Document 3 transcript Valley Head Ala Jan'y 25 1913 H.C. Nixon Esq Merrellton Ala. Dear Sir:--Replying to yours of 22nd Ins't concerning slavery. I have to say: my Father was the largest slave owner in this (DeKalb) County. The owners of slaves here were generally kind and humane to their colored people who were well fed and comforta- bly clothed and lived in comfortable and convient houses. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx They were worked moderately and were well cared for in sickness. Also, they had holidays specially Saturday afternoons, also holidays 4th July, Christmas, & c. The houses were well sup= plied with ^good though inexpensive furni ture. Cooking and eating arrange= ments were cleanly and wholesome (Page 2) with an abundance of good nourishing food. They had lights candles, pine torches ^&later Lamps &c. and good wood fires in cold weather. They had comfortable clothing suitable to the changing seasons. They were not paid reg= ular wages The field hands came to the Kitchen and cabins for their regular meals They generally had Holi= days. Christmas, 4th July, Sun- days, Thanksgiving Days & c. Dome of the women cooked and did work about the house. Others prefered to do light work in the fields and Gardens. They were not generally put onto jobs, that required much skill. However, some of them were ingenuous & skillful. Some of them were (Page 3) Good house carpenters, others good shoe makers, Black Smiths. Basket makers & c. They generally manifested and displayed great interest in the Masters well fare and prosperity. They earned some money by working for themselves on holidays and Saturday afternoons. I don't know of any that bought their own freedom. Occasionally they were hired out by their masters to humane and trustworthy Farmers. I don't know of any in= stance where ^a slave hired his own time from his master & then worked out for wages or by contract. The ciremony of marriage was performed as was the ciri= mony of the whites. Marriage relations were generally well observed. I know no instance of great and lasting grief caused (Page 4) by seperation of husband and wife or of child from parents. They were generally kept together in life. Corn shuckings & Christmas celebrations were times of great rejoicing & merriment and many quaint and beautiful old songs were heared. For music: Banjos, Fiddle= Jews harps and singing were used. They seemed to com= pose many of their own songs some of which were beautiful and pathetic. Quite a number learned to read and write. They were generally taught by the young white people boys & girls. Xxxxxxxx manay could figure, count and correctly compute or estimate the worth of merchandise farm products & c. The mulattos seemed smart= er than the pure negroes. They frequenty held religious (Page 5) services attended with much shouting, singing & exhortations They generally had services in their cabbins and in some places they had churches = xxxxxxx They celebrated Baptism and Communion as much as they could like the whites. Most of them at =tended church. They were generally Baptist Methodist with some Presby terians. In most instances their religion affected their lives There were not many instances of stealing, Fighting, Drinking, cursing, Gambling & C. Passes were not always necessary in this part of the Country. We had no patrol in this part of the Country excepting a very short while just aafter the late Civil War. There were very few run a ways The 20th Army Corps. U S troops (perhaps 25000 strong) (Page 6) commanded by Gen'l Jeff C. Davis of The Federal army camped here on this farm about two weeks just before the battle of Chickamauga in September 1863 Some of our slaves went away or were forced away by the Federals Some of these returned, to us. Some few days later & remained with us till close of the War. Some are still here on my place Our slaves were well treat= ed here, very little floggings & c They were well fed and well clothed & worked only moderately and had regular holidays The sick were well cared for including the mothers and children. Some of our emancipated slaves volun= tarily returned to us. There were very few free negroes in this Section (Page 7) They owned no slaves. No special regulation for them A large part of the Com= munity here were not owners of slaves My statements are based on what I saw and heared here in DeKalb county where I have resided about 68 years Respectfully JW Winston