’. A colored man
named Clark Dogget made our shoes out of rough red leather what never
had been dyed or colored up none. Sometimes Manuel would have to help
him wid de shoemakin’.”

[Easter Huff, Part II, Georgia]

“Folks wove all deir cloth at home dem days. Dey made up plenty of
cotton cloth for hot weather, and for de cold wintertime, dere warn’t
nothin’ warmer dat us knowed about dan de cloth dey made out of
home-raised wool and cotton. Marster kept a slave dat didn’t have
nothin’ else to do but make shoes for evvybody on de place. Yes, mam,
Honey, dey tanned de hide evvy time dey kilt a cow. Leather was tanned
wid whiteoak bark. Chillun’s shoes was finished off wid brass knobs on
de toes, and us was sho mighty dressed up Niggers when us got on dem
shoes wid deir shiny knobs. Little gals’ dresses was made wid long
skirts gathered on to plain waisties. Dere warn’t no showin’ de legs lak
dey does now. Little boys had red and black jeans suits made wid
waisties and britches sewed together in front but wid a long buttoned-up
openin’ in de back. Most of de other places jus’ put long shirts on
little boys, but dat warn’t de way dey done on our place, ’cause us
didn’t belong to no pore folks. Our Marster had plenty and he did lak to
see his Niggers fixed up nice. Course in summertime none of de chillun
didn’t wear nothin’ but little slips, so dey could keep cool, but in
winter it was diffunt. Honey, dem old balmoral petticoats was some
sight, but dey was sho warm as hell. I seed a piece of one of mine not
long ago whar I had done used it to patch up a old quilt. ‘Omans’
dresses was made jus’ about lak dis one I got on now, ‘ceptin’ I didn’t
have enough cloth to make de skirt full as dem old-time clothes used to
be.” The old woman stood up to show just how her dress was fashioned.
The skirt, sewed to a plain, close-fitting waist, was very full in the
back, but plain across the front. Lina called attention to an opening on
the left side of the front. “See here, Chile,” she said, “here’s a sho
‘nough pocket. Jus’ let me turn it wrong-side-out to show you how big it
is. Why, I used a whole 25 pound flour sack to make it ’cause I don’t
lak none of dese newfangled little pockets. I lak things de way I was
raised. Dis pocket hangs down inside and nobody don’t see it. De
chilluns fusses ’bout my big pocket, but it ain’t in none of deir
dresses, and I’se sho gwine to wear ’em ’til dey is wore out to a gnat’s
heel.”

[Lina Hunter, Part II, Georgia]

“Us had to cyard, spin and reel cotton. Missy give us chillun six cuts
of thread for a days wuk and if us wukked hard and fas’ us got done in
time to go chestnut and chinquapin huntin’. Us th’owed rocks ‘ginst de
limbs to shake de nuts down, and us had jus’ de bestes’ time a-gittin’
’em out of de burrs and eatin’ ’em. Us used to string chinquapins and
hang ’em ’round our necks.”

[Alice Hutcheson, Part II, Georgia]

“De white folks clothes an’ all o’ de slaves clothes wuz all made on de
plantation. De marster’s wife could sew an’ she an’ her mother an’ some
of de slaves done all o’ de spinning an’ weaving on de place. I’ve
worked many a day in de house where dey made de cloth at. To color de
clothes dey made dyes out o’ all kinds o’ barks. If dey wanted
yellowstripes dey used dye made out o’ hickory bark. Dere wuz always
plenty o’ clothes fer everybody ’cause dey give two complete outfits two
times a year–one in de summer an’ one in de winter. Fer blankets we
used homespun spreads.”

“Even de shoes wuz made on de plantation–dere wuz a man on de place
dat made all o’ de shoes. Dey wuz made out o’ cowhide an’ wuz very
stiff. You had to grease ’em to wear ’em an’ after you done dat you
could do pretty well. De clothes dat dey wore on Sunday wuz’nt no
different fum de ones dat dey wore in de week–dey didn’t have nowhere
to go on Sundays unless dey had services somewhere in de woods.”

[Amanda Jackson, Part II, Georgia]

“De clothes den wus’nt but ol’ plain white cloth. Most of ’em wus
patched fum de legs to de waist. Some wus patched so till dey looked
like a quilt. Some of de women wore dese long striped cotton dresses an’
when dey would go in de fiel’ de Spanish needles an’ de burrs would
stick all over ’em. De only shoes dat you got wus red brogans. If you
got anything better it wus some dat de marster give you fer brushing off
his shoes at de house. You wus so proud whenever dey give you a pair o’
shoes or a ol’ straw hat dat dey wus through wid at de house you went
back an’ showed it to everybody an’ you wus mighty proud too. I used to
drive my marster’s hoss an’ buggy fer ‘im an’ so I used to git a lotsa
stuff like dat.”

[Benjamin Johnson, Part II, Georgia]

“She stated that they all wore good clothing and that all of it was made
on the plantation with one exception. The servants spun the thread and
Mrs. Moore and her daughters did all of the weaving as well as the
making of the dresses that were worn on this particular plantation. “The
way they made this cloth”, she continued, “was to wind a certain amount
of thread known as a “cut” onto a reel. When a certain number of cuts
were reached they were placed on the loom. This cloth was colored with a
dye made from the bark of trees or with a dye that was made from the
indigo berry cultivated on the plantation. The dresses that the women
wore on working days were made of striped or checked materials while
those worn on Sunday were usually white.”

She does not know what the men wore on work days as she never came in
contact with them. Stockings for all were knitted on the place. The
shoes, which were the one exception mentioned above, were made by one
Bill Jacobs, an elderly white man who made the shoes for all the
plantations in the community. The grown people wore heavy shoes called
“Brogans” while those worn by the children were not so heavy and were
called “Pekers” because of their narrow appearance. For Sunday wear, all
had shoes bought for this purpose. Mr. Moore’s mother was a tailoress
and at times, when the men were able to get the necessary material, she
made their suits.”

[Jennie Kendricks, Part III, Georgia]

“Charlie and all of his ten brothers and sisters helped to card and spin
the cotton for the looms. Sometimes they worked all night, Charlie often
going to sleep while carding, when his mother would crack him on the
head with the carder handle and wake him up. Each child had a night for
carding and spinning, so they all would get a chance to sleep.”

[Charlie King, Part III, Georgia]

“Evvything us needed was raised on dat plantation ‘cept cotton. Nary a
stalk of cotton was growed dar, but jus’ de same our clothes was made
out of cloth dat Mistess and my mammy wove out of thread us chillun
spun, and Mistess tuk a heap of pains makin’ up our dresses. Durin’ de
war evvybody had to wear homespun, but dere didn’t nobody have no better
or prettier dresses den ours, ’cause Mistess knowed more’n anybody ’bout
dyein’ cloth. When time come to make up a batch of clothes Mistess would
say, ‘Ca’line holp me git up my things for dyein’,’ and us would fetch
dogwood bark, sumach, poison ivy, and sweetgum bark. That poison ivy
made the best black of anything us ever tried, and Mistess could dye the
prettiest sort of purple wid sweetgum bark. Cop’ras was used to keep de
colors from fadin’, and she knowed so well how to handle it dat you
could wash cloth what she had dyed all day long and it wouldn’t fade a
speck.

“Sometimes Marse Gerald would be away a week at a time when he went to
court at Jefferson, and de very last thing he said ‘fore he driv off
allus was, ‘Ca’line, you and de chillun take good care of Mistess.’ He
most allus fetched us new shoes when he come back, ’cause he never kept
no shoemaker man on our place, and all our shoes was store-bought. Dey
was jus’ brogans wid brass toes, but us felt powerful dressed up when us
got ’em on, ‘specially when dey was new and de brass was bright and
shiny. Dere was nine of us chillun, four boys and five gals. Us gals had
plain cotton dresses made wid long sleeves and us wore big sunbonnets.
What would gals say now if dey had to wear dem sort of clothes and do
wuk lak what us done? Little boys didn’t wear nothin’ but long shirts in
summertime, but come winter evvybody had good warm clothes made out of
wool off of Marse Gerald’s own sheep, and boys, even little tiny boys,
had britches in winter.”

[Nicey Kinney, Part III, Georgia]

“Our homespun dresses had plain waisties wid long skirts gathered on to
’em. In hot weather chillun wore jus’ one piece; dat was a plain slip,
but in cold weather us had plenty of good warm clothes. Dey wove cotton
and wool together to make warm cloth for our winter clothes and made
shoes for us to wear in winter too. Marster evermore did believe in
takin’ good keer of his Niggers.”

[Julia Larken, Part III, Georgia]

“We got good clothes too says Mr. Lewis. All of ’em was bought. All de
chillun wore a long shirt until dey wus too big an’ den dey was given
pants an’ dresses. De shoes wus made out of red leather an’ wus called
brogans. After we moved to Georgia our new marster bought de cloth an’
had all de clothes made on de plantation.”

[George Lewis, Part III, Georgia]

“De cotton, flax, and wool what our clothes was made out of was growed,
spun, wove, and sewed right dar on our plantation. Marse John had a
reg’lar seamster what didn’t do nothin’ else but sew. Summertime us
chillun wore shirts what looked lak nightgowns. You jus’ pulled one of
dem slips over your haid and went on ’cause you was done dressed for de
whole week, day and night. Wintertime our clothes was a heap better. Dey
give us thick jeans pants, heavy shirts, and brogan shoes wid brass
toes. Summertime us all went bar’foots.”

[Ed McCree, Part III, Georgia]

“On the Hale plantation clothing was issued two times each year, once at
the beginning of summer and again at the beginning of the winter season.
On this first issue all were given striped dresses made of cotton
material. These dresses were for wear during the week while dresses made
of white muslin were given for Sunday wear. The dye which was necessary
in order to color those clothes worn during the week was made by boiling
red dirt or the bark of trees in water. Sometimes the indigo berry was
also used. The winter issue consisted of dresses made of woolen
material. The socks and stockings were all knitted. All of this wearing
apparel was made by Mrs. Hale. The shoes that these women slaves wore
were made in the nearby town at a place known as the tan yards. These
shoes were called “Brogans” and they were very crude in construction
having been made of very stiff leather. None of the clothing that was
worn on this plantation was bought as everything necessary for the
manufacture of clothing was available on the premises.”

[Amanda McDaniel, Part III, Georgia]

“In summer, the slave women wore white homespun and the men wore pants
and shirts made out of cloth what looked like overall cloth does now. In
winter, we wore the same things, ‘cept Marse Billy give the men woolen
coats what come down to their knees, and the women wore warm wraps what
they called sacks. On Sunday we had dresses dyed different colors. The
dyes were made from red clay and barks. Bark from pines, sweetgums, and
blackjacks was boiled, and each one made a different color dye. The
cloth made at home was coarse and was called ‘gusta cloth. Marse Billy
let the slaves raise chickens, and cows, and have cotton patches too.
They would sell butter, eggs, chickens, brooms, made out of wheat straw
and such like. They took the money and bought calico, muslin and good
shoes, pants, coats and other nice things for their Sunday clothes.
Marse Billy bought leather from Marster Brumby’s tanyard and had shoes
made for us. They was coarse and rough, but they lasted a long time.”

[Susan McIntosh, Part III, Georgia]

“De one little cotton shirt dat was all chillun wore in summertime den
warn’t worth talkin’ ’bout; dey called it a shirt but it looked more lak
a long-tailed nightgown to me. For winter, our clothes was made of wool
cloth and dey was nice and warm. Mistess, slaves never knowed what
Sunday clothes was, ‘cept dey did know dey had to be clean on Sunday. No
matter how dirty you went in de week-a-days, you had to put on clean
clothes Sunday mornin’. Uncle John Craddock made shoes for all de grown
folks on our plantation, but chillun went barfoots and it never seemed
to make ’em sick; for a fact, I b’lieves dey was stouter den dan dey is
now.”

[William McWhorter, Part III, Georgia]

“All of the clothing worn on this plantation was made there. Some of the
women who were too old to work in the fields did the spinning and the
weaving as well as the sewing of the garments. Indigo was used to dye
the cloth. The women wore callico dresses and the men wore ansenberg
pants and shirts. The children wore a one piece garment not unlike a
slightly lengthened dress. This was kept in place by a string tied
around their waists. There were at least ten shoemakers on the
plantation and they were always kept bust [TR: busy?] making shoes
although no slave ever got but one pair of shoes a year. These shoes
were made of very hard leather and were called brogans.”

[Richard Orford, Part III, Georgia]

“Us had pretty good clothes most all de year ’round. In summer, shirts,
and pants wuz made out of coarse cotton cloth. Sometimes de pants wuz
dyed gray. Winter time us had better clothes made out of yarn and us
allus had good Sunday clothes. ‘Course I wuz jes’ a plow boy den and
now I done forgot lots ’bout how things looked. Our shoes wuz jes’
common brogans, no diff’unt on Sunday, ‘ceppin’ de Nigger boys what wuz
shinin’ up to de gals cleaned up deir shoes dat day.”

[Alec Pope, Part III, Georgia]

“The servants on our plantation always had a plenty of clothes,”
continued Mrs. Price, “while those on the plantation next to ours (Mrs.
Kennon’s father) never had enough, especially in the winter.” This
clothing was given when it was needed and not at any specified time as
was the case on some of the other plantations in that community. All of
these articles were made on the plantation and the materials that were
mostly used were homespun (which was also woven on the premises) woolen
goods, cotton goods and calico. It has been mentioned before that the
retinue of servants was small in number and so for this reason all of
them had a reasonable amount of those clothes that had been discarded by
the master and the mistress. After the leather had been cured it was
taken to the Tannery where crude shoes called “Twenty Grands” were made.
These shoes often caused the wearer no little amount of discomfort until
they were thoroughly broken in.

For bedding, homespun sheets were used. The quilts and blankets were
made from pieced cotton material along with garments that were unfit for
further wear. Whenever it was necessary to dye any of these articles a
type of dye made by boiling the bark from trees was used.”

[Annie Price, Part III, Georgia]

“In every slave home was found a wooden loom which was operated by hands
and feet, and from which the cloth for their clothing was made. When the
work in the fields was finished women were required to come home and
spin one cut (thread) at night. Those who were not successful in
completing this work were punished the next morning. Men wore cotton
shirts and pants which were dyed different colors with red oak bark,
alum and copper. Copper produced an “Indigo blue color.” “I have often
watched dye in the process of being made,” remarked Mr. Pye. Mr. Pye’s
father was a shoemaker and made all shoes needed on the plantation. The
hair was removed from the hides by a process known as tanning. Red oak
bark was often used for it produced an acid which proved very effective
in tanning hides. Slaves were given shoes every three months.”

[Charlie Pye, Part III, Georgia]

“All de clo’es was made on de plantation, too. Dey spun de thread from
cotton and wool, and dyed it and wove it. We had cutters and dem dat
done de sewin’.”

[Ferebe Rogers, Part III, Georgia]

“Colonel De Binien always saw that his slaves had sufficient clothing. In
the summer months the men were given two shirts, two pairs of pants, and
two pairs of underwear. All of these clothes were made of cotton and all
were sewed on the plantation. No shoes were worn in the summer. The
women were given two dresses, two underskirts, and two pairs of
underwear. When the winter season approached another issue of clothes
was given. At this time shoes were given. They were made of heavy red
leather and were known as “brogans”

[Julia Rush, Part III, Georgia]

“Slave chillun didn’t wear nothin’ in summer but shirts what looked lak
gowns wid long sleeves. Gals and boys was dressed in de same way when
dey was little chaps. In winter us wore shirts made out of coarse cloth
and de pants and little coats was made out of wool. De gals wore wool
dresses.” He laughed and said: “On Sunday us jus’ wore de same things.
Did you say shoes? Lawsy Miss! I was eight or nine ‘fore I had on a pair
of shoes. On frosty mornin’s when I went to de spring to fetch a bucket
of water, you could see my feet tracks in de frost all de way dar and
back.”

[Will Sheets, Part III, Georgia]

“De white ladies had nice silk dresses to wear to church. Slave ‘omans
had new calico dresses what dey wore wid hoopskirts dey made out of
grapevines. Dey wore poke bonnets wid ruffles on ’em and, if de weather
was sort of cool, dey wore shawls. Marster allus wore his linen duster.
Dat was his white coat, made cutaway style wid long tails. De cloth for
most all of de clothes was made at home. Marse Joe raised lots of sheep
and de wool was used to make cloth for de winter clothes. Us had a great
long loom house whar some of de slaves didn’t do nothin’ but weave
cloth. Some cyarded bats, some done de spinnin’, and dere was more of
’em to do de sewin’. Miss Ellen, she looked atter all dat, and she cut
out most of de clothes. She seed dat us had plenty to wear. Sometimes
Marster would go to de sewin’ house, and Mist’ess would tell him to git
on ‘way from dar and look atter his own wuk, dat her and Aunt Julia
could run dat loom house. Marster, he jus’ laughed den and told us
chillun what was hangin’ round de door to jus’ listen to dem ‘omans
cackle. Oh, but he was a good old boss man.”

[Robert Shepherd, Part III, Georgia]

“Yes ma’am, us had good clo’es de year ’round. Our summer clothes wuz
white, white as snow. Old Marster said dey looked lak linen. In winter
us wore heavy yarn what de women made on de looms. One strand wuz wool
and one wuz cotton. Us wore our brogan shoes evvy day and Sunday too.
Marster wuz a merchant and bought shoes from de tanyard. Howsomever, he
had a colored man on his place what could make any kind of shoes.”

[Tom Singleton, Part III, Georgia]

“Honey, de clothes us wore den warn’ t lak what folks has now. Little
gals jus’ wore slips cut all in one piece, and boys didn’t wear nothin’
but long shirts ’til dey was big enough to wuk in de fields. Dat was
summertime clothes. In winter, dey give us plenty of warm clothes wid
flannel petticoats and brass-toed shoes. Grown-up Negroes had dresses
what was made wid waisties and skirts sewed together. Dey had a few
gathers in de skirts, but not many. De men wore homespun britches wid
galluses to hold ’em up. White folks had lots better clothes. Mist’ess’
dresses had full, ruffled skirts and, no foolin’, her clothes was sho’ly
pretty. De white menfolks wore plain britches, but dey had bright
colored coats and silk vests dat warn’t lak de vests de men wears now.
Dem vests was more lak fancy coats dat didn’t have no sleeves. Some
folks called ’em ‘wescoats.’ White chillun never had no special clothes
for Sunday.

“Miss Julia used to make me sweep de yard wid a little brushbroom and I
had to wear a bonnet den to keep dust out of my hair. Dat bonnet was
ruffled ’round de front and had staves to hold de brim stiff, but in de
back it didn’t have no ruffle; jus’ de bottom of de crown what us called
de bonnet tail. Dem bonnets looked good enough in front but mighty
bob-tailed in de back.”

[Nancy Smith, Part III, Georgia]

“All our clothes and shoes was home-made, and I mean by that they growed
the cotton, wool, and cattle and made the cloth and leather on the
plantation. Summer clothes was made of cotton homespun, and cotton and
wool was wove together for winter clothin’. Marse Jack owned a man what
he kept there to do nothin’ but make shoes.”

[Nellie Smith, Part III, Georgia]

“Long as us was little, us didn’t have to wuk at nothin’ ‘cept little
jobs lak pickin’ up chips, bringin’ in a little wood, and sometimes de
biggest boys had to slop de hogs. Long ’bout de fust of March, dey tuk
de pants ‘way from all de boys and give ’em little shirts to wear from
den ’til frost. Yes Mam, dem shirts was all us boys had to wear in
summer ’til us was big enough to wuk in de fields. Gals jus’ wore one
piece of clothes in summertime too; dey wore a plain cotton dress. All
our clothes, for summer and winter too, was made right dere on dat
plantation. Dey wove de cloth on de looms; plain cotton for summer, and
cotton mixed wid a little wool for winter. Dere was a man on de
plantation what made all our brogans for winter. Marster made sho us had
plenty of good warm clothes and shoes to keep us warm when winter come.”

[Paul Smith, Part III, Georgia]

“Our Marster evermore did raise de cotton–lots of it to sell, and
plenty for clothes for all de folkses, white and black, what lived on
his place. All de cloth was home-made ‘cept de calico for de best Sunday
dresses. Chillun had to spin de thread and deir mammies wove de cloth.
‘Fore de end of de war, whilst I was still so little I had to stand on a
box to reach de spinnin’ wheel good, I could spin six reels a day.”

[Cordelia Thomas, Part IV, Georgia]

“Sewing was no easy job as there were few small women among the servants.
The cloth made at home, was plentiful, however, and sufficient clothing
was made for all. Some persons preferred making their own clothes and
this privilege was granted; otherwise they were made in a common sewing
room. Ten yards was the average amount of cloth in a dress, homespun and
gingham, the usual materials. The men wore suits of osnaburg and jeans.
This was dyed to more durable colors through the use of [HW: with]
indigo [HW: (blue)] and a dye made from railroad bark (brown).”

[Phil Towns, Part IV, Georgia]

“Dey mixed wool wid de lint cotton to spin thread to make cloth for our
winter clothes. Mammy wove a lot of dat cloth and de clothes made out of
it sho would keep out de cold. Most of our stockin’s and socks was knit
at home, but now and den somebody would git hold of a sto-bought pair
for Sunday-go-to-meetin’ wear.”

[Neal Upson, Part IV, Georgia]

“Now, about the clothes we wore in the days of the war, I couldn’t
rightly say, but my Mother said we had good comfortable garments. In the
summer weather, boys and men wore plain cotton shirts and jeans pants.
The home-made linsey-woolsy shirts that we wore over our cotton shirts,
and the wool pants that we wore in winter, were good and warm; they had
brogan shoes in winter too. Folks wore the same clothes on Sundays as
through the week, but they had to be sure that they were nice and clean
on Sundays. Dresses for the women folks were made out of cotton checks,
and they had sunbonnets too.”

[John Van Hook, Part IV, Georgia]

“Chillun didn’t wear nothin’ but cotton slips in summer, but de winter
clothes was good and warm. Under our heavy winter dresses us wore
quilted underskirts dat was sho nice and warm. Sunday clothes? Yes
Mar’m, us allus had nice clothes for Sunday. Dey made up our summertime
Sunday dresses out of a thin cloth called Sunday-parade. Dey was made
spenser fashion, wid ruffles ’round de neck and waist. Our ruffled
petticoats was all starched and ironed stiff and slick, and us jus’
knowed our long pantalettes, wid deir scalloped ruffles, was mighty
fine. Some of de ‘omans would wuk fancy eyelets what dey punched in de
scallops wid locust thorns. Dem pantalettes was buttoned on to our
drawers. Our Sunday dresses for winter was made out of linsey-woolsey
cloth. White ladies wore hoopskirts wid deir dresses, and dey looked lak
fairy queens. Boys wore plain shirts in summer, but in winter dey had
warmer shirts and quilted pants. Dey would put two pair of britches
togedder and quilt ’em up so you couldn’t tell what sort of cloth dey
was made out of. Dem pants was called suggins.

“All de Niggers went barfoots in summer, but in winter us all wore
brogans. Old Miss had a shoe shop in de cellar under de big house, and
when dem two white ‘omans dat she hired to make our shoes come, us
knowed wintertime was nigh. Dem ‘omans would stay ’til day had made up
shoes enough to last us all winter long, den dey would go on to de next
place what dey s’pected to make shoes.”

[Addie Vinson, Part IV, Georgia]

“Us chillun didn’t git out and go off lak dey does dese days. Us stayed
dar on de plantation. In winter us had to wear plenty of clothes, wid
flannel petticoats and sich lak, and us stayed in by de fire. Big boys
had clothes made out of jeans, but little boys wore homespun shirts. On
hot days us jus’ wore one piece of clothes, a sort of shirt what was
made long and had a yoke in it.”

[Emma Virgel,  Part IV, Georgia]

“The slaves did most of the weaving on the plantation, but after the
cloth was woven the problem of giving it color presented itself. As they
had no commercial dye, certain plants were boiled to give color. A plant
called indigo, found in the cotton patch, was the chief type of dye,
although thare was another called copperas. The dresses made from this
material were very plain.”

[Rhoda Walton, Part IV, Georgia]

“The long shirts slave boys wore in summer were straight like a meal
sack open at both ends, with holes in the sides for your arms to go
through. You stuck your head in one end and it came out the other; then
you were fully dressed for any whole summer day. These summer shirts
were made of thin osnaburg. Our winter clothes were made of woolen cloth
called merino. Old Boss kept enough sheep to provide plenty of wool and
some mighty good food. Slave children had no extra or special clothes
for Sunday; they wore the same kind of gowns, or long shirts, seven days
a week. Old Boss provided brass-toed brogans for winter, but we never
thought of such a thing as shoes to wear in hot weather.”

[Green Willbanks, Part IV, Georgia]

“Summertimes us wore homespun dresses, made wid full skirts sewed on to
tight fittin’ waisties what was fastened down de back wid buttons made
out of cows and rams horns. Our white petticoat slips and pantalettes
was made on bodices. In winter us wore balmorals what had three stripes
’round de bottom, and over dem us had on long sleeved ap’ons what was
long as de balmorals. Slave gals’ pantalettes warn’t ruffled and tucked
and trimmed up wid lace and ‘broidery lak Miss Polly’s chilluns’ was.
Ours was jus’ made plain. Grown folks wore rough brogans, but me, I wore
de shoes what Miss Polly’s chillun had done outgrowed. Dey called ’em
Jackson shoes, ’cause dey was made wid a extra wide piece of leather
sewed on de outside so as when you knocked your ankles ‘gainst one
another, it wouldn’t wear no holes in your shoes. Our Sunday shoes
warn’t no diffunt from what us wore evvyday.”

[Frances Willingham, Part IV, Georgia]

“Mr. Womble stated further that clothes were given to all the slaves once
a year. An issue for the men usually consisted of one or two pairs of
pants and some shirts, underwear, woolen socks, and a pair of heavy
brogans that had been made of horse hide. These shoes were reddish in
appearance and were as stiff as board according to Mr. Womble. For
special wear the men were given a garment that was made into one piece
by sewing the pants and shirt together. This was known as a
“roundabout”. The women were given one or two dresses that had been made
of the same material as that of the men’s pants. As the cloth that these
clothes were made of was very coarse and heavy most of them lasted until
the time for the next issue. None of the clothing that the slaves wore
was bought. After the cloth had been made by the slaves who did all the
spinning and the weaving the master’s wife cut the clothes out while the
slave women did the sewing. One of the men was a cobbler and it was he
who made all of the shoes for slave use. In the summer months the field
hands worked in their bare feet regardless of whether they had shoes or
not. Mr. Womble says that he was fifteen years of age when he was given
his first pair of shoes. They were a pair of red boots and were so stiff
that he needed help to get them on his feet as well as to get them off.
Once when the master had suffered some few financial losses the slaves
had to wear clothes that were made of crocus material. The children wore
sacks after holes had been cut out for their heads and arms. This
garment looked like a slightly lengthened shirt in appearance. A dye
made from red clay was used to give color to these clothes.

The bed clothing consisted of bagging sacks and quilts that were made
out of old clothes.”

[George Womble, Part IV., Georgia]

“Clothing was issued once per year usually around September. An issue
consisted mostly of the following: 1 pair of heavy shoes called “Negro
Brogans.” Several homespun shirts, woolen socks and two or three pairs
of jeans pants. The women were either given dresses and underskirts that
were already made or just the plain cloth to make these garments from.
Some of their clothing was bought and some was made on the plantation.
The wool socks were knitted on the plantation along with the homespun
which was woven there. The homespun was dyed by placing it in a boiling
mixture of green walnut leaves or walnut hulls. In the event that plaid
material was to be made the threads were dyed the desired color before
being woven. Another kind of dye was made from the use of a type of red
or blue berry, or by boiling red dirt in water (probably madder). The
house slaves wore calico dresses or sometimes dresses made from woolen
material.

Often this clothing was insufficient to meet the individual needs. With
a broad smile and an almost imperceptible shake of his old gray head Mr.
Wright told how he had worked in the field without shoes when it was so
cold until the skin cracked and the blood flowed from these wounds. He
also told how he used to save his shoes by placing them under his arm
and walking barefooted when he had a long distance to go. In order to
polish these shoes a mixture of soot and syrup was used.

The young slave children wore a one-piece garment with holes cut for the
head and arms to go through. In appearance it resembled a slightly long
shirt. As Mr. House did not give blankets, the slaves were required to
make the necessary cover by piecing together left over goods. After this
process was completed, it was padded with cotton and then dyed in much
the same way as homespun. After the dyeing was completed the slave was
the owner of a new quilt.”

[Henry Wright, Part IV, Georgia]

“The standard clothes of the slaves were: jeans in the winter for men and
women, cottonades and osnabergs for men in the summer, and calicos and
“light goods” for the women in the summer time. About 75% of the cloth
used for slaves’ clothing was made at home.”

[Dink Young, Part IV, Georgia]

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