[J. F. Smith]
We raised lots of cotton that was planted, plowed, picked and ginned on the same plantation. The cotton was picked in small baskets and emptied into larger baskets and weighed. The slaves could pick as much cotton in those baskets as they can in sacks now.
We had an old negro named Remus that always led the slaves to work. His job was to ring the bell every morning at four o'clock for all the slaves to get up, the men to feed, while the women got breakfast. We all got up at the same time, the men would go on to work after breakfast and the women that did not have nursing babies were to come as soon as their house was cleaned and dinner cooked. The slave women that had nursing babies were to spin, weave and make the cloth for their clothes and were to make most of their clothes, or if they had plenty of clothes or cloth made, they would go to the field still later than the other women, but my father mostly found plenty of work at the house or close by for them so they could be near their babies. My father always had plenty of food for his slaves as a well fed negro could do plenty of work and one [that?] could do lots of work would always bring a good price when sold. It was also Remus's job to issue rations each Saturday evening, to every family, enough to run them a week, this was done according to the size of the family, and size of children in the family. Father wanted then to have plenty to eat but nothing to waste.
We never worked on Saturday evenings, or Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July, but always done a good days work of New Years Day, and I have followed my father's ruling to the present time, do something on New Years Day and you will be busy all the year. For all this extra work father give Remus shoes from the store and factory made tobacco, a hat for dress wear, and pants and shirts from the store. The others wore clothes made on the plantation, except servants that waited on us and special visitors. Then they wore clothes that came from the store or made from cloth that came from the store, The store was in town