Coupon
Homeless, Friendless, and Penniless : The Wpa Interviews with Former Slaves Living in Indiana
by Ronald L. Baker


Overview -

Homeless, Friendless, and Penniless
The WPA Interviews with Former Slaves Living in Indiana
Ronald L. Baker

Lives of former slaves in their own words, published for the first time.

Based on a collection of interviews conducted in the late 1930s, Homeless, Friendless, and Penniless is an invaluable record of the lives and thoughts of former slaves who moved to Indiana after the Civil War and made significant contributions to the evolving patchwork of Hoosier culture.  Read more...


 
In Stock.

This item is Non-Returnable.
FREE Shipping for Club Members
 
> Check In-Store Availability

In-Store pricing may vary

 
 
New & Used Marketplace 26 copies from $3.49
 
eBook
Retail Price: $35.99
$27.14

Add to Cart + Add to Wishlist

Download

 
 
 

More About Homeless, Friendless, and Penniless by Ronald L. Baker
 
 
 
Overview

Homeless, Friendless, and Penniless
The WPA Interviews with Former Slaves Living in Indiana
Ronald L. Baker

Lives of former slaves in their own words, published for the first time.

Based on a collection of interviews conducted in the late 1930s, Homeless, Friendless, and Penniless is an invaluable record of the lives and thoughts of former slaves who moved to Indiana after the Civil War and made significant contributions to the evolving patchwork of Hoosier culture.

The Indiana slave narratives provide a glimpse of slavery as remembered by those who experienced it, preserving insiders' views of a tragic chapter in American history. Though they were living in Indiana at the time of the interviews, these African Americans been enslaved in 11 different states from the Carolinas to Louisiana. The interviews deal with life and work on the plantation; the treatment of slaves; escaping from slavery; education, religion, and slave folklore; and recollections of the Civil War. Just as important, the interviews reveal how former slaves fared in Indiana after the Civil War and during the Depression. Some became ministers, a few became educators, and one became a physician; but many lived in poverty and survived on Christian faith and small government pensions.

Ronald L. Baker, Chairperson and Professor of English at Indiana State University, is author of many books, including Hoosier Folk Legends and From Needmore to Prosperity: Hoosier Place Names in Folklore and History (both from Indiana University Press. He is co-author of Indiana Place Names with Marvin Carmony and editor of The Folklore Historian, the journal of the Folklore and History Section of the American Folklore Society.

Contents
Part One: A Folk History of Slavery
Background of the WPA Interviews
Presentation of Material
Living and Working on the Plantation
The Treatment of Slaves
Escaping from Slavery
Education
Religion
Folklore
Recoll


This item is Non-Returnable.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780253338037
  • ISBN-10: 0253338034
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publish Date: October 2000
  • Page Count: 368
  • Dimensions: 9.54 x 6.44 x 1.32 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.56 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Social Science > Ethnic Studies - African American Studies
Books > Social Science > Slavery

 
BookPage Reviews

In 1936, the Works Progress Admini- stration (WPA) initiated a program to collect oral biographies from former slaves. Field workers solicited and edited thousands of slave narratives, some of which were sent to the Library of Congress, while others went to libraries in various states. Although most of these interviews have been previously published, in Homeless, Friendless, and Penniless, Ronald L. Baker has compiled for the first time all the Indiana interviews with former slaves who settled in the Hoosier state.

The slave narratives must be read with caution. Rather than reproducing exactly what the former slaves related, field workers customarily edited the interviews. Most of the field workers were white, and it is impossible to know how accurately the former slaves recounted unpleasant episodes to white questioners.

The narrative of Hettie McClain illustrates the impact of slavery on free states. Hettie was the daughter of a slave, Hulda, and her owner, William McClain. To ensure that Hulda and Hettie would not be separated, McClain took them across the freedom line from Kentucky to Indiana, bought them a cottage and emancipated them. Many owners took their slave mistresses and children to a free state, a practice which often led to lawsuits.

Former slave John Rudd "recalled seeing seven ex-slaves hanging from one tree . . . just after the close of the war."

Several slaves remembered families broken up by owners, and John W. Fields related that "Twelve children were taken from my mother in one day!" The final word belongs to Thomas Lewis: "There was no such thing as being good to slaves."

Ronald Baker, professor of English at Indiana State University, has done an excellent job of editing the WPA interviews, bringing them into a single edition and adding several previously unpublished interviews. Both scholars and interested readers will find this volume fascinating to read and easy to use.

James D. Hardy, Jr. is associate dean of the Honors College at LSU.

 
BAM Customer Reviews