Authors

Karina De Hoyos

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2020

Abstract

The Slave Narrative Collection from the WPA Federal Writers’ Project, housed at the Library of Congress, has over 2,300 first-person accounts and 500 black and white photographs of people who were born into slavery.Numerous historians have relied on these narratives to help them in their work to have a better understanding of slavery. Many people did not know how, or even where, to start their new lives, but they knew they needed to find a way to make a living, or ultimately seek work from their former masters. Despite numerous obstacles in their lives before and after the Civil War, many of the former slaves living in San Antonio in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were able to accomplish many things throughout their lives. Many former slaves who gave written accounts remained in Texas after gaining their freedom. Albert Todd was one of many who ended up in Bexar county. This paper serves as a tool to highlight their struggles and how they managed to adapt to a new way of living and to recognize these individuals who once resided in Bexar county. The slave narratives that were taken in San Antonio from between the years 1936 and 1938 will be designated as the starting point for this project, not only to better understand the lives of former slaves both during and after slavery, but also to understand how the transition from slavery to freedom influenced the trajectory of the next two generations.

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