Delphie: Free woman "of color," provides food and clothing to runaways on the underground railroad.
“The old woman chattered while she fitted Blanche out with a new change of clothes. She tied a bow-tie around his neck and patted his chest. 'My mistress give me that name, Delphie. She taught me to card and spin cotton. Old Master, now he’d whip us good if he got mad. I got to choose the man I wanted to marry, though. Had to talk to my master about it first. He and the neighbor, man named Kinkaid, he owned my man, Sam. Master had to get together with Kinkaid and talk it over. Master picked up that Bible there and told Sam, he said 'Now Sam, by God, if you ain’t treating her right, by God, I’ll take you up and whip you!' Then we jump over the broomstick and we was married. Yessir. My man Sam Kinkaid, he worked on the railroad for his master. Worked hard. I chopped cotton in the morning then come back and nurse the children then go back to the field ’til dinner. Sam left me a widow ten years now. Master left my mistress a widow, too. She treated us almost good as white folks. Give us coffee on Sunday morning. I can’t say a hard word about her.' Blanche picked up Aunt Delphie’s precious book. It wasn’t a Bible at all. It was an almanac. 'If my master seen me looking at that Bible, he would come up and say, ‘What you know about reading a paper? Throw that down.’ But I kept it when my mistress died. She didn’t have no children. Willed me free.”
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