The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made back in the early 1990s:
I know a lot about the field hands and working on the plantation because when I was a boy, one year I was a water boy down on the Peck place to those who hoed the cotton. Back in those days they just had hoes to get the grass out of the cotton. It would be 100 to 120 degrees out there hoeing.
The water boy had one of the toughest jobs of all trying to keep all the workers watered. I had two great big ole five gallon buckets that had been cleaned out. I'd go to the nearest pump and get water then pack it back out in the fields. Sometimes it'd be a quarter of a mile. I'd get there and the first 40 or 50 workers would drink that water and the back ones wouldn't get any.
By the time I went back and got more, the first 40 or 50 workers were thirsty again. Those in the back were complaining that they didn't get any water. There were a couple of places down there where they had pumps and hydrants with electric motors pumping the water. They wouldn't drink hydrant water. I don't know how they could tell but they could tell. They wanted you to hand pump it. That was the toughest job I ever had.
I loved being around the field hands. I loved hearing them talk. I'd go down to the commissary on the Peck place on Saturday to get my little pay. I think I got 50 cents a day for being the water boy. I'd get out there and play with all the colored boys and listen to the old ones talk.
Ferry Plantation-Peck Place
You could take 25 cents and just buy all kinds of things back then. Lord, I'd have me a time! It would take me all of Saturday to spend 50 cents. Drinks were a nickel. A bar of candy was a nickel. A great big stage plank (gingerbread) was a nickel.
Yeah, come Saturday, all that hard work, the hot fields, you forgot about all that. Saturday was a great day. That's when all the workers got paid. Got out and had a little refreshments. Enjoyed the weekend. Not thinking about Monday morning and those hot fields and work.
It was good times along with some rough times.
|William S Peck, II, Estelle Woodward Peck, Charles Caston, Clara Lucille Steele Ogden|