Booker T. Washington: Hello there.
It is often said that one's childhood experiences shape one's future. Let me share some of my experiences as a young man with you.
I was born on a plantation in Franklin County Virginia. I don't know the exact place and time. But I I've been told that it was in a log cabin near a crossroads post-office called Hale's Ford. It must have been around 1858 or 1859.
Our cabin was poorly built. It had no glass windows. It only had openings in the sides to let in light. Those same openings also let in cold air in the winter. In the summer the heat from the open fireplace was equally as trying. As for sleeping arrangements, my older brother John, my sister Amanda and I used a pallet made from bundles of filthy rags laid on the dirt floor.
Our mother had little time to care for us during the day. She did snatch a little time for us in the early morning before she started cooking, and at night after she finished. One of my earliest memories is of her waking us up late one night to eat a chicken she had cooked. I don't know where she got it, but I'm pretty sure it came from our owner's farm. If someone did something like that today, they would be considered a theft. However, given that it happened during slavery, you could never get me to regard my mother as a thief.