“Mawster McCullough den sold of us to Mawster Foley. He had a cotton plantation near Hallettsville, Lavaca County. He was putty good to us. But I believe that we was owned by him, when slavery had ended. He jes’ didn’t tell us about it. A bunch ob Yankee soldiers come around and told us slaves the news.”
With that, Fannie McCullough began her life as a free woman of color. Fannie, whose story is recorded in the 1937 “Slavery Narratives,” part of the New Deal National Writers Project, left the sprawling Foley plantation along Mixon Creek in Lavaca County and headed out into the world, eventually marrying Saul Driver, a bronco buster. They bore eight children and settled in East Austin.
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The author would like to acknowledge James K. (Ken) Baker, retired from the National Park Service, and the Foley descendants for their assistance with this article.
Carol L. Adams-Means is an associate professor of communication at Huston-Tillotson University, and an actress.