Young Readers League 2019 “Hidden History” Writing Contest

2nd place

(Category 2: ages 12-14)


“to be free”

by Chloe Daily

Age 12


Summary:  A slave wishes to be free.


my name is araminta ross. i’m the master’s slave. my mama is harriet ross. my papa benjamen ross. my sisters are mariah, linah, soph, and rachel. my brothers are robert, henry, moses, and ben. i am one of the 11 children of mama and papa. we were all born in to slavery. the master likes to hire me out a lot to watch miss tilly’s baby ann. i have to stay up all night watching her. and if i fall asleep, i get whipped! i have to make sure that the baby does not cry. Or wake her mama.


last week, james went to the store without permission. when he got back the overseer wanted me to help him whip james. i said no. james tried to run away. the overseer threw a iron weight at him. but it missed and it hit me. i was asleep for days. mama said that the iron weight almost crushed my skull. i now have a big scar on my head. i keep having seizures. the doctor says i will have them for the rest of my life.


i wish i could be free. that is my only wish. to not have to watch ann. to be able to sleep at night. to not sleep in the slave houses. to not have get whipped. to not have seizures. to not have that huge scar on my head. to be able to not have to worry about my family getting sold to a different master. to not have a master. to not be in the lower class. to live with my own family on our own farm. to be one with the white folks.


to be free.


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