Plantation Stories from the 1700's

My time came when I had to go to work on the plantation. I wasen't even seven years old. On the plantation of Colonel Lloyd I was left to Aunt Katy, a slavewoman who was illtempered and cruel. She was always guilty of starving me and the other children. One day I had offended Aunt Katy and she did what she usually did which was to punish me, making me go all day without food, starving me. Sundown came, but i still had no bread. I was too hungry to sleep, when my wonderful mother should come in. She read Aunt Katy a lecture which she would neverOak_Alley_plantation.jpg forget even if she tried. That night I learned something I had never learned before, that I was not only a child, but somebody's child who cared about me and loved me. My mother had walked twelve miles to see me, and had the same distance to travel over before the morning sunrise. I do not remember seeing her again. ~Fredrick Douglass

One morning in April, 1865, my master got the news that the Yankees had left Mobile Bay and crossed the Confederate lines, and that the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed by President Lincoln. The Mistress thought that the slaves should not be told of their freedom; but master said he was going to tell them, because they would find it out sooner or later even if he did not tell them. The Mistress, however, said she could keep my mother's three children, because my mother had been gone for so long.
All the slaves left the plantation because of the news that they were now free, except those who were feeble or sickly. With the help of these, the crops were gathered. My mistress and her daughters had to go to the kitchen and to the washtub. My little half- brother, Henry, and me had to gather chips, and help all that we could. My sister, Caroline, who was twelve years old, could help in
the kitchen. ~Annie L. Burton


Mr. Gooch who was a cotton planter who purchased me at a town called Liberty Hill, just about three miles from his home. As soon as he got home, he put me on his cotton plantation to work, and put me under overseers, he gave me and the slaves allowance of meat and bread, which wasent even close to enough for me to live on. Being here my heart was just about broke with grief at leaving my fellow slaves. Mr. Gooch did not care about my grief, he struck me nearly every day, and very severely. Mr. Gooch bought me for his son-in-law, Mr. Hammans, who lived about five miles from him. This man had only two slaves besides me; he treated me very good for a week or two, but in the summertime, when cotton was ready to hoe, he gave me task work, which I could not get done because i had never worked on cotton farmsSlave_Quarters_at_McCleod_Plantation_(Charleston_County,_South_Carolina).jpg before. When I didnt complete my task, he commenced hitting me, and set me to work without any shirt in the cotton field, in the very scorching sun, in the month of July. In August, Mr. Condell, his overseer,gave me a task at pulling fodder. Having finished my task before night, I left the field; the rain came on, which soaked the fodder. When he discovered this, he threatened to strike me for not getting in the fodder before the rain came. This was the first time I had ever attempted to run away, knowing that I should get a beating. I was then between thirteen and fourteen years of age. I ran away to the woods half naked; I was caught by a slave-holder, who put me in Lancaster jail. When they put slaves in jail, they advertise formasters to own them; but if the master does not claim his slave in six months from the time they put me in jail, the slave is sold for jail fees. I was determined to gain my freedom, I made several attempts to run away and was caught and got a severe whipping of one hundred lashes each time. Mr. Hammans was a very severe and cruel master, and his wife was even worse; she used to tie me up and beat me while i was completely naked. ~Moses Roper

Plantation slaves did there work for 12 hours a day , sometimes even more and many of them died at a very young age. One master when his slaves became too old to work would toss them even when they were alive over a precipice. Rival planters would usually just shoot each others slaves to get rid of them. Slaves would get so worn out to where they couldnt take anymore and neither could their bones, so they would just fall asleep in the refineries of the sugarcane. If slaves tried to escape they would be burned at the stake with no mercy.

Handprints in the mirrors, footsteps on the stairs, mysterious smells, vanishing objects, death by poison, hangings, murder and gunfire --Handprints in the mirrors, footsteps on the stairs, mysterious smells, vanishing objects, death by poison, hangings, murder and gunfire -- the Myrtles Plantation in the West Feliciana town of St. Francisville, Louisiana holds the rather dubious record of hosting more ghostly phenomena than just about any other house in the country. But what could be more dubious than the honor itself -- perhaps some of the questionable history that has been presented to “explain” why the house is so haunted in the first place!

Long perceived as one of the most haunted house in America, the Myrtles attracts an almost endless stream of visitors each year and many of them come in search of ghosts. It is not our purpose here to do anything to discourage these visitors from coming -- or even to discourage them to looking for the ghosts that they can almost certainly find here. The purpose of this article is to question the “facts” as they have been presented by several generations of Myrtles owners and guides -- facts and history that many of them know is blatantly false. We have no wish to try and debunk the ghosts, merely the identities that they have been given over the years. The Myrtles, according to hundreds of people who have encountered the unexplained here, is haunted -- but not for the reasons that we have all been told.

But why go to the trouble to debunk the myths that have been created over the last fifty-some-odd years? Surely, they aren’t hurting anyone, so why bother to expose them as the creation of rich imaginations? To that, we can only say that no dedicated ghost hunter should be afraid to seek the truth. As the history of a house is the most important key to discovering just why it might be haunted in the first place, it seems to be imperative to discover the real history of the site. It has often been recommended to sift through the legends and folklore of the place in a search for a kernel of truth. This is exactly what we did in the article that follows --- we have examined the lore in a search for the truth and have found it. It might not be as glamorous as the legends of the Myrtles Plantation that we have all heard about but it is certainly strange. The real history of the plantation is filled with death, tragedy and despair, leading us to wonder why a fanciful history was created in its place. That question will likely never be answered but many others will. Handprints in the mirrors, footsteps on the stairs, mysterious smells, vanishing objects, death by poison, hangings, murder and gunfire -- the Myrtles Plantation in the West Feliciana town of St. Francisville, Louisiana holds the rather dubious record of hosting more ghostly phenomena than just about any other house in the country. But what could be more dubious than the honor itself -- perhaps some of the questionable history that has been presented to “explain” why the house is so haunted in the first place!

Long perceived as one of the most haunted house in America, the Myrtles attracts an almost endless stream of visitors each year and many of them come in search of ghosts. It is not our purpose here to do anything to discourage these visitors from coming -- or even to discourage them to looking for the ghosts that they can almost certainly find here. The purpose of this article is to question the “facts” as they have been presented by several generations of Myrtles owners and guides -- facts and history that many of them know is blatantly false. We have no wish to try and debunk the ghosts, merely the identities that they have been given over the years. The Myrtles, according to hundreds of people who have encountered the unexplained here, is haunted -- but not for the reasons that we have all been told.

But why go to the trouble to debunk the myths that have been created over the last fifty-some-odd years? Surely, they aren’t hurting anyone, so why bother to expose them as the creation of rich imaginations? To that, we can only say that no dedicated ghost hunter should be afraid to seek the truth. As the history of a house is the most important key to discovering just why it might be haunted in the first place, it seems to be imperative to discover the real history of the site. It has often been recommended to sift through the legends and folklore of the place in a search for a kernel of truth. This is exactly what we did in the article that follows --- we have examined the lore in a search for the truth and have found it. It might not be as glamorous as the legends of the Myrtles Plantation that we have all heard about but it is certainly strange. The real history of the plantation is filled with death, tragedy and despair, leading us to wonder why a fanciful history was created in its place. That question will likely never be answered but many others will. e Myrtles Plantation in the West Feliciana town of St. Francisville, Louisiana holds the rather dubious record of hosting more ghostly phenomena than just about any other house in the country. But what could be more dubious than the honor itself -- perhaps some of the questionable history that has been presented to “explain” why the house is so haunted in the first place!

Long perceived as one of the most haunted house in America, the Myrtles attracts an almost endless stream of visitors each year and many of them come in search of ghosts. It is not our purpose here to do anything to discourage these visitors from coming -- or even to discourage them to looking for the ghosts that they can almost certainly find here. The purpose of this article is to question the “facts” as they have been presented by several generations of Myrtles owners and guides -- facts and history that many of them know is blatantly false. We have no wish to try and debunk the ghosts, merely the identities that they have been given over the years. The Myrtles, according to hundreds of people who have encountered the unexplained here, is haunted -- but not for the reasons that we have all been told.

But why go to the trouble to debunk the myths that have been created over the last fifty-some-odd years? Surely, they aren’t hurting anyone, so why bother to expose them as the creation of rich imaginations? To that, we can only say that no dedicated ghost hunter should be afraid to seek the truth. As the history of a house is the most important key to discovering just why it might be haunted in the first place, it seems to be imperative to discover the real history of the site. It has often been recommended to sift through the legends and folklore of the place in a search for a kernel of truth. This is exactly what we did in the article that follows --- we have examined the lore in a search for the truth and have found it. It might not be as glamorous as the legends of the Myrtles Plantation that we have all heard about but it is certainly strange. The real history of the plantation is filled with death, tragedy and despair, leading us to wonder why a fanciful history was created in its place. That question will likely never be answered but many others will.