Hi, my name is Patrick Neuvo. I am 21 years old. I live on a plantation with 15 other slaves. Five of them are 10 and under. 3 of them are teens, and the other 8 are adults. The plantation is west of the Mississippi River. The plantation owner is very rich. He has two sons and one daughter. His daughter is the youngest. She is 4 years old. His oldest son is fifteen and his youngest son is 12. I have three cousins on the farm with me. My oldest cousin is 24 and female. My second oldest cousin is 20 and is male. My youngest cousin is 18 years old and is male. Sadly my mother past away last year in the cotton fields. The doctors said she was to over heated and past out. They say she died from exaughstion and that her heart stopped. I have not my dad since I was thirteen years old. His name is Hakeem Neuvo. Last I heard of him he was over at Magnolia Mounds on the other side of the river. I do not know where any of my other family is.
Mr. Dunnigin, my master is very nice to all the other slaves and me. He gives us linen clothes to wear and a small cabin outside. Over the five years I have been here my master has made five rules that every slave must follow. The first law made was we are not allowed out after dark. This is so that we would not try to sneak away, because three years ago my friend Lawrence tried to escape at night and they caught him. The second law they made was that we are not allowed to be in groups of three or more. Reason being that my master does not want us to rebel or communicate with one another while we work at all. The next law that they made was that we could not have any weapon of any sort. This includes knives, guns, swords, and any kind of sharp object. The fourth law that they made was that we are not allowed of the property without a written pass or singed note by our master. Usually the only days we are allowed to leave are on some Sundays and on Christmas. The last law that they made was that we are prohibited to learn to read and write. This is because they do not want us to become smart and be able to communicate with each other. Also they do not think that we should be smart. All the whites think that we are all supposed to be dumb and that blacks do not need an education.
Every day is just about the same as any other day. I wake up at 6:00 A.M and eat our cornmeal mush on trough plates. After eating we brake into our groups and start working. The children however play games such with blocks and dolls. My first chore of the day is to pick cotton. I hate picking cotton it hurts my fingers so badly to be pricked by the end of it. We stay there for an hour or two then head off to our next chore. My second chore of the day would be to pick corn. To pick corn we use woven baskets of wood to place them in. This is probably my easiest chore of them all except for the heat though. At 12:00 P.M we all get to take a half an hour rest. All we do is find a tree and sit down under the shade and rest. This is my most favorite time of the day. This is our only rest of the day. After the rest I slaughter pigs for the master to eat later on in the week. I hate this chore a lot because of all the blood. I can not take it at all. My last chore of the day would be going into the rice field and gather up the rice. This is pretty easy because the sun is low and it gets cooler. Finally at 7:00 P.M we are finished for the day. This is the time where we sing songs, play games, and eat our cornmeal.
One day I hope that the whites would accept us for our color and not just think that because we are black we are different on the inside. We have feelings too. I hope that one day that we can get along and that we stop doing chores for them and we live equal to one another.