Thirty Years A Slave

Louis Hughes (1832 - 1913)

Louis Hughes was born a slave near Charlottesville, Virginia to a white father and a black slave woman. Throughout his life he worked mostly as a house servant, but was privy to the intimate details and workings of the entire McGee cotton plantation and empire.

In Thirty Years A Slave Hughes provides vivid descriptions and explicit accounts of how the McGee plantation in Mississippi, and the McGee mansion in Tennessee functioned--accounts of the lives of the many slaves that lived, suffered and sometimes died under the cruel and unusual punishments meted out by Boss and his monstrously unstable and vindictive wife. He described the profane manner in which this peculiar institution dehumanized, on a daily basis, not only the black man but even more so the white man.

Ultimately, Thirty Years A Slave is an expression of Hughes’s desire to accurately describe the nature of the influence that the institution of slavery had on this country during the two hundred years in which it existed here, and the influence it continues to have on the heart and soul of a post-Civil War, post-14th Amendment United States. (Introduction by James K. White)

Genre(s): History, Memoirs

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Preface & Chapter I (part 1) James K. White
Play 02 Chapter I (part 2) James K. White
Play 03 Chapter II (part 1) James K. White
Play 04 Chapter II (part 2) James K. White
Play 05 Chapter III (part 1) James K. White
Play 06 Chapter III (part 2) James K. White
Play 07 Chapter IV (part 1) James K. White
Play 08 Chapter IV (part 2) James K. White
Play 09 Chapter V James K. White