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Up From Slavery
Booker T. Washington

Page 1 of 364


Chapter I.  A Slave Among Slaves 

I was born a slave on a plantation in Franklin County, Virginia.
I am not quite sure of the exact place or exact date of my birth,
but at any rate I suspect I must have been born somewhere and at
some time.  As nearly as I have been able to learn, I was born
near a cross-roads post-office called Hale's Ford, and the year
was 1858 or 1859.  I do not know the month or the day.  The
earliest impressions I can now recall are of the plantation and
the slave quarters--the latter being the part of the plantation
where the slaves had their cabins. 

My life had its beginning in the midst of the most miserable,
desolate, and discouraging surroundings.  This was so, however,
not because my owners were especially cruel, for they were not,
as compared with many others.  I was born in a typical log cabin,
about fourteen by sixteen feet square.  In this cabin I lived with

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