…there weren’t any policeman, but there were [slave] patrollers instead.
Their duty [of the slave patrollers] was the same as that of the policemen today.
If the slaves had a corn-shucking party or a prayer meeting, and if they made too much noise, the patrollers would arrest them.”
-Testimony of Jane Pyatt
[“[Jane Pyatt was] Age 89 when interviewed by Thelma Dunston in Portsmouth (Virginia)… Mrs. Pyatt was born in Middlesex County. At only three months of age, she was sold with her mother to a Norfolk slaveholder who shortly moved to Portsmouth.”]
All quotations from We Lived in a Little Cabin in the Yard, ed. Belinda Hurmence, part of the Slave Narratives of Virginia (WPA, Federal Writers Project).
copyright Belinda Hurmence, LOC/WPA and Federal Writers Project, and Off the Porch History 2020