Maria 1
Maria 2
Lee-Ann 1
Lee-Ann 2
Lee-Ann 3
Indian girl
Daily life 
Daily life 2

Southern chain gang!
Maria La Fontaine.

Click on the pics for full size.

This story begins in 1937. Maria LaFontaine, daughter of wealthy immigrants from France, left home at an early age after been convinced that Communism was the way forwards. After a hard struggle attending evening courses and having different day jobs, she joined the party and became a promising young journalist at a left-wing  newspaper. One day the editor called her to his office and told her about a great new idea he had got. The newspaper was to do a big article about the chain gangs. To get some inside information he was looking for a volunteer who would commit a minor crime and get a short sentence on one of the farms. He thought Maria, being both young and intelligent (and pretty), would be the right person for the job.
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 Well - Here I stand waiting. The sheriff drove me to this place and left me in handcuffs. He told me that I would wait here for the overseer to come home from the fields, and that it probably would not be before evening.

 Itīs both a bit frightening and exciting. They gave me a month on the chain gang for shoplifting at a grocery story. Itīs a lot more than I expected. My boss had told me it would only be for a  week or so. Certainly not a whole month! But I will go through with it! Getting the story about the chain gangs published is far more important than my personal comfort. It was all arranged between my boss and the grocer. He is also a party member. But it was not very pleasant to be arrested by a policeman and have to walk all the way through the streets in handcuffs to the police station, while everybody watched.
tibm02.jpg (153943 byte) One of the overseers was so kind in 
helping me undress.

"Come on baby!  Let me help you with your underwear!  Everything has to go darling, you won't need any of these things here!"
tibm03.jpg (145577 byte) Undressing and being chained was very humiliating. 
I can still feel his hands on my bare skin, but at least I am clothed again now, even if it is only cheap cotton, and it already was dirty when he gave it to me. 
I have only walked a few yards with these chains, and they already chafe my ankles. Wonder how it will be having to work in the fields all day with them? 
It will be interesting to meet the other girls. 
If I can make some of them tell me their stories, 
it will be of great value to the newspaper! 
tibm04.jpg (134120 byte) A good thing is, that there is no racial segregation in the chain gangs.  Blacks, Mulattoes, Asians and Whites are all equal.  We work together, eat together, sleep together, shit together and wear the same dresses and chains.  The outside world could learn a lot from us, if they wanted to. 
tibm05.jpg (126258 byte) How different one's life gets after been put in chains. Two weeks ago people would have said hello and given compliments when passing me, a young beautiful woman in the streets.  Now I am wearing leg irons and a simple dirty stripped cotton dress. People look at me as if I were trash.  In chains a girlīs beauty means nothing.  All that matters is her strength and how fast she can work. 
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Today I got flogged!  It was so degrading. 
That was also the reason for the overseer to do it! 

I forgot for a second about what I had become. 

  I and some other girls were assigned to work at a farm. That's normal.  Farmers lease girls from the chain gangs, to do the heavy and dirty work.  When the farmer and his young wife came out to view us, I smiled and said good morning to them as I always would have done, before my arrest.  This was a big mistake!  Slaves, oh sorry, I mean convicts, are not allowed to talk to anybody without permission.  The same people, who only some weeks ago, would have helped me if I had slipped in the street, now stood and looked at me getting beaten, as if it was the most natural thing. Without any thoughts about intervening or helping me in any way.
tibm07.jpg (114516 byte) Thank God, I only have three days left of my sentence. Today I fainted in the field, overheated by the burning sun and the hard work.  When the overseer finally found me and woke me up, with a slash from his whip, I was so much behind with my work, that I had no chance of catching up with it.

In a few moments he is going to call my name. I know the punishment. Itīs going to be a long night.

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Ahh! - Itīs a strain having to stand like this for the whole night, but itīs the normal punishment, when a girl doesnīt complete her work quota. 
Sometimes they even pick out a girl and put her in the stocks, just as an amusement. 

Wonder what my best friends will say, if they ever find out that I was forced to stand like this, without seeing soap or water for over three weeks, and having to let my piss run down my legs?  I donīt think I will ever tell them that I experienced it myself!

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The next day, without any warning, one of the overseers suddenly kicked me right in the stomach, even though I had done nothing wrong.

"Did you all see what she did? 
The bitch hit me in the face!" 
"Yes - There is no doubt about that! 
We will testify to what she did Tommy! 
Hey! - if she tries to get up, you better kick her again!"
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 "Come on!  Get going slut.  We have a long way to town and I want to be there before lunch!"
This is terrible!  They accuse me of having struck an overseer.  I should have been released today, after having served my one month sentence.  Instead I am being dragged to town running after a horse, to be put before the judge once more.
This time for a crime that can earn me a life sentence.
The other girls had warned me that this could happen. This is not unusual.  The overseers and the farm owners made trumped up charges against strong and healthy convicts serving only short sentences.  Good workers are valuable and they do not want to lose them, if it can be avoided.
I have to contact the newspaper.  They will of course help me out!

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 The next day in the Court's waiting room.
"Iīm sorry, but please understand Maria.  We all appreciate the great effort you have made and are very grateful.  But we are a small newspaper and canīt afford to pay a lawyer to take your case.  Striking an overseer is a serious crime, and it was not the smartest thing for you to do!"
Maria begins to get seriously scared.  Even her own boss doesn't believe she is innocent.  If the judge finds her guilty, it will mean she will have to remain in chains for the rest of her life.  It will mean she will never get married or have children.  She will never have a family and a home for herself.  The rest of her life will only consist of suffering and hard work. 

No! - This must not happen!

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I could now have been lying in a warm bed with clean sheets, and with my head resting on a soft pillow. Instead I sit here with a rumbling stomach, chained to the wall in this cold and damp cellar, which stinks of urine.  I should have been released today, but the judge believed their trumped up story and false charges, so now they can keep me on the farm in chains forever.
How could I be so stupid !  The editor with all his fine words, and my communist comrades always talking about liberating the people.  They had all only looked at me as a  pawn in a game of chess.  Ready to be sacrificed for the cause! 
 I must try to find a way out of this hell.
No matter how small the chances are,
 I have to try to run away!
  I just have to! 
Continues in part 2.