houseWho lived here?
A Visit to Ms. Catherine's House


Hewn Timber
Cabins
Home
Ms. Catherine's
Background
on the Cabin
Quick Tour of
Ms. Catherine's
List of
Illustrations

Next


Who lived here?

When the houses were first built, they were used primarily as a place to sleep for the African Americans who lived here had almost no leisure time to spend in their homes. They worked from sunrise to dark and they ate their meals in a common kitchen, a separate building—not in their homes. So they would leave these houses before daylight and return after dark for a few hours of sleep before beginning another day of labor.
The people who lived here endured slavery for twenty-nine years. Then came emancipation. The African Americans hoped that they could get a little piece of land so that they could build their own homes and farm their own crops. But the land owners refused to sell them land. So the African Americans were obliged to continue living in these houses and working for whatever wages the land owner paid.

Despite the inadequate housing and the adverse circumstances, the African Americans who lived here showed exemplary wisdom, dignity, and integrity

Copyright Amelia Wallace Vernon. All rights reserved, 1999.