Plantation Life in the Old South
“A visit to the ‘Quarters,’ or homes of the slaves, was one of the most interesting features of the plantation. A regular little village with streets of shaded trees, it contained well-built cabins which are separate from the Mansion some distance. Ample fireplaces were in each house and patches for garden, a hen house and a pig pen belonged to each householder.
A house was set aside in the Quarters as a hospital for the slaves, and here the sick received attention from the mistress herself, though the family doctor was called in when necessary. When the women were in childbirth it was their mistress who daily visited them with broth and other nourishments from her own table. The large number of children under ten years of age on the plantation attested to the care of their health by their owners.
The average servant was allowed three full sets of clothes annually, with plenty of wool and cotton for as many socks as needed.
A wedding in ‘de quarters’ was a great event and the festivities attendant were superintended by “Ole Marster and Ole Missus.” The groom was often attired in the old frock coat of the planter, and the bride was happy in a satin dress from the wardrobe of young ‘Mistus.’
Corn shuckin’ was one of the red-letter days of the plantation when darkies were invited from miles around, and the air resounded with songs of the slaves. Hog-killing was another gala time on the plantation, looked forward to be the darkies as well as the young folks from the ‘Great House.’ Possum hunting was a sport in which both white and colored engaged, and when a fine large animal (well-fatted on persimmons) was caught – it was eaten with great relish.”
(Plantation Life in the Old South, Lucy London Anderson. The Southern Magazine, Vol. II, No. 11, May 1936, excerpt pp. 9-10)