“So if the slaves worked hard they didn’t have to worry about getting whipped?,” asked Zoe.
“Not necessarily, overseers sometimes found reasons to whip the slaves.”
The woman the slaves heard about was named Catherine Devereux. She was described as being a tall, thin woman with skin as pure as milk.
While on the Collins farm she witnessed small slave children without necessities. Some were without pants, others without shoes or just without clothing all together.
Further into the tour of the farm she saw three little boys eating out of the same wooden bowl, using oyster shells as spoons. Once she reached the field there were both men and women working; picking the cotton.
A few of the women had babies strapped to their backs as the overseers watched meticulously awaiting the opportunity to whip one of the slaves for not working hard enough.
“Ms. Devereux now that we’ve reached the field you may have your pick of my best field hands. I must warn you it’s going to cost you though,” said Mr. Collins.
Mr. Collins was a money hungry man, willing to give up whatever she wanted for the right price. She carefully scanned the area; wishing she could take them all away from the suffering received under the ownership of such a man. She randomly selected five of the strongest looking men.
Afterward they all headed back to the house to finalize the transaction over a glass of lemonade.
“Mama what was the paperwork for?,” asked Zoe.
“Since slaves were considered property, paperwork had to be signed in order to turn over rights to someone else in exchange for money of course.”
The purchased slaves were to accompany Ms. Devereux back to her property to begin work immediately. After a few days had passed no one thought to bother with wondering what happened to the men. In this life families were ripped apart by separation at the hands of their master all the time.