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AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum

Slaves in Our Family

Slaves in Our Family

Sarah Summers Clarke (1844-1939) wrote her biography, “Then We Came To California” with the help of Ralph Leroy Milliken in 1938. She was the oldest sister of my great-great grandfather, George Rufus Summers (1856-1928). In the book, she details growing up in Virginia and their life during the Civil War. I have excerpted the parts from the book that discuss their life in Virginia and their slaves.

Aunt Emily had been a slave in my mother’s family since long before I was born. Our home was in Virginia, twenty miles from Washington. Aunt Emily was our cook. Although cook stoves were already in general use in the North at this time Aunt Emily knew nothing about these new inventions. We still cooked at the fireplace. I was not more than six or seven years old (about 1850) but I well remember her bursting into the room where my mother and I were sitting, “Oh, Missus Marianna, Missus Marianna, throw it out!” she exclaimed, the tears running down her black cheeks. “What did you buy it for, anyway? I don’t want no cook stove!”

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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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