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Title: Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States - From Interviews with Former Slaves - South Carolina Narratives, Part 2
Author: Work Projects Administration
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States - From Interviews with Former Slaves - South Carolina Narratives, Part 2" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

produced from images generously made available by the
Library of Congress, Manuscript Division)


  A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with
  Former Slaves


   Illustrated with Photographs



  Administration for the State of South Carolina

|Transcriber's Note: To reflect the individual character of this  |
|document, inconsistencies in punctuation and formatting have been|
|retained.                                                        |
|                                                                 |
|[TN:] denotes a transcriber's note.                              |
|                                                                 |
|[HW:] denotes a handwritten note.                                |                                                                  |

       *       *       *       *       *


  Eddington, Harriet                                                   1
  Edwards, Mary                                                        2
  Elliott, Rev. John B.                                                3
  Elmore, Emanuel                                                     10
  Emmanuel, Ryer                                              11, 17, 22
  Eubanks, Pen                                                        27
  Evans, Lewis                                                        30
  Evans, Phillip                                                      34

  Fair, Eugenia                                                       38
  Farrow, Caroline                                                39, 42
  Feaster, Gus                                                43, 48, 54
  Ferguson, Ann                                                       72
  Ford, Aaron                                                         74
  Foster, Charlotte                                                   80
  Franklin, John                                                      84
  Fraser, Emma                                                        87
  Frost, Adele                                                        88

  Gadsden, Amos                                                       91
  Gallman, Janie                                                      97
  Gallman, Lucy                                                      100
  Gallman, Simon                                                103, 104
  Gary, Laurence                                                     106
  Gause, Louisa                                                      107
  Gibson, Gracie                                                     113
  Giles, Charlie                                                     115
  Gillison, Willis                                                   117
  Gilmore, Brawley                                                   120
  Gladdeny, Pick                                                     124
  Gladney, Henry                                                     129
  Glasgow, Emoline                                                   134
  Glenn, Silas                                                       136
  Glover, John                                                       138
  Godbold, Hector                                                    143
  Goddard, Daniel                                                    149
  Godfrey, Ellen                                      153, 159, 161, 164
  Goodwater, Thomas                                                  166
  Grant, Charlie                                                     171
  Grant, Rebecca Jane                                           177, 183
  Graves, John (Uncle Brack)                                         187
  Greely, Sim                                                        190
  Green, Elijah                                                      195
  Green, W. M.                                                       200
  Grey, Adeline                                                      203
  Griffin, Fannie                                                    209
  Griffin, Madison                                                   212
  Grigsby, Peggy                                                     215
  Guntharpe, Violet                                                  216

  Hamilton, John                                                     221
  Hamlin, (Hamilton) Susan                                 223, 226, 233
  Harp, Anson                                                        237
  Harper, Thomas                                                     240
  Harris, Abe                                                        242
  Harrison, Eli                                                      244
  Harvey, Charlie Jeff                                               247
  Hasty, Eliza                                                       252
  Haynes, Dolly                                                      258
  Henderson, Liney                                                   261
  Henry, Jim                                                         266
  Herndon, Zack                                                      271
  Heyward, Lavinia                                                   276
  Heyward, Lucretia                                                  279
  Heywood, Mariah                                                    282
  Hill, Jerry                                                        289
  Hollins, Jane                                                      291
  Holmes, Cornelius                                                  294
  Horry, Ben                                          298, 308, 316, 323
  Hughes, Margaret                                                   327
  Hunter, Hester                                           331, 335, 341

  ILLUSTRATIONS             =Facing page=

  Ben Horry 298

       *       *       *       *       *

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg Dist. 4
  May 25, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I was born in the town of Newberry, and was a servant of Major John P.
Kinard. I married Sam Eddington. I was a Baker, daughter of Mike and
Patience Baker. My mother was a free woman. She had her freedom before
the war started; so I was not a slave. I worked on the farm with my
mother when she moved back from town. Mama worked in town at hotels;
then went back to the country and died. In war time and slavery time, we
didn't go to school, 'cause there was no schools for the negroes. After
the war was over and everything was settled, negro schools was started.
We had a church after the war. I used to go to the white folks' Lutheran
church and set in the gallery. On Saturday afternoons we was off, and
could do anything we wanted to do, but some of the negroes had to work
on Saturdays. In the country, my mother would card, spin, and weave, and
I learned it. I could do lots of it."

  =Source:= Harriet Eddington (86), Newberry, S.C.
  Interviewer: G.L. Summer, Newberry, S.C. May 20, 1937.

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg Dist. 4
  June 16, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I was born in the section of Greenwood County called 'the promised
land'. My parents were Henry and Julis Watkins. I married Frank Edwards
when I was young. Our master, Marshall Jordon, was not so mean. He had
lots o' slaves and he give 'em good quarters and plenty to eat. He had
big gardens, lots of hogs and cattle and a big farm. My master had two

"Sometimes dey hunted rabbits, squirrels, possums and doves.

"De master had two overseers, but we never worked at night. We made our
own clothes which we done sometimes late in evening.

"We had no school, and didn't learn to read and write, not 'till freedom
come when a school started there by a Yankee named Backinstore. Later,
our church and Sunday school was in de yard.

"We had cotton pickings, cornshuckings and big suppers. We didn't have
to work on Christmas.

"One of de old-time cures was boiling fever-grass and drinking de tea.
Pokeberry salad was cooked, too. A cure for rheumatism was to carry a
raw potato in the pocket until it dried up.

"I had 11 children and 8 grandchildren.

"I think Abe Lincoln was a great man. Don't know much about Jeff Davis.
Booker Washington is all right.

"I joined church in Flordia, the Methodist church. I was 50 years old. I
joined because they had meetings and my daughter had already joined. I
think all ought to join de church."

  =Source:= Mary Edwards (79), Greenwood, S.C.
  Interviewed by: G.L. Summer, Newberry, S.C. (6/10/37)

  Project #1655
  Stiles M. Scruggs
  Columbia, S.C.


The Rev. John B. Elliott, A.B.A. A.M., D.D., 1315 Liberty Hill Avenue,
Columbia, S.C., is the son of slaves. He was born at Mount Olive, N.C.,
in 1869, and missed being a slave by only four years. His college
degrees were won at Shaw University, Raleigh, N.C., and the degree of
Doctor of Divinity was conferred on him by Allen University of Columbia,

Sitting on the parsonage piazza recently, the Rector of St. Anna's
Episcopal Church talked about his struggle for education, and his labors
up from slavery.

"I was born at Mount Olive, N.C., the son of Soloman Elliott and Alice
(Roberts) Elliott. They were slaves when they married, and I escaped
bondage by only four years, since slaves were not freed in the South,
until 1865.

"My father was owned by Robert W. Williams, of Mount Olive, and he was
the most highly prized Negro in the vicinity. He was a natural carpenter
and builder. Often he would go to the woods and pick out trees for the
job in hand. Some of the houses he built there are standing today.
Mother was equally trained and well equipped to make a home and keep it
neat and clean. When they were free in 1865, half the community was
eager to employ them and pay them well for their services. And, when I
came along, they were living in their own house and prospering.

"I chose a religious career when quite a boy, and, when I was ready for
college, I was much pleased. I finished at Shaw University at Raleigh,
took a year's study at Columbia University in New York and then finished
a religious course at the Bishop Payne Divinity School at Petersburg,
Virginia, where most of the colored clergymen of the Episcopal Church
are finished. After I felt that I was fairly well fitted to begin my
clerical work, I chose South Carolina as my field.

"My first assignment was at Waccamaw Neck, a little below Georgetown,
S.C., and a big industrial center. There the Negro population is keen
for wine and whiskey. One of the men whom I was interested in, was
pretty tipsy when I called, and, as I sat and talked with him, he said:
'You're drunk, too.' This surprised me, and I asked him why he thought
so. 'Well, you got your vest and collar on backwards, so you must be

"Since, I have had pastorates at Aiken, Peak, Rock Hill, and Walterboro.
From Walterboro I came to Columbia as pastor of St. Anna's Episcopal
Church and the missions of Ann's at New Brookland and St. Thomas at
Eastover. I presume I have done pretty well in this field, since the Rt.
Rev. Bishop Kirkman G. Finlay, D.D., appointed me arch-deacon for Negro
work in upper South Carolina.

"As I was coming away from the Bishop's office, I was accompanied by
another colored rector, who had very short legs. I am six feet, four
inches in height, and he looked up at me as we walked along and asked
quizzically: 'How long should a man's legs be?' I smiled and told him I
thought, perhaps, every man should have legs long enough to reach to the
ground. Yes, of course, we laughed at each other, but my argument won,
because Bishop Finlay is about six feet, three inches, and I told my
short friend: 'When Bishop Finlay and I talk, we are able to look each
other in the eye on the level.'

"I married Susan McMahan, a colored school teacher, and the Lord has
blessed us with a son, John B. Jr., a fine wood-worker, like his
grandfather was, and two sweet daughters. Alice, the older one, is a
teacher in the public schools of Columbia and Annie is a student. Our
home life has always been pleasant and unusually sunny.

"I had one very humorous experience three years ago when I was invited
to deliver an address near Mount Olive, N.C., to a convention of young
people. Arriving about 10 o'clock that day, I was met by a citizen who
told me he was assigned to introduce me that evening. As we rode along,
I cautioned him not to boost me too highly. He said little.

"When the big, and, I may say, expectant audience was seated that night,
he arose and seemed much embarrassed, ultimately saying: 'Ladies and
gentlemen, I have an unpleasant duty to perform this evening.' Then,
pointing at me, he went on: 'I don't know this man, much. Fact is, I
only know two things about him. One is, he has never been in jail; and
the other is, I never could figure why.'

"No, I am not related to the late Robert Bruce Elliott by ties of
consanguinity. He was successively twice a member of Congress from South
Carolina, and a member and Speaker of the South Carolina House of
Representatives in 1876. Perhaps these honors came to him because he had
a good education before he met the opportunity for service.

"When I think of the '60's-'70's period, I am surprised that recent
slaves, suddenly placed in administrative positions of honor and trust,
did as well as they did.

"In the seventy-two years since slavery, I have noted much improvement
along the road, and I am sure that our nation has far less discord now,
than it had when I was a small lad. And, when one can note progress in
our march toward the light, I guess that ought to be sufficient for my

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg, Dist. 4
  Dec. 23, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage



"I was born on June 20th and I remember when the war broke out, for I
was about five years old. We lived in Spartanburg County not far from
old Cherokee ford. My father was Emanuel Elmore, and he lived to be
about 90 years old.

"My marster was called by everybody, Col. Elmore, and that is all that I
can remember about his name. When he went to the war I wanted to go with
him, but I was too little. He joined the Spartanburg Sharp Shooters.
They had a drill ground near the Falls. My pa took me to see them drill,
and they were calling him Col. Elmore then. When I got home I tried to
do like him and everybody laughed at me. That is about all that I
remember about the war. In those days, children did not know things like
thay do now, and grown folks did not know as much either.

"I used to go and watch my father work. He was a moulder in the Cherokee
Iron Works, way back there when everything was done by hand. He moulded
everything from knives and forks to skillets and wash pots. If you could
have seen pa's hammer, you would have seen something worth looking at.
It was so big that it jarred the whole earth when it struck a lick. Of
course it was a forge hammer, driven by water power. They called the
hammer 'Big Henry'. The butt end was as big as an ordinary telephone

"The water wheel had fifteen or twenty spokes in it, but when it was
running it looked like it was solid. I used to like to sit and watch
that old wheel. The water ran over it and the more water came over, the
more power the wheel gave out.

"At the Iron Works they made everything by hand that was used in a
hardware store, like nails, horse shoes and rims for all kinds of
wheels, like wagon and buggy wheels. There were moulds for everything no
matter how large or small the thing to be made was. Pa could almost pick
up the right mould in the dark, he was so used to doing it. The patterns
for the pots and kettles of different sizes were all in rows, each row
being a different size. In my mind I can still see them.

"Hot molten iron from the vats was dipped with spoons which were handled
by two men. Both spoons had long handles, with a man at each handle. The
spoons would hold from four to five gallons of hot iron that poured just
like water does. As quick as the men poured the hot iron in the mould,
another man came along behind them and closed the mould. The large
moulds had doors and the small moulds had lids. They had small pans and
small spoons for little things, like nails, knives and forks, When the
mould had set until cold, the piece was prized out.

"Pa had a turn for making covered skillets and fire dogs. He made them
so pretty that white ladies would come and give an order for a 'pair of
dogs', and tell him how they wanted them to look. He would take his
hammer and beat them to look just that way.

"Rollers pressed out the hot iron for machines and for special lengths
and things that had to be flat. Railroad ties were pressed out in these
rollers. Once the man that handled the hot iron to be pressed through
these rollers got fastened in them himself. He was a big man. The blood
flew out of him as his bones were crushed, and he was rolled into a mass
about the thickness and width of my hand. Each roller weighed about
2,000 pounds.

"The man who got killed was named Alex Golightly. He taught the boys my
age how to swim, fish and hunt. His death was the worst thing that had
happened in the community. The man who worked at the foundry, made Alex
a coffin. It had to be made long and thin because he was mashed up so
bad. In those days coffins were nothing but boxes anyway, but Alex's
coffin was the most terrible thing that I have ever seen. I reckon if
they had had pretty coffins then like they do now, folks would have
bought them to sleep in.

"Hundreds went to Alex's funeral, white and black, to see that long
narrow coffin and the grave which was dug to fit it. On the way to the
graveyard, negroes sang songs, for Alex was a good man. They carried him
to the Cherokee graveyard on the old Smith Ford Road, and there they
buried him. My father helped to build the coffin and he helped haul him
to the graveyard. Pa worked at the Iron Foundry until he was very old.
He worked there before I was ever born.

"My father was sold four times during slavery. When he was brought to
Virginia he was put on the block and auctioned off for $4,000. He said
that the last time he was sold he only brought $1,500. He was born in
Alabama. When he was bought he was carried from Alabama to Virginia. It
was Col. Elmore who took him. He wanted to go to Alabama again, so Col.
Elmore let a speculator take him back and sell him. He stayed there for
several years and got homesick for South Carolina. He couldn't get his
marster to sell him back here, so he just refugeed back to Col. Elmore's
plantation. Col. Elmore took him back and wouldn't let anybody have him.

"Pa married twice, about the same time. He married Dorcas Cooper, who
belonged to the Coopers at Staunton Military Academy. I was the first
child born in Camden. She had sixteen children. I was brought to
Spartanburg County when I was little. Both ma and pa were sold together
in Alabama. The first time pa came to South Carolina he married a girl
called Jenny. She never had any children. When he went to Alabama,
Dorcas went with him, but Jenny stayed with Col. Elmore. Of course, pa
just jumped the broom for both of them.

"When pa left Alabama to refugee back, he had to leave Dorcas. They did
not love their marster anyway. He put Dorcas up on the block with a red
handkerchief around her head and gave her a red apple to eat. She was
sold to a man whose name I have forgotten. When they herded them she got
away and was months making her way back to South Carolina. Those
Africans sure were strong. She said that she stayed in the woods at
night. Negroes along the way would give her bread and she would kill
rabbits and squirrels and cook and eat in the woods. She would get drunk
and beat any one that tried to stop her from coming back. When she did
get back to Col. Elmore's place, she was lanky, ragged and poor, but
Col. Elmore was glad to see her and told her he was not going to let
anybody take her off. Jenny had cared so well for her children while she
was off, that she liked her. They lived in the same house with pa till
my mother died.

"Col. Elmore said that negroes who were from Virginia and had African
blood could stand anything. He was kind to ma. He fed her extra and she
soon got fat again. She worked hard for Col. Elmore, and she and pa sure
did love him. One time a lot of the negroes in the quarter got drunk and
ma got to fighting all of them. When she got sobered up she was afraid
that Col Elmore was going to send her back to Alabama; so she went and
hid in the woods. Pa took food to her. In about a month Col. Elmore
asked where she was, and pa just looked sheepish and grinned. Col.
Elmore told pa to go and bring her back, for he said he was tired of
having his rations carried to the woods; so ma came home. She had stayed
off three months. She never felt well anymore, and she died in about
three more months. Pa and Jenny kept us till we got big and went off to

"Jenny was born and raised in South Carolina, and she was good to
everybody and never fought and went on like ma did. Ma liked her and
would not let anybody say anything against her. She was good to pa till
he died, a real old man. Jenny never had any children. She was not old
when she died, but just a settled woman. We felt worse over her death
than we did over ma's, because she was so good to us and had cared for
us while ma and pa were in Alabama; then she was good to us after Dorcas
died and when she hid in the woods.

"It seems that folks are too tender now. They can't stand much. My ma
could stand more than I can. My children can't stand what I can right

  =Source:= Emanuel Elmore (77). Sycamore St., Gaffney, S.C.
          Interviewer: Caldwell Sims, Union, S.C. 11/16/37

  Code No.
  Project, 1885-(1)
  Prepared by Annie Ruth Davis
  Place, Marion, S.C.
  Date, December 16, 1937


"Oh, my Lord, child, I ain' know nothin bout slavery time no more den we
was just little kids livin dere on de white people plantation. I was
just a little yearlin child den, I say. Been bout six years old in
slavery time. Well, I'll say dat I bout 80 some odds, but I can' never
seem to get dem odds together. I was a big little girl stayin in old
Massa yard in dem days, but I wasn' big enough to do nothin in de house
no time. My old Massa been Anthony Ross en he had set my age down in de
Bible, but my old Missus, she dead en I know dem chillun wouldn' never
know whe' to say dat Bible at dese days. Old Miss, she been name Matt
Ross. I wish somebody could call up how long de slaves been freed cause
den dey could call up my age fast as I could bat my eyes. Say, when de
emancipation was, I been six years old, so my mammy tell me. Don' know
what to say dat is, but I reckon it been since freedom."

"I been born en bred right over yonder to dat big patch of oak trees
bout dat house what you see after you pass de white people church cross
de creek dere. De old man Anthony Ross, he been have a good mind to his
colored people all de time. Yes, mam, my white folks was proud of dey
niggers. Um, yes'um, when dey used to have company to de big house, Miss
Ross would bring dem to de door to show dem us chillun. En my blessed,
de yard would be black wid us chillun all string up dere next de door
step lookin up in dey eyes. Old Missus would say, 'Ain' I got a pretty
crop of little niggers comin on?' De lady, she look so please like. Den
Miss Ross say, 'Do my little niggers want some bread to gnaw on?' En us
chillun say, 'Yes'um, yes'um, we do.' Den she would go in de pantry en
see could she find some cook bread to hand us. She had a heap of fine
little niggers, too, cause de yard would be black wid all different
sizes. Won' none of dem big enough to do nothin. No, mam, dey had to be
over 16 year old fore old Massa would allow dem to work cause he never
want to see his niggers noways stunt up while dey was havin de growin
pains. Den when dey was first grow up, dey would give some of dem a
house job en would send de others in de field to mind de cows en de
sheep en bring dem up. Wouldn' make dem do no heavy work right to start
wid. But dem what was older, dey had to work in de field. I reckon dey
would be workin just bout like dey is now from sunrise in de mornin till
sunset in de evenin."

"Yes, honey, I been come here under a blessin cause my white folks never
didn' let dey colored people suffer no time. Always when a woman would
get in de house, old Massa would let her leave off work en stay dere to
de house a month till she get mended in de body way. Den she would have
to carry de child to de big house en get back in de field to work. Oh,
dey had a old woman in de yard to de house to stay dere en mind all de
plantation chillun till night come, while dey parents was workin. Dey
would let de chillun go home wid dey mammy to spend de night en den she
would have to march dem right back to de yard de next mornin. We didn'
do nothin, but play bout de yard dere en eat what de woman feed us.
Yes'um, dey would carry us dere when de women would be gwine to work. Be
dere fore sunrise. Would give us three meals a day cause de old woman
always give us supper fore us mammy come out de field dat evenin. Dem
bigger ones, dey would give dem clabber en boil peas en collards
sometimes. Would give de little babies boil pea soup en gruel en suck
bottle. Yes, mam, de old woman had to mind all de yearlin chillun en de
babies, too. Dat all her business was. I recollects her name, it been
Lettie. Would string us little wooden bowls on de floor in a long row en
us would get down dere en drink just like us was pigs. Oh, she would
give us a iron spoon to taste wid, but us wouldn' never want it. Oh, my
Lord, I remember just as good, when we would see dem bowls of hot
ration, dis one en dat one would holler, 'dat mine, dat mine.' Us would
just squat dere en blow en blow cause we wouldn' have no mind to drink
it while it was hot. Den we would want it to last a long time, too. My
happy, I can see myself settin dere now coolin dem vitals (victuals)."

"Like I speak to you, my white folks was blessed wid a heap of black
chillun, but den dere been a odd one in de crowd what wasn' noways like
dem others. All de other chillun was black skin wid dis here kinky hair
en she was yellow skin wid right straight hair. My Lord, old Missus been
mighty proud of her black chillun, but she sho been touches bout dat
yellow one. I remember, all us chillun was playin round bout de step one
day whe' Miss Ross was settin en she ax dat yellow child, say, 'Who your
papa?' De child never know no better en she tell her right out exactly
de one her mammy had tell her was her papa. Lord, Miss Ross, she say,
'Well, get off my step. Get off en stay off dere cause you don' noways
belong to me.' De poor child, she cry en she cry so hard till her mammy
never know what to do. She take en grease her en black her all over wid
smut, but she couldn' never trouble dat straight hair off her noway. Dat
how-come dere so much different classes today, I say. Yes, mam, dat whe'
dat old stain come from."

"My mammy, she was de housewoman to de big house en she say dat she
would always try to mind her business en she never didn' get no whippin
much. Yes, mam, dey was mighty good to my mother, but dem other what
never do right, dey would carry dem to de cow pen en make dem strip off
dey frock bodies clean to de waist. Den dey would tie dem down to a log
en paddle dem wid a board. When dey would whip de men, de boards would
often times have nails in dem. Hear talk dey would wash dem wid dey
blood. Dat first hide dey had, white folks would whip it off dem en den
turn round en grease dem wid tallow en make dem work right on. Always
would inflict de punishment at sunrise in de mornin fore dey would go to
work. Den de women, dey would force dem to drop dey body frock cross de
shoulders so dey could get to de naked skin en would have a strap to
whip dem wid. Wouldn' never use no board on de women. Oh, dey would have
de lot scatter bout full of dem what was to get whip on a mornin."

"You see, de colored people couldn' never go nowhe' off de place widout
dey would get a walkin ticket from dey Massa. Yes, mam, white folks
would have dese pataroller walkin round all bout de country to catch dem
colored people dat never had no walkin paper to show dem. En if dey
would catch any of dem widout dat paper, dey back would sho catch
scissors de next mornin."

"Well, I don' know as de white folks would be meanin to kill any of dey
niggers, but I hear talk dey would whip dem till dey would die some of
de time en would bury dem in de night. Couldn' bury dem in de day cause
dey wouldn' have time. When dey would be gwine to bury dem, I used to
see de lights many a time en hear de people gwine along singin out
yonder in dem woods just like dey was buryin buzzards. Us would set down
en watch dem gwine along many a night wid dese great big torches of
fire. Oh, dey would have fat lightwood torches. Dese here big hand
splinters. Had to carry dem along to see how to walk en drive de wagon
to haul de body. Yes, child, I been here long enough to see all dat in
slavery time. All bout in dese woods, you can find plenty of dem slavery
graves dis day en time. I can tell bout whe' dere one now. Yes, mam,
dere one right over yonder to de brow of de hill gwine next to Mr.
Claussens. Can tell dem by de head boards dere. Den some of de time, dey
would just drop dem anywhe' in a hole along side de woods somewhe' cause
de people dig up a skull right out dere in de woods one day en it had
slavery mark on it, dey say. Right over dere cross de creek in dem big
cedars, dere another slavery graveyard. People gwine by dere could often
hear talk en couldn' never see nothin, so dey tell me. Hear, um--um--um,
en would hear babies cryin all bout dere, too. No'um, can' hear dem much
now cause dey bout to be wearin out. I tell you, I is scared every time
I go along dere. Some of dem die wicked, I say."

  =Source:= Ryer Emmanuel, colored, age 78, Claussens, S.C.
          Personal interview by Annie Ruth Davis, Dec., 1937.

  Project 1885-(1)
  Prepared by Annie Ruth Davis
  Place, Marion, S.C.
  Date, December 26, 1937


"Well, how you feelin dis mornin, honey? I had tell Miss Sue dat I would
be keepin a eye out dat door dere en when I is see a car stop up to de
house, I would try en make it up dere dis mornin. Yes, mam, Miss Sue
tell me you was comin today en I promise her I would be up dere, but I
ain' been feelin so much to speak bout dis mornin. Den you see, I know I
gwine be obliged to run down to de woods en fetch me up some wood en
kindlin fore night fall. I been 'spect to make Koota break me up some
splinters, but he ain' no count worth nothin. Yes, mam, he my grandson.
Cose I tries to knock bout somewhe' en let me get out in de cotton
patch, I can put in a good sturdy job any day. You see, my eyes does be
pretty good cause dey got on dey second glove, I say. Can see good to my
age. But oh, my Lord, right in my chest here, it does thump sometimes
just like a drum beatin in dere en I can' never stand to hurry en walk
hard no more dese days."

"No, mam, it don' bother me noways to leave dat door open. I keeps it
dat way bout all de time, so as I can look out en see what gwine along
de road dere. What de matter, honey, you don' loves to smell dem chitlin
I got boilin dere on de stove? I hear some people say dey can' stand no
chitlin scent nowhe' bout dem, but I loves dem so much dat it does make
my mouth run water to think bout how me en Koota gwine enjoy dem dis
evenin. No, mam, us don' never eat us heavy meal till dat sun start
gwine down behind dem trees cross de creek yonder. You see, I does keep
some 'tatoes roastin dere in de coals on de hearth en if us belly sets
up a growlin twixt meals, us just rakes a 'tatoe out de ashes en breaks
it open en makes out on dat. My God, child, I think bout how I been
bless dat I ain' never been noways scornful bout eatin chitlins. Yes,
mam, when I helps up dere to de house wid hog killin, Mr. Moses, he does
always say for me to carry de chitlin home to make me en Koota a nice
pot of stew."

"I tellin you, when us been chillun comin up, people sho never live like
dey do dis day en time. Oh, I can remember just as good when I used to
go dat Hopewell Presbyterian Church cross de creek dere. Yes, mam, dat
been de white people slavery church en dat dey slavery graveyard what
settin right dere in front de church, too. Dat sho a old, old slavery
time church, I say. Massa Anthony Ross would make us go dere to preachin
every Sunday en dey was mighty strict bout us gwine to prayer service,
too. Us would go up dem steps in dat little room, what been open out on
de front piazza to de church, en set up in de gallery overhead en de
white folks let down dere below us. Yes, mam, dat whe' de colored people
went to church in dem days en some of dem go dere till dey die cause dat
whe' dey been join de church. Some of dem does go dere often times dese
days, too, when de white people axes dem to sing to dey church. I
remember, when I been baptize dere, I was just a little small child. Oh,
de white preacher baptized all us little niggers dere. Old Massa, he
tell all his hands to carry dey chillun up dere en get dem baptized. Oh,
my happy, dey been fix us up dat day. Put on us clean homespuns en long
drawers, dat been hang down round us ankles like boots, en all us get a
new bonnet dat day. I recollects, dey would march us right up to de
front of de church en de preacher would come down to whe' we was standin
wid a basin of water in one hand en a towel in de other hand. He would
take one of us chillun en lay he wet hand on dey head en say, 'I baptize
dee in de name of, etc.' Den dat one would have to get back en another
one would step up for dey turn. De preacher, he would have a big towel
to wipe his hands wid en every child's mammy would be standin right
behind hind dem wid a rag to wipe de (drain) dren water out dey eyes."

"Oh, my Lord, when de Yankees come through dere, I hear dem say it was
de Republicans. Mr. Ross had done say dat he hear talk dat dey was comin
through en he tell his niggers to hurry en hide all de plantation
rations. Yes, mam, dey dig cellars under de colored people houses en
bury what meat en barrels of flour dey could en dat what dey couldn' get
under dere, dey hide it up in de loft. Mr. Ross say, 'Won' none of dem
damn Yankees get no chance to stick dey rotten tooth in my rations.' We
say, 'Ma, you got all dese rations here en we hungry.' She say, 'No, dem
ration belong to boss en you chillun better never bother dem neither.'
Den when Mr. Ross had see to it dat dey had fix everything safe, he take
to de swamp. Dat what my mammy say cause he know dey wasn' gwine bother
de womens. Lord, when dem Yankees ride up to de big house, Miss Ross
been scared to open her mouth cause de man was in de swamp. No, child,
dey didn' bother nothin much, but some of de rations dey get hold of.
Often times, dey would come through en kill chickens en butcher a cow up
en cook it right dere. Would eat all dey wanted en den when dey would go
to leave, dey been call all de little plantation niggers to come dere en
would give dem what was left. Oh, Lord, us was glad to get dem vitals,
too. Yes, mam, all dey had left, dey would give it to de poor colored
people. Us been so glad, us say dat us wish dey would come back again.
Den after dey had left us plantation, dey would go some other place
where dere was another crowd of little niggers en would left dem a pile
of stuff, too. Old Massa, he been stay in de swamp till he hear dem
Yankees been leave dere en den he come home en would keep sendin to de
colored people houses to get a little bit of his rations to a time.
Uncle Solomon en Sipp en Leve, dey been eat much of boss' rations dey
wanted cause dey been know de Yankees was comin back through to free
dem. But my mammy, she was a widow woman en old man Anthony Ross never
left nothin to her house."

"I tell you, honey, some of de colored people sho been speak praise to
dem Yankees. I don' know how-come, but dey never know no better, I say.
Dey know en dey never know. One old man been ridin one of dese stick
horses en he been so glad, he say, 'Thank God! Thank God!"

  =Source:= Ryer Emmanuel colored, age 78, Claussens, S.C.
                 Personal interview by Annie Ruth Davis, Marion, S.C.
                 December, 1937.

  Code No.
  Project, 1885-(1)
  Prepared by Annie Ruth Davis
  Place, Marion, S.C.
  Date, January 7, 1938


"Good evenin, child. How you is? How Miss Sue gettin along over dere to
Marion? I hope she satisfied, but dere ain' nowhe' can come up to restin
in your own home, I say. No, Lord, people own home don' never stop to
cuss dem no time. Dere Koota's mamma all de time does say, 'Ma, ain' no
need in you en Booker stayin over dere by yourself. Come en live wid
us.' I say, 'No, child. Father may have, sister may have, brother may
have, en chillun may have, but blessed be he dat have he own.' I tell
all my chillun I rather stay here under my own roof cause when I takes a
notion, I can go in en bake me a little hoecake en draw me a pot of
coffee en set down to eat it in satisfaction."

"After you was gone de other day, I thought bout right smart to speak to
you, but when I gets tired, I just get all fray up somehow. My sister,
she come to see me Sunday en I had dem all laughin bout what I say dat I
had tell you. My sister, she make out like she don' know nothin bout dem
olden times. Her husband, he done gone en die en she out lookin round
for another one. Reckon dat what ails her. I tell her, I ain' see none
nowhe' dat I would be pleased to take in. But I don' care what she say,
us sho been here in slavery time cause my mother didn' have but one free
born child en dat one come here a corpse."

"I remember, Ma used to tell we chillun bout how dey couldn' never do
nothin in slavery time, but what de white folks say dey could do. I say,
'If I been big enough in dem days, I would sho a let out a fight for
you.' You see, I was a little small child den en I never know no better
den to speak dat way."

"My mother, she was de house woman to de big house in slavery time, but
she never didn' get no money for what she been do. No, mam, white folks
never didn' pay de poor colored people no money in dat day en time. See,
old boss would give dem everything dey had en provide a plenty somethin
to eat for dem all de time. Yes'um, all de niggers used to wear dem old
Dutch shoes wid de brass in de toes en de women, dey never didn' have
nothin 'cept dem old coarse shoes widout no linin. Couldn' never wear
dem out. Yes'um, dey always give us a changin of homespuns, so as to
strip on wash day en put on a fresh one."

"Den I recollects we chillun used to ax us mammy whe' us come from en
she say, 'I got you out de hollow log.' Well, just like I tell you,
slavery chillun had dey daddy somewhe' on de plantation. Cose dey had a
daddy, but dey didn' have no daddy stayin in de house wid dem. White
folks would make you take dat man whe' if you want him or no. Us chillun
never didn' know who us daddy been till us mammy point him out cause all
us went in Massa Anthony Ross' name. Yes, mam, all us had a different
daddy, so my mammy say."

"Who dat come here wid you? Lord, dat don' look like no wife. How long
you is been married, honey? You ain' say so. Look like you is just
bloomin, I say."

"Oh, I tell you, I see a heap of things in dem days, but I ain' got my
studyin cap on right now en I can' call up nothin right sharp. Us never
know nothin bout us was gwine get free in dat day en time. Us was same
as brutes en cows back dere cause us been force to go by what white man
say all de time. Oh, dey would beat de colored people so worser till dey
would run away en stay in de swamp to save dey hide. But Lord a mercy,
it never do no good to run cause time dey been find you was gone, dey
been set de nigger dog on you. Yes, mam, dey had some of dese high dogs
dat dey call hounds en dey could sho find you out, too. Oh, dem hounds
would sho get you. Don' care whe' you was hidin, dem dogs would smell
you. If you been climb up a tree, de dog would trail you right to de
foot of dat tree en just stand up en howl at you. Dey would stand right
dere en hold you up de tree till some of de white folks been get dere en
tell you to come down out de tree. Den if you never do like dey say, dey
would chop de tree down en let you fall right in de dog's mouth. Would
let de dog bite you en taste your blood, so dey could find de one dey
was lookin for better de next time. Yes, mam, white people would let de
dog gnaw you up en den dey would grease you en carry you home to de
horse lot whe' dey would have a lash en a paddle to whip you wid. Oh,
dey would have a swarm of black people up to de lot at sunrise on a
mornin to get whip. Would make dem drop dey body frock en would band dem
down to a log en would put de licks to dem. Ma was whip twice en she say
dat she stay to her place after dat. I hear talk dey give some of dem 50
lashes to a whippin. Dat how it was in slavery time. Poor colored people
couldn' never go bout en talk wid dey neighbors no time widout dey Massa
say so. I say, 'Ma, if dey been try to beat me, I would a jump up en
bite dem.' She say, 'You would get double portion den.' Just on account
of dat, ain' many of dem slavery people knockin bout here now neither, I
tell you. Dat first hide dey had, white folks just took it off dem. I
would a rather been dead, I say. I remember, we chillun used to set down
en ax Ma all bout dis en dat. Say, 'Ma, yunnah couldn' do nothin?' She
say, 'No, white people had us in slavery time.'

"My God a mercy, I think now de best time to live in cause I ain' gettin
no beatin dese days. If I had been big enough to get whip in slavery
time, I know I would been dead cause I would been obliged to fight dem
back en dey would kill folks for dat in dem days. If anybody hurt me,
dey got to hurt back again, I say. Cose us had us task to do in dem
days, but us never didn' have to bother bout huntin no rations en
clothes no time den like de people be burdened wid dese days. I tell
you, what you get in dese times, you got to paw for it en paw hard, but
ain' nobody else business whe' you do it or no."

"Oh, de young people, dey ain' nothin dis day en time. Ain' worth a
shuck no time. De old ones can beat dem out a hollow anywhe'. Ain' no
chillun raise in dese days, I say. After freedom come here, I know I
been hired out to white folks bout all de time en, honey, I sho been put
through de crack. Lord, I had a rough time. Didn' never feel no rest.
Dat how-come I ain' get all my growth, I say."

  =Source:= Mom Ryer Emmanuel, colored, 78 years, Claussens, S.C.
          Personal interview by Annie Ruth Davis, Marion, S.C.
          [HW: See ES XVII, MS. #14.]

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg--Dist. 4
  May 18, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"White folks. I sho nuff did ride wid de 'Red Shirts' fer Marse Hampton.
Dar was two other darkies what rid wid us. Dey is bof daed now. One was
Jack Jones, and de t'othern I does not recollect his name. Him and Jack
is both daed. Dat leave me de onliest living one what rid in de company.

"I rid in de company wid Marse Jimmie Young and he was de Cap'un. He
live out yonder at Sardis Church. Ev'ybody know Marse Jimmie. He ain't
quite as aged yet as I bees. Mr. J.T. Sexton, he rid from up around
Cross Keys, he got de 'hole in de wall' and I calls on him yit, and us
talks over de olden days. Miss Bobo's husband, he rid in Marse Jimmie's
company. (Mr. Preston B. Bobo) Our company camped at de ole Brick church
out whar de mansion set now. It has allus been called de Lower
Fairforest Baptist Church, whar de white folks still goes, 'cept de done
move de church down on de new road, further from de mansion and de ole
graveyard. I lows dat you knows I is speaking o' de new mansion--Mr.
Emslie Nicholson's house on de forest at de Shoals. I is got memory, but
I ain't got no larning; dat I is proud of, kaise I is seed folks wid
larning dat never knowed nothing worth speaking about. All de way 'fru',
I is done tuck and stuck to my white folks--de Democratic white folks,
dat I is.

"Sho was a pretty sight to see 'bout a hun'ded mens up on fine horses
wid red shirts on. I still sees dem in my mind clear as day. Our red
shirts fastened wid a strong band 'round de waist. Dar wasn't nar'y
speck o' white to be seed no whars on 'em. Dey was raal heavy and
strong. Fact, dey was made from red flannel, and I means it was sho
'nough flannel, too. I had done kept one o' mine here till times got
hard and den I tuck and tore it up fer me a undershirt, here past it
been two winters when it got so cold.

"One night us sot up all night and kept a big fire. Next morning it was
de biggest frost all over de ground; but us never got one mite cold. De
good white ladies of de community made our red shirts fer us. I 'spects
Marse Jimmie ken name some fer you.

"I got eve'y registration ticket in my house, and I still votes allus de
democratic ticket. I has longed to de Democratic club ever since de red
shirt days and I has voted dat way all de time. I was jes' turn't
seventeen when I jined de Red Shirts and got into de Democratic Club,
and I has been in it ever since. It ain't gwine out neither.

"I sho seed Hampton speak from Dr. Culp's porch. I voted fer him. At dat
time, I lived on de Keenan place. Marse Jimmie Young, he de overseer fer
Mr. Keenan. Mr. Charles Ray owns and lives on it now. Dat brick church
straight up de road from de Keenan place; straight as a bee line. Dat
whar us met most o' de time fer de Red Shirt gatherings. Our Red Shirt
Club was called de 'Fairforest' club atter de Lower Fairforest white
folks Baptist church. De church has allus sot on de banks o' Fairforest
Creek. Atter us got organized, I used to tote our flag. I was de onliest
darky dat toted it.

"I is done handed you a few names: dey is all Democratic names. Lots of
dem 'scapes my knowledge, it has all been so long ago. Dar was Mr.
Gilmer Greer. Miss Gilmer Blankenship what lives out dar, she his niece.
Mr. John Sims 'nother white man I members. Dar was lots o' companies in
dis county, but I does not recall how many.

"Captain Jimmie Young would allus notify when dar was to be a meeting.
Us darkies dat 'longed 'ud go and tell de white mens to come to de
church. Us met sometime right 'fo de 'lection and all de companies come
together at de ole courthouse dat stood right whar de new one is now.

"Robinson's Circus come to Union. De circus folks gib everbody a free
ticket to de circus dat 'longed to de Democratic Club. Dey let all de
scalawag niggers in fer registration tickets dat de Republicans had done
give dem to vote fer Chamberlain. Dem niggers wanted to go to de circus
wu'se dan dey wanted to do anything else. Dey never dre'mt dat dey was
not a going to git to vote like de carpetbaggers, and de scalawags had
done tole dem to do. Fact is, dey never much cared jes' since de got in
de circus. Dem dat wanted de registration tickets back when de come out,
never seed nobody to git 'em from nohows. Robinson's Circus was so big
dat dey never showed it all in Union, but what dey had was out on
McClure's field. It wasn't no houses dar den, and, o' course, dar wasn't
no mill no whar about Union in dem days. All de tents dat was staked was
staked in McClure's ole field over on 'Tosch' Branch. In dem days, dat
field was de biggest territory in de clear around Union. Atter dat, all
de Red Shirts met on de facade in front o' de courthouse. Mos' all de
mens made a speech. Another darky sung a song like dis: 'Marse Hampton
was a honest man; Mr. Chamberlain was a rogue'--Den I sung a song like
dis: 'Marse Hampton et de watermelon, Mr. Chamberlain knawed de rine.'
Us jest having fun den, kaise us had done 'lected Marse Hampton as de
new governor of South Ca'linia."

  =Source:= "Uncle Pen" Eubanks, Hampton Ave. Union, S.C. (age 83)
          Interviewer: Caldwell Sims, Union, S.C. (5/4/37)

  Project #1655.
  W. W. Dixon,
  Winnsboro, S. C.


Lewis Evans lives on the lands of the estate of the late C.L. Smith,
about ten miles southwest of Winnsboro, S.C. The house is a two-room
frame structure, with a chimney in the center. He has the house and
garden lot, free of rent, for the rest of his life, by the expressed
wish of Mr. Smith before his demise. The only other occupant is his
wife, Nancy, who is his third wife and much younger than Lewis. She does
all the work about the home. They exist from the produce of the garden,
output of fowls, and the small pension Lewis receives. They raise a pig
each year. This gives them their meat for the succeeding year.

"Who I b'long to? Where was I born? White folks tell me I born after de
stars fell, (1833), but maybe I too little to 'member de day. Just have
to go by what I hear them say. Think it was 'bout 1841. All accounts is,
I was born a slave of Marster John Martin, near Jenkinsville. Old
Mistress, his wife, named Miss Margaret. All I can 'member 'bout them is
dis: They had 'bout fifteen slaves, me 'mongst them. His daughter
married a doctor, Doctor Harrison. I was sold to Maj. William Bell, who
lived 'bout ten or twelve miles from old Marster. I's a good size boy
then. Maj. Bell had ten families when I got dere. Put me to hoein' in de
field and dat fall I picked cotton. Next year us didn't have cotton
planters. I was took for one of de ones to plant de cotton seed by
drappin' de seed in de drill. I had a bag 'round my neck, full of seeds,
from which I'd take handfuls and sow them 'long in de row. Us had a
horse-gin and screwpit, to git de cotton fit for de market in
Charleston. Used four mules to gin de cotton and one mule to pack it in
a bale. Had rope ties and all kinds of bagging. Seems to me I 'members
seein' old flour sacks doubled for to put de cotton bales in, in de

"Us raised many cows, hogs, sheep, and goats on de Bell place. Us worked
hard. Us all had one place to eat. Had two women cooks and plenty to
eat, cooked in big pots and ovens. Dere was iron pegs in and up de
kitchen chimneys, chain and hooks to hold pots 'bove de fire. Dat's de
way to boil things, meats and things out de garden.

"Whippin's? Yes sir, I got 'most skinned alive once, when I didn't bring
up de cows one Sunday. Got in a fight wid one of Miss Betsie Aiken's
hands and let de cows git away, was de cause of de whippin'. I was
'shamed to tell him 'bout de fight. Maj. Bell, dis time, whipped me

"My white folks was psalm singers. I done drove them to de old brick
church on Little River every Sabbath, as they call Sunday. Dere was Miss
Margaret, his wife, Miss Sallie and Miss Maggie and de two young
marsters, Tom and Hugh. De two boys and me in front and my mistress and
de two girls behind. Maj. Bell, when he went, rode his saddle horse.

"Who-ee! Don't talk to dis nigger 'bout patrollers. They run me many a
time. You had to have a pass wid your name on it, who you b'long to,
where gwine to, and de date you expected back. If they find your pass
was to Mr. James' and they ketch you at Mr. Rabb's, then you got a
floggin', sure and plenty. Maj. Bell was a kind master and would give us
Saturday. Us would go fishin' or rabbit huntin' sometime.

"Us had two doctors, Doctor Furman and Doctor Davis. White folks care
for you when you sick. I didn't have no money in slavery time, didn't
have no use for none. Us had no quarters, houses just here and dere on
de place, 'round de spring where us got water.

"My Marster went to de old war and was a major. He had brass buttons,
butterflies on his shoulders, and all dat, when he come back.

"De Yankees come. Fust thing they look for was money. They put a pistol
right in my forehead and say: 'I got to have your money, where is it?'
Dere was a gal, Caroline, who had some money; they took it away from
her. They took de geese, de chickens and all dat was worth takin' off de
place, stripped it. Took all de meat out de smoke-house, corn out de
crib, cattle out de pasture, burnt de gin-house and cotton. When they
left, they shot some cows and hogs and left them lying right dere. Dere
was a awful smell round dere for weeks after.

"Somethin' d'rected me, when I was free, to go work where I was born, on
de Martin place. I married Mary Douglas, a good-lookin' wench. A Yankee
took a fancy to her and she went off wid de Yankee. She stayed a long
time, then come back, but I'd done got Preacher Rice to marry me to
Louvinia then. Dis second wife was a good gal. I raised ten chillun by
her, but I's outlived them all but Manuel, Clara and John. When Louvinia
passed out, I got Magistrate Smith to jine me and Nancy. She's still
livin'. Home sick now, can't do nothin'.

"White people been good to me. I've been livin' in dis home, free of
rent, given me for life by Mr. Jim Smith, 'cause I was his faithful
servant twenty years.

"Many times I's set up in de gallery of de old brick church on Little
River. They had a special catechism for de slaves, dat asked us who made
you, what He made you out of, and what He made you for? I ain't forgot
de answers to dis day.

"Marster Major give us Chris'mas day and a pass to visit 'bout but we
sho' had to be back and repo't befo' nine o'clock dat same day.

"I got my name after freedom. My pappy b'long to Mr. David R. Evans. His
name was Steve; wasn't married reg'lar to my mammy. So when I went to
take a name in Reconstruction, white folks give me Lewis Evans.

"I b'longs to de Baptist church. Am trustin' in de Lord. He gives me a
conscience and I knows when I's doin' right and when de devil is ridin'
me and I's doin' wrong. I never worry over why He made one child white
and one child black. He make both for His glory. I sings 'Swing Low,
Sweet Chariot, Jesus Gwine Carry Me Home.' Ain't got many more days to
stay. I knows I'm gwine Home."

  Project #1655
  W. W. Dixon,
  Winnsboro, S.C.


Phillip Evans, his wife, Janie, and their crippled son live together in
a two-room frame house with one fireplace. The old woman has been a wet
nurse for many white families in Winnsboro. Neither Phillip nor his boy
can work. The wife nurses occasionally.

"I was born at de General Bratton Canaan place 'bout six miles, sort of
up a little, on de sunrise side of Winnsboro. I hopes you're not
contrary like, to think it too much against dis old slave when I tells
you de day. Well sir, dat day was de fust day of April but pray sir,
don't write me down a fool 'cause I born on dat p'ticular April Fool
Day, 1852. When I gits through wid you, I wants you to say if dat
birthday have any 'fect on dis old man's sensibility.

"My pappy was name Dick. Him was bought by General Bratton from de sale
of de Evans estate. My pappy often tell mammy and us chillun, dat his
pappy was ketched in Africa and fetched to America on a big ship in a
iron cage, 'long wid a whole heap of other black folks, and dat he was
powerful sick at de stomach de time he was on de ship.

"My mammy was name Charlotte. Her say her know nothin' 'bout her daddy
or where he come from. One of my brothers is de Reverend Jackson C.
Evans, age 72. Richard, another brother, is 65 years old. All of us born
on de Canaan Bratton place. General Bratton love dat place; so him named
it proud, like de Land of Canaan.

"I help to bring my brother Richard, us calls him Dick, into de world.
Dat is, when mammy got in de pains, I run for de old granny on de place
to come right away. Us both run all de way back. Good us did, for dat
boy come right away. I 'members, to dis hour and minute, dat as soon as
dat boy got here, he set de house full of noise, a-cryin' like a cat
squallin'. All chillun does dat though, as soon as they come into de
world. I got one sister older than me; her name Jenny Watson. Her live
in a house on de Canaan place, callin' distance from where I live. Us is
Methodists. A proud family, brought low by Mr. Hoover and his crowd. Had
to sell our land. 'Spect us would have starved, as us too proud to beg.
Thank God, Mr. Roosevelt come 'long. Him never ask whether us democrat
or 'publican nor was us black or white; him just clothe our nakedness
and ease de pains of hunger, and goin' further, us goin' to be took care
of in our old age. Oh, how I love dat man; though they do say him got

"My brother, de preacher, says dat occasioned by de fact dat de
President got a big stick and a big foot, dat sometime he tromp on de
gout foots of some of them rich people. Howsomever, he say dat as long
as de Lord, de Son, and de Holy Ghost is wid de President, it'll be all
right for us colored folks. It makes no difference 'bout who is against
de President. He says us niggers down South can do nothin' but be
Methodist, pray to de Lord, and shout for de President. I's goin' to try
to do some of de prayin' but dis voice too feeble to do much shoutin'.

"What kind of house us live in at slavery time? Nice plank house. All de
houses in de quarters made dat way. Our beds was good. Us had a good
marster. Our livin' houses and vittles was better and healthier than
they is now. Big quarters had many families wid a big drove of chillun.
Fed them from big long trays set on planks. They eat wid iron spoons,
made at de blacksmith's shop. What they eat? Peas, beans, okra, Irish
'tators, mush, shorts, bread, and milk. Dere was 'bout five or six acres
to de garden. Us kept fat and happy.

"Who was de overseers? Mr. Wade Rawls was one and Mr. Osborne was
another. There was another one but 'spect I won't name him, 'cause him
had some trouble wid my Uncle Dennis. 'Pears like he insult my aunt and
beat her. Uncle Dennis took it up, beat de overseer, and run off to de
woods. Then when he git hungry, him come home at night for to eat
sumpin'. Dis kept up 'til one day my pappy drive a wagon to town and
Dennis jined him. Him was a settin' on de back of de wagon in de town
and somebody point him out to a officer. They clamp him and put him in
jail. After de 'vestigation they take him to de whippin' post of de
town, tie his foots, make him put his hands in de stocks, pulled off his
shirt, pull down his britches and whip him terrible.

"No sir, Marster General Bratton didn't 'low his slaves' chillun to
work. I just played 'round, help feed de stock and pigs, bring in de
fruit from de orchard and sich like.

"Yes sir, marster give me small coins. What I do wid de money? I buy a
pretty cap, one time. Just don't 'members what I did wid it all.

"Us went fishin' in de Melton Branch, wid hooks. Ketch rock rollers,
perch and catfish. They eat mighty good. I like de shortnin' bread and
sugar cane 'lasses best and de fust time I ever do wrong was 'bout de

"Our shoes was made on de place. They had wooden bottoms. My daddy,
being de foreman, was de only slave dat was give de honor to wear boots.

"Dere was just two mulattoes on de place. One was a daughter of my aunt.
All de niggers was crazy 'bout her and wid de consent of my aunt,
marster give her to some kinfolks in Arkansas. De other was name, Rufus.
My marster was not his daddy. No use to put down dere in writing just
who his pappy was.

"Stealing was de main crime. De whippin's was put on de backs, and if
you scowled, dat would git you a whippin' right dere and then.

"Yes sir, dere is haunts, plenty of them. De devil is de daddy and they
is hatched out in de swamps. My brother say they is demons of hell and
has de witches of de earth for their hosses.

"De neighbors 'bout was de Neils, de Rawls, de Smiths, and de Mobleys.
Marse Ed Mobley was great for huntin'. Marse General Bratton was a great
sheep raiser. In spite of dat, they got along; though de dogs pestered
de sheep and de shotguns peppered de dogs sometimes.

"My marster was a general in de Secession War. After dat, him a
controller of de State. Him run old 'Buttermilk' Wallace out of
Congress. Then he was a Congressman.

"My mistress was Miss Bettie. Her was a DuBose. Her child, Miss
Isabella, marry some big man up North and their son, Theodore, is de
bishop of de high 'Piscopal Church of Mississippi.

"Now I repeats de question: Does you think I's a fool just 'cause I's
born on dat fust day of April, 1852?

"You made me feel religious askin' all them questions. Seem like a voice
of all de days dat am gone turn over me and press on de heart, and dis
room 'fect me like I was in a church. If you ever pass de Canaan place
I'd be mighty happy to see you again."

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg Dist. 4
  June 16, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I was born in old Abbeville County, S.C. about 1861; was reared in what
is now Greenwood County. My father was Winston Arnold and my mother,
Sophronia Lomax Arnold. They belonged to the Arnold family during
slavery time. I was just a small child during the Confederate War, and
don't remember anything about it. I heard my mother tell about some
things though. The slaves earned no money and were just given quarters
to live in and something to eat. My father was a blacksmith on master's
place, and after the war, he was blacksmith for himself. I heard him
tell about the patrollers. They had lots of cornshuckings and cotton
pickings, but they never worked at night.

"I remember the night-riders, but don't remember that they did any harm
much except they got after a man once.

"When any of us got sick we sent for a doctor, but old-time folks I
heard about, would use herbs, tree barks, and the like of that to make
teas to drink.

"I married in a negro church when I was young. I married Frank Fair who
came from Newberry County, S.C. After the ceremony, the neighbors gave
me a nice dinner at the church.

"I don't remember anything about Lincoln or Jeff Davis, but I think
Booker Washington is a leading colored man and has done good.

"I joined the church when I was nine years old, because my father and
mother belonged, and so many young people were joining. I think
everybody ought to join a church."

  =Source:= Eugenia Fair (76). Greenwood, S.C.
          Interviewed By: G.L. Summer, Newberry, S.C. (6/10/37)

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg, Dist. 4
  Oct. 14, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I lives in Newberry in a small three-room house which belongs to my
son. He helps me some 'cause I can't work except jest a little 'round de

"I don't know much 'bout de war times. All I know is what I told you
befo'. I 'member when de war quit and freedom come. Most of de slaves
had to find work where dey could. Some had to work as share-croppers,
some fer wages, and later on, some rented small plots of land. Many
niggers since de war moved to town and worked as day hands, such as
carpenters, janitors, dray drivers and de like.

"De old time folks had blacksmith shops on de farm and made most of de
tools dey used. Dey had plenty to eat. We never wanted fer nothing and
always lived good. I had it better den dan I does now.

"In slavery when de patrollers rode up and down de roads, once a nigger
boy stole out to see his gal, all dressed up to kill. De patrollers
found him at his gal's house and started to take off his coat so dey
could whip him; but he said, 'Please don't let my gal see under my coat,
'cause I got on a bosom and no shirt'. (The custom was to wear stiff,
white bosoms held up around the neck when no shirt was on. This gave the
appearance of a shirt.)

"My sister-in-law and mother-in-law both come from Virginia but I don't
'member anything dey said 'bout dat country. My sister-in-law went back
dere atter freedom come, but her mama died here.

"Us slaves went to de white folks' church at Cross Roads, and our
mistress made us go. She often would teach us to read and write at home
when we would try to learn. Mistress had a nigger driver fer her
carriage, and when he drove he wore a high beaver hat and a long coat.
Our white folks had a big kitchen way off from de house. Dey had a big
wide fireplace where dey cooked over de fire in skillets. My mistress
had me to work in de house, kind of a house-girl, and she made me keep
clean and put large ear rings in my ears so I would look good. When
Christmas come, Marse and Mistress always give de slaves good things to
eat. Dey had lots of cows, and dey give us good butter and milk,
molasses, meats and other good things to eat. We always worked on week
days except Saturdays, and sometimes on dat day until 12 o'clock. We
always had Christmas and Easter holidays.

"We had corn-shuckings and cotton-pickings. De niggers would sing: 'Job,
Job, farm in a row; Job, Job, farm in a row'. Sometimes on moonlight
nights we had pender pullings and when we got through we had big
suppers, always wid good potatoes or pumpkin pies, de best eating ever.
We made corn bread wid plenty of milk, eggs and lard, and sometimes wid
sweet potatoes, de best corn bread in de world. 'Simmon bread was made
wid sifted 'simmon juice cooked wid flour.

"I married first time to Joe Todd, and had a big wedding what my
mistress give me in her back yard. She had a big shoat killed fer de
wedding dinner. My mistress den was Miss Cornelia Ervin. When I married
de second time, I married in town to West Farrow, in de colored people's
Baptist church, by Rev. West Rutherford, a nigger preacher, de pastor.
My second husband died, too, a few years ago.

"I can't 'member much 'bout old songs, but a Baptist song was: 'Down to
de water, River of Jordon; Down to de water, River of Jordon; Dere my
Savior was baptized.'

Another version went thus:

  "Come along, come along, my dear loving brother,
  Come along and let's go home;
  Down into de River where my Savior was baptized.'

"De present generation of niggers ain't like de ones when I come along.
Dey don't work like I did.

"I don't know much about 'Abramham' Lincoln, Jefferson Davis or Booker
Washington. I just hear about Booker Washington, reckon he is all right.

"I think slavery helped me. I did better den dan I do now. When I joined
de church I was grown and married, and had two chilluns. I joined de
church because I thought I ought to settle down and do better fer my
family, and quit dancing and frolicing."

  =Source:= Caroline Farrow (N. 80), Newberry, S.C.
          Interviewer: G.L. Summer, Newberry, S.C. (9/16/37)

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg Dist. 4
  May 24, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I was born in Newberry County. Near Chappells depot. My master, in
slavery time, was John Boazman. He was a good man to his slaves. I was
raised in the big-house, and helped as a servant-girl. My mistress
smoked a pipe, and sometimes she would have me to get a red coal from de
fire and put it in her pipe. I did dat wid tongs. I lived there a long
time. I come to Newberry over 40 years ago and worked wid de white
people in town.

"I married twice. My first husband was Joe Todd, and after he died, I
married West Farrow. He was a dray-man in town for many years.

"The folks back home had fine farms, good gardens, and took pride in
raising all kinds of things in the garden. They allus planted Irish
potatoes the second time in one season.

"They cooked in big open fireplaces, in kitchens that set away off from
the house. A big spider was always used for cooking over the fireplace.

"After de war, we stayed on awhile. My mistress took me to de white
folks' church and made me sit in the gallery; then brought me home."

  =Source:= Caroline Farrow (80), Newberry, S.C.
          Interviewer: G.L. Summer, Newberry, S.C. (5/18/37)

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg Dist. 4
  June 28, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I do not knows when er whar I was born. My father was Price Feaster;
mother was Lucy Richards Feaster. She belonged to Mr. Berry Richards dat
lived 'tween Maybinton and Goshen Hill Township, on de 'Richards
Quarter'. My sister name Harriet; brothers was Albert and Billy, and
dats all de chilluns dere was in de family. My furs' recollection dat I
knows was when we went to de Carlisles. I was so young dat I can't
recall nothing much 'bout de Feaster plantation. Our beds was home-made
and had ropes pulled tight frum one side to de other fer de slats. No
sir, I doesn't know nothing 'bout no grandmaw and grandpaw.

"De furs' work dat I done was drapping peas. Albert was plow-hand when I
come into de world. Harriet was up big enough to plant corn and peas,
too. Billy looked atter de stock and de feeding of all de animals on de
farm. My furs' money was made by gathering blackberries to sell at
Goshen Hill to a lady dat made wine frum dem. I bought candy wit de
money; people was crazy 'bout candy den. Dat's de reason I ain't got no
toofies now.

"Ole lady Abbie looked out fer our rations. De mens eat on one side and
de gals on t'other side de trough. We eat breakfast when de birds furs'
commence singing off'n de roost. Jay birds 'ud allus call de slaves. Dey
lowed: 'it's day, it's day,' and you had to git up. Dere wasn't no
waiting 'bout it. De whipperwill say, 'cut de chip out de whiteoak,'
you better git up to keep frum gitting a whipping. Doves say, 'who you
is, who you is.' Dat's a great sign in a dove. Once people wouldn't kill
doves, ole marse sho would whip you if you did. Dove was furs' thing dat
bring something back to Noah when de flood done gone frum over de land.
When Freedom come, birds change song. One say, 'don't know what you
gwine to do now.' 'n other one low, 'take a lien, take a lien.' Niggers
live fat den wid bacon sides.

"Mr. Billy Thompson and Mr. Bill Harris' daddy give liens in dem days;
dese big mens den. Captain Foster clothed de niggers atter Freedom.

"Ole lady Abbie give us mush and milk fer breakfast. Shorts and seconds
was mixed wid de mush; no grease in de morning a-tall. Twelve o'clock
brung plenty cow-peas, meat, bread and water. At night us drunk milk and
et bread, black bread made frum de shorts. Jes' had meat at twelve
o'clock, 'course 'sharpers' 'ud eat meat when marster didn't know. Dey
go out and git 'em a hog frum a drove of seventy-five er a hund'ed; dat
one never be missed.

"I is awful to hunt; come to Union to sell my rabbits and 'possums. Mr.
Cohen dat run a brick yard, he buy some. Ole man Dunbar run'ed a market.
He was ole man den. He's de beef market man; he take all de rabbits and
sell 'em when I couldn't git a thing fer 'em. Ole lady living den, and
when I git home she low is I got any 'loady' (something to eat). I come
in wid beef and cow heads. Cow foots was de best meat. Dey throws all
sech as dat away now. Dere was allus a fuss in de house iffen I never
had no 'loady'. Somehow er another I was allus a family man and was
lucky to git in wid mens dat help me on. Never suffered wid help frum
dese kind men. Dat's de way I got along as well as I has. Ole Missus and
Marse learn't me to never tell a lie, and she teached me dat's de way to
git along well. I still follows dat.

"Up in age, I got in wid cap'n Perram (Mr. George Perrin). He was de
banker. He say 'bout me, 'what I likes 'bout Gus, he never tell a lie'.

"Befo' dat, I work fer Lawyer Monroe. He had a brother named Jim and one
named George, his name Bill. His sister named Miss Sally. Dar I farm fer
dem and work on half'uns. De Yankees camped on his place whar Mr. Gordon
Godshall now got a house. N'used to go dar mi'night ev'y night and ev'y
day. Dey had a pay day de furs' and de fifteenth of de month. Dey's
terrible fer 'engans' (onions) and eggs. Dey git five marbles and put
dem in a ring; put up fifty cents. Furs' man knocks out de middle-man
(marble) got de game. Dey's jes' sporty to dat. Never had nothing but
greenbacks den. Fifteen cents and ten cents pieces and twenty-five and
as high as fifty cents pieces was paper in dem times.

"Dey larn't us a song: 'If I had ole Abe Lincoln all over dis world, but
I know I can't whip him; but I fight him 'till I dies'. Dey low'd, 'we
freeded you alls'.

"Another song was: 'Salvation free fer all mankind; Salvation free fer
all mankind'. I was glad er all salvation. 'Salvation free fer me'; got
up dat song furs' on a moonlight night, and us sing it all night long,
going from house to house.

"'Motherless chilluns sees hard times; just ain't got no whar to go;
goes from do' to do',' dat's de song dey got up. I doesn't know whar it
come from. 'Nother one was: 'When de sun refuse to shine; Lord I wants
to be in de number, when de sun refuse to shine. If I had a po' mother
she gone on befo', Lord I promise her I would meet her when de saints go
marching in.' Dat's what lots people is still trying to do.

"We sot mud baskets fer cat fish; tie grapevines on dem and put dem in
de river. We cotch some wid hooks. I went seining many times and I set
nets; bought seins and made de nets. Pull up sein after a rain and have
seventy-five or eighty fish; sometimes have none. Peter Mills made our
cat fish stew and cooked ash-cake bread fer us to eat it wid. Water come
to our necks while we seining and we git de fish while we drifting down

"We wear cotton clothes in hot weather, dyed wid red dirt or mulberries,
or stained wid green wa'nuts--dat is de hulls. Never had much exchanging
of clothes in cold weather. In dat day us haul wood eight or ten feet
long. De log houses was daubed wid mud and dey was warm. Fire last all
night from dat big wood and de house didn't git cold. We had heavy shoes
wid wood soles; heavy cotton socks which was wore de whole year through
de cold weather, but we allus go barefeeted in hot weather. Young boys
thirteen to fifteen years old had de foots measured. When tracks be seed
in de wa'melon patch, dey was called up, and if de measurements of dere
tracks fitted de ones in de wa'melon patch, dat was de guilty nigger. I
'clar, you had to talk purty den. When I go in de wa'melon patch, I git
de old missus to say fer me to go; den I could eat and nothing was said
'bout it.

"Sunday clothes was died red fer de gals; boys wore de same. We made de
gals' hoops out'n grape vines. Dey give us a dime, if dey had one, fer a
set of hoops.

"Twan't no dressing up fer marring in slavery times; just say, 'gwine to
be a marriage tonight' and you see 'bout 40 or 50 folks dar to see it.
If it be in wa'melon time, dey had a big feast atter de wedding. Old man
preacher Tony would marry you fer nothing. De keep de wedding cake fer
three weeks befo' it was eat."

  =Source:= Gus Feaster (97), 20, Stutz Ave., Union, S.C.
          Interviewer: Caldwell Sims, Union, S.C.

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg Dist. 4
  July 7, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I ain't never give you dis information. Miss Susie and Miss Tommie
Carlisle, Marse Tom's onliest daughters, died befo' de surrender. Miss
Susie slipped one day wid de scissors in her hand, and when she did dem
scissors tuck and stuck in one her eyes and put it plum' smack out and
she never did see out'n it no mo'. Dat made it so sad, and everybody
cried wid her but it never done her narry bit of good.

"When dem young ladies died, I left out and run off from my ma and come
to Union. Mr. Eller kept a big sto' jest as you come into town. It was
jest about whar Mr. Mobley Jeter's is now. Dat's in de middle of town,
but in de fur off days I is speaking about, it was de very outskirts of
dis town. I is seed dis town grow, dat is what I is. Mr. Eller tuck me
to be his driving boy, and dat sto' sot jest exactly whar de Chevet
Charage (Chevrolet Garage) sets now.

"When I been dar six years, my ma come to Union and she found me dar. Us
was dat glad to lay eyes on one another dat we jest shouted fur joy and
my Ma tuck and smacked me wid her lips right in de mouth. She told me
dat my pa had done got shot a fixing dem old breastworks down in
Charleston and dat called fur a big cry from me and her both. Mr. Eller,
he went out'n de back of his sto' 'till us quit. He let me go back home
to de Carlisle place wid my ma. Everything done changed and I brung my
ma back to Union and kept her, kaise I was a man in full den.

"Lawyer Shand tuck my ma to work fur him and I started being his
coachman. He ole and he live in Columbia now. When he done dat, me and
ma lived in one of his houses. He lived on what you knows as Douglas
Heights and he had de biggest house dar. Dat was way befo' Captain
Douglas moved from Goshen Hill. Den Captain Douglas tuck de day and
built dat house you sees now aheading what dey calls Douglas Heights
atter Lawyer Shand's house was to' (torn) down. De house sot right on
top de hill in de middle of de street you sees. His driveway was flanked
wid water oaks and it retched down to Main street. De grounds was on
each side dat drive and dey retched to whar de white folks is got a
school (high school) now. On de other side of dat drive his grounds hit
Miss Fant's (Mrs. John Fant's property).

"You could clam up Cap Douglas' stairs and git in a run-around (cupola)
and see de whole town through dem glass winders. (This cupola is still
on the house.) Never had none of dem things in Union afo' dat. Some
years atter dat, when Col. Duncan had his house run over (remodeled) he
had one of dem run-arounds put on his'n. To dis day wid all de fine
fixings folks has in Union, dar ain't narry one got none of dem things
and dey sho' is purty.

"Let me drap back, kaise I is gone too fer along; you wants olden times.
On our plantation Marse Tom had a nigger driver. He 'hoop and holler and
wake us up at break of day. But befo' freedom come 'long, Marse got a
bell; den dat nigger driver rung dat bell at break of day. He was a
sorry nigger dat never had no quality in him a'tall, no sir-ee.

"Us had to feed de mules in de dark of mornings and de black of night
when craps needed working bad. Seed many as a dozen hoe-womens in de
field at one time. Dey come when dey finished breakfast and de plows had
got a start.

"Dey used mulberry skins from fresh mulberry saplins to tie around dere
waists fer belts. If your singletree chain broke, you fixed it wid
mulberry skins; same wid your galluses. Mulberry is mighty strong and
easy to tie anything dat break.

"Marse Tom never whipped 'bout nothing much but stealing. He never let
his overseer do no whipping if he knowed it. He burnt you up 'bout
stealing, dat he would.

"Dey never wanted us to git no larning. Edmund Carlisle, smartest nigger
I is ever seed. He cut out blocks from pine bark on de pine tree and
smooth it. Git white oak or hickory stick. Git a ink ball from de oak
trees, and on Sadday and Sunday slip off whar de white folks wouldn't
know 'bout it. He use stick fer pen and drap oak ball in water and dat
be his ink atter it done stood all night. He larnt to write his name and
how to make figures. Marse Jule and Bill, two of Marse Tom's boys, found
out dat Edmund could write and dey wanted to whip him, but Marse Tom
wouldn't let 'em.

"One morning Edmund was making a big fire 'round all de pots, kaise we
was butchering forty hogs. Edmund had his head under de pot a blowing up
de fire dat had done tuck and died to embers. Jule and Bill seed him and
dey broke and run and pushed Edmund plum' under dem pots. De embers
burnt his face and de hair off'n his head. Marse Tom wo' (wore) Bill and
Jule out fer it. Missus 'lowed den dat Edmund de smartest nigger on dat

"We had Sadday afternoons to do our work and to wash. We had all de
hollidays off and a big time Christmas and July Fourth.

"Going to funerals we used all Marse's wagons. Quick as de funeral
start, de preacher give out a funeral hymn. All in de procession tuck up
de tune and as de wagons move along wid de mules at a slow walk,
everybody sing dat hymn. When it done, another was lined out, and dat
kept up 'till we reach de graveyard. Den de preacher pray and we sing
some mo'. In dem days funerals was slow fer both de white and de black
folks. Now dey is so fast, you is home again befo' you gits dar good.

"On de way home from de funeral, de mules would perk up a little in dey
walk and a faster hymn was sung on de way home. When we got home, we was
in a good mood from singing de faster hymns and de funeral soon be

"As a child everybody in dem days played marbles.

"Ma sung some of de oldest hymns dat I is ever heard: (He sang) 'O Zion,
O Zion, O Zion, wanta git home at last'. (Another) 'Is you over, Is you
over, Is you over' and the bass come back, 'Yes thank God, Yes thank
God, Yes thank God, I is over. How did you cross? At de ferry, at de
ferry, at de ferry, Yes, thank God I is over.' If I sing dem now folks
laughs at me, but ma sho' teached dem to her chilluns.

"When boys and gals gits up some size dey feels dey-selves. At dat age,
we went bird thrashing in de moon light. Den we sing dis vulgar song,
'I'll give you half-dollar if you come out tonight; I'll give you
half-dollar if you come out tonight'. Den de gals charmed us wid
honeysuckle and rose petals hid in dere bosoms. Now de gals goes to de
ten cent sto' and buys cheap perfume. In dem days dey dried
cheneyberries (chinaberries) and painted dem and wo' dem on a string
around dere necks to charm us.

"When us very little, ma say at night when she want us to go to bed and
we be playing marbles, 'Better come on in de house or Raw Hide and
Bloody Bones 'll git you. From den on I is seed spooks.

"Our work song was, 'John Henry was a man; he worked all over dis town'.
Dey still uses dat song. In slavery some holler when dey be in de field
like owls; some like crows; and some like pea-fowls. Missus had de
purtiest pea-fowls in de whole country. Don't see none now, but dar
ain't nothing dat flies purtier.

"Me and Wade Carlisle was 'possum hunting one night in de fall when de
dogs bedded a 'possum in a grave. We dug down and got de 'possum. He was
dat big and fat and his hair was so shiny and purty dat we 'lowed dat he
de finest 'possum we had cotch dat fall.

"Jest den, Wade struck de box dat de dead man was a-lying in. Jest as he
did dat, a light jumped out'n dat grave right in front of us and all
over Wade's shovel. Our two dogs tuck and run and holler and stick dey
tails betwix dey legs like somebody a-whipping dem. Dem dogs never
stopped running and howling 'till dey reached home, me and Wade right
behind dem. Wade had dat 'possum in his hand. Dat light now and den jump
right in front of us.

"I hollered, 'Wade, fer de Lawd in Heaven sake, drap dat 'possum.' He
drapped it and we run 'till we got home. Wade still had dat shovel--or
was it a axe--. I jest recollects which, anyway, he still had it in his
hand; and when I looked at it, it was still shining. I pinted my finger
at it, kaise I was dat scared dat no words wouldn't come from my mouth.
Wade throwed it in de wood pile and we run in de house wid it still
shining at us.

"I stayed dar all night, and I ain't never been hunting in no graveyard
at night since dat; and if de good Lawd give me sense I is got now, I
ain't never gwine to do it no mo'.

"It ain't no good a-'sturbing dead folks. All befo' dat I is heard it
gits you in bad, and now since den I knows it."

  =Source:= Gus Feaster (col. 97), 20 Stutz Ave., Union, S.C.
          Interviewer: Caldwell Sims, Union, S.C. (7/1/37)

  Project 1885-1
  From Misc. Field Notes
  District No. 4
  May 17, 1937

  Edited by:
  Martha Ritter



"Cap', my old Master's daughter, Mrs. George Perrin (Ida Rice) and Miss
Peake (Mrs. Keitt Peake) 'lows I is done pas' 84. Miss Ida was 84 when
she died and I was allus mo' older dan she was, and a long ways at dat.
I allus figers dat Ah is 97. Miss Agnes (Mrs. Keitt Peake) and Miss Ida
was lil' gals when I driv' dem to and from school ever' day fer ole
Marse. You see I had to be a big boy to drive de Marse's chilluns to
school, 'specially when dey was lil' gals! I is a great deal older than
Mr. Bill Harris. I met him dis mornin' wid sweet 'tater in his pocket.
He 'lowed, 'Gus, you is jes' 'bout de oldes' nigger in dis county, ain't
you?' I raised my hat to 'im and 'lowed, Yessir, guess I is, Cap.

"Had to stay out and guard de silver and de gold jewels in de pines when
my white folks hid it dar to keep de Yankees from a-gittin' it. Dey
driv' de waggins in de pines and us unload de jewels and things and den
dey would drive de waggins out de wood. When de waggin done got plum
away us would take dry pine needles and kivver up all de waggin tracks
and hoof prints after us had done raked de dirt smooth over dem. We
stayed wid de silver and stuff and drink coffee and eat black crus'; dat
de sweetnin' bread dat us had durin' de war. Couldn't git no sugar den.
Sometime we used sassafras tea as we never had no coffee to grind. De
white folks was jes' as bad off as we was. From de big house dey brung
our mess of vittals after dark had done fell.

"Poke salad was et in dem days to clean a feller out. Hit cum up tender
every spring and when it cut deep down in sand it looked white. It's an
herb. Cut it; wash it and par boil; pour off water and ball up in balls
in your hand; put in frying pan of hot grease (grease from ham or strip
meat) and fry. Season with black pepper and salt and eat with new spring
onions. Tender white stems are better than the salad and of course
earlier. Ash cake was good wid poke salad and clabber or butter milk and
best of all was sweet milk! Dat not only fill up your belly, but make
you fat and strong.

"Sometime de darkies would eat too much and git de colic. Fer dis dey
would take and chaw pine needles and it would be all over wid den. On
all de plantations dar was old womens, too old to do any work and dey
would take and study what to do fer de ailments of grown folks and lil'
chilluns. Fer de lil' chilluns and babies dey would take and chaw up
pine needles and den spit it in de lil' chilluns mouths and make dem
swallow. Den when dey was a teachin' de babies to eat dey done de food
de very same way. Dem old wimmens made pine rosin pills from de pine
rosin what drapped from de pine trees and give de pills to de folks to
take fer de back ache. Dey allus kept de pine trees gashed fer dis
purpose. Den day also gashed de sweet gum fer to git gum to chaw.
'Twasn't no sech thing as chawin' gum till thirty years ago. Sweet gum,
it's good fer de indigestion and fer de toofies, when it don't git yer
mouth all stuck so as you can't say nothing. I 'spects dat de chief
reason how come it done gone plum out o' date. I most fergot to inform
you dat resin pills is still de best thing dat I knows to start your
"water" off when it done stopped on ye.

"It was a special day on each plantation when de Master and de o'seer
give out de week's rations, like dis: Four pounds o' bacon; one peck o'
meal; quart o' flour; quart o' molasses;--dey was dat black; and dey was
de rations fer a whole endurin' week. Had a big choppin' block where all
de meat was chopped on. In dem days every bit o' de meat was raised on
de plantation from de Master's hogs. Into de grooves o' dis choppin'
block would git lodged small pieces o' meat. Choppin' ax was heavy and
broad. Heavy rations come out on Friday. On Sad'day come de shoulder
meat fer Sunday mornin' brekfas' and de flour come on Sad'day also. Our
Master give us hominy fer Sunday mornin' brekfas', kaise us had red meat
wid gravy den. My Master was Marse' Tom Carlisle of Goshen Hill. He de
one give us dem Sunday specials. De niggers on de other surroundin'
plantations never got no sech 'sideration as I ever heard of.

"Me and John minded de Missus' cows. When de red meat choppin' was done
all de plantation chilluns would be dar to git what fall in de grooves
o' de blocks. One day John 'lowed to me if you puts your ol' black hand
on dat block 'fore I does today, I is a gwine to chop it off. I never
said nary a word, but I jes' roll my eyes at him. I got dar and broke
and run fer de block. I got big piece and when John come up I was eating
it. I say, Nigger, you is too late and lazy fer anything. 'Bout that
time he reach over fer a scrap I never seed. I push him back and reach
fer hit. John took up de choppin' ax and come right down on my finger,
'fore I could git it out de way. Dat's why you see dis scar here now.
Dat nigger lay my finger plum wide open, fact is dat he jes' left it a
hangin'. Marse's doctor and he fix it back. Den he whip John hisself;
never 'low de overseer to do it dat time. Marse Tom pretty good to us;
never whip much; never 'low de overseer, Mr. Wash Evans, to whip too
much neither. He would have liked to whip mo' dan he did, if de Marse
would 'lowed it, but he wasn't so bad. Mr. Evans wasn't no po' white
trash, but he was kinder middlin' like. De Evans is done riz high up

"Newt and Anderson was my young marsters. Dey was 'long 'bout my own
age. Dey went to school at Goshen Hill. De school was near de store,
some folks called it de tradin' post in dem days. De had barrels o'
liquor settin' out from de store in a long row. Sold de likker to de
rich mens dat carried on at de race track near by. Folks in Goshen was
all rich in dem days. Rogers Church, where de Carlisles, Jeters, Sims,
Selbys, Glens, and lots of other folks went too and de slaves, was de
richest country church in dis part o' de whole state, so I is often been
told. Ebenezer, over in Maybinton, was de onliest church in de whole
country dat tried to strive wid Rogers in de way o' finery and style. De
Hendersons, Maybins, Hardys, Douglasses, Cofields, Chicks and Oxners
was de big folks over dar. Both de churches was Methodist.

"Every summer de carried on Camp Meetin' at Rogers. All de big Methodist
preachers would come from way off den. Dey was entertained in de
Carlisle big house. Missus put on de dog (as de niggers says now) den.
Every thing was cleaned up jes' 'fore de meetin' like us did fer de
early-spring cleanin'. Camp Meetin' come jes' after de craps was done
laid by. Den all craps was done laid by befo' July de Fourth. It was
unheard of fer anybody to let de Fourth come widout de craps out'n de
way. Times is done changed now, Lawd. Den de fields was heavy wid corn
head high and cotton up aroun' de darky's waist! Grass was all cleaned
out o' de furrow's on de las' go 'round. De fields and even de terraces
was put in 'apple pie' order fer de gatherin' o' de craps in de fall.

"As you all knows de Fourth has allus been nigger day. Marse and Missus
had good rations fer us early on de Fourth. Den us went to barbecues
after de mornin' chores was done. In dem days de barbecues was usually
held on de plantation o' Marse Jim Hill in Fish Dam. Dat was not fer
from Goshen. Marse Jim had a purty spring dat is still all walled up wid
fine rocks. De water come out'n dese rocks dat cold dat you can't hold
your hand in it fer more dan a minute at de longes'. Dar is a big flat
rock beyond de spring dat I 'specs kivvers more dan an acre and a half
o' ground. A creek run along over dis rock, where de mules and de hosses
could rest in de shade of de trees and drink all de water dat de
wanted. Wild ferns growed waist high along dar den. All kinds of purty
flowers and daisies was gathered by de gals. Dem was de best days dat
any darky has ever seed. Never had nothing to aggravate your mind den.
Plenty to eat; plenty to wear; plenty wood to burn; good house to live
in; and no worry 'bout where it was a-coming from!

"Old Marse he give us de rations fer de barbecues. Every master wanted
his darkies to be thought well of at de barbecues by de darkies from all
de other plantations. De had pigs barbecued; goats; and de Missus let de
wimmen folks bake pies, cakes and custards fer de barbecue, jes' 'zactly
like hit was fer de white folks barbecue deself!

"Young ones carried on like young colts a-frolicin' in de pasture till
dey had done got so full o' vittles dat dey could not eat another bite.
Den dey roamed on off and set down somewheres to sleep in de shade o' de
trees. When de sun started to going down den de old folks begin to git
ready to return back to dey home plantations, fer dar was de master's
stock and chickens to feed and put up fer de night, to say nothing o' de
cows to milk. The master's work had to go on around de big house, kaise
all de darkies had been 'lowed to have such a pleasant day. Next day
being Sad'day was on dis occasion not only ration day, but de day to git
ready fer de white folks' Camp Meetin' which I has already called to
recollection several times.

"I has to drap back to my own plantation now; kaise I guesses dat de
same [TN: 'same' was crossed out in the original] thing took place on all
de neighborin' places in preparation fer de white folks 'big Meetin'.
But I better confine my relations to dat what I really knows. At de
barbecue I seed niggers from several neighborin' plantations and I can
tell you 'bout dat. But I draps now to de doings o' my own white folks.

"As I has said once, de fields was in lay-by shape and de Missus done
already got de house cleaned. De chilluns was put in one room to sleep
and dat make more room fer de preachers and guests dat gwine to visit in
de big house fer de nex' six weeks. Den de plans fer cooking had to be
brung 'bout. Dey never had no ice in dem days as you well knows; but us
had a dry well under our big house. It was deep and everything keep real
cool down dar. Steps led down into it, and it allus be real dark down
dar. De rats run aroun' down dar and de younguns skeert to go down fer
anything. So us carry a lightwood not [HW: knot] fer light when us put
anything in it or take anything out. Dar ain't no need fer me to tell
you 'bout de well house where us kept all de milk and butter, fer it was
de talk o' de country 'bout what nice fresh milk and butter de missus
allus had. A hollow oak log was used fer de milk trough. Three times a
day Cilla had her lil' boy run fresh cool well water all through de
trough. Dat keep de milk from gwine to whey and de butter fresh and
cool. In de dry well was kept de canned things and dough to set till it
had done riz. When company come like dey allus did fer de camp meetings,
shoalts and goats and maybe a sheep or lamb or two was kilt fer barbecue
out by Cilla's cabin. Dese carcasses was kept down in de dry well over
night and put over de pit early de next morning after it had done took
salt. Den dar was a big box kivvered wid screen wire dat victuals was
kept in in de dry well. Dese boxes was made rat proof.

"Whilst de meats fer de company table was kept barbecued out in de yard,
de cakes, pies, breads, and t'other fixings was done in de kitchen out
in de big house yard. Baskets had ter be packed to go to camp meetin'.
Tables was built up at Rogers under de big oak trees dat has all been
cut down now. De tables jes' groaned and creeked and sighed wid victuals
at dinner hour every day durin' de camp meetin'.

"Missus fetch her finest linens and silver and glasses to out-shine dem
brung by de t'other white folks o' quality. In dem days de white folks
o' quality in Union most all come from Goshen Hill and Fish Dam. After
de white folks done et all dey could hold den de slaves what had done
come to church and to help wid de tables and de carriages would have de
dinner on a smaller table over clost to de spring. Us had table cloths
on our table also and us et from de kitchen china and de kitchen silver.

"Young gals couldn't eat much in public, kaise it ain't stylish fer
young courting gals to let on like dey has any appetite to speak of. I
sees dat am a custom dat still goes amongst de wimmen folks, not to eat,
so heavy. Cullud gals tried to do jes' like de young white missus would

"After everything was done eat it would be enough to pack up and fetch
back home to feed all de hungry niggers what roams roun' here in Union
now. Dem was de times when everybody had 'nuff to eat and more dan dey
wanted and plenty clothes to wear!

"During de preaching us darkies sot in de back o' de church. Our white
folks had some benches dar dat didn't nobody set on 'cept de slaves. Us
wore de best clo'es dat us had. De Marse give us a coat and a hat and
his sons give all de old hats and coats 'round. Us wore shirts and pants
made from de looms. Us kept dem clean't and ironed jes' like de Marster
and de young marsters done their'n. Den us wore a string tie, dat de
white folks done let us have, to church. Dat 'bout de onliest time dat a
darky was seed wid a tie. Some de oldest men even wore a cravat, dat dey
had done got from de old marster. Us combed our hair on Sunday fer
church. But us never bothered much wid it no other time. During slavery
some o' de old men had short plaits o' hair.

"De gals come out in de starch dresses fer de camp meeting. Dey took dey
hair down out'n de strings fer de meeting. In dem days all de darky
wimmens wore dey hair in string 'cep' when dey 'tended church or a
wedding. At de camp meetings de wimmens pulled off de head rags, 'cept
de mammies. On dis occasion de mammies wore linen head rags fresh
laundered. Dey wore de best aprons wid long streamers ironed and
starched out a hanging down dey backs. All de other darky wimmens wore
de black dresses and dey got hats from some dey white lady folks; jes'
as us mens got hats from our'n. Dem wimmens dat couldn't git no hats,
mostly wore black bonnets. De nigger gals and winches did all de
dressing up dat dey could fer de meeting and also fer de barbecue.

"At night when de meeting dun busted till nex' day was when de darkies
really did have dey freedom o' spirit. As de waggin be creeping along in
de late hours o' moonlight and de darkies would raise a tune. Den de air
soon be filled wid the sweetest tune as us rid on home and sung all de
old hymns dat us loved. It was allus some big black nigger wid a deep
bass voice like a frog dat ud start up de tune. Den de others mens jine
in, followed up by de fine lil voices o' de gals and de cracked voices
o' de old wimmens and de grannies. When us reach near de big house us
soften down to a deep hum dat de missus like! Sometime she his't up de
window and tell us sing 'Swing Low Sweet Cha'ot' for her and de visiting
guests. Dat all us want to hear. Us open up and de niggers near de big
house dat hadn't been to church would wake up and come out to de cabin
door and jine in de refrain. From dat we'd swing on into all de old
spirituals dat us love so well and dat us knowed how to sing. Missus
often 'low dat her darkies could sing wid heaven's 'spiration
(inspiration). Now and den some old mammie would fall out'n de waggin a
shoutin' Glory and Hallelujah and Amen! After dat us went off to lay
down fer de night.

"Young Newt and Anderson was de boys what was near de age of me and
John. Co'se dey went to school every day it was in session. Dey had dey
own hosses and dey rid 'em to school. When dey come home dey would throw
de reins to me and John and us took dem hosses and rub dem down and feed

"Lots of times Newt and Anderson would tell me and John to come and git
under de steps while ole Marse was eating his supper. When he git up
from de table us lil' niggers would allus hear de sliding o' his chair,
kaize he was sech a big fat man. Den he go into de missus room to set by
de fire. Dar he would warm his feets and have his Julip. Quick as
lightning me and John scamper from under de steps and break fer de big
cape jasamine bushes long de front walk. Dar we hide, till Anderson and
Newt come out a fetching ham biscuit in dey hands fer us. It would be so
full of gravy, dat sometime de gravy would take and run plumb down to de
end o' my elbow and drap off, 'fo I could git it licked offn my wrists.
Dem was de best rations dat a nigger ever had. When dey had honey on de
white folks table, de boys never did fail to fetch a honey biscuit wid
dem. Dat was so good dat I jest take one measley lil' bite of honey and
melted butter on my way to de 'quarter. I would jest taste a leetle.
When I git to Mammy den me and Mammy set off to ourself's and taste it
till it done all gone. Us had good times den; like I never is had befo'
or since.

"Soon atter dat dey sent me and John to de field to larn drapping. I had
to drap peas in every other hill and John had to drap de corn in de
rest. De overseer, ole man Wash Evans, come down dar to see how us was a
doing. Den us got dat skeert dat us got de corn and peas mixed up. He
started to hit us wid de whip dat he had hung 'round his waist. Bout dat
time Marse Tom rid up. He made de overseer git out'n dem corn rows and
let us 'lone. After dat us got 'long fine wid our drapping. When it
come up everybody could see dem rows dat us had done got mixed up on
when de overseer was dar. Marse Tom was dat good to his hands dat dey
all love him all de time. But one day when ole man Evans come through de
field and see dem rows he did call me and John off and whip us. Dat de
most dat I ever got whipped. Marse got shed o' de overseer soon after

"It was just like dis. Ole man Wash Evans was a wicked man. He take
'vantage of all de slaves when he git half chance. He was great source
of worriment to my Mammy, ole lady Lucy Price and 'nother 'oman, ole
lady Lucy Charles. Course he 'vantage over all de darkies and fer dat
reason he could sway everything his way, most all de time. But my mammy
and ole lady Lucy was 'ligious wimmens. Dat didn't make no diffuns wid
wicked old man Evans. One day Missus sent my mammy and de other ole lady
Lucy to fetch her some blackberries by dinner.

"Me and John was wid dem a pickin' and fillin' o' de big buckets from de
lil' buckets when ole man Evans come riding up. He argued wid both mammy
and ole lady Lucy and dey kept telling him dat de missus want her
berries and dat dey was 'ligious wimmens anyhow and didn't practice no
life o' sin and vile wickedness. Finally he got down off'n his hoss and
pull out his whip and low if dey didn't submit to him he gwine to beat
dem half to death. At [HW: that] me and John took to de woods. But we
peep. My mammy and old lady Lucy start to crying and axing him not to
whip dem.

"Finally dey act like dey gwine to indulge in de wickedness wid dat ole
man. But when he tuck off his whip and some other garments, my Mammy and
ole lady Lucy grab him by his goatee and further down and hist him over
in de middle of dem blackberry bushes. Wid dat dey call me and John. Us
grab all de buckets and us all put out fer de 'big house' fas' as our
legs could carry us. Ole man Evans jest er hollering and er cussing down
in dem briars. Quick as us git to de big house us run in de kitchen.
Cilla call Missus. She come and ax what ailing us and why we is so ashy
looking. Well, my Mammy and ole lady Lucy tell de whole story of dey
humiliations down on de creek.

"Missus 'lowed dat it didn't make no diffuns if Marse was in Union, she
gwinter act prompt. So she sent fer Mr. Evans and he took real long to
git dar, but when he do come, Missus, she 'low--'Mr. Evans, us does not
need yo' services on dis plantation no mo', Sir!' He 'low Marse aint
here. Missus 'low--'I does not want to argue de point wid ye, Mr. Evans,
fer yo' services has come to an end on dis plantation!' Wid dat ole man
Evans go off wid his head a-hanging in shame. Us niggers went out and
tole de news wid gladness shining out from our eyes, kaise us was dat
glad dat we did not know what to do.

"All de fields was enclosed wid a split rail fence in dem days. De hands
took dey rations to de field early every morning and de wimmens slack
work round eleven by de sun fer to build de fire and cook dinner. Missus
'low her niggers to git buttermilk and clabber, when de cows in full, to
carry to de field fer drinking at noon, dat is twelve o'clock. All de
things was fetched in waggins and de fire was built and a pot was put to
bile wid greens when dey was in season. Over coals meat was baked and
meal in pones was wrapped in poplar leaves to bake in de ashes. 'Taters
was done de same way, both sweet 'taters and irish. Dat made a good
field hand dinner. Plenty was allud had and den 'lasses was also fetched
along. Working niggers does on less dese days.

"Does you know dat de poplar leaves was wet afo' de meal pone was put in
it? Well, it was, and when it got done de ashes was blowed off wid your
breath and den de parched leaves folded back from de cooked pone. De
poplar leaves give de ash cake a nice fresh sweet taste. All forks and
spoons was made out'n sticks den; even dem in de big house kitchen.
Bread bowls and dough trays was all made by de skilled slaves in de
Marse's shop, by hands dat was skilled to sech as dat.

"Young chilluns and babies was kept at home by de fire and nursed and
cared fer by de ole wimmens dat couldn't do no field work. De chief one
on our plantation during my 'membrance was ole aunt Abbie. She had head
o' de chilluns all over de plantation when dey mamies was a working in
de field. Marse Tom used to ride through de 'quarters' every day to see
about ole lady Abbie and de chilluns when dey parents was at work in de
fields during de working season. Ole lady Abbie had to see to it dat dey
was kept warm by de fire and dat dey clothes was kept up wid while dey
mammies was in de field. Dem chilluns on our plantation was well looked
after. De seamstresses also kept our work clothes patched and darned,
till new ones was wove fer us.

"Sides dat dem chilluns was fed. Each child had a maple fork and spoon
to eat wid. Lil' troughs was made fer dem to eat de milk and bread from.
'Shorts', low stools, was made fer dem to set up to de troughs to,
whilst dey was eating. De other ole ladies helped wid de preparations of
dey messes o' vittals. One ole woman went her rounds wid a wet rag a
wiping dem chilluns dresses when dey would spill dey milk and bread.
Marse Tom and sometime Missus come to see de lil' babies whilst dey was
a eating. De other ole ladies 'tended to de small babies. Sometimes it
was many as fifteen on de plantation at one time dat was too little to

"Dey mammies was not worked on our plantation till de babies was big
'nough to take a bottle. And in dem days no bottle was given no baby
under a year old. De wimmins in family way was better cared for den dese
young niggers now-a-days. Marse Tom never bred no slaves but he did care
fer his niggers when dey married and got dey own chilluns. I has done
related to you how dey fixed de medicines and things. Dem babies was
washed every day if dey mammies was in de field, dat never made no
diffuns, kaise it was de old ladies' jobs to see to it dat dey was.
Younguns on de plantation was bathed two or three times a week. Mullein
leaves and salt was biled in great big pot to put in de babies' wash
water and also in de chilluns' water. Dis would keep 'em from gitting
sick. Den dey was allus greased after de washing to keep de skin from
busting open. Mosely dey was greased wid tallow from de mutton. Mr.
Anderson took medicine and after dat he doctor all de slaves fer his paw

"While de Yankees had everything closed up down in Charleston it was
hard to git anything in dis country into de sto's. Us allus traded at de
post (Goshen Hill Trading Post). If I recollects correctly it was during
dis period dat Marse Tom let my Mammy go up to de post to fetch back her
a bonnet.

"Up dar dey took cotton and corn and anything like dat in trade dat dey
could sell to de folks dat was working on de railroad bed dat was gwine
through dat country (Seaboard Airline). So Mammy took a lot of cotton
wid her to de post. She knowd dat it was gwine to take lots to git dat
bonnet. It weren't but three and a half miles de short way to de post
from our place.

"I's gwine long wid her and so I had to wear some pants to go to de post
as dat was big doings fer a lil' darky boy to git to go to de trading
center. So aunt Abbie fotched me a pair of new pants dat was dat stiff,
dat dey made me feel like I was all closed up in a jacket, atter being
used to only a shirt-tail!

"Well, it wasn't fur and us arriv' dar early in de day. Mammy said
'howdy' to all de darkies what dar and I look at dem from behind her
skirts. I felt real curious-like all inside. But she never give me no
mind whatever. She never act like she knowd dat I was pulling her dress
at all. I seed so many things dat I never had seed befo', not in all my
born days. Red sticks o' candy was a laying right dar fo' my eyes, jes'
like de folks from de big house brung us at Christmas. It was not near
Christmas den, kaise it was jest cotton picking time and I wondered
how-come dey was having candy in de store fer, now-how.

"Mammy look down at me and she say to de white man wid a beard, 'Marse,
please sir, give me five cent worth peppermint candy.' Den when he hand
her de bag she break off lil' piece and hand it to me, and wall her eyes
at me and say in a low voice, 'Don' you dare git none dat red on yo'
clean shirt, if you wants to git home widout gitting wo' plumb smack

"Den she talk about de bonnets. Finally she git one fer ten dollars
worth o' cotton. Money wasn't nothing in dem times. By dis time us had
done started on our return home and I was starting to feel more like I
allus felt.

"Nigger, what dat you is done gone and got on dat clean shirt? Didn't
you hear me tell you not to git dat new shirt all red? Look dar a
streaming down off'n your chin at dar red. How is I gwine to ever teach
you anything, when you act jest like a nigger from some pore white
trashes poor land?'

"When we gits to dat branch now I's got to stop and wash dat dirty black
mouth and den I can't git dat red candy off'n dat shirt. What ole lady
Abbie gwine to say to ye when she see you done gone and act like you
ain't never seed no quality befo'?

"Atter I has done tole you all de way from home how you must act at de
post den you goes and does like you is. Aint never gwine to carry you
nowhars 'gin long as I lives.

"Bend dat lazy, good-fer-nothing back so as I won't git you wet all de
way down your belly, you hear me? Now you is looking like you belongs to
Marse Tom 'gin. Gimme dat candy right now; I gwine to see to it dat you
gits back home looking like somet'ing after all my worriments wid ye.'

"Mammy seed dust a flying and de hoss come a-bringing Marse Tom down de
road. Mammy drap everything in the dust and grab her apron to drap a
curtsy. She 'low--'Git dat hat off dat head and bow your head fo' he git

"Howdy, Lucy, what is you and dat youngun been, anyhow?' 'Us been to git
me a bonnet, Marse Tom, and it took all de ten dollars worth of cotton
to fetch it back wid.' 'Yes, Lucy, money does not go far these days,
since the Yankees got everything'. 'No Sir, No Sir, Marse,' and he rid
on, leaving us behind in de dust."

  =Source:= Interview with Gus Feaster (C-97), ex-slave,
                 living at 20 Stutz Ave., Union, S.C.; interviewer - Caldwell Sims,
                 Union, South Carolina.

  Project #-1655
  Phoebe Faucette
  Hampton County

  Approx. 388 words


"Aunt Annie" sat in the sun of a fall afternoon on the steps of her
house across from the Baptist Church at Estill, S.C. Her short, stout
form and her kind, deeply wrinkled face beneath her white cap, were, as
always, a pleasingly familiar sight.

"I'se sure you'se come, Missus. I'se been jes' asittin' here awaitin'
for somebody to come. I'm gittin' on in years now. Been right here for
fourteen years. I was sick last night. Suffers wid high blood, yes'm.

"Could I tell you 'bout de times before de war? Well ma'am, I was jes' a
baby den; so I cain't to say know 'bout it for meself, but I knows what
me mother told me 'bout it.

"My mother was at Old Allendale when de Yankees come through. She was in
de kitchen at de time. I was quite small. 'Round two years old--now how
old dat make me, Miss? 74? Well, I knows I is gittin' 'long. I remember
dem talkin' 'bout it all. Dey searched de house, and take out what dey
want, den set de house afire. Ma, she run out den an' whoop an' holler.
De lady of de house wuz dere, but de Massa had went off. De place wuz
dat of Dr. Bucknor. My mother been belong to de Bucknors. After dat, dey
moved to de old home place of de Bucknors down here at Robertville. Dey
had two places. Dey jes' had to start farming all over again. We lived
dere a good bit after freedom, ma say. My mother stay wid 'em for about
three years after freedom.

"Fore freedom my mother used to go to de white folks church--white and
black used to worship together den. She jined at de old Cypress Creek
Baptist Church at Robertville. A white preacher baptized her dere. De
old church is dere at Robertville now. After freedom de colored folks
had dey own churches.

"Dey tell me dat in slav'ry time, some of de overseers treat 'em mighty
mean. Some of 'em work 'em in de day, 'en in de night, weaving. Now some
of 'em treat 'em good; but some of 'em treat 'em mean. Dey have to run
away into de bay.

"Do I know of anybody what sees ghosts? Yes'm, dere's a lady over dere
what say she always see a ghost come and whip a woman dat asittin' on de
steps. Sometime she say she goin' to report it to de police, but I ain't
never seen none, 'ceptin' in my dreams.

"I sure is glad you come, Missus. I been jes' awaitin' for somebody."

  =Source:= Ann Ferguson, ex-slave 74 years, Estill, S.C.

  Project, 1885-(1)
  Prepared by Annie Ruth Davis
  Place, Marion, S.C.
  Date, September 21, 1937


"I was born bout two miles bove Lake View on Zonia Rogers place. Boys
used to tell me I was born on Buck Branch. Think I was born de 12th. day
of February cause I was bout 16 years old when freedom come. Another
person born de same day en de same year en I might look on dey tombstone
en get de date."

"Miles Ford was my father en my mother, Jennie Ford, but dey didn' live
on de same place. Father belonged to Alias Ford at Lake View en mother
come from Timmonsville what used to be called Sparrow Swamp. Railroad
run through dere change name from Sparrow Swamp to Timmonsville."

"Just like I tell you, Zonia Rogers was my boss en he wasn' so bad. He
whip me a few times when I did things dat I oughtened to do. Sometimes I
was pesty en he whip me wid a switch, but he never whip so hard. I tell
de truth, Zonia Rogers was a good man. Give his slaves good pole houses
to live in up in de quarter. Never had but five slaves to start wid en
dat de reason he just had two slave house in de quarter. Sometimes dey
slept on de floor en den another time, some had homemade bedstead wid de
framework made out of black gum."

"We had meat en corn bread to eat all de time en dey gave us fried meat
en rye bread en flour bread to eat every now en den. Made rye bread in
time of de war, but didn' get much flour bread to eat. Massa would weigh
meat out on his hand. If anybody wanted meat, he hand it to dem on his
hand en say, 'Here it is.' Den some of de slaves had gardens dat dey
work at 12 o'clock en at night. Never was much to catch possums, but was
great hand to catch rabbits. Boss had dog name Trip dat he wouldn' have
taken $200.00 for. If I had him now, I wouldn' take $200.00 for him
neither cause dat dog would stay at a tree all night. See him stay dere
from early in de day till dark."

"Slaves wore one piece garment in de summer en used thick woolen garment
in de winter. When I got large, had wrapper en little breeches to wear.
Sometimes de clothes was all wool en sometimes dey was just half wool.
Yes, sir, I know all bout how de cloth was made in dat day en time.
Three treadle made dis here jeanes cloth dat was for de nigger clothes
en white people wore four treadle cloth. Had Sunday clothes in slavery
time, too, en made de shoes right dere home. Tanned de leather en made
shoes called nigger brogans dat dey used in de turpentine woods. Dese
here low quarters. I married in 1873. Just had common clothes when I was

"I remember my grandfather all right. He de one told me how to catch
otters. Told me how to set traps. Heard my grandfather tell bout whippin
slaves for stealin. Grandfather told me not to take things dat were not
mine. If a pile of corn was left at night, I was told not to bother it.
In breakin corn, sometimes people would make a pile of corn in de grass
en leave it en den come back en get it in de night. Grandfather told me
not to never bother nothin bout people's things."

"De first work dat I remember bout doin in slavery time, I hold mules
for my boss. Drove wagon for Mr. Rogers. If people wanted any haulin
done, he told me to help dem en collect for it. He never wouldn' ax any
questions bout what I collected for de haulin. Just let me have dat
money. I remember I bought cloth dat cost 12-1/2 cents a yard wid de
first money I get. Den I bought a girl 10 cents worth of candy en sent
it to her. Hear she stamped it in de ground wid her foot. Girl never
even mentioned it to me en I ain' never bothered wid her again. Dis girl
en me bout de same age."

"Don' remember much bout my first Missus only dat she had a bump on her
neck. Second Missus was good to me en just like I tell you, Zonia Rogers
was a good man. He hired white men to plow, but he never put nobody
ahead of me no time. I take dogs en slip out in de woods en hunt
rabbits. White man tell on me en my boss ain' never said nothin bout dis
to me yet. Never had no overseer en no driver whe' I stay."

"Oh, dere was bout two or three hundred acres in de Rogers place. Slaves
worked from daylight till dark in de winter time. Always be up fore day
cause my boss generally called de slaves fore day. Hear him say, 'Rob,
come, come. Aaron, come, come.' We didn' work hard though. Didn' work in
hot sun in June, July en August cause in slavery time dey allow us to
take out at 10 or 11 o'clock en go swimmin. Den we had to be back in de
field bout three o'clock. Had plenty poor white neighbors bout dere en
boss hire me to man like dat one time. Poor man give bout 1-1/2 hours
for noon whe' I get two hours back home en I never go back de next day.
Boss say, 'Why don' you go back to work?' I tell him dat fellow wouldn'
give me long enough time for noon. My boss wouldn' force me to go back
when I tell him dat."

"I see one or two slaves whipped in slavery time, but I didn' see
anybody whipped bad. If a slave on one place was accused of takin a
thing on another place, dey have a trial bout it. Justice might tell dem
how many licks to give him en point man to do it. I hear dat some been
whipped way off till dey died, but old man Everett Nichols wouldn' never
whip his slaves. He had son dat whipped some rough darkies dat he got
off another place cause old man Nichols wouldn' want strange darkies to
marry girls on his place. I hear way up de country dat dey whipped dem
till dey died right dere."

"Dey had jails in slavery time at Marion for de slaves. If dey caught
slaves dat had run away, dey would put dem in jail till dey Massa sent
after dem. Sometimes dey would hold dem en sell dem for debt. Dey tell
me some put on stand en sold dere at Marion, but I never saw any sold.
Just hear bout dat, but I remembers I saw dis. Saw six men tied together
wid a chain one Saturday evenin dat was comin from Virginia en gwine to

"Some people helped de slaves to read en write en some of dem didn'. Boy
learnt one of my uncles to read, but didn' want him to write. People
learn to spell in dem times better den dey do now. Some of de slaves
could read de Bible en den others of dem could write dese pass dat dey
had to get from dey Massa fore dey could go from one plantation to
another. I recollects my mother's father could write a pass."

"Dere wasn' no church on de plantation whe' I stay. Had preachin in Mr.
Ford's yard sometimes en den another time de slaves went to white
people's church at Bear Swamp. Boss tell slaves to go to meetin cause he
say he pay de preacher. Dean Ears, white man, gave out speech to de
slaves one day dere to Nichols. Slaves sat in gallery when dey go dere.
He tell dem to obey dey Massa en Missus. Den he say, 'God got a clean
kitchen to put you in. You think you gwine be free, but you ain' gwine
be free long as dere an ash in Ashpole Swamp.' White folks complain bout
de slaves gettin two sermons en dey get one. After dat, dey tell old
slaves not to come to church till after de white folks had left. Dat
never happen till after de war was over."

"I sho remember when freedom come here. Remember when my boss told me I
was free. My father come dere en say he wanted his boys. Boss called,
'Aaron, come here, your daddy wants you. I want you to go.' He told me
not to go till de news came though. Please me, I felt like a new man."

"I hate to speak what I think bout slavery. Think it a pity de slaves
freed cause I know I'm worried more now den in slavery time. Dere got to
be a change made. People got to turn. I belong to de Methodist Church en
I think everybody ought to belong to de church. God built de church for
de people en dey ought to go dere en be up en doin in de church. Dat dey

  =Source:= Aaron Ford, Ex-Slave, Age 80-90, (No other information
                 given by interviewer.)

                 Personal interview by H. Grady Davis, June, 1937.

  Project 1885 -1-
  District #4
  Spartanburg, S.C.
  May 28, 1937


Six miles east of Spartanburg on R.F.D. No. 2, the writer found Aunt
Charlotte Foster, a colored woman who said she was 98 years old. Her
mother was Mary Johnson and her father's name was John Johnson. She is
living with her oldest daughter, whose husband is John Montgomery.

She stated she knew all about slavery times, that she and her mother
belonged to William Beavers who had a plantation right on the main road
from Spartanburg to Union, that the farm was near Big Brown Creek, but
she didn't know what larger stream the creek flowed into. Her father
lived on another place somewhere near Limestone. She and her mother were
hands on the farm and did all kinds of hard work. She used to plow, hoe,
dig and do anything the men did on the plantation. "I worked in the hot
sun." Every now and then she would get a sick headache and tell her
master she had it; then he would tell her to go sit down awhile and rest
until it got better.

She had a good master; he was a Christian if there ever was one. He had
a wife that was fussy and mean. "I didn't call her Mistus, I called her
Minnie." But, she quickly added, "Master was good to her, just as kind
and gentle like." When asked what was the matter with the wife, she just
shook her head and did not reply. Asked if she had rather live now or
during slavery times, she replied that if her master was living she
would be willing to go back and live with him. "Every Sunday he would
call us chilluns by name, would sit down and read the Bible to us; then
he would pray. If that man ain't in the Kingdom, then nobody's there."

She said her master never whipped any of the slaves, but she had heard
cries and groans coming from other plantations at five o'clock in the
morning where the slaves were being beaten and whipped. Asked why the
slaves were being beaten, she replied rather vehemently, "Just because
they wanted to beat 'em; they could do it, and they did." She said she
had seen the blood running down the backs of some slaves after they had
been beaten.

One day a girl about 16 years of age came to her house and said she'd
just as leave be dead as to take the beatings her master gave her, so
one day she did go into the woods and eat some poison oak. "She died,

On one plantation she saw an old woman who used to get so many beatings
that they put a frame work around her body and ran it up into a kind of
steeple and placed a bell in the steeple. "Dat woman had to go around
with that bell ringing all the time."

"I got plenty to eat in dem days, got just what the white folks ate. One
day Master killed a deer, brung it in the house, and gave me some of the
meat. There was plenty of deer den, plenty of wild turkeys, and wild
hogs. Master told me whenever I seed a deer to holler and he would kill

When slaves were freed her mother moved right away to her father's
place, but she said the two sons of her master would not give her mother
anything to eat then. "Master was willing, but dem boys would not give
us anything to live on, not even a little meal."

"After the Civil War was over and the Yankee soldiers came to our place,
dey just took what they wanted to eat, went into de stable and leave
their poor, broken-down horses and would ride off with a good horse.
They didn't hurt anybody, but just stole all they wanted."

One day she said her master pointed out Abe Lincoln to her. A long line
of cavalry rode down the road and presently there came Abe Lincoln
riding a horse, right behind them. She didn't have much to say about
Jeff Davis, except she heard the grown people talking about him. "Booker
Washington? Well, he was all right trying to help the colored people and
educate them. But he strutted around and didn't do much. People ought to
learn to read the Bible, but if you educate people too high it make a
fool out of them. They won't work when they gets an education, just
learns how to get out of work, learns how to steal enough to keep alive.
They are not taught how to work, how do you expect them to work when
they ain't taught to work? Well, I guess I would steal too before I
starved to death, but I ain't had to steal yet. No man can say he ever
gave me a dollar but what I didn't earn myself. I was taught to work and
I taught my chilluns to work, but this present crowd of niggers! They
won't do."

She stated her mother had twelve children and the log house they lived
in was weatherboarded; it was much warmer in such a house during cold
weather than the houses are now. "Every crack was chinked up with mud
and we had lots of wood." Her mother made all their beds, and had four
double beds sitting in the room. She made the ticking first and placed
the straw in the mattresses. "They beat the beds you can get now. These
men make half beds, den sell 'em to you, but dey ain't no good. Dey
don't know how to make 'em."

Aunt Charlotte said she remembered when the stars fell. "That was
something awful to see. Dey just fell in every direction. Master said to
wake the chilluns up and let 'em see it. Everybody thought the world was
coming to an end. We went out on de front porch to look at the sight;
we'd get scared and go back into de house, den come out again to see the
sight. It was something awful, but I sure saw it." (Records show that
the great falling of stars happened in the year 1833, so Aunt Charlotte
must be older than she claims, if she saw this eventful sight. Yet she
was positive she had seen the stars falling all over the heavens. She
made a sweep of her arm from high to low to illustrate how they fell.)

  =Source:= Aunt Charlotte Foster, RFD #2, Spartanburg, S.C.
  Interviewer: F.S. DuPre, Spartanburg, S.C.

  Project #1655
  Stiles M. Scruggs
  Columbia, S.C.


"I is the son of John Franklin and Susan Bobo Franklin. I was born
August 10th, 1853 in Spartanburg County. My daddy was a slave on the
plantation of Marster Henry Franklin, sometimes called Hill and my mammy
was a slave on the plantation of Marster Benjamin Bobo. They was
brother-in-law's and lived on a plantation joining each other.

"My white marsters and their mistresses was good to us and to all their
slaves. We have plenty to eat and wear, on the Bobo plantation, from the
time I can remember up to the time I was 'bout eleven years old. In
1861, my marsters go away with their neighbors, to fight the damn
Yankees and the plantation was left in charge of the mistresses and
worked by the slaves. The slaves all raised 'bundance of rations, but
pretty soon there was a scarcity 'cause they was no coffee at the store
and stragglin' Yankees or what they call 'Rebel soldiers' come 'long
every few days and take all they can carry.

"That shortage begun in 1862, and it kept on gettin' worse all the time,
and when Lincoln set all niggers free, there was such a shortage of food
and clothes at our white folks houses, that we decided to move to a
Dutch Fork plantation. My daddy go 'long with other niggers to fight for
'Uncle Abe' and we never see him no more. Soon after that me and mammy
told our mistress goodbye, and move down to her daddy's place, 'bout ten
miles from Chapin. I was ten years old that year and we raise corn,
beans, 'taters and chickens for ourselves and to sell, when we could go
to Columbia and sell it and buy coffee and other things that we could
not raise at home. So we do pretty well for a year or two and we keep
up our tradin' trips to Columbia, which 'counts for me and Ben Lyles, my
cousin 'bout my age, comin' to Columbia on February 16, 1868. We sold
out and stayed all night at the home of Ben's uncle. He had us do some
tasks 'bout his home on Lincoln Street the next day and it was way in
the day befo' we start home. We walk north on what was known then as the
Winnsboro road 'til we come to Broad River road, and we take it. There
was one or two farm houses north of Elmwood Street on the Winnsboro road
at that time and only one house on Broad River road, the farm house of
Mr. Coogler, which is still standin'. There was a big woodsland at the
forks of the Winnsboro road and Broad River road.

"After we walk 'long the Broad River road, what seem to us for a quarter
of a mile, we see four or five old men standin' on the left side of the
road wavin' a white flag. We walks out in the woods on the right side
opposite and watches. Soon we see what seem lak a thousand men on hosses
comin' briskly 'long. The men keep wavin' the white flag. After many had
passed, one big bearded man rein up his hoss and speak with the men
wavin' the white flag. They tell the soldier there am no 'Rebel soldier'
in Columbia and the blue-clad army am welcome; beggin' them to treat the
old folks, women and children, well. The Yankee soldier set straight and
solemn on his hoss, and when the old men finish and hand him a paper, he
salute and tell them, 'Your message will be laid befo' General Sherman'.

"All this time the ground am shakin' from the roar of big guns 'cross
the river. Ben and me run thru the woods to our footlog and see
thousands still comin' into Columbia, all 'long. We get 'fraid and
stayed in the woods 'til we get out of sight of the soldiers. But we
ain't got far over the top of the hill 'til we come face to face with
more men on hosses. One of the men, who seem to be the leader, stop his
hoss and ask us boys some questions. We answer as best we can, when he
grin at us and pull out some money and give us a nickel a piece.

"We travel on toward Chapin and meet our mammies and many other people,
some them white. They all seem scared and my mammy and Ben's mammy and
us, turns up the river and camps on the hill, for the night, in the
woods. We never sleep much, for it was 'most as light as day, and the
smell of smoke was terrible. We could see people runnin' in certain
parts of Columbia, sometimes. Next mornin' we look over the city from
the bluff and only a few houses was standin' and hundreds of tumble-down
chimneys and the whole town was still smokin'.

"I dreams yet 'bout that awful time, but I thank God that he has
permitted me to live 'long enough to see the city rebuilt and it
stretching far over the area where we hid in the trees."

  Project #-1655
  Cassels R. Tiedeman
  Charleston, S.C.



Emma Fraser, a pathetic old character, probably on account of many
hardships, and the lack of family to care for her properly, shows the
wear and tear of years. She was born, in slavery, on a plantation near
Beaufort, of a mother whom she scarcely remembers, and cannot recall the
name of the plantation, nor the name of her mother's owner. She talks
very little but is most emphatic about the time of her birth. "I born in
rebel time, on de plantation down by Beaufort. My ma say I a leetle gal
when dey shoot de big gun on Fort Sumter. All dem people done dead an'
gone now. I aint know dey name any mo'. Wid de troublulation and
bombation I hab to tend wid an' de brain all wore down, you aint blame
me for not know.

"I wants to go to Hebben now an' when de roll is call up dere an' I be
dere, de Lord, he find a hiding place for me. I goes to chu'ch when I
kin an' sing too, but ef I sing an' it doan mobe (move) me any, den dat
a sin on de Holy Ghost; I be tell a lie on de Lord. No I aint sing when
it doan mobe me. You mus'n ax me to do dat.

"One day I see a big automobile on de street wid a old gemmun (gentleman)
ob slavery time settin' in em. I goes up to em an' ax how old he t'ink I
is, an' he say dat I come way, way back dere in de slavery day, an' he
know what he say."

  =Source:= Interview with the writer

          Emma Fraser, 98 Coming St, Charleston, S.C.
          Approx. 80 years old.

  Hattie Mobley
  Project 935
  Richland County



"I was bo'n in Adams Run, South Carolina, January 21st. 1844. My father
name was Robert King, an' my mother was Minder King. My father was bo'n
in Adams Run but my mother came from Spring Grove, South Carolina. I had
eight brothers an' sisters, Maria, Lovie, Josephine, Eliza, Victoria,
Charlie an' Robert King. The other two died w'en dey was babies. Only
three of us is alive now. Maria, who lives in Adams Run is 95 years old.
I was brought heh at the age of twelve to be maid for Mr. Mitchell, from
who' I didn't git any money but a place to stay an' a plenty of food an'
clothes. My bed was the ole time four post' with pavilion hangin' over
the top.

"I's use to wear thin clothes in hot weather an' warm comfortable ones
in the winter. On Sunday I wear a ole time bonnet, a'm hole apron, shoes
an' stockin'. My Master was kind to his slaves an' his overseer was all
Negroes. He had a large fa'm at Parkers' Ferry. He worked his slaves
'til twelve in the day an' the res' of the day they could do their own

"I never gone to school in my life an' massa nor missus ever help me to

"On the plantation was a meetin' house in which wen' used to have
meetin's every Chuseday night, Wednesday night, an' Thursday night. I
use to attend the white church. Doctor Jerico was de pastor. Collud
people had no preacher but dey had leader. Every slave go to church on
Sunday 'cause dey didn't have any work to do for Massa. My grandma use
to teach the catekism an' how to sing.

"Co'n shuckin' was always done in de night. Dere was also a dance. Es de
distance was five miles we would walk dere, work an' dance all night an'
come back early nex' mornin'.

"Fun'rals was at night an' w'en ready to go to the graveyard every body
would light a lightud knot as torch while every body sing. This is one
of the songs wen' use to sing,

  'Goin' to carry dis body
  To the grave-yard,
  Grave-yard don' you know me?
  To lay dis body down.'

"These are some the games wen' use to play,

  Have a han'ful of co'n den say,
  "Trow kissey Wilson let him go."

while the res' is to guess how many co'n is lef in his han's.

We ain't had no doctor, our Missus an' one of de slave' would 'tend to
the sick.

The Yankees take t'ree nights to march through I was afraid of dem an'
clim' into a tree. One call me down an' say, "I am your frien'". He give
me a piece of money an' I wasn't 'fraid no mo.

After de war I still work' as a maid for Mr. Mitchell.

My husband was Dan'l Frost. We didn't have no weddin', jus' married at
de jedge office. We had three chillun.

I joined the church 'cause I wanted to be a christian an' I think every
body should be. I move here wid my gran' daughter, bout ten year ago.

  Reference: Interview with (Mrs) Adele Frost who is supported by her
  Master's people.

  Project #-1655
  Martha S. Pinckney
  Charleston, S.C.



"My name is Amos Gadsden, not Gadson, like some call it--the same old
name Gadsden"--he added, with a friendly smile.

"I was born at St. Philip's Street; that is where old Miss lived then.
(We belonged to old Mr. Titus Bissell) I don't rightly know what year,
but I was nineteen years old before the War, when the family Bible was
lost; old Mistress had my birth written in the Bible. I keep my age by
Mas. Henry, he died three years ago; he was 83, and I was five years
older than he was, so I am 88. Oh, yes, I can remember slavery! My
grandmother was a 'daily gift' to old Mistress when they were both
children. Grandmother was nurse to the children; she lived over a
hundred years and nursed all the children and grandchildren. She died at
the Bissell's home on Rutledge Avenue years and years after slavery.
Mother Ellen was laundress; she died first part of the War. My father
tended the yard and was coachman.

"I never got a slap from my mistress; I was treated like a white person;
if my mistress talked to me to correct me, I want to cry. Sometime I
slept at the foot of my mistress bed." Whatever the occasion, Amos was
very proud of it, and mentioned it a second time in his story, and
added--"it ain't every little boy that could say that.

"We spent the summers in Charleston--winters on the plantation; Cypress
Plantation which belonged to Mr. Bissell's father, Mr. Baker, was near
Green Pond. The smoke house was there full of meat; the fields and the
gardens were there and everybody had plenty to eat--but still there was
bad people just like they are now. You can make yourself respectable,
but some never do it. The bad ones had to be punished; they got a few
lashes on 'um. Now they go to Court, and they go to jail--If there was a
place to whip bad coons, they would be scared to behave like they do
now--the jails wouldn't be so full. There was no bad treatment of our
people. Some neighbors that never owned any slaves, hired negro help and
ill-treated them--old mistress felt so bad about this.

"I grew up with the white children in the family, but I was trained to
step aside at all times for white people. My grandmother's name was Affy
Calvert; she was a 'daily gift' to old Mistress; she was given to her
when they were both children and trained up in her service. Old Mistress
died long before her because she lived over a hundred years, and nursed
all the children and grandchildren. She brought me up more than my
mother; she and I never gave up the family."

Amos makes a strange statement: "Old Mausa, Mr. T.L. Bissell, (voice
lowered) was a =Yankee=, but he lived long before the War," with an
indulgent smile, and in a lower voice, with his hand up to his mouth he
continued as though communicating a dangerous confidence, "Oh, yes,
Ma'am--but he was a =Yankee=!" What Amos meant will remain a family

"I was trained by old Tony for yard boy before the War. I looked out
that no harm came to the older children, but one day they got away from
me," Amos chuckled, "they went to play on the logs in the lumber yard,
around what is now Halsey's Mill. The water was full of timber, open to
the river, (Ashley) and the tide was running out. One of the boys got on
a log, and two others on another log, and the little scamps paddled the
logs out, but when they found themselves in the tide they were scared,
and screamed at the top of their voices. I wasn't far off and heard
them. I was scared too. I jumped into the water and swam to get a
bateau; when they saw me they hushed. The tide had carried them some
distance before I caught up with them--was down near Chisolm's Rice
Mill. Mr. Chisolm saw it; he gave me a five dollar bill, Confederate
money, for saving the children."

Amos throws a new light on old history;--"Before the War come here it
was down in Beaufort, on the Port Royal Road; Confederates on one side,
Yankees on the other, and things happen here that belong to War. One
evening, early dusk, because it was winter, I was with two white boys on
the corner of Hasell street and East Bay. We stopped to watch a balloon
slowly floating in the sky. I never saw anything like it before--it
looked so pretty--and while we were looking a streak of fire came
straight down from the balloon to Russell's Planing Mill at the foot of
Hasell street,[1] right by us. In a short time the mill was on fire;
nothing could put it out. One place after another caught, and big flakes
of fire were bursting up and flying through the air, and falling on
other buildings. (illustrating with his arms, hands, and whole body) The
first church that burned was the Circular Church on Meeting Street; then
Broad street and the Roman Catholic Church, and St. Andrews Hall. Yes,
Ma'am, 'course I remember St. Andrews Hall, right next to the Roman
Catholic Cathedral on Broad Street! That was 1861, before I went to
Virginia with Dr. H. E. Bissel. That balloon went on down to Beaufort, I
s'pose. Yes Ma'am, =I saw it= drop that fire on Russell's Mill.

"I went to Virginia with Dr. H.E. Bissell in the Army; he was a surgeon.
A camp of Negroes went ahead to prepare the roads; pioneers, they called
them. I remember Capt. Colcock, (he mentioned several other officers,)
Honey Hill--terrible fighting--fight and fight! had to 'platoon' it. I
was behind the fighting with Dr. Bissell. I held arms and legs while he
cut them off, till after a while I didn't mind it. Hard times came to
the Army; only corn to eat. When the bombardment came to Charleston the
family moved to Greenville; I was in Virginia with the Doctor. The
railroad bridge across the Ashley River was burned to prevent the
Yankees from coming into Charleston; the ferry boat 'Fannie' crossed the
river to make connections with the Savannah Railroad. The 54th
Massachusetts Regiment was coming down to Charleston; they destroyed
railroads as they came. Sherman set fire everywhere he went--didn't do
much fighting, just wanted to destroy as he went.

"After Freedom, we went back to the Plantation; lived catch as catch
can. The smoke house had been emptied by the Yankees, and no money.
Lieutenant Duffy, at the Citadel, fell in love with me and offered me a
place to work with him for money. I took it and worked for him til he
left--but I didn't give up the family. I work for Mas. Titus now;
haven't stopped calling Mr. Orvel Bissell 'Mas' today; I raised him but
I still call him Mas. Orvel. My young Missus was the one who taught me;
she kept a school for us; we took it for a play school; when I was a
little boy I knew the alphabet.

"We buried our valuables in sacks in holes, then put plants over the
hiding places. The silver was buried by Cypress Pond; and we saved all
buried valuables.

"To show how Mas. Titus (Bissell) will look out for me--a man I rented
from wanted to put some 'coon' in my room. I had paid him the rent, but
one day I came and find my things being put out. I went right to Mas.
Titus and told him. He was mad, and, excusing the words, he said, 'do
you mean that damned so-and-so is putting your things out, well, we'll
go there'--so we went, and the man was so scared he wanted to put the
things back but Mas. Titus said: 'He sha'nt bother with any such damned
person as you are. I'll find a proper place for him,' and he found me a
good room on Short Street where I stayed for 8 years until the house was
sold--that make I move on Elliott street where I am now.

"My wife is long dead, and I have no children--this is my niece; my
brother's daughter. He went from this State three years ago and we have
never heard a word from him since. I take care of her. Does she do right
by me? She got to! I make her!"

    =Source:= Amos Gadsden, 88, 20 Elliott Street, Charleston, S.C.

    [Footnote 1: King, William L. in "The Newspaper Press of Charleston,
    S.C." Lucas and Richardson (Book Press) 1882--200p--pp-120-121.
    Charleston Library Society.

    Confirms the statement that the fire of 1861 started in the
    Russell's Planing Mill, though no mention is made of its origin.]

  Project 1886 -1-
  District #4
  Spartanburg, S.C.
  From Field Notes
  May 26, 1937


Journeying on Cudd Street this morning and stopping at the "Old Ladies'
Home" (an institution for negroes), the writer found two ex-slaves
sitting on the porch passing the time of day with those who passed the
house. They both spoke very respectfully and asked me to come in.

One was seated and she asked me to have a seat by her. Her name was
Janie Gallman and she said she was 84 years of age. Upon my telling her
my name she stated she knew my father and grandfather and had worked for
them in days gone by. "If your father or Mr. Floyd was living I wouldn't
want for a thing".

She was born in slavery on the plantation of Bill Keenan in Union
County. The place was situated between Pacolet River and Fairforest
Creek and near where Governor Gist had a plantation. Her mother and
father were both owned by Bill Keenan and he was a good master. She
never saw any of the slaves get a whipping and never saw any slave in
chains. When she, her father, and mother were set free, she said, "My
master gave my father a barrel of meal, a cow and a calf and a wagon of
corn when he sot him free. He gave every one of his slaves the same. He
had a big plantation, but I don't know how many acres of land there was,
but it was a big place."

She was married three times and her mother had 12 children, but she has
never had any.

Her young life was spent in playing with the children of the white
overseer. They used to jump rope most of the time. Whenever the overseer
left home to spend the night anywhere, his wife would send for her to
spend the night with the family. The overseer was "poor white trash".
She had plenty to eat in slavery days. Her father and mother had their
own garden, and she did her share of eating the vegetables out of the
garden. She remembered seeing plenty of wild turkeys as a child, but as
for hogs and cattle, she did not remember them running wild. She had
heard of conjuring, but she did not know how it was done--never saw
anybody who had been conjured--yet she had seen ghosts two or three
times. One night she saw a light waving up against a piece of furniture,
then come towards her, then flicker about the room, but she wasn't able
to see anybody holding the light. She had heard of headless men walking
around, yet had never seen any.

A neighbor told her a woman ghost came to her house one night, just sat
on the front steps and said nothing, repeated her visits several nights
in succession, but said no word as she sat on the front step. One night
the neighbor's husband asked the ghost what did she want, why she sat on
the steps and said nothing. The ghost then spoke and told him to follow
her. He followed her and she led him to the basement of the house and
told him to dig in the corner. He did and pretty soon he unearthed a
jar of money. The woman ghost told him to take just a certain amount and
to give the rest to a certain person. The ghost told the man if he
didn't give the money to the person she named, she would come back and
tear him apart. He very obediently took the small amount of the money
and gave the balance where the ghost directed, and he never saw the
woman sitting on his steps any more.

Another time she heard footsteps approaching a certain house in the
yard, but she could never see anybody walking, though she could
distinctly hear the gravel crunching as the ghost walked along. "God is
the only one who can do any conjuring. I don't believe anybody else

  =Source:= Aunt Janie Gallman, 391 Cudd St, Spartanburg, S.C.
          Interviewer: F.S. DuPre, Spartanburg, S.C.

  Project 1885 -1-
  Spartanburg, S.C.
  May 31, 1937
  District #4

  Edited by:
  Martha Ritter


"I was born in Edgefield County, S.C. (now called Saluda County) in
1857. My father and mother was Bill and Mary Kinard who was slaves of
John Kinard. The year I was born, I allus heard say, there was a big
fire near Columbia, S. C. It started in the woods near the river, spread
over all parts there and the people, womens with new-born infants, had
to leave in a hurry, going back from the fire and crossing the river, to
Edgefield County. I 'member there was a big fire in Prosperity back in
about 1875.

"I was a girl in slavery, worked in the fields from the time I could
work at all, and was whipped if I didn't work. I worked hard. I was born
on John Bedenbaugh's place; I was put up on the block and sold when a
girl, but I cried and held tight to my mistress's dress, who felt sorry
for me and took me back with her. She was Mrs. Sarah Bedenbaugh, as fine
a woman as ever lived.

"Marse Bedenbaugh had a 5-horse farm, and about 20 slaves. We didn't
have time to teach them to read and write; never went to church--never
went to any school. After the war some started a nigger school and a
brush-arbor church for niggers.

"When the Yankees went through their soldiers stole everthing, all
horses and supplies. The soldiers stopped at places, and like the
soldiers who come home foot-sore, they was lousy and dirty. Our soldiers
come with canteen shoes [TN: 'and' was crossed out in the original] and
old blankets swung on their backs and shoulders. The people would send
wagons out to meet them and bring them in, some of them could hardly
walk. The Yankee soldiers would take our rations at our gates and eat
them up. They would blow bugles at we children and beat drums. Our old
Missus would take victuals to them.

"The paterollers down there where we lived was Geo. Harris, Lamb Crew,
Jim Jones, and Theo. Merchant. They bothered us lots. On the first day
of the month, some was put up on the whipping block and whipped with an
oak paddle with holes in it to make blisters; then de blisters were cut
open with cowhide whips.

"When freedom come, all slaves went to some place to get work. My father
give me six cuts a day to work in the house to spin the yarn. My
mistress used to have me pick up de sheckles for her when she was making
a homespun dress. In the winter time we had homespuns, too, but
sometimes had flannel underwear. I helped at the corn mill, too, always
went there and tote a half bushel corn many days. The mill belonged to
Capt. McNary. I worked hard, plowed, cut wheat, split cord wood, and
other work just like a man.

"When any niggers died they had funerals like they do now, 'cept the
pallbearers den would sing. They carried the bodies in wagons, and the
preacher would say words while they was going to the grave.

"When the soldiers was here, I 'member how they would sing:

  "I'm all de way from Georgia,
  I'm all the way to fight,
  I left my good old mother,
  To come here to fight."

  "Joe Bowers, Joe Bowers,
  He had another wife,
  He's all de way from Missouri,
  To come here to fight."

"I didn't like slavery. I'd rather live like now.

"I thought Abraham Lincoln was a big man, a fine man. I thought Jeff
Davis was all right. I don't know nothing about Booker Washington."

  =Source:= Lucy Gallman (80), Newberry, S.C.
          Interviewer: G. Leland Summer, 1707 Lindsey St,
                        Newberry, S.C.

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg Dist. 4
  May 24, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I was born about 1857, and belonged to Marse George Gallman who lived
in the Dutch Fork, on de old road to Pomaria, S.C. There was not a
better man to his slaves. When the Ku Klux went through, they never hurt
anybody at our place. The Padder-rollers never did harm any of Marse
George's slaves--he would not allow it.

"After the war when I married, I moved to Newberry, but first, I moved
to the Jalapa section and lived there ten years.

"I allus 'member the old wheat mill dat old Captain Ellerson had in
Dutch Fork, on Cannons Creek. All the neighbors would take their wheat
there to grind."

  =Source:= Simon Gallman (80), Newberry, S.C.
          Interviewer: G. L. Summer, Newberry, S.C. (5/18/37).

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg, Dist. 4
  Oct. 25, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I live in de house wid my grandniece and her husband. It is a two-room
house which dey rent; and dey take care of me. I am old, weak and in bed
much of de time. I can't work any, now. My grandniece had to give up her
job so she could stay home and take care of me. Dat makes it hard fer

"I don't remember much about de war nor de Ku Klux 'cept what I done
tole you befo'. Dey never bothered us. My master would not let 'em
bother us. He was George Gallman and he had a big farm and lots of
slaves. Just atter freedom come he made a coffin shop in back of his
house in a little one-room shack. He made coffins fer people about de
country. It got to be han'ted, and sometimes niggers could see ghosts
around dere at night, so dey say, I never saw none, myself.

"Master George and his mistress was good to de niggers. Dey always give
dem plenty to eat. I had it good, and never bothered about nothing den.
De slaves never learn't to read and write; but dey went to de
whitefolks' church. Dey had to go, and set in de back or in de gallery.

"When freedom come, de slaves hired out mostly as share-croppers. A
little later, some got small farms to rent. Since dat time dey have
worked at most anything dey could get to do. De ones dat moved to town
worked at odd jobs, some at carpenter work, janitor work or street work;
but most of dem worked in fields around town.

"I married Hattie Eckles. When she died I went to Jalapa and lived ten
years dere; den atter I got too old to work, I come to town and lived
wid my kin.

"I was about twelve years old when dey made me go to de field to work.
Befo' dat and after dat, too, I worked around de barn and took care of
de stock.

"As fer eats, we had plenty. We had good collards, turnips and other
good vegetables. De master has his own hogs, too, and we had plenty meat
to eat.

"Christmas was a big day fer us. We never worked dat day. We had good
dinner, and could do what we wanted to do. We never had to work in de
fields on Saturday. We would do washing or go hunting or something else.

"All I know about slavery being all right, is dat I had a good time,
better dan now. Abraham Lincoln was a good man. I don't know nothing
agin' him. Never heard anything about Jefferson Davis. I think Booker
Washington is a good man. He do good fer de niggers in giving dem

"I joined de church when I was young because others was joining. I think
everybody ought to belong to de church."

  =Source:= Simon Gallman (80), Newberry, S.C.
          Interviewer: G.L. Summer, Newberry, S.C. (9/3/37)

  Project 1885
  District #4
  Spartanburg, S.C.
  June 1, 1937

  Edited by:
  Martha Ritter


"I was born in 1861, at Gary's Lane, in Newberry County, S.C. My father
and mother and me were slaves of Dr. John Gary who lived in a big fine
house there. They had lots of slaves, and a large plantation. After
freedom come he told them they could go where they wanted to, but they
stayed on with Doc Gary. He was a good master; he never allowed any
paderollers around his place; he always give the slave a pass when he
went off. When de Ku Klux went up and down the road on horses, all
covered with white sheets, old Doc wouldn't allow them on his place.

"We was allowed to hunt, and we hunted rabbits, 'possums, a few foxes in
the neighborhood, partridges, squirrels, and doves.

"We went to school after freedom come; we had a school for niggers and
had a church for niggers, too.

"Doc Gary had a big piano in his house, and most everybody else had a
fiddle or Jews harp. He had a wide fireplace in his kitchen where he
cooked over it, in skillets.

"I think Abe Lincoln was a fine man and Jeff Davis was all right. Booker
Washington is a smart fellow."

  =Source:= Laurence Gary (76), Newberry, S.C. (Helena)
          Interviewer: G. Leland Summer, 1707 Lindsey St,
                          Newberry, S.C.

  Code No.
  Project 1885-(1)
  Prepared by Annie Ruth Davis
  Place, Marion, S.C.
  Date, December 2, 1937

  No. ----
  Reduced from ---- words
  Rewritten by ----

  Ex-Slave, Age 70-75

"I been born down yonder to old man Wash (Washington) Woodberry's
plantation. Pa Cudjo, he been keep my age in de Bible en he tell me dat
I come here de first year of freedom. Monday Woodberry was my
grandfather en Celina Woodberry, my grandmother. I tell you, I is seen a
day, since I come here. My mammy, she been drown right down dere in de
Pee Dee river, fore I get big enough to make motion en talk what I know.
Dat how-come it be dat Pa Cudjo raise me. You see, Pa Cudjo, he been
work down to de swamp a heap of de time en been run boat en rafter up en
down dat river all bout dere. Ma, she get word, one day, she better come
cross de river to de Sand Hills to see bout grandmammy cause she been
took down wid de fever en was bad off. Pa Cudjo tell her de river been
mighty high, but dat he would risk to take us. Say, Ma, she get in de
boat wid Pa Cudjo en take me in her lap en dey start cross de river. De
wind, it begin gettin higher en higher en de boat, it go dis way en den
it go de other way. Cose I never recollect nothin bout dat day cause I
won' nothin, so to speak, but a sucklin child den. But I hear Pa Cudjo
speak bout de water wash rougher en rougher en knock side dat boat just
like it been comin out de ocean. Say, fore he think bout he in trouble,
de wind just snatch he hat right out in de water en when he reach out
after it, he hear Ma holler en de next thing he know, us all been
throwed right out in de water. Yes, mam, de boat turned over en dumped
us all out in dat big old crazy river. Pa Cudjo say, if he ain' never
had no mind to pray fore den, he know, when he see dat boat gwine down
dat stream, dere won' nothin' left to do, but to pray. Pa Cudjo tell dat
he make for de bank fast as he could get dere cause he know de devil
been in de river dat day en he never know whe' he might go. I reckon you
hear talk bout, Pa Cudjo, he been a cussin man. Never had no mind what
he was gwine let loose no time. But poor Ma, she been a buxom woman, so
dey tell me, en when she hit de bottom of dat river, she never didn'
come to de top no more. Like I tell you, I never been long come here den
en I ain' been fast gwine under de water cause dere won' no heaviness
nowhe' bout me. Pa Cudjo say, he pray en he cuss en when he look up, he
see a boat makin up de river wid two men in it en me lyin dere 'tween
dem. You see, dey had come along en pick me up bout a mile from dere
floatin down de river. Now, I tellin you what come out of Pa Cudjo
mouth. Pa Cudjo say, when he see me, he been so happy, he pray en he
cuss. Say, he thank de Lord for savin me en he thank de devil for lettin
me loose. Yes, mam, I tell you, I been raise up a motherless child right
dere wid Pa Cudjo en I been take de storm many a day. I say, if you is
determine to go through wid a thing, God knows, you can make it. Cose
Pa Cudjo, he been mighty good to me, but he used to have dem cussin
spells, my Lord. Been love to keep up fun all de time."

"Oh, de colored people never had no liberty, not one speck, in slavery
time. Old man Wash Woodberry, he was rough wid his niggers, but dem what
lived on Miss Susan Stevenson's plantation, dey been fare good all de
time. I know what I talk bout cause I been marry Cato Gause en he tell
me dey been live swell to Miss Susan's plantation. Dat whe' he been born
en raise up. Hear Pa Cudjo talk bout dat Miss Harriet Woodberry whip my
mother one day en she run away en went down in Woodberry en stayed a
long time. Say, some of de Woodberry niggers stayed down dere till after
freedom come here. Yes, mam, white folks would whip dey colored people
right dere, if dey didn' do what dey tell dem to do. Oh, dey was awful
in dat day en time. Colored people had to live under a whip massa en
couldn' do nothin, but what he say do. Yes, mam, dey had dese head men,
what dey call overseers, on all de plantations dat been set out to whip
de niggers. I tell you, it was rough en tough in dem days. Dey would
beat you bout to death. My grandfather en my grandmother, dey die wid
scars on dem dat de white folks put dere."

"Oh, my Lord, dey would give de colored people dey allowance to last dem
a week to a time, but dey never didn' give dem nothin widout dey work
to get it en dat been dey portion. I remember, I hear Cato tell bout Mr.
Bobbie say, "Mom Dicey, dey tell me dey catch Bacchus stealin Pa's
watermelons out de field de other night." (Bacchus was Mom Dicey's son).
Grandmother Dicey say, "Oh, he never take nothin but dem little rotten
end ones." Den Mr. Bobbie say, "Well, dey tell me, dey catch Bacchus
stealin de horse's corn out de feed trough de other night." En
grandmother Dicey say, "Well, if he did, he never take nothin, but what
been belong to him." Dat it, some white folks was better to dey colored
people den others would be. Would give dem so much of meal en meat en
molasses to last dem a week en dey would feed all de nigger chillun to
de big house 'tween meals. Have cook woman to give dem all de milk en
clabber dey wanted dere to de white people yard."

"De overseer, he would give you a task to do en you had to do it, too,
if you never been want your neck broke. Yes, mam, de overseer would
stock you down en whip you wid a buggy whip. Some of de time, when de
colored people wouldn' do what dey been put to do, dey would hide in de
woods en stay dere till de overseer come after dem. Oh, dey would find
dem wid de nigger dog. When de overseer would find out dey had run away,
he would send de nigger dog to hunt dem. My God, child, dem dogs would
sho find you. Some of de time, dey would run you up a tree en another
time, dey would catch you whe' dere won' no tree to go up en grab you
en gnaw you up. Yes, mam, de overseer would hear you hollerin or else he
would hear de dog barkin at you up de tree. Dem nigger dogs, I know you
is see dem kind of dogs. Dey is high, funny lookin dogs. Don' look like
no other kind of dog. When dey would find de one dey was huntin, dey
would just stand right dere en look up in de tree en howl."

"De colored people never had no church dey own in slavery time cause dey
went to de white people church. Yes, mam, I been dere to de Old Neck
Church many a day. In dat day en time, when de preacher would stand up
to preach, he would talk to de white folks en de colored people right
dere together. But when de colored people would get converted in dem
days, dey never been allowed to praise de Lord wid dey mouth. Had to
pray in dey sleeve in dem days. De old man Pa Cudjo, he got right one
day to de big house en he had to pray wid he head in de pot."

"No, mam, de colored people never didn' have no liberty no time in dem
days. Cose dey had dey little crop of corn en 'tatoe en thing like dat
bout dey house, what dey would work at night, but dat won' nothin to
speak bout. Oh, dey would put fire in a fry pan en fetch it up on a
stump to see to work by."

"No, child, white people never teach colored people nothin, but to be
good to dey Massa en Mittie. What learnin dey would get in dem days, dey
been get it at night. Taught demselves."

"Now, Pa Cudjo, if he been here, my Lord, I couldn' never say what he
might could tell you. Like I say, he been a cussin man en he die wid a
bright mind. Cose I never come here what dey call a slavery child, but I
been hear slavery people speak dey mind plenty times."

  =Source:= Louisa Gause, colored, age 70-75; Brittons Neck, S.C.
          Personal interview by Annie Ruth Davis.

  Project #1665
  W.W. Dixon
  Winnsboro, S.C.



"I was born at Palatka, Florida. I was a slave of Captain John Kinsler.
Wish all white men was just like him, and all white women like Miss
Maggie Dickerson, de lady that looks after me now.

"Captain John wouldn't sell his niggers and part de members of de
family. He fetched us all, Daddy George, Mammy Martha, Gran'dad Jesse,
Gran'mammy Nancy, and my two brothers, Flanders and Henry, from Florida
to Richland County, South Carolina, along wid de rest.

"My mistress was named Mary. Marster John had a daughter named Adelaide,
but they call her Ada. I was called up on one of her birthdays, and
Marster Bob sorta looked out of de corner of his eyes, first at me and
then at Miss Ada, then he make a little speech. He took my hand, put it
in Miss Ada's hand, and Say: 'Dis your birthday present, darlin'.' I
make a curtsy and Miss Ada's eyes twinkle like a star and she take me in
her room and took on powerful over me.

"We lived in a two-room log house daubed wid mud and it had a wood and
mud chimney to de gable end of one room. De floor was hewed logs laid
side by side close together. Us had all we needed to eat.

"De soap was made in a hopper for de slaves. How dat you ask? A barrel
was histed on a stand 'bove de ground a piece; wheat straw was then put
into de barrel, hickory ashes was then emptied in, then water, and then
it set 'bout ten days or more. Then old fats and old grease, meat skins,
and rancid grease, was put in. After a while de lye was drained out, put
in a pot, and boiled wid grease. Dis was lye-soap, good to wash wid.

"Slaves had own garden. Some of de old women, and women bearin' chillun
not yet born, did cardin' wid hand-cards; then some would get at de
spinnin' wheel and spin thread, three cuts make a hank. Other women
weave cloth and every woman had to learn to make clothes for the family,
and they had to knit coarse socks and stockin's. Mighty nigh all de
chillun had a little teency bag of asafetida, on a string 'round they
necks, to keep off diseases.

"Us slaves had 'stitions and grieve if a black cat run befo' us, or see
de new moon thru de tree tops, and when we start somewhere and turn
back, us sho' made a cross-mark and spit in it befo' we commence walkin'

"I 'member Wheeler's men come to our house first, befo' de Yankees. They
took things just like de Yankees did dat come later. Marster John was a
Captain, off fightin' for Confeds but dat didn't stop Wheeler's men from
takin' things they wanted, no sir! They took what they wanted. Wasn't
long after then dat the Yankees come and took all they could and burnt
what they couldn't carry off wid them.

"After de war I marry Abe Smith and had two chillun by him, Clifton and
Hattie. De boy died and Hattie marry a man named Lee. She now lives at
White Oak.

"My husband die, I marry Sam Gibson, and had a nice trousseau dat time.
Blue over-skirt over tunic, petticoats wid tattin' at de borders, red
stockin's and gaiter shoes. I had a bustle and a wire hoop and wore a
veil over my hair."

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg Dist. 4
  May 31, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I was Capt. Jack's body-guard in during de whole entire war. I means
Capt. Jack Giles, his own self. And I is pushing close to a hundred. Dey
used to make likker in de holler down on Dr. Bates' place deep in de
forest. De soldiers would drink by de barrels. Mr. Will Bates, Dr.
Bates' son, helped me out of skimage one time.

"Don't never go in no war, 'less you is gwine to give orders like my
marse Jack. Dat is, onless you is gwine to act as body-guard. Time of de
war, old man Sammy Harmon had a state still. He never sold no likker to
no private. De bluecoats, dey blockade Charleston and Savannah. Miss
Janie couldn't get no spices fer her cakes, neither could she get no
linen and other fine cloth fer her 'dornment. Couldn't nothing get by
dat blockade. So Mr. Sammy, he make de likker by de barrels. Dem dat had
wagins come and fotch it off, as many barrels as de mules could draw,
fer de soldiers. I drunk much as I wanted. De drum taps say, 'tram
lam-lam, following on de air. De sperrits lift me into a dance, like
dis, (he danced some) 'cept I was light on my foots den--atter I had
done drunk, anyhow.

"De sharp-shooters got atter me one day. Mr. Dewey, one of de rangers,
sent fer de cannon balls. Dese run de bluecoats.

"I went to Petersburg wid Capt. Douglas, dat Miss Janie's second
husband. Our train went dat fast, dat it took my breaf away. But de cars
goes much faster, gwine to Patter-a-rac now.

"All de picket-men had dogs. Lots of de soldiers had niggers wid dem. At
night in de camp when de Yankees would come spying around, de dogs would
bark. De niggers would holler. One Confederate officer had a speckledy
dog that could smell dem Yankees far off. When de Yankees got dare,
everything was ready. When us want information fer direction and time,
all us had to do was to look up through de pines fer it.

"One song I remembers is, 'would like to catch-a feller looking like
me'. Another was, 'I feel as happy as a big sun-flower.' (Charlie can
sing them both, and dance accompaniment.)

"At Petersburg, April 1863, de Yankees act like dey was gwine to blow
everything up. I crawl along de ground wid my Marster, and try to keep
him kivered as best as I could. Us reached Chica-hominy River and go
over to Petersburg. Den dey blow up Richmond. De river turn to blood
while I was looking at it. De cannons deafened me and I has been hard of
hearing ever since. Some de blue tails clumb de trees when us got atter

"Next time I'se gwine to tell you about deserters and refugees. Ain't
nobody got no business in automobiles 'cept lawyers, doctors, and

  =Source:= Charlie Giles, Rt. 3, Box 274, Union, S.C.
          Caldwell Sims, Union, S.C. 2/8/37.

  Project #-1655
  Phoebe Faucette
  Hampton County


  Luray, S.C.

There is no doubt that "Uncle Gillison" is old. He is knock-kneed and
walks slowly. His long thin hands clutch his chair strongly for support
as he continually shifts his position. When he brings his hands to the
back of his head, as he frequently does, in conversation, they tremble
as with palsy. He enjoys talking of the old times as do many of his

"Yes, Maam," he starts off. "I been heah when de war was on. I seen when
de drove of people come up. Dey was dress in blue clothes. Call dem
Yankees. Had de Scouts, too. But dey was de Southerners. I knowed all
dem! I wasn't nuthin' but a little boy but I kin remember it.

"Mr. Jesse Smith wife been my young Missus. Dey lived at Furman. My
mother mind Mr. Trowell's father. His name was Mr. Ben Trowell. I call
him, Bub Ben. Bub was for brother. Dat de way we call folks den--didn't
call 'em by dere names straight out. Mr. Trowell's mother we call, Muss,
for Miss. Sort of a nickname. We call Mr. Harry Fitts grandmother, Muss,

"My daddy was name Aleck Trowell. After freedom he was call by his own
name, Aleck Gillison. After freedom some was call by dere own name--some
were, and some weren't. My father was sold from a Gillison, first off.

"How old I is? Well, Missus, I been put on de road to 75 years, but I'm
more than dat. I'm between seventy and eighty years old.

"I knows Mr. Tom Lawton. Dey was rich people. My old Massa and him been
boys together. Dey was a place call de Trowell Mill Pond right at de
Lawton place. Mr. Lawton was sure rich, 'cause we all had a
plenty--plenty to eat, and sech likes--Mr. Lawton was rich! When Mr.
Trowell got up a little higher than what he was, he trade his Lena place
for a place at Stafford. De Stafford place was some better.

"Yes Maam, de records was burn. Dey had a courthouse at Gillisonville in
dem times. Dat fact 'bout it Miss. Now I don't want you to say a nigger
'spute your word, or nuthin' like that, (this, in response to the
visitor having remarked that the records were burned at Beaufort) but I
don't think that Beaufort was built up till after the war. Gillisonville
was right muchly built up. I don't think de records was burn at
Beaufort. I think it was at de courthouse at Gillisonville dey was burn
up. Now de district was call Beaufort District, but de courthouse was at
Gillisonville. Gillisonville was where dey had de trial of de Mr. Martin
dat kill Mr. Peeples. De Morrisons lived at Gillisonville. Plenty of

"I kin tell you where two of de old Robert homes used to be. One was
back dis way toward Scotia from Robertville. Dat was de Mr. John H.
Robert' place. Had a whole string of cedar trees going up to his place.
Now den, 'bout two miles out from Robertville going from de white folk'
church out toward Black Swamp was another Robert place. Dat where old
Major Robert lived. He had a whole tun (turn) of slaves. Dere was no
Robert live right in de village of Robertville. De Lawtons was de only
people live right in Robertville--and one family of Jaudons. I don't
know of no other Robert home.

"Dat's all I kin tell you 'bout de old times, Missus. I don't want to
tell you what ain't true."

  =Source:= Willis Gillison, 75 years old, (Ex-slave) Luray,

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg Dist. 4
  June 10, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"We lived in a log house during the Ku Klux days. Dey would watch you
just like a chicken rooster watching fer a worm. At night, we was
skeered to have a light. Dey would come around wid de 'dough faces' on
and peer in de winders and open de do'. Iffen you didn't look out, dey
would skeer you half to death. John Good, a darkey blacksmith, used to
shoe de horses fer de Ku Klux. He would mark de horse shoes with a bent
nail or something like that; then atter a raid, he could go out in the
road and see if a certain horse had been rode; so he began to tell on de
Ku Klux. As soon as de Ku Klux found out dey was being give away, dey
suspicioned John. Dey went to him and made him tell how he knew who dey
was. Dey kept him in hiding, and when he told his tricks, dey killed

"When I was a boy on de 'Gilmore place', de Ku Klux would come along at
night a riding de niggers like dey was goats. Yes sir, dey had 'em down
on all-fours a crawling, and dey would be on dere backs. Dey would carry
de niggers to Turk Creek bridge and make dem set up on de bannisters of
de bridge; den dey would shoot 'em offen de bannisters into de water. I
'clare dem was de awfulest days I ever is seed. A darky name Sam Scaife
drifted a hundred yards in de water down stream. His folks took and got
him outen dat bloody water and buried him on de bank of de creek. De Ku
Klux would not let dem take him to no graveyard. Fact is, dey would not
let many of de niggers take de dead bodies of de folks no whars. Dey
just throwed dem in a big hole right dar and pulled some dirt over dem.
Fer weeks atter dat, you could not go near dat place, kaise it stink so
fer and bad. Sam's folks, dey throwed a lot of 'Indian-head' rocks all
over his grave, kaise it was so shallah, and dem rocks kept de wild
animals from a bothering Sam. You can still see dem rocks, I could carry
you dere right now.

"Another darky, Eli McCollum, floated about three and a half miles down
de creek. His folks went dere and took him out and buried him on de
banks of de stream right by de side of a Indian mound. You can see dat
Indian mound to dis very day. It is big as my house is, over dere on de
Chester side.

"De Ku Klux and de niggers fit at New Hope Church. A big rock marks de
spot today. De church, it done burnt down. De big rock sets about seven
miles east of Lockhart on de road to Chester. De darkies killed some of
de Ku Klux and dey took dere dead and put dem in Pilgrims Church. Den
dey sot fire to dat church and it burnt everything up to de very bones
of de white folks. And ever since den, dat spot has been known as 'Burnt
Pilgrim'. De darkies left most of de folks right dar fer de buzzards and
other wild things to eat up. Kaise dem niggers had to git away from dar;
and dey didn't have no time fer to fetch no word or nothing to no folks
at home. Dey had a hiding place not fer from 'Burnt Pilgrim'. A darky
name Austin Sanders, he was carring some victuals to his son. De Ku Klux
cotch him and dey axed him whar he was a gwine. He lowed dat he was a
setting some bait fer coons. De Ku Klux took and shot him and left him
lying right in de middle of de road wid a biscuit in his dead mouth.

"Doctor McCollum was one of dem Ku Klux, and de Yankees sot out fer to
ketch him. Doc., he rid a white pony called 'Fannie'. All de darkies,
dey love Doc, so dey would help him fer to git away from de Yankees,
even though he was a Ku Klux. It's one road what forks, atter you
crosses Wood's Ferry. Don't nobody go over dat old road now. One fork go
to Leeds and one to Chester. Well, right in dis fork, Mr. Buck Worthy
had done built him a grave in de 'Woods Ferry Graveyard'. Mr. Worthy had
done built his grave hisself. It was built out of marble and it was
kivered up wid a marble slab. Mr. Worthy, he would take and go dar and
open it up and git in it on pretty days. So old Doc., he knowed about
dat grave. He was going to see a sick lady one night when dey got atter
him. He was on old Fannie. Dey was about to ketch de old Doc. when he
reached in sight of dat graveyard. It was dark. So Doc., he drive de
horse on pass de fork, and den he stop and hitch her in front of some
dense pines. Den he took and went to dat grave and slip dat top slab
back and got in dar and pulled it over him, just leaving a little crack.
Doc. lowed he wrapped up hisself in his horse blanket, and when de
Yankees left, he went to sleep in dat grave and never even woke up till
de sun, it was a shinning in his face.

"Soon atter dat, my sister took down sick wid de misery. Doc., he come
to see her at night. He would hide in de woods in daytime. We would
fetch him his victuals. My sister was sick three weeks 'fore she died.
Doc, he would take some blankets and go and sleep in dat grave, kaise he
know'd dey would look in our house fer him. Dey kept on a coming to our
house. Course we never know'd nothing 'bout no doctor at all. Dar was a
nigger wid wooden bottom shoes, dat stuck to dem Yankees and other po'
white trash 'round dar. He lowed wid his big mough dat he gwine to find
de doctor. He told it dat he had seed Fannie in de graveyard at night.
Us heard it and told de doctor. Us did not want him to go near dat
graveyard any more. But Doc, he just laugh and he lowed dat no nigger
was a gwine to look in no grave, kaise he had tried to git me to go over
dar wid him at night and I was skeer'd.

"One night, just as Doc was a covering up, he heard dem wooden shoes a
coming; so he sot up in de grave and took his white shirt and put it
over his head. He seed three shadows a coming. Just as dey got near de
doc, de moon come out from 'hind a cloud and Doc, he wave dat white
shirt and he say dem niggers just fell over grave-stones a gitting outen
dat graveyard. Doc lowed dat he heard dem wooden shoes a gwine up de
road fer three miles. Well, dey never did bother the doctor any more.

"Doc, he liked to fiddle. Old Fannie, she would git up on her hind legs
when de doc would play his fiddle."

  =Source:= Brawley Gilmore (col), 34 Hamlet St., Union, S.C.
          Interviewer: Caldwell Sims, Union, S.C. (12/3/36)

  Project 1885-1
  Ex-slave--(Pick Gladdeny, Pomaria, Rt. 3, S.C.
  Interviewer: Caldwell Sims, Union, S.C.
  Typist: Louise Dawkins, Rt. 4, Union, S.C.

"Ah sees all through 'im now. Naw, sir, Ah doesn't know whar Ah wuz
bawn, maybe in Fairfield, maybe in the Dutch Fork, Ah doesn't know, Ah
won't dar. It wuz on May 15, 1856. Ah 'spec Ah could've been born on Mr.
Joe Hellar's place, you knows dat down on Hellar Creek.

"Ah'se old enough to go to de speechin' dat Dan White made on "Maybinton
Day" (emancipation speech at Maybinton, S.C.). You axes me more than I
can answer, Site of folks dar all day, settin' aroun. Us clam trees, so
us could see and hear. I sho did listen but I don't 'member nothin' what
de man say. I knows dis dat I still hears dat band music ringing in my
ears. At dat time I was so young dat all I cared about on dat day, was
the brass band what let out so much music. Niggers being free never
meant nothing to us chaps, cause we never had no mind fer all such as
that nohow. Dat de first band dat I ever seed, and to tell you de truf I
never seed no more till the World War fotch de soldiers all through
here. Bands charms me so much dat dey just plumb tickles the tips of my
toes on both feets.

"Squire William Hardy was de man dat I worked for when I had done turned
five. Dey teach me to bring in chips, kindling wood, fire wood and
water. I learnt to make Marse's fire ever morning. Dat won't no trouble,
cause all I had to do was rake back de ashes from the coals and throw on
some chips and lightwood and de fire come right up. Won't long 'fore I
was big enough to draw water and bring in big wood. You knows what big
fire places they got down dar cause Squire Hardy--Mr. Dick's Pa, and Pa
and Heyward and Frank's grandpa.

"Squire Hardy was a good man so was Mr. Dick. Mr. Dick was dat smart
till he just naturally never forgot nothing that was told to him. If he
was a-living, he could tell you way back before de Squire's time. I was
right dar at Squire Hardy's dat day Freedom come and de band come to

"Going farther back than this, droves of niggers used to come down the
road by Squire Hardy's front gate. Yes, sir, a overseer used to come
through here driving niggers; just like us drives cows and hogs up
around this big road these days and times. One day Squire Hardy went out
and stopped a drove coming down de road in the dust. He pick him out a
good natured looking darky and give the overseer one eye contrary
niggers, what nobody didn't like for the good-natured ones. Ain't got no
more to say. I does not remember but I has heared about the time when
my ma moved from Hellar's Plantation in the Dutch Fork to the Tom Lyles
quarter in Fairfield. My ma's name Sally Murphy. Her master was Dave
Murphy. He stayed at Tom Lyles. Mistus Betsy (Dave Murphy) cared for
her. Mr. Dave Murphy overseed for Capt. Tom Lyles who lived about two
miles from Lyles' Ford on Broad River.

"I don't know what things has gone to. So much diffence in everthing now
than it was back in dem days. Don't know nothing about no Booker T.
Washington. I sees much but hears little 'bout dat what I doesn't see,
Yes, siree boy, all such little 'muck' go in one ear and come out
tother'n wid me. Dat's de talk fer dese young niggers dats eddicated,
and I ain't dat bad off.

"Winnsboro fust town I ever seed, but it don't favor itself now.

"Maybinton the place I love best in all the world. Most my life is right
here. I'll be buried in Hardy graveyard, whar my white folks dat was so
good to me lie sleeping, and dat's whar my ma and pa and others that I
loves lies too.

"Post office at Maybinton is whar Miss Bessie Oxner stay. Bill Oxner,
her pa kept de post office from de time it started till they stopped it,
fur as I knows. It look better then than it does now. Mr. Bill Oxner
pretty good man.

"He was a settled man. His wife was a good-looking lady who before her
marriage was a Bethune.

"Dar was a big store at the end of Mr. W. B. Whitney's plantation. Dis
along to'd first of Freedom. Mr. Slattery lived twixt the Maybins and
the Whitney's house. The store upon the end was kept by Mr. Pettus Chick
and Mr. Bill Oxner. It was a good store. Didn't have to go to Newber'y
to git no candy and 'Bacco. And Dr. Jim Ruff was de doctor what tended
to folks in dem parts when dey got sick.

"De old Buck when I first knowed it was run fer a dwelling house by Mr.
Jeff Stewart. I been knowed Maybinton all my life. But when I come along
stages had done gone out but that's where dey stopped when they come
from Spring Hill. I'se heared dat de Buck had large stables and a lots
of folks stop there and rested overnight on their way to the Springs.
(Glenn's, Chick's, and West Springs.)

"Used to rather dance than to eat. Started out at sundown and git back
to the Whitney's at daybreak, den from dar run all de way to Squire
Hardy's to git dar by sunup. Pats our feets and knocks tin pans was the
music dat us niggers danced to all night long. Put on my clean clothes
dat was made right on the plantation and wear them to the dance. Gals
wore their homespun stockings. Wore the dresses so long dat they
kivered their shoes. My britches were copperus colored and I had on a
home wove shirt with a pleated bosom. It was dyed red and had
wristbands. I wore that shirt for five years.

"Didn't have no nigger churches down dar den. We went to Chapman's
stand. It had a brush top and log seats. The darkies from the Hardy
Plantation walked five miles to hear a nigger from Union preach. He driv
a one horse waggin and course he stayed around from place to place and
the folks take care of him and his mule. Big Jim Henderson owned
Chapman's stand which was in the Glymp quarter. The Glymp quarter still
got the best land in our settlement yet. All my 'quaintances done left
me, fac' is, most of them done crossed over de river. Folks meets me and
speaks familiar. I axes, "Who is that?" I used to deal with Mr. Bee
Thompson in Union.

"I'se got some business to tend to in Union soon and I spec I be up
there in short to see is it anything familiar dar."

  Project #1655
  W.W. Dixon
  Winnsboro, S.C.


Henry Gladney lives with his wife, his son, Murdock, his
daughter-in-law, Rose, and seven grandchildren. They live near White
Oak, S.C., in a two-room frame house with a one-room box board annex. He
works a one-horse farm for Mr. Cathcart and piddles a little at the
planing mills at Adgers. His son does the ploughing. The daughter-in-law
and grandchildren hoe and pick cotton and assist in the farm work. Henry
is of medium height, dark brown complexion, and is healthy but not

"I lives out on de John H. Cathcart place, close to White Oak. In
slavery time my mammy b'long to old Marse Johnnie Mobley, and us lived
in de quarter 'bout three miles to de west of Woodward station, tho'
dere was no station dere when I was a boy. De station was down de
railroad from dere and then it was called Yonguesville. My mammy name
Lucy, my pappy name William, my sisters was Louise, Elsie, and Adeline.
My brudders name Tim and Curtis.

"I wasn't a very big boy in slavery time, tho' I 'member choppin'
cotton, and pickin' cotton and peas 'long 'side mammy in de field. Pappy
was called 'Bill de Giant', 'cause him was so big and strong. They have
mighty bad plantation roads in them days. I see my pappy git under de
wagon once when it was bogged up to de hub and lift and heft dat wagon
and set it outside de ruts it was bogged down in. Him stayed at de
blacksmith shop, work on de wagons, shoe de mules and hosses, make
hinges, sharpen de plow points and fix de iron rings in de wagon wheels.

"My pappy didn't 'low other slave men to look at my mammy. I see him
grab Uncle Phil once, throw him down on de floor, and when him quit
stompin' Uncle Phil, they have to send for Dr. Newton, 'cause pappy done
broke Uncle Phil's right leg. My old marster no lak dat way one of his
slaves was crippled up. Him 'low to whip pappy for it. Pappy tell mammy
to go tell Marse John if he whip him, he would run off and go to de
North. She beg for pappy so, dat nothin' was done 'bout it. 'Spect Marse
John fear to lose a good blacksmith wid two good legs, just 'bout a
small nigger man wid one good leg and one bad leg.

"It come to de time old marster have so many slaves he don't know what
to do wid them all. He give some of them off to his chillun. He give
them mostly to his daughters, Miss Marion, Miss Nancy, and Miss
Lucretia. I was give to his grandson, Marse John Mobley McCrorey, just
to wait on him and play wid him. Little Marse John treat me good
sometime and kick me 'round sometime. I see now dat I was just a little
dog or monkey, in his heart and mind, dat 'mused him to pet or kick as
it pleased him. Him give me de only money I ever have befo' freedom, a
big copper two-cent piece wid a hole in it. I run a string thru dat hole
and tied it 'round my neck and felt rich all de time. Little niggers
always wanted to see dat money and I was proud to show it to them every

"Little Marse John's mother was another daughter of old Marster John.
Her name was Dorcas. They live in Florida. I was took 'way down dere,
cried pow'ful to leave my mammy, but I soon got happy down dere playin'
in de sand wid Marse John and his little brudder, Charlie. Don't 'member
nothin' 'bout de war or de Yankees. Freedom come, I come back to de
Mobley quarters to mammy. I work for old Marster John up 'til after
Hampton was 'lected. I marry Florie Williams, a pretty black gal on de
Mobley quarters. Us is had seventeen chillun. So far as I know they is
all livin'. Some in Florida, some in Sparrows Point, Virginia, some in
Charlotte, N.C., and some in Columbia, S.C. Murdock and his wife, Katie,
and deir six chillun live in de same house wid me.

"My old marster have two daughters dat marry McCroreys. Miss Lucretia
marry James McCrorey and Miss Dorcas marry John McCrorey. Miss Lucretia
have a son name John. Miss Dorcas have a son name John. In talkin' wid
old mistress, 'fusion would come 'bout which John of de grandsons was
bein' meant and talked 'bout. Old Marster John settle dat.

"Old Marster John and old mistress (her name Katie) had de same
birthday, March de 27th, tho' old Marster John was two years older than
old Mistress Kate. They celebrate dat day every year. All de
chillun-in-laws and grandchillun come to de mansion, have a big dinner
and a big time. After dinner one day, all de men folks 'semble at de
woodpile. De sun was shinin' and old marster have me bring out a chair
for him but de balance of them set on de logs or lay 'round on de chips.
Then they begun to swap tales. Marse Ed P. Mobley hold up his hand and
say: 'See dis stiff finger? It'll never be straight agin. I got out of
ammunition at de secon' battle of Bull Run, was runnin' after a Yankee
to ketch him, threw my gun 'way to run faster, ketch him as he was 'bout
to git over a fence and choked his stiff neck so hard in de scuffle dat
I broke dat finger. General Lee hearin' 'bout it, changed me from de
infancy (infantry) to de calvary (cavalry) dat I might not run de danger
any more.' Old marster laugh and say: 'Jim, can you beat dat?' Marse Jim
Mobley say: 'Well, you all know what I done at Gettysburg? If all had
done lak me dat day, us would have won de war. Whenever I see a bullet
comin' my way, I took good aim at de bullet wid a double charge of
powder in my musket. My aim was so good dat it drove de enemy ball back
to kill a Yankee and glanced aside at de right time to kill another
Yankee. I shot a thousand times de fust day of de battle and two
thousand times de secon' day and kilt six thousand Yankees at
Gettysburg!' Old marster slap his sides and fell out de chair a
laughin'! When him git back in de chair, him say: 'Zebulon, what you
got to say?' Marse Zeb, p'intin' to his empty pants leg, say: 'Me and
some officers 'tended a chicken fight on de banks of de Chickenhominy
River de day befo' de battle of Shilo. De cocks fight wid gaves on deir
heels. Dere was five hundred fights and two hundred and fifty roosters
was kilt. Us have big pots of chicken and big pots of hominy on de banks
of de Chickenhominy Creek dat night and then de battle of Cold Harbor
come de nex' day. I had eat so much chicken and hominy my belly couldn't
hold it all. Some had run down my right leg. Us double quicked and run
so fast thru swamps nex' day, after Yankees, my right leg couldn't keep
up wid my left leg. After de battle I went back to look for dat leg but
never could find it. Governor Zeb Vance tell me afterwards, dat leg of
mine run on to Washington, went up de White House steps, and slushed
some of dat chicken and hominy on de carpet right befo' President
Lincoln's chair.'

"Everybody laugh so loud dat old mistress come out and want to know what
for they was laughin' 'bout. All dat had to be gone over agin. Then her
laugh and laugh and laugh. She turnt 'round to my young Marster John and
say: 'John, can you beat dat?' He say: 'Henry, go git grandma a chair.'
I done dat. Then my young marster start. Him say: 'One day down in
Florida, I saddle my pony, took Henry dere up behind me and went a
fishin' on de St. John River. I had some trouble a gittin' thru de
everglades when I want to fish but us got dere. Big trees on de banks
and 'round, wid long moss hangin' from de limbs. I baited my hook wid a
small, wigglin', live, minnow and throwed out into de water. Nothin'
happen. In de warm sunshine I must have gone to sleep, when I was
startle out my doze by Henry a shoutin': 'Marse Johnnie, Marse Johnnie,
your cork done gone down out of sight!' I made a pull but felt at once
it would take both hands to land dat fish. I took both hands, put my
foot 'ginst de roots of a great live oak and h'isted dat fish in de sky.
It was so big it shut out de light of de sun. When it come down, dat
fish strip off de limbs of de trees it hit while comin' to de ground. I
sent Henry back to de house on de pony, for de four-hoss wagon and all
de men on de place, to git de fish home. When us got it home and cut it
open, dere was 119 fishes varyin' from de size of de minnow up to de big
fish. Marse Ed P. say: 'Was de little minnow dead or 'live when you
found him in de belly of de 119th fish? 'He was still wigglin', say my
young marster. Old marster say: 'It was a whale of a fish, wasn't it,
grandson?' Young marster say: 'It was, grandpa. De river bank show dat
de water went down two inches after I pulled him out.' 'Maybe it was a
whale', said Marse Ed P. 'In fact, it was', said Marse Johnnie,' 'cause
on one of de ribs under de belly was some tatooin'.' 'What was de
tatooin'?' ask old mistress, just as innocent as a baby. 'De word
Nenivah', say Marse little John. 'Why it might have been de whale dat
swallowed Jonah', say Miss Katie. 'It was', say my young marster, 'for
just under Nenivah was de name Jonah.' After a good laugh old marster
say: 'Your name is changed from John Mobley McCrorey to John Munchawsome
McCrorey.' Kin folks call him Barron after dat. Him lak dat but when
they got to callin' him, lyin' John McCrorey him git red in de face and
want to fight.

"Poor Marse Johnnie! Wonder if him still livin'. Him marry a rich woman
in Florida but her soon 'vorce him. What her 'vorce him for?
'Pattybility and temper, they say. What I means by pattybility? I 'spect
dat mean de time they was gittin' up in de mornin' and her lam him
'cross de head wid de hairbrush and him take dat same hairbrush, push
her down 'cross de bed and give her a good spankin'. Now you're laughin'
agin but it was no laughin' wid her dat mornin', de way I hear them tell

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg Dist 4
  July 15, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I was born in Newberry County, South Carolina. Near Indian Creek above
Jalapa. My mammy and pa was Charlie and Frances Gilliam. We belonged to
Marse Pettus and Harriet Gilliam who had a big plantation. I married
George Glasgow in the yard of Reid place, by a nigger preacher. My
husband died about 15 years ago.

"I was a young child when de war stopped, and don't remember so much
about slavery times. Marse Pettus and Miss Harriet was good to us. I
never got a whipping, except Misses whipped me once wid just one lick.
Dey give us a small patch of 'bout half acre fer us to raise cotton or
anything we wanted to on it. De master had a big garden and give his
slaves plenty vegetables. We had plenty to eat all de time. My pa,
Charlie, was de foreman of a crowd of slaves, and dere was a white
overseer, too.

"Master Gilliam had a boy dey called 'Bud'. He still lives in Arkansas.
Dey all moved to state of Arkansas sometime atter de war. My master was
a good man, a church man, and he was steward in Tranquil Methodist
Church. Around de place at home he was always singing and in good humor.
I 'member one song he sung dat was like dis:

  "Lord, Lord, Heaven--Sweet Heaven,
  Lord, Lord, Heaven--Sweet Heaven,
  How long will it be?
    (repeated three times)

"De first time I come to town was when I was a little child, and when we
got to College Hill, about ten miles from home, I started to run back
home because I heard de train whistle blow.

"Miss Harriet always give us chilluns 'mackaroot tea' fer worms. It's
made from roots of a plant dat grow in de woods. We had to drink it
before breakfast, and it shore had a bitter taste.

"Slavery wasn't good much, I reckon, but I had a good time ... didn't
nothing bother me. When freedom come, all of us stayed with de master
until he and his folks moved away.

"Old Dr. Clark was de best doctor in de state. He lived at Jalapa. He
used to give barbecues at his home in de yard under big trees. He had
niggers dere, too. Dey eat by demselves. Old Mrs. Sligh lived above
dere. I waited on her when she was sick. When she died, she made her son
promise not to hold against me what I owed her--just let it go--and told
him not to ever let me go hungry.

"Once when Master Gilliam took one of his slaves to church at old
Tranquil, he told him dat he mustn't shout dat day--said he would give
him a pair of new boots if he didn't shout. About de middle of services,
de old nigger couldn't stand it no longer. He jumped up and hollered:
'Boots or no boots, I gwine to shout today'.

"I jined de church atter I got married, 'cause I wanted to do right and
serve de Lord."

  =Source:= Emoline Glasgow (78), Newberry, S.C.
          Interviewer: G.L. Summer, Newberry, S.C. (7/8/37)

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg Dist. 4
  Sept. 16, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I live on Mr. Sim Bickley's farm, about five miles northwest of
Newberry Courthouse. I have a fairly good house to live in. I work on
the farm, myself, and make a pretty good living from it. I live with my
second wife. I had two children but they both died.

"I was born on Dr. Geo. W. Glenn's plantation, about six miles north of
Newberry. My parents, Berry and Frances Glenn, were slaves of Dr. Glenn.
I was seven years old when freedom come.

"Dr. Glenn gave us good quarters to live in and plenty to eat. He was a
good man and was not hard on slaves; but the mistress was mean to some
of the slaves that come from the Glenn side. She was good to the slaves
that come into her from her daddy.

"I didn't work much around the place when I was small, just did little
things to help. The master had a big garden and raised lots of green
vegetables like turnips, collards, cabbages and some okra, but little
beans except cornfield beans. We had plenty clothes.

"The master whipped us sometimes when we needed it. They would not learn
us to read and write. Some of the slaves went to the white folks'

"I was married the first time on the Glasgow place by a colored preacher
named Boyd. Her daddy didn't want us to marry; he didn't like me. I
slipped to the field where she was working and stole her; went to the
preacher and got married. I married the second time in town on College

"A band of Confederate soldiers in 1865 went past the master's house on
their way from war, and Mistress had dinner for them. They eat out
under big shade trees in the yard where Master always kept a long table
for dinners they had sometimes. When freedom come, the master called all
his slaves up to the house one night and spoke to them. He said they was
free, but any who wanted to stay on with him and help make the crop that
year could stay and he would pay wages. All stayed that year.

"The Ku Klux and Red Shirts didn't like Negroes. They would catch them
and whip them.

"It was a long time after the war before the negroes had a school. They
went to white folks churchs for a long time. Some of them had 'brush
harbors' for their churches, and schools, too.

"I don't know nothing about Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. I can't
give much about Booker Washington, except I heard of him and believe he
is a good man and doing a good turn for the negroes.

"I think slavery was wrong; don't think one man ought to own another

"I joined the church when I was about 25 or 30 years old."

  =Source:= Silas Glenn (79), Newberry, S.C. RFD
          Interviewer: G.L. Summer, Newberry, S.C. 8/9/37.

  Project, 1885-(1)
  Prepared by Annie Ruth Davis
  Place, Marion, S.C.
  Date, August 11, 1937

  Ex-Slave, 77 Years
  Timmonsville, S.C.

"Born on Rafter Creek bout 20 miles from Timmonsville on Elija Carson
place. My white folks live in big two story house dere cause my Massa
was a bankholder in Charleston en dat de reason he go back en forth to
Charleston every week or two. My Massa a good man, a good man, en I hope
he restin in Heaven dis day."

"De Carsons had bout 2,000 acres of land en 100 head of slaves on dey
plantation. Have long row of house up in de quarter whe' all de slaves
live. We have a very good livin in dat day en time. Had more to eat den
we do dese days cause rations won' scarce like dey is now. Eat potatoes
en peas en corn bread en homemade grits mostly, but I likes everything
to eat, Captain. Den dey give us a garden to make us greens en things
like dat en we is catch possum heap of de time. Uncle Ben (father's
father) was a great possum hunter, but he died fore I get big enough to
go huntin wid him. He went possum huntin every night till something went
up de tree one night en possum talk to him. He used to go huntin on a
Sunday night en dat how-come de possum talk to him."

"You didn' see de peoples wear much different clothes like dey wear dese
days, but what dey have was very decent. Just have bout one piece,
Captain, make out of some kind of homemade cloth wid no extra for
Sunday. Wear same kind of pants on Sunday dat wear every day en same
kind of shoes call brogans wid brass toes. I ain' see no fittin cloth
since dey used to raise sheep en have dey own wool en have loom en spin.
Look like God smile on us in dat day en time."

"I work round de white folks house fore freedom come, but I go back to
de quarter en sleep when night come. Dem dat live in de quarter have
lumber bed wid mattress made out of sacks en hay. Den when dey ring dem
bells en blow dem horns in de mornin, dat mean you better get up en go
bout your task for dat day."

"Oh, dey work us hard en late in dem times. Work from de sunrise in de
mornin to de sundown in de evenin. Dey have a driver dat tote whip en
see dat you do what you know to do. Didn' have no jail in dat day, but
if you ain' do your task en dey catch you, dey punish you by de whip.
Some of de time, dey put em in de screw box what dey press bales of
cotton wid. Put em in dere en run press right down whe' can' crush en
dey oouldn' move till dey take em out in de mornin en whip em en put em
to work. See plenty whipped on de place. Dey make one fellow go over a
barrel, en de other peoples hold he head down en de driver whip him.
Give em 50 en 75 licks fore dey stop sometimes. Use chains to hold em
when dey break ropes so dey couldn' get away."

"I see em sell slaves heap of times. See em gwine along in droves en
sayin dey was gwine to market. Sell em if dey ain' stay on de place en
work. Bid em off just like horse en mules. What am I bid for dis one?
Come en open you mouth en examine you teeth en dey wouldn' miss you a

"Oh, Gracious God, didn' get married till after de shake was en I reckon
I bout 30 years old den. Captain, we thought it was de Jedgment
(Judgment). It come like it was thunderin in de earth, rollin in de
earth en de earth was gwine en comin. We pray en all de cows en chickens
was yelling. Last dat night bout 30 minutes dat you could look at
anything en it look like top spinning. We was all good bout two years
after dat."

"My white folks didn' teach none of dey slaves to read en write en didn'
let em go bout from one plantation to de other no time. All us know is
when we go to dey meetin en dey pray wid us. Peoples used to sing en
pray in de quarter on Saturday night en when dey dig grave en have a
funeral. Dey didn' do bout buryings den like dey do now. Burying dem
times en de funeral would all be over at de burying. Slaves didn' have
no way to go to de funeral but to walk. Den a white man would stop you
en if you have a ticket wid you dat have pass word on it, you could go

"I can tell you all bout when dem Yankees come through dere. Some was on
black horses, some on red horses, en some on white horses. De one dat on
black horse wear black, de one on white horse wear white, en de one on
de red horse wear red. De horses had sense enough to double up when dat
man hollo from de top of dem. Dey was wearing soldier clothes en dey
come up to you house en set place on fire, kill cow or anything dey want
to. Dey burn up Carson house en stay dere till next day. Dey talk to my
mamma cause our house de next one to de white folks house. De white
folks done been gone. Dey ask her whe' dey hide dey money en she know
dey hide it to Stafford Hill, six miles from de house, but she didn'
tell dem. Don' know yet what became of de money, but dem Yankees loaded
an old chest on de wagon en took all de slaves dat wanted to run away
wid dem en left dere."

"Slaves didn' know what to do de first year after freedom en den de
Yankees tell de white folks to give de slaves one-third of dey crops.
What de slaves gwine buy land wid den, Captain? Won' a God thing to eat
in dat time. Had to plow corn wid ox cause de Yankees took all de horses
en mules dey wanted. My mother worked on three years dere for de white
folks en dey give her one bushel of corn en dey take two. One bushel of
corn en dey take two. Measured by de same basket."

"Well, I can' tell you bout people, but I can tell you bout my poor
soul. I think I know I'm bless to be here en raise three generation
clear up dis world. All my chillun dead en gone en God left me to live
among dese wild varments here. I have to cry sometimes when I think how
dey die en leave me in dis troublesome world. During slavery time, didn'
know what hard times was. I know you see in de Bible dat God sorry he
made man done so. I'm sorry dat de last war done. Every time you fight
war makes times harder. See three war en every one I see makes time
worse. Money gets balled up in one or two hand. Looks bad to me. Didn'
know what it was one time to be hungry."

  =Source:= John Glover, Ex-Slave, 77 Years, Timmonsville, S.C.
          (Personal interview by Mrs. Lucile Young and H. Grady Davis.)

  Project, 1885-1
  Prepared by Annie Ruth Davis
  Place, Marion, S.C.
  Date, June 28, 1937

  Ex-Slave, 87 Years

"What you gwine do wid me? I sho been here in slavery time. Talk to dem
soldiers when dey was retreatin dey way back home. My old Missus was
Miss Mary Godbold en den she marry a Haselden. Dey buy my mamma from de
old man Frank Miles right over yonder. Harry en Cindy Godbold was my
parents. We live in a one room house in de slave quarter dere on de
white folks plantation. My God, sleep right dere on de floor. Had
gran'parents dat come here over de water from Africa. Dey tell me dat
whe' dey come from dey don' never let no man en he wife sleep together
cause dey is scared of em catchin disease from one another. Dat sho a
good thing, you know dat. I think dat sho a good thing."

"Dey ain' never give none of de colored peoples no money in dat day en
time. Coase dey give us plenty something to eat. Fed us out a big bowl
of pot licker wid plenty corn bread en fried meat en dat bout all we
ever eat. Dey is let us have a garden of we own dat we had to work by de
night time. You see de colored folks know dey had to get up soon as dey
hear dat cow horn blow en dat been fore daylight come here. Oh, dey work
from dark to dark in dat day en time. Didn' but one day out all de year
stand dat was a week day en dat was de big Christmus day. Sweet molasses
bread was de thing dat day. Coase dey give us a big supper when dey had
dem cornshucking day. Oh, dey had a frolic den dat last way up to de

"I never live dere to de Haselden plantation wid my parents long fore
dey hire me out to Massa John Mace en I stay dere till me en Maggie (his
wife) come here to live. Nurse six head of chillun for de white folks
dere. I hear em say my Missus was a Watson fore she marry Massa John
Mace. Lord, Lord, love dem chillun to death. If Moses Mace been livin,
you wouldn' be talkin to no Hector Godbold bout here dese days. He de
one what give me en Maggie dat four room house you see settin dere. My
Missus give me a good beatin one time when I did drop one of dem baby.
Just put me head under her foot en beat me dat way."

"Another thing I had to do was to carry de baby cross de swamp every
four hour en let my mamma come dere en suckle dat child. One day I go
dere en another fellow come dere what dey call John. He en my mamma get
in a argument like en he let out en cut my mamma a big lick right cross
de leg en de blood just pour out dat thing like a done a what. My mamma
took me en come on to de house en when Miss Jane see dat leg, she say,
"Cindy, what de matter?" My mamma say, "John call me a liar en I never
take it." Miss Jane tell em to send after Sam Watson right den. Sam
Watson was a rough old overseer en he been so bowlegged dat if he stand
straddle a barrel, he be settin down on it just as good as you settin
dere. Sam Watson come dere en make dat fellow lay down on a plank in de
fence jam en he take dat cat o' nine tail he have tie round his waist en
strike John 75 times. De blood run down off him just like you see a
stream run in dat woods. Dat sho been so cause all we chillun stand bout
dere en look on it. I suppose I was bout big enough to plough den. When
dey let John loose from dere, he go in de woods en never come back no
more till freedom come here. I tellin you when he come back, he come
back wid de Yankees."

"Oh, de colored peoples never know nothin more den dogs in dem times.
Never couldn' go from one plantation to de other widout dat dey had a
ticket wid em. I see Sam Watson catch many of dem dat had run way en
buff en gag em. Never have no jails nowhe' in dat day en time. Dey sho
sell de colored peoples way plenty times cause I see dat done right here
to Marion. Stand em up on a block en sell em to a speculator dere. I
hear em bid off a 'oman en her baby dere en den dey bid off my auntie en
uncle way down to de country. Dey wouldn' take no whippin off dey Massa
en dat how-come dey get rid of em. My gran'pappy been worth $1,000 en it
de Lord's truth I tellin you, he drown fore he let em whip him. Den my
gran'mammy use to run way en catch rides long de roads cause de peoples
let em do dat den. Coase if dey catch her, dey didn' never do her no
harm cause she was one of dem breed 'omans."

"Never know nothin bout gwine to school in dem times. Just pick up what
learnin we get here, dere, en everywhe'. Learnt something to de white
folks meetin house dere to Antioch settin on de back side of dat church
on dem benches what de slaves had to set on. I is know dis much dat I
voted three times to de courthouse in Marion way back in dem days."

"Sho, we chillun play game en frolic heap of de time. Shinny was de
thing dat I like best. Just had stick wid crook in de end of it en see
could I knock de ball wid dat. I sho remembers dat. Den I was one of de
grandest hollerers you ever hear tell bout. Use to be just de same as a
parrot. Here how one go: O--OU--OU--O--OU, DO--MI--NICI--O,
BLACK--GA--LE--LO, O--OU--OU--O--OU, WHO--O--OU--OU. Great King, dat
ain' nothin."

"Ain' never believe in none of dem charms people talk bout en ain' know
nothin bout no conjuring neither, but I know dis much en dat a spirit
sho slapped Maggie one night bout 12 o'clock. Den another time me en her
was comin home from a party one night en I had a jug of something dere
wid me en Maggie ax me for it. Say something was followin after her. De
next thing I know I hear dat jug say, gurgle, gurgle, gurgle. I look
back en she been pourin it out on de ground. She say she do dat to make
de spirit quit followin after her. Dat spirit sho been dere cause I see
dat licker disappear dere on de ground wid me own eyes."

"Sho, dey had doctors in dat day en time. Had plant doctors dat go from
one plantation to another en doctor de peoples. Dr. Monroe was one of
dem doctor bout here en dere ain' never been no better cures nowhe' den
dem plant cures was. I get Maggie so she can move bout dat way. She won'
able to walk a step en I boil some coon root en put a little whiskey in
it en make her drink dat. It sho raise her up too. Dem coon root look
just like dese chufas what you does find down side de river. Dat sho a
cure for any rheumatism what is. I know dat all right."

"Mighty right, I remembers when freedom was declare. I think dat must a
been de plan of God cause it just like dis, if it hadn' been de right
thing, it wouldn' been. I know it a good thing. De North was freed 20
years head of de South en you know it a good thing. I a history man en I
recollects dat de history say de North was freed 20 years fore de South

"I sho hear dem guns at Fort Sumter dere en I remembers when dem
soldiers come through dis way dat de elements was blue as indigo bout
here. Had parade bout five miles long wid horses dancin bout en fiddles
just a playin. Some of dem Yankees come dere to de white folks house one
of dem time, when my Massa was way from home workin dere on de
Manchester Railroad, en ax my Missus whe' dey horses was. Dem horses
done been hide in de bay en dey never get nothin else dere neither, but
a little bit of corn dat dey take out de barn."

"I 87 year old now en I here to tell you dat I never done nobody no mean
trick in all me life. I does fight cause I cut a man up worth 19
stitches one of dem times back dere. Two of em been on me one time en I
whipped both of em. I tellin you I been good as ever was born from a
'oman. It just like dis, I say fight all right, but don' never turn no
mean trick back. Turn it to God, dat what do. Dem what go to church in
de right way, dey don' have no vengeful spirit bout em. I sho goes to
church cause de church de one thing dat does outstand

  =Source:= Hector Godbold, ex-slave, age 87, Pee Dee,
          Marion Co., S.C.
          (Personal interview, June 1937).

  Project #1855
  Stiles M. Scruggs
  Columbia, S.C.


"My name is Daniel Goddard. I was born in Columbia, S.C. Feb. 14, 1863,
to slave parents. You know I recall no contacts I made in slavery for I
was too young during that period. You know too, if I had been born in
Massachusetts, for example, I should have been free, because all slaves
in the United States had been set free when President Lincoln, shortly
before my birth, January, 1863, struck the shackles from bondage.

"The Confederate states had seceded from the Union and they paid no
attention to the freedom proclamation during the war. So the slaves in
the South, generally speaking, stayed on until the Confederacy collapsed
in April, 1865, and even then, some of the slaves were slow to strike
out for themselves, until the Federal government made ample preparations
to take care of them.

"Now you ask, if I heard about escapes of slaves. Sure I did and I heard
my parents discuss the efforts of slaves to shake off the shackles. This
was probably true because my father's brother, Thomas, was a member of
the slave ship which was taking him and 134 others from Virginia to New
Orleans. A few miles south of Charleston, the slaves revolted, put the
officers and crew in irons, and ran the ship to Nassau.

"There they went ashore and the British Government refused to surrender
them. They settled in the Bahama Islands and some of their descendants
are there today. That was about 1830, I think, because my Uncle Thomas
was far older than my father. I heard about the other slave revolts,
where that African prince, one of a large number of slaves that were
kidnaped, took over the Spanish ship L'Amada, killing two of the
officers. The remaining officers promised to return the slaves to Africa
but slyly turned the ship to port in Connecticut. There the Spanish
minister at Washington demanded the slaves, as pirates. Appeal was made
to the courts and the United States Court ruled that slavery was not
legal in Spain and declared the slaves free.

"The Nat Turner insurrection in Virginia and the Vesey uprising in
Charleston was discussed often, in my presence, by my parents and
friends. I learned that revolts of slaves in Martinique, Antigua,
Santiago, Caracas and Tortugus, was known all over the South. Slaves
were about as well aware of what was going on, as their masters were.
However the masters made it harder for their slaves for a while.

"I have a clipping, now worn yellow with age, which says the Federal
census of 1860, showed there were 487,970 free Negroes and 3,952,760
slaves in the United States at that time. I am not at all surprised at
the number of free Negroes. Many South Carolina families freed a number
of their slaves. Some slaves had the luck to be able to buy their
freedom and many others escaped to free areas. The problem of slavery as
a rule, was a question of wits, the slave to escape and the master to
keep him from escaping.

"I once talked with Frederick Douglass, perhaps the most eminent Negro
to appear so far in America. He told me he was born a slave in Maryland,
in 1817, and that he served there as a slave for ten years. He escaped
to Massachusetts, where he was aided in education and employment by the
Garrisons and other abolitionists, and became a leader of his race. He
was United States Minister to Haiti at the time I met him and was
eminent as an orator. He died in 1895.

"You ask, what do I think of the Presidents. Well, I have always been
such an admirer of Andrew Jackson, a South Carolinian, that I may be
prejudiced a little. The reason I admire him so much, is because he
stood for the Union, and he didn't mean maybe, when he said it. He
served his time and God took him, just as he took Moses.

"Then Lincoln was raised up for a specific purpose, to end slavery,
which was a menace to both whites and blacks, as I see it. And President
Wilson kept the faith of the fathers, when he decided to put the German
Kaiser where he could no longer throw the world into discord. But there
has only been one President whose heart was touched by the cry of
distress of the poor and needy and his name is Franklin D. Roosevelt. He
is one white man who has turned the bias of the Negroes from the bait of
partisan politics.

"Yes, sir, I recall the reconstruction period here in Columbia. My
parents lived until I was about grown and we kept the middle of the
road, in the matter of selling out to the Federal soldiers and
carpet-baggers on the one hand, or to designing politicians on the
other. But my father was an admirer of General Hampton, because General
Hampton owned many Negroes at one time and had treated them well.
Between Hampton and Chamberlain for governor, in 1876, most of my Negro
friends voted for Hampton.

"What have I been doing since I grew up? Well, I have been busy trying
to make a living. I worked for various white folks in this community and
sometime for the railroads here, in a minor capacity. My younger years
were spent in the quest of an education. For the past thirty years I
have been the porter for the State Paper Company, Columbia's morning
newspaper. As I became proficient in the work, the Gonzales boys grew
fond of me. While the youngest one, Hon. William E. Gonzales, was absent
in the diplomatic service in Cuba and in Peru for eight years for
President Wilson, I looked after the needs of Mr. Ambrose Gonzales.
Shortly before he died, Hon. William E. Gonzales returned. He has since
been editor and publisher of the 'State', as well as principal owner.

"You ask, if I have applied for an old age pension. No, I have not. I am
old enough to qualify, I guess, but I understand, you cannot get a
pension if you have a job. If that is so, I shall never enjoy any
pension money. I would not leave serving my friend, Captain William E.
Gonzales, for any pension that might be offered me."

N.B. This man is well educated, speaks no dialect. He received his
education from Northern teachers in Freedman aid, equal to the modern
high school curriculum. He afterward studied in Boston. He reads,
writes, and speaks excellent English.

Address: 1022 Divine Street, Columbia, S.C.

  Project #-1655
  Mrs. Genevieve W. Chandler
  Murrells Inlet, S.C.
  Georgetown County


  (Verbatim Conversation)

(Aunt Ellen is a misfit in her present environment. Born at Longwood
Plantation on Waccamaw in 1837, all she knows is the easy, quiet life of
the country. And the busy, bustling 'RACE PATH' near which her Grandson
lives with whom she makes her home doesn't make a fitting frame for the
old lady. All day she sits in a porch swing and when hungry, visits a
neighbor. The neighbors (colored--all) vie with each other in trying to
make her last days happy days. She says they do her washing and provide
necessary food. When you start her off she flows on like the brook but
usually her story varies little. She tells of the old days and of the
experiences that made the greatest impression--the exciting times during
the 'Confedrick' war--the 'Reb time day.')

Visitor: "Aunt Ellen home?"

Aunt Ellen's neighbor (from the washtub):

"No'um. She right cross there on the 'Race Path'" (So called because in
Conway's early days races were run--horse races--on this street.)

Visitor: "Are you one of the neighbors who take such good care of Aunt

Neighbor: "No'um. I'm off all day. I work for Miss Bernice."

Visitor: "Miss Bernice who?"

Neighbor: "Miss Bernice something nother. I can't keep up with that lady
title! See Aunt Ellen white cap yonder?"

Aunt Ellen (Sitting on chair at back door leaning on cane.)

"I want everybody come to my birthday! Seventh o' October coming be a
hundred. Baby one dead jew (due) time! Five daughter--one sanctify
preacher. Seven one--one Ports-smith Virginia. All dead! All dead!
Marry three times; all the husband dead! My last baby child--when the
Flagg storm kill everybody on the beach, (1893) the last child I have
out my body been a year old!

"Last time I gone see the old Doctor, rap! rap! Doctor: "Come in!" Gone
in. Doctor: "Great God! Looker Aunt Ellen! For the good you take care
Daddy Harry, God left you live long time!"

Ellen: "Flat 'em all up to Marlboro! (All the slaves) Ten days or two
weeks going. PeeDee bridge, stop! Go in gentlemen barn! Turn duh bridge!
Been dere a week. Had to go and look the louse on we. Three hundred head
o' people been dere. Couldn't pull we clothes off. (On flat.) Boat name
Riprey. Woman confine on boat. Name the baby 'RIPREY!' Mama name Sibby."

(Neighbor: "Aunt Ellen been looking for you all day! Keep saying she
got to go home. A white lady coming and she got to be there!")

Aunt Ellen: "Doctor come on boat. By name Doctor Lane. White lady come
tend woman. Get to Marlboro where they gwine. Put in wagon. Carry to the
street. Major Drake Plantation. One son Pet Drake. Wife leetle bit of a

"I see Abram Lincoln son Johnny! Talk with him! Gimme tobacco. I been to
loom. Weave. Sheckle flying--flying sheckle!

  (Singing): "Tech (touch) me all round my waist!
              Don't tech my water-fall!
              Gay gal setting on the rider fence!
              Don't tech my water-fall!"

"Clothes gone to wash this morning. (Can't go today.) Clothes gone.

"I been here so long--I ax Jesus one day carry me next day! Can't make
up my bed. Like an old hog sleep on a tussick." (I always heard it 'Toad
on a tussock'--and you?)

(Four lean cats prowled about sniffing around the woodpile where a boy
was scaling some pale, dead fish.)

Visitor: "Aunt Ellen, how could you cook on the flat?"

Aunt Ellen: "Dirt bank up. Fire make on dirt. Big pot. Cook. Fry meat.
Come PeeDee get off flat. Bake. Bake. Iron oven. Stay PeeDee week. Bake.
Pile coals on oven top." (Another slave told of scaffold--four posts
buried and logs or planks across top with earth on planks. On this pile
of earth, fire was made and on great bed of coals oven could be heated
for baking. 'Oven' means the great iron skillet-like vessel with three
legs and a snug lid. This oven bakes biscuit, pound cake, and some old
timers insist on trusting only this oven for their annual fruit cake. It
works beautifully on a hearth. Put your buttermilk biscuit in, lid on
and pile live-oak coals on top. Of course only the ones who have done
this a long time know when to take the lid off.)

"Dirt camp to stay in--to hide from Yankee." (Her gestures showed earth
was mounded up.)

Visitor: "Like a potato bank? A potato hill?"

Ellen: "Dat's it! Pile 'em! Gone in dirt camp to hide we from Yankee.
Have a Street Row of house. Yankee coming. Gone in dirt camp.

"I been weave. My loom at door. Six loom on dat side! Six loom on dis
side! I see 'em coming. Hat crown high as this." (She measured off
almost half of her walking stick--which had a great, tarnished plated
silver knob.) "And I tell 'em 'Yankee coming!' I talk with Abram Lincoln
own son Johnny and, bless your heart I glad for Freedom till I fool!"


  'Freedom forever!
  Freedom everymore!
  Want to see the Debbil run
  Let the Yankee fling a ball
  The Democrack will take the swamp!'

"Massa been hide. Been in swamp." (This is history. All the old men, too
old for the army, hid in Marlboro swamps and were fed by faithful slaves
until Yankees passed on. My grandmother and mother gave vivid accounts
of this--my mother telling of the sufferings of the
women--mental--worrying about her feeble old grandfather down there with
the mocassins)

Ellen: "Yankee officer come. 'Where Mahams Ward and John J. Woodward?
Come to tell 'em take dese people out the dirt camp! Put we in flat.
Carry back!' (In first story Aunt Ellen told the Yankee Captain said,
'Tell 'em be Georgetown to salute the flag!')

"Put food and chillun in flat. We been walk." (Walking back to Waccamaw)
We gone. (See 'um! See their feet like the children of Israel in Green
Pastures!) In man's house. Man say, 'Come out! You steal my turnip!'
Brush arbor. Night come. Make camp. Way down the road somewhere! Make a
big bush camp. All squeeze under there. Left Marlboro Monday. Come
Conway Friday sun down! Hit Bucksville, hit a friend. Say 'People
hungry!' Middle night. Snow on ground. Get up. Cook. Cook all night!
Rice. Bake tater. Collard. Cook. Give a quilt over you head. I sleep. I
sleep in the cotton. I roost up the cotton gone in there." (Burrowed
down in the cotton--'rooted' it up) "December. Winter time. Cook all
night. Corn-bread, baked tater, collard. Git to Bucksport, people gin to
whoop and holler! Three flat gone round wid all the vittles." (And with
the very young and very old) Easier coming home. Current helped. Going
up against the current, only poles and cant hooks--tedious going. "Git
'Tip Top' (Plantation) all right. Come home den! Git to double trunk
(rice-field trunk) at 'Tip Top' Whoop! Come bring flat! Mother Molly
dead on flat! Bury she right to Longwood grave-yard. Nuss. (nurse) Sam'l
Hemingway bury there. Horse kill 'em in thrashing mill. Child name
Egiburt bury there too. Horse gwine round in thrashing. He lick the
horse. Horse kick 'em. Whole gang white jury come!

"Sing and pray all the time. Pray your house. Pray all the time. (I wish
to God I could get some of you clam!)

"Salem Baptist? I helped build Salem! I a choir in Salem!"

  Aunt Ellen Godfrey
  Age 99 years 10 months
  Conway, S.C.

  Project 1655
  Genevieve W. Chandler
  Georgetown County, S.C.


  (Ex-slave--Age 100)

"I'm waitin' on the leese (RELIEF). He was to have my birthday the seven
of October.

"Slavery time Maussa buy 'em. We Maussa buy me one good shoe. Send slam
to England. Gie me (give me) good clothes and shoe. I been a-weave. When
the Yankee come I been on the loom. Been to Marlboro district. A man
place they call Doctor Major Drake. Got a son name Cap and Pet. Oh,
Jesus! I been here TOO long. In my 99 now. Come seven o' October (1937)
I been a hundred.

"Three flat (big flat-boats) carry two hundred head o' people and all
they things. We hide from Yankee but Yankee come and get we. Ask where
Maussa! Maussa in swamp. I in buckra house. I tell Yankee: 'Them gone!
Gone to beach!' Yankee say:

"'Tell 'em to be in Georgetown to bow unto flag'.

"That time I been twenty-three years old. Old Doctor Flagg didn't born
then. He a pretty child and so fat. Love the doctor too much. Born two
weeks after Freedom. He Ma gone to town. Melia Holmes? She ain't no more
than chillum to me. Laura and Serena two twin sister. When the Freedom I
was twenty-three--over the twenty-five. Great God, have-a-mercy! McGill
people have to steal for something to eat. Colonel Ward keep a nice
place. Gie'em (give them) rice, peas, four cook for chillum, one nurse.
Make boy go in salt crick get 'em clam. That same Doctor Flagg Grandpa.
Give you cow clabber. Share 'em and put you bittle for eat.

"Gabe Knox? (A very old colored man who has been dead ten years) I nurse
Gabe! I nurse 'em. He Pappy my cousin. I been a big young woman when he

"Albert Calina? He a Christian-hearted people. Christian-heart boy. I
give my age. My birthday get over I want to go right home to Heaven.

"I gone to see Doctor Wardie when I in my 95. He say:

"'Great Dow! Looker Aunt Ellen! In you 95! What make you live to good
age you take such good care you husband--Harry Godfrey.'"

  Conversation of Aunt Ellen Godfrey--age 99 years,
  Conway, S.C. June 25th.

"Would gone wid you Missus, but I waiting on the 'Relief'. He wuz going
to bring me the dress and shoe and ting. My birthday the seven of
October coming. We Massa have give we good shoe. Right here Longwood
Plantation. Massa was kind--you know. Send slam to England gie me good
clothes and shoe. I been a weave when the Yankee come. I been on the
loom to Marlboro district. A man place they call Doctor Major Drake. Got
a son name Cap and Pet. Oh, Jesus, been here too long! In my ninety-nine
now. Come seben of October been a hundred. Three flat" (flat boats used
for rice field work) "carry two hundred 'o people and all they things.
We hide from Yankee but Yankee come and git we. Ask whey (where)
Massa. (Massa in swamp! I in buckra house. I say, 'Dem gone! Gone to
beach.' Say, 'Tell 'em to be in Georgetown to bow unto the flag.' Dat
time I been twenty-three year old. Doctor Flagg didn't born. He a pretty
child and so fat! Love duh Doctor too much! Born two weeks after
freedom. He Ma gone Georgetown. Granny git 'em there. Melia Holmes!
Ain't no more dan chillun to me!" (Aunt Melia is eighty-eight or
nine--bony and cripple) "She have two twin sister Laura and Serena. When
the Freedom I wuz twenty-three years old.--over the twenty-five. Great
God hab a mercy! Couldn't do dat! Colonel Ward keep a nice place. Doctor
McGill people hab to steal for someting to eat. Gie 'em rice--peas. Four
cook for chillun. One nurse". (Aunt Ellen said 'Nuss') "Make the boy go
get 'em clam. That same Dr. Ward GrandPa. Great big sack 'o clam! Give
you cow clabber. Shay'm". (Share them--the clabber) "and put on bittle
for eat.

"Hagar Brown! She darter (daughter) got a abscess in her stomach. Save
Rutledge! I nuss (nurse) Sabe. I nuss 'em. Her pappy my cousin. I been
big young women, I nuss Sabe.

"Albert Calina a christian-hearted people. Christian hearted boy. Relief
come. I gie 'em my age. My birthday over, I wanter go right home to
Heaven. Great Dow! 'Looker Aunt Ellen!' (That is what Dr. Wardie say
when I gone see 'um.) 'In you ninety-five! What make you good, you take
care of you husband! 'Harry Godfrey waiting man! Marry twice time. He
duh last----

"Andrew Johnson? Dropsy? I have wid every chillun--Oh, I buss (burst)
one time. Buss here." (Illustrating by drawing line across stomach.)
"Till it get to my groin it stop! Every time I get family I swell. Never
have a doctor 'Granny' for me yet. My Mary good old Granny. Catch two
set 'o twin for me. Isaac and Rebecca; David and Caneezer.

"Sell all my fowl and ting--five dollars--me and old man two come to
town to we chillun.

"Been Marlboro four year. Yankee foot where they put on stirrup red. Most
stand lak a Mr. Smoak--Big tall--Abraham Lincoln own son Johnny! 'You
jess as free as ribbon on my hat!' That what he say. I been weave.
Sheckle!" (Aunt Ellen worked foot and hand and mouth in illustrating how
the shuttle worked back and forth--and the music it made).

"Conch? Eat 'm many time! Take 'em bile! Grind 'em up!

"Welcome Beas? She son get kill in Charston, Welcome Beas son courting
my gal.

"Tom Duncan? He child to me. He wife Susannah. I know duh fambly. I gone
knock to duh door.

"Come in! Come in! Come in! 'Here duh beard!" (And Aunt Ellen measured
on her chest to show how long Dr. Flagg's beard was).

  "Old Daddy Rodgers and merry wuz she!
  The old man wuz cripple
  And Mary wuz blind.
  Keep you hat on you head.
  Keep you head warm
  And set down under that sycamore tree!
  My kite! My kite!
  My kite! My kite!
  Two oxen tripe!
  Two open dish 'o cabbage!
  My little dog!
  My spotted hawg!
  My two young pig a starving!
  Cow in the cotton patch. Tell boy call dog drive pig out cotton!
  Heah duh song;
  Send Tom Taggum
  To drive Bone Baggum
  Out the world 'o wiggy waggum!"

(This last song chanted out by Aunt Eleanor Godfrey, age 99, is really a
gem. She said 'Bone Baggum' boney old white cow. 'Wiggy waggum' is a
picture word making one see the soft, wagging tufts of white cotton.)

  Given by Aunt Eleanor Godfrey
           Age 99 (100 come seben of Oct.)
             June 25th, 1937
             Conway, S.C.

  Project 1655
  Genevieve W. Chandler
  Georgetown County, S.C.


  BONE BAGGUM (Bag o' bones?)

  Send Tom Taggum (a man)
  To drive Bone Baggum (a boney critter)
  Out the world o' wiggly waggum. (cotton patch)

  Down come baby cradle and all!
  Roll 'em! Roll 'em! Roll 'em!
  Roll 'em and boll' em!
  And put 'em in the oven!

"I KNOW when I was a woman Ben was boy!" (Ben now 88)

"Go to writin'!":

  If you want to know my name
  Go to Uncle Amos house.
  Big foot nigger and he six foot high.
  Try to bussin' at my waterfall! (Kissin' her waterfall--head-dress.)
  Oh, the gay gal
  Settin' on the rider (fence 'rider' on 'stake and rider fence')
  Gay gal waterfall.
  Don't tech (touch) my waist
  But bounce my shirt!
  Don't touch my waterfall!"

"I sing that sing to 'em and man buss out and cry! 'My God! You talk
ME?' I ain't want him! I kick him with that same word.

"They was Zazarus and Lavinia. Dead can't wash for myself. I go wash and
lay Lavinia out. And he husband wanter (want to) marry with me. I kick
him with that same sing. Hint to wise. If he couldn't understand that he
couldn't understand nothing.

"Mr. Godfrey my last husband, he worth all the two I got. I have the
chillun. Wenus, Jane, Patient, Kate, Harry, Edmund, Jeemes--"

  =Source:= Mom Ellen Godfrey
          Age 100 October 1937
          Conway, S.C.

  Project #1655
  Augustus Ladson
  Charleston, S.C.

  Page 1
  No. Words 1654


I come frum Mt. Pleasant an' was bo'n January 15, 1855 on Mr. Lias
Winning plantation on the Cooper River. I wus den six years ole w'en the
war broke out an' could 'member a good many things. My ma an' pa bin
name Anjuline an' Thomas Goodwater who had eight boys an' eight gals. I
use to help my gran'ma 'round the kitchen who wus the cook for the
fambly. I am the older of the two who is alive. Peter, the one alive,
live on my place now, but I ain't hear from dem for two years. I don'
know for certain dat he's alive or not.

In slavery the people use to go an' catch possums an' rabbits so as to
hab meat to eat. De driber use to shoot cows an in de night de slaves go
an' skin um an' issue um 'round to all the slaves, 'speciall w'en cows
come frum anodder plantation. He go 'round an' tell the slaves dey
better go an' git some fish 'fore all go. Any time any one say e hab
fish it wus understood e mean cow-meat. Our boss ain't nebber cetch on
nor did e ebber miss any cow; Gie Simmons, de collud driber wus under
Sam Black, the white overseer. Sam Black wusn't mean, he jus' had to
carry out orders of Lias Winning, our master. Dere wus a vegetable
garden dat had things for the year round so we could hab soup an' soup
could be in the Big House.

One day w'en I wus 'bout fourteen I did supin an' ma didn' like it. A
bunch of gals bin home an' ma wheel my short over my head an' start to
be at me right 'fore the gals. Dey begged her not to lick me an' she got
mad jus' for dat. I couldn't help myself cuz she tie' de shirt over my
head wood a string, my han's an' all wuz tie' in de shirt wood the
string. In hot wedder gals an' boys go in dere under shirts an' nothin'

Boys in dose days could fight but couldn' throw any one on the groun'.
We had to stan' up an eider beat or git beat.

I wus married in 1872 to Catharine, my wife. At our weddin' we had
plenty to eat. There wus possums, wine, cake, an' plenty o' fruits. I
had on a black suit, black shoes, white tie an' shirt. Catharine had on
all white. I stay' wood Catharine people for a year 'til I wus abled to
buil' on my lan'. I am a fadder of nineteen chillun; ten boys an' nine
gals; only two now livin'.

Lias Winning wusn' a mean man. He couldn' lick pa cus dey grow up
togedder or at least he didn' try. But he liked his woman slave. One day
ma wus in da field workin' alone an' he went there an' try to rape 'er.
Ma pull his ears almos' off so he let 'er off an' gone an' tell pa he
better talk to ma. Pa wus workin' in the salt pen an' w'en Mr. Winning
tell him he jus' laugh cus e know why ma did it.

Dere wus a fambly doctor on de plantation name James Hibbins. My eye use
to run water a lot an' he take out my eye an' couldn' put it back in,
dats why I am blin' now. He ax ma an' pa not to say anything 'bout it
cus he'd lost his job an' hab his license take 'way. So ma an' pa even
didn' say anything even to Mr. Winning as to the truth of my blin'ness.

I wus by the "nigger quarters" one day w'en Blake, the overseer start'
to lick a slave. She take the whip frum him an' close de door an' give
him a snake beatin'.

Our boss had 'bout shree hund'ed acres o' lan' an' ober a hund'ed
slaves. De overseer never wake de slaves. Dey could go in the fiel' any
time in the mornin' cus ebery body wus given their tas' work on Monday
Mornin'. No body neber work w'en it rain or cole. Nuttin' make Lias
Winning so mad as w'en one would steal; it make him morocious. Any one
he catch stealin' wus sure to git a good whippin'. He didn' like for any
one to fight eider.

Dey tell me dat w'en slaves wus shipped to New Orleans dey had to be
dress-up in nice clothes. My pa could read an' write cus he live' in the
city here. His missus teach him.

Isaac Wigfall run 'way an' went to Florida an' meet a white man on a
horse with a gun. He ax de man for a piece o' tobacco. The man give him
de gun to hole while he git the tobacco for him. Isaac take the gun an'
point it at the man an' ax 'im, "you know wha' in dis gun?" De man got
frighten' an' he tell de man "you better be gone or I'll empty it in
you." The man gone an' come back wood a group o' men an' houndogs. He'd
jus' make it to de river 'fore the dogs cetch him. He had a piece o'
light-wood knot an' ebery time a dog git near he hit um on de neck an'
kill' all o' them. The men went back to git more help an' dogs but w'en
dey git back Isaac wus gone.

Dere wus a collud church fifteen miles frum Mt. Pleasant w'ere we went
to service. De preacher wus name' John Henry Doe. I use to like to sing
dis song:

  Run away, run away
  Run away, run away
  Sojus of the cross.


  Hole on, hole on
  Hole on, hole on
  Hole on, hole on
  Hole on, sojus of the cross.

Ma too use to sing dat song.

Dere use to be dances almos' ebery week an' the older boys an' gals walk
twelve miles dis to be dere. Some time there wus a tamborine beater,
some time dey use' ole wash tubs an' beat it wood sticks, an' some time
dey jus' clap their han's. W'en any one die dey wus bury in the mornin'
or early afternoon.

I always play wood ghost cus I wus bo'n with a "call". I kin see the
ghost jus' is plain is ebber. Some time I see some I know an' again
others I don' know. Only thing you can' see their feet cus dey walk off
de ground. W'en I use to see dem my sister would put sand on de fire den
dey would go an' I wouldn' see any for a long time. One mornin' my uncle
wus passin' a church an' a ghost appear on the porch. My uncle had a dog
wood 'im. He start to run an' the dog start to run too, an' down the
road dey went. He didn' hab on anything but his shirt an' he say he run
so fas' 'til the wind had his shirt-tail stif as a board. He couldn' out
run the dog, nor could the dog out run 'im.

Dis is a spiritual dey use to sing durin' slavery:

  Climb up de walls of Zion
  Ah, Lord,
  Climb up de walls of Zion
  Ah, Lord, Climbin' up de walls of Zion
  Ah, Lord.
  Climbin' up de walls of Zion
  Ah, Lord,
  Great camp meetin' in the promise lan'.

My pa use to sing dis song:

  See w'en' 'e rise
  Rise an' gone,
  See w'en' 'e rise
  Rise an' gone.

  Gone to Galilee on a Sunday morning.
  Oh, my Jesus rise an' gone to Galilee
  On a Sunday morning.

Dey use to sing dis in experience meetin's:

  Go round, go round
  Look at the mornin' star,
  Go round, go round
  Got a soul to save.


  Wuan' for ole satan
  I wouldn' have to pray,
  Satan broke God's Holy Law
  I got a soul to save.

Dey use to sing dis too:

  Room Anough, room anough
  Room anough, room anough
  Room anough in de Heaven I know,
  I can't stay away,
  Room anough in de Heaven I know,
  I can't stay away.


  Interview with Thomas Goodwater, 108 Anson Street.

  P.S. The variations of words and sentences describe interviews with
  individuals, naturally.

  Code No.
  Project, 1885-(1)
  Prepared by Annie Ruth Davis
  Place, Marion, S.C.
  Date, August 31, 1937

  No. Words ----
  Reduced from ---- words
  Rewritten by ----
  Page 1.

  Ex-Slave, 85 Years

"I born de 24th day of February, 1852 bout 1½ miles of Mars Bluff. My
father, Western Wilson, belonged to Col. William Wilson en my mamma name
Chrisie Johnson. She belonged to Dr. William Johnson en we stay dere wid
him four or five years after freedom. Dr. Johnson old home still standin
yonder. It de Rankin home. I drive carts under dat house lots of times
in slavery time." (The house is built high off the ground.)

"Dr. Johnson was a mighty able man, a stiff one, able one. He kill one
hundred head of hogs to feed his niggers wid. Oh, I don' know how many
acres of land in his plantation, but I reckon dere be bout 1,000 or more
acres of land. He have slave house all de way from de side of his house
to Tyner. De overseer stay on de lower end of street dat bout ¾ mile
long en all de niggers house up from de overseer to Dr. Johnson house.
Over hundreds of dem dere."

"Dr. Johnson en his wife was good to dey niggers as dey could want
anybody to be. Had plenty to eat en plenty clothes to wear all de time.
He give all de slaves out something on Saturday or he give dem more any
time dey needed it. Just go en say, 'Boss, I ain' got no rations en I
need some.' Dey give us meat en bread en molasses to eat mostly, but
didn' have no wheat flour den. Dey plant 10 or 20 acres of sprangle top
cane en make de molasses en sugar out dat. Bill Thomas mash it together
en cook it for de molasses. Den he take cane en cook it down right low
en make sugar, but it wasn' like de sugar you buy at de store now days.
Oh, yes, de slaves had dey own garden dat dey work at night en
especially moonlight nights cause dey had to work in de field all day
till sundown. Mamma had a big garden en plant collards en everything
like dat you want to eat."

"All de niggers dat live in de quarters had bunk beds to sleep on what
was thing dat have four legs en mattress put on it. Have mixed bed dat
dey make out of cotton en shucks. De boy chillun have shuck bed en de
girl chillun have cotton bed."

"De peoples bout dere have good clothes to wear in dat day en time. Dey
was homemade clothes. My mamma spin en send dem to de loom house en den
dey dye dem wid persimmon juice en different things like dat to make all
kind of colors. Dey give us cotton suit to wear on Sunday en de nicest
leather shoes dat dey make right dere at home. Clean de hair off de
leather just as clean as anything en den de shoemaker cut en sew de
shoes. Vidge Frank father de shoemaker. Vidge Frank live down dere at
Claussen dis side de planing mill."

"I hear dem tell dat my grandparents come from Africa. Dey fooled dem to
come or I calls it foolin dem. De peoples go to Africa en when dey go to
dock, dey blow whistle en de peoples come from all over de country to
see what it was. Dey fool dem on de vessel en give dem something to
eat. Shut dem up en don' let dem get out. Some of dem jump over board en
try to get home, but dey couldn' swim en go down. Lots of dem still lost
down dere in de sea or I reckon dey still down dere cause dey ain' got
back yet. De peoples tell dem dey gwine bring dem to a place whe' dey
can live."

"I tellin you dat was a good place to live in slavery time. I didn' have
to do nothin but mind de sheep en de cows en de goats in dat day en
time. All de slaves dat was field hands, dey had to work mighty hard. De
overseer, he pretty rough sometimes. He tell dem what time to get up en
sound de horn for dat time. Had to go to work fore daybreak en if dey
didn' be dere on time en work like dey ought to, de overseer sho whip
dem. Tie de slaves clear de ground by dey thumbs wid nigger cord en make
dem tiptoe en draw it tight as could be. Pull clothes off dem fore dey
tie dem up. Dey didn' care nothin bout it. Let everybody look on at it.
I know when dey whip my mamma. Great God, in de mornin! Dey sho had
whippin posts en whippin houses too in dem days, but didn' have no jail.
I remember dey whipped dem by de gin house. De men folks was put to de
post what had holes bored in it whe' dey pull strings through to fasten
dem up in dere. Dey catch nigger wid book, dey ax you what dat you got
dere en whe' you get it from. Tell you bring it here en den dey carry
you to de whippin post for dat. No men folks whip me. Women folks whip
me wid four plaitted raw cowhide whip."

"Niggers went to white peoples church in dat day en time. Dr. Johnson
ride by himself en bought carriage for niggers to drive his girls dere
to Hopewell Church below Claussen. You know whe' dat is, don' you? Miss
Lizzie (Dr. Johnson's daughter) good teacher. She sent me to de gallery
en I recollect it well she told me one Sunday dat if I didn' change my
chat, dey were gwine to whip me. She say, 'You chillun go up in de
gallery en behave yourself. If you don', I gwine beat you Monday.' Dey
had catechism what dey teach you en she say, 'Charlie, who made you?' I
tell her papa made me. She ax me another time who made me en I tell her
de same thing another time. I thought I was right. I sho thought I was
right. She took de Bible en told me God made me. I sho thought papa made
me en I go home en tell papa Miss Lizzie say she gwine beat me Monday
mornin. He ax me what I been doin cuttin up in church. I say, 'I wasn'
doin nothin. She ax me who made me en I tell her you made me.' He told
me dat God made me. Say he made Miss Lizzie en he made everybody. Ain'
nobody tell me dat fore den, but I saved my beaten cause I changed my

"I hear tell bout de slaves would run away en go to Canada. Put nigger
dogs after dem, but some of dem would get dere somehow or another. If I
was livin on your place, I wouldn' dare to go to another house widout I
had a permit from my Massa or de overseer. We slip off en de patroller
catch en whip us. One time dey give my daddy a quilting en ax several
women to come dere. Dey had a lot of chillun to cover en give a quilting
so dey can cover dem up. Mistress tell dem to give so en so dis much en
dat much scraps from de loom house. I was settin dere in de corner en
dey blow cane. Common reed make music en dance by it. Dat de only way
niggers had to make music. Dance en blow cane dat night at grandmother's
house (Wilson place). Dey was just a pattin en dancin en gwine on. I was
sittin up in de corner en look up en patrol was standin in de door en
call patrol. When dey hear dat, dey know something gwine to do. Dey took
Uncle Mac Gibson en whip him en den dey take one by one out en whip dem.
When dey got house pretty thin en was bout to get old man Gibson, he
take hoe like you work wid en put it in de hot ashes. People had to cut
wood en keep fire burnin all de year cause didn' have no matches den.
Old man Gibson went to de door en throwed de hot ashes in de patrol
face. Dey try to whip us, but de old man Gibson tell dem dey got no
right to whip his niggers. We run from whe' we at to our home. Dey tried
four year to catch my daddy, but dey couln' never catch him. He was a
slick nigger."

"I don' remember what kind of medicines dey use in slavery time, but I
know my mamma used to look after de slaves when dey get sick. Saw one
child bout year or two old took sick en died en Lester Small want me to
dig it up en carry him to de office. I expect dey gwine be dere, but
dey never come. I took it out en laid it on de bank in sheet dat dey
give me. Den I picked it up en carried it in de house. It smeared me up
right bad, but I carried it in de office en he look at it. He put it in
de corner en say, 'You can go.' Pay me $2.00. Dr. Johnson want to cut
dat child open. Dat what he want wid it. I know dis much dat dey use
different kind of roots for dey medicines en I see dem wear dime in dey
clothes dat dey tell me was to keep off de rheumatism. Send to
Philadelphia to get dat kind of dime."

"I tellin you time hard dese days. I had stroke here en can' work, but I
doin de best I can. Miss Robinson help me daughter do de best she can.
Do washin en ironin. Miss Robinson say she gwine give me old age
pension. I ask Miss Robinson, I say, 'I livin now en can' get nothin. If
I die, would you help my chillun bury me?' She say, 'I will do de best I
can to help put you away nice.' Miss Robinson good lady."

  =Source:= Charlie Grant, ex-slave, age 85, Florence, S.C.

          Personal interview by H. Grady Davis and Mrs.
          Lucile Young, Florence, S.C., May 11, 1937.

  Project #-1655
  Phoebe Faucette
  Hampton County


  [HW: Grant, Rebecca Jane]

In Hampton County at Lena, S.C., there lives an old negro woman who has
just passed her ninety-second birthday, and tells of those days long ago
when man was bound to man and families were torn apart against their
will. Slowly she draws the curtain of Time from those would-be-forgotten
scenes of long ago that cannot ever be entirely obliterated from the

"Well, just what is it you want to hear about, Missus?"

"Anything, everything, Auntie, that you remember about the old days
before the Civil War. Just what you've told your grand-daughter, May,
and her friend, Alice, here, many times, is what I want to hear."

"Tell her, mamma," said Alice with a whoop of laughter, "about the time
when your Missus sent you to the store with a note!"

"Oh that! Not that Missus?"

"Yes, Auntie that!"

"Well, I was just a little girl about eight years old, staying in
Beaufort at de Missus' house, polishing her brass andirons, and
scrubbing her floors, when one morning she say to me, 'Janie, take this
note down to Mr. Wilcox Wholesale Store on Bay Street, and fetch me back
de package de clerk gie (give) you.'

"I took de note. De man read it, and he say, 'Uh-huh'. Den he turn away
and he come back wid a little package which I took back to de Missus.

"She open it when I bring it in, and say, 'Go upstairs, Miss!'

"It was a raw cowhide strap bout two feet long, and she started to
pourin' it on me all de way up stairs. I didn't know what she was
whippin' me bout; but she pour it on, and she pour it on.

"Turrectly she say, 'You can't say "Marse Henry", Miss? You can't say,
"Marse Henry"!'

"Yes'm. Yes'm. I kin say. 'Marse Henry'!

"Marse Henry was just a little boy bout three or four years old. Come
bout halfway up to me. Wanted me to say Massa to him, a baby!"

"How did you happen to go to Beaufort, Auntie? You told me you were
raised right here in Hampton County on the Stark Plantation."

"I was, Miss. But my mother and four of us children (another was born
soon afterwards) were sold to Mr. Robert Oswald in Beaufort. I was de
oldest, then there was brother Ben, sister Delia, sister Elmira, and
brother Joe that was born in Beaufort. My father belong to Marse Tom
Willingham; but my mother belong to another white man. Marse Tom was
always trying to buy us so we could all be together, but de man wouldn't
sell us to him. Marse Tom was a Christian gentleman! I believe he seek
religion same as any colored person. And pray! Oh, that was a blessed
white man! A blessed white man! And Miss Mamie, his daughter, was a
Christian lady. Every Wednesday afternoon she'd fill her basket with
coffee, tea, sugar, tobacco and such things, and go round to de houses
where dere was old folks or sick folks. She'd give um de things; and
she'd read de scriptures to um, and she'd kneel down and pray for um.
But we had to leave all de folks we knew when we was took to Beaufort.

"All of us chillun, too little to work, used to have to stay at de
'Street'. Dey'd have some old folks to look after us--some old man, or
some old woman. Dey'd clean off a place on de ground near de washpot
where dey cooked de peas, clean it off real clean, den pile de peas out
dere on de ground for us to eat. We'd pick um up in our hands and begin
to eat. Sometimes dey'd cook hoe cakes in a fire of coals. Dey'd mix a
little water with de meal and make a stiff dough that could be patted
into shape with de hands. De cakes would be put right into the fire, and
would be washed off clean after they were racked out from de coals.
Sometimes de Massa would have me mindin' de birds off de corn. But 'fore
I left Beaufort, I was doin' de Missus' washin' and ironin'. I was
fifteen years old when I left Beaufort, at de time freedom was declared.
We were all reunited den. First, my mother and de young chillun, den I
got back. My uncle, Jose Jenkins come to Beaufort and stole me by night
from my Missus. He took me wid him to his home in Savannah. We had been
done freed; but he stole me away from de house. When my father heard
that I wasn't wid de others, he sent my grandfather, Isaac, to hunt me.
When he find me at my uncle's house, he took me back. We walked all
back--sixty-four miles. I was foundered. You know if'n a foundered
person will jump over a stick of burning lightwood, it will make um feel

"Tell us, Auntie, more about the time when you and your mother and
brothers and sisters had just gone to Beaufort.

"Well mam. My mother say she didn't know a soul. All de time she'd be
prayin' to de Lord. She'd take us chillun to de woods to pick up
firewood, and we'd turn around to see her down on her knees behind a
stump, aprayin'. We'd see her wipin' her eyes wid de corner of her
apron, first one eye, den de other, as we come along back. Den, back in
de house, down on her knees, she'd be aprayin'. One night she say she
been down on her knees aprayin' and dat when she got up, she looked out
de door and dere she saw comin' down out de elements a man, pure white
and shining. He got right before her door, and come and stand right to
her feet, and say, "Sarah, Sarah, Sarah!"

"Yes, Sir."

"What is you frettin' bout so?"

"Sir. I'm a stranger here, parted from my husband, with five little
chillun and not a morsel of bread."

"You say you're parted from your husband? You're not parted from your
husband. You're jest over a little slash of water. Suppose you had to
undergo what I had to. I was nailed to the Cross of Mount Calvary. And
here I am today. Who do you put your trust in?

"My mother say after dat, everything just flow along, just as easy. Now
my mother was an unusually good washer and ironer. De white folks had
been sayin', 'Wonder who it is that's makin' de clothes look so good.'
Well, bout dis time, dey found out; and dey would come bringin' her
plenty of washin' to do. And when dey would come dey would bring her a
pan full of food for us chilluns. Soon de other white folks from round
about heard of her and she was gettin' all de washin' she needed. She
would wash for de Missus durin' de day, and for de other folks at night.
And dey all was good to her.

"One day de Missus call her to de house to read her something from a
letter she got. De letter say that my father had married another woman.
My mother was so upset she say, 'I hope he breaks dat woman's jawbone.
She know she aint his lawful wife.' And dey say her wish come true. Dat
was just what happened.

"But we all got together again and I thanks de good Lord. I gets down on
my knees and prays. I thanks de Lord for His mercy and His goodness to
me every day. Every time I eats, I folds my hands and thanks Him for de
food. He's de one that sent it, and I thanks Him. Then, on my knees, I
thanks him.

"Aunt Jane receives an ample pension since her husband fought on the side
with the Federals. He was known as James Lawton before the war, but
became, James Lawton Grant after the war."

  =Source:= Mrs. Delacy Wyman, Mgr. Pyramid Pecan Grove, Lena S.C.
          Rebecca Jane Grant, ninety-two year old resident of
          Lena, S.C.

  Project #-1655
  Phoebe Faucette
  Hampton County


"Yes, Ma'am," Aunt Beckie said, "I remembers you, you Miss Mamie
Willingham' granddaughter. She was sure a good woman. She'd fill her
buggy with sugar, tea, coffee and tobacco, and go every Thursday to see
the sick and old people. She wouldn't except none--white or colored.
No'm she wouldn't except none! That's the kind of folks you sprung from.
You's got a good heritage.

"The most of what I remembers before the war was when I was in Beaufort.
They used to take care of the widows then. Take it by turns. There was a
lady, Miss Mary Ann Baker, whose husband had been an organist in the
church. When he died they would all take turns caring for Miss Mary Ann.
I remember I'd meet her on de street and I'd say, 'Good mornin' Miss
Mary Ann.' 'Morning Janie.' 'How you this mornin' Miss Mary Ann?' She'd
say, 'Death come in and make alterations, and hard living make
contrivance.' She'd take any old coat, or anything, and make it over to
fit her children, and look good, too. She was a great seamstress. You'd
see her children when they turn out on de street and they looked the
same as some rich white people's children. Nearly all of her children
was girls. Had one boy, as well as I kin remember.

"Dey used to make de clothes for de slaves in de house. Had a seamstress
to stay there in de house so de mistress could supervise the work. De
cloth de clothes was made out of was hand woven. It was dyed in pretty
colors--some green, some blue, and pretty colors. And it was strong
cloth, too. Times got so hard during de war dat de white folks had to
use de cloth woven by hand, themselves. De ladies would wear bustles,
and hoops made out of oak. Old times, they'd make underbodies with
whalebone in it. There was something they'd put over the hoop they call,
'Follow me, boy'. Used to wear the skirts long, with them long trains
that trail behind you. You'd take and tuck it up behind on some little
hook or something they had to fasten it up to. And the little babes had
long dresses. Come down to your feet when you hold the baby in your lap.
And embroidered from the bottom of the skirt all the way up. Oh, they
were embroidered up in the finest sort of embroidery.

"One day when I was nursing, my Missus' son--him and I been one age,
'bout the same age--he go up town and buy a false face. Now I didn't see
nuthin' like dat before! He put dat thing on and hide behind de door. I
had de baby in my arms, and when I start toward de door with de baby, he
jump out at me! I threw the baby clean under the bed I was so scared. If
it had of killed it, it wouldn't been me. It'd been dem! Cause I ain't
never seen sech a thing before.

"You say what schoolin' de slaves got? They didn't get none--unless it
was de bricklayers and such like, and de seamstresses. If de masters
wanted to learn them, they'd let 'em hold de book. But they wouldn't
miss de catechism. And they was taught they must be faithful to the
Missus and Marsa's work like you would to your heavenly Father's work.

"Didn't have no colored churches. De drivers and de over-seers, de
house-servants, de bricklayers and folks like dat'd go to de white
folk's church. But not de field hands. Why dey couldn't have all got in
de church. My marsa had three or four hundred slaves, himself. And most
of the other white folks had just as many or more. But them as went
would =sing=! Oh they'd sing! I remember two of 'em specially. One was a
man and he'd sing bass. Oh, he'd roll it down! The other was a woman,
and she'd sing soprano! They had colored preachers to preach to de field
hands down in de quarters. Dey'd preach in de street. Meet next day to
de marsa's and turn in de report. How many pray, how many ready for
baptism and all like dat. Used to have Sabbath School in de white
people's house, in de porch, on Sunday evening. De porch was big and
dey'd fill dat porch! They never fail to give de chillun Sabbath School.
Learn them de Sabbath catechism. We'd sing a song the church bells used
to ring in Beaufort. You never hear it any more. But I remembers it."

The old woman sang the song for me as melodiously and beautifully as any
young person. The words are:

  "I want to be an angel, and with an angel stand,
  A crown upon my forehead, a harp within my hand.
  Right there before my Saviour, so glorious and so bright,
  I'll hear the sweetest music, and praise Him day and night."

"Old Parson Winborn Lawton used to preach for us after the war until we
got our church organized. He had a daughter named Miss Anna Lawton. At
the white folk's church at Lawtonville they had a colored man who used
to sing for them, by the name of Moses Murray. He'd sit there back of
the organ and roll down on them bass. Roll down just like de organ roll!
He was Moses Lawton at that time, you know.

"You know how old I am? I'm in my 94th year. Ella has a dream book she
looks up my age in and tells me what luck I have, and all that. I
generally had good luck."

  =Source:= Rebecca Jane Grant, 93 years old. Lena, S.C.

  Project 1885-(1)
  Spartanburg, S.C.
  District No. 4.
  May 26, 1937.

  Edited by:
  R.V. Williams


"Mos' everybody know my name. You gotta help me. Oh, yeah, dat's what I
goes by. It's Brack; dey calls me ole uncle Brack".

"Look out, over dar!" said a negro who was standing nearby. "Uncle
Brack, you know you is got mo' names dan dat. Why, everwhar you goes,
dey calls you a different name."

"Shet up, you sassy-mouth nigger!" Uncle Brack waved his stick as the
younger negro moved out of its reach. Uncle Brack walks with two sticks
nearly all the time. He is bent almost double.

"He de greatest nigger rascal a-gwine," Uncle Brack said. "He jest dream
all de time, and dreams don't nebber amount to nothin'. Dem dreams what
he carries on wid in de daytime, dey is what makes him tell so many
lies. De idea, talking like I has a different name everwhar I goes, when
I don't go nowhar. Why, I can't hardly hobble to de sto'.

"Dey mus' help me. I took down sick in November. Mr. Rice sent me
things. You gov'ment folks ain't sont me much as Mr. Rice and de good
white folks what likes me. I'se bawn ten years when Freedom come out.
Benn seventy-odd years since Freedom, ain't it, Cap?

"Dr. Jim Gibbs was mighty good to me. You sees dat I'se a-gwine about
now. Dr. Gibbs come from Aiken to Union and set up a drug sto' whar
Cohen's is now. Dr. Gibbs was a Charleston man, but I is a Kentucky
darky. Dr. Gibbs brung me from Kentucky to Charleston when I was five
years old. My ma was de one dat dey bought. Dr. Gibbs' wife was a Bohen
up in Kentucky. When Dr. Gibbs fetch his wife to Charleston, he bought
my ma from his wife's pa, and she fetch me along too.

"It ten o'clock befo' I can creep. Dat de reason dat I has to beg.
Wasn't fer my age, I wouldn't ax nobody fer nothing. De Lawd done spared
me fer somethin' and I carries on de best dat I can. Doctor say he
couldn't do no good. Dat been five years ago de fust time I tuck down.
Doctors steadies about money too much. I trustes de Lawd, He spare me to
dis day. I can't hardly walk, and I jus' can't bear fer nothing to touch
dis foot. I has to use two sticks to walk. (Uncle Brack punched his foot
with a stick; then looked up and saw two negro girls approaching.)

"As the girls got opposite Uncle Brack, he threw his stick in front of
them and they exclaimed, "Is dat you, Uncle Brack? How did you get up
here?" Uncle Brack replied, "I never meant fer you to git by me. Jes
kaize I'se ole, ain't no reason fer you not speaking to me." As the
girls walked on, Uncle Brack said, "I flirts wid all de colored gals,
and I also has a passing word for de white ladies as dey goes by."

"I used to work at the baker shop over dar when Mr. James' chilluns was
little saplings. I'se gwine on eighty-six and dem big boys raise dey
hats to me. White people has respec' for me kaize I ain't never been in
jail. I knows how to carry myself, and I specs to die dat way if I can.
Lil chile what jus' could talk good gived me a penny dis mawning.

"I used to could read. I learnt to read in Aiken, when school fust broke
out to de colored people. Northern people teached me to read long time
ago. Now my eyes is dim."

  =Source:= JOHN GRAVES, (Col. 86) N. Church St., Union, S.C.
          Interviewer: Caldwell Sims, Union, S.C. (2/27/37)

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg, Dist. 4:
  Sept. 8, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"Miss Alice Cannon give me my age from de foundation of my mother. Dey
been bringing my things out to me--is dat what you'se doing, setting
down here by me? I was born on de first Christmas Day, I means de 25th
of December, 1855; in Newberry County on de Sam Cannon place. You had to
turn off de Ashford Ferry Road about seven and a half miles from de town
of Newberry. My mother was Frances Cannon of near Cannon Creek Church.

"I'll try to give you a straight definition. Old man Sim Gallman was my
old missus' brother; she was Miss Viny Cannon. My boss was overseer for
Mr. Geo. Gallman. We was on Mr. George's place. When Mr. Gallman started
overseeing, Mr. Sim Gallman come over dar for dem to take his place and
care for him.

"My boss, Sam Cannon, promised me a place. Miss Viny Cannon suckled me
and her son Henry at de same time, me on one knee and Henry on t'other.
Dey calls me 'Timber'. Miss Sallie said to us atter Freedom, 'You ain't
got no marsters'. I cried. My Ma let me stay wid Miss Sallie. Mr. Henry
Gallman promised to marry Miss Sally Cannon, my young missus; but he
went to de war and never come back home no mo'. Mr. Jeff Gallman went,
but he come back wid one arm. Mr. Tom Gallman went and married his first
cousin, Miss Addie Cannon; he never got to go to de war.

"My father was a full-blooded Indian from Virginia. He was a refugee.
But you know dat dey had a way of selling people back den. Somebody
caught him and sold him at one of dem sales. De man what bought him was
Mr. Jeff Buzzard. He went back to Virginia atter de surrender. I would
not go. He took another woman on de place, and my mother would not let
me go. De woman's name dat he took was Sara Danby. She had two brothers
and a sister--Samuel, Coffee, and Jenny.

"My mother was mixed Indian and African blood. My folks got 'stroyed up
in a storm. My grandfather was named Isaac Haltiwanger. My grandmother,
his wife, was named Annie. Dey had one child who was my mother; her name
Frances. My grandmother's name was Molly Stone.

"My parents, talking 'bout de Africans, how funny dey talked. Uncle
Sonny and uncle Edmund Ruff was two of de old 'uns. Old man Charles
Slibe was de preacher. He was a Methodist. My father was a Baptist. His
white folks, de Billy Caldwells, prepared de barn for him to preach to
dere slaves. In dat day, all de Africans was low chunky fellers and raal
black. Dey said dat in Africa, little chilluns run 'round de house and
de fattest one fall behind; den dey kill him and eat him. Dat's de worst
dat I ever heard, O Lawd!

"I hates dat Missus didn't whip me mo' and let me be teached to read and
write so dat I wouldn't be so ignant.

"For de neuralgia, take and tie two or three nutmegs around yo' neck.
Tie brass buttons around de neck to stop de nose a-bleeding."

Greeley's house has four rooms and it is in great need of repair. It is
badly kept and so are the other houses in "Fowler's Row". He lives with
his wife, Eula, but she was not home during the visit.

"My house 'longs to a widder woman. She white but I does not know her
name. Her collector is Mr. Wissnance (Whisenant). He got a office over
here on E. Main St., right up in de town. I rents by de month but I pays
by de week--a dollar. De house sho is gwine down. Rest of de houses on
de Row is repaired, but mine ain't yet; so she have Mr. Wissnance drap
off twenty-five cents, and now I is paying only seventy-five cents a
week. Me and Eula has to go amongst de white folks fer bread and other
little things. Ain't got no bread from 'Uncle Sam' since last August.
See my tater patch, wid knee-high vines.

"De case worker want to git my age and whar I's born. I told her jest
what I told you. She say she got to have proof; so I told her to write
Mr. Cannon Blease who was de sheriff. I means de High Sheriff, fer nigh
thirty years in Newberry. And does you know, she never even heard of Mr.
Cannon Blease. Never had no money but Mr. Blease knowed it, so he up and
sont my kerrect age anyway. It turn't out jest 'zactly like I told you
it was. What worried me de mostest, is dat she never knowed Mr. Cannon
Blease. Is you ever heard of sech a thing as a lady like dat not knowing
Mr. Blease?

"Now Mr. Dr. Snyder is a man dat ain't setting here 'sleep. He's a
mill'onaire, kaise he run Wofford College and it must take a million
dollars to do dat, it sho must. My case worker knowed him.

"De case worker calls me 'Preacher', but I ain't got up to dat yet--I
ain't got dat fer. I been sold out twice in insurance. I give my last
grand-baby de name 'Roosevelt', and his daddy give him 'Henry'. His Ma
never give him none. Some folks loads down babies and kills dem wid
names, but his ma never wanted to do dat. So us jest calls him Henry
Roosevelt. Us does not drap none and us does not leave none out.

"Went to church one night and left my pocketbook in a box on my mantel.
Had $120.00 in it in paper, and $8 in silver. Some niggers dat had been
watching me broke down my do' dat I had locked. Dey took de $120 and
left de $8. Went home and I seed dat broke do'. I went straight to my
mantel and see'd what was done. Dey never bothered de books and papers
in dat box. Next morning, de nigger what lived next do' to me was gone.
I went to a old fortune teller, a man; he say I know dat you lost a lot.
De one I thought got de money, he said, was not de right one. He say dat
three hobos got it. One had red hair, one sandy hair and de other had
curly hair. He say somebody done cited dem and dey sho going to be
caught dis very day. He say dat dey come from Asheville. But he was
wrong, kaise dey ain't never caught no three hobos dat I ever learn't

"One day when I was plowing, I struck de plow 'ginst something. My plow
knocked off de handle. I heard money rattle. It ringed three times. I
couldn't see nothing, so I called my wife and son and dey looked, but we
never found but five cents. Never in my life did I hear of a bank in
slavery times. Everybody buried dere money and sometimes dey forgot
where dey put it. I thought dat I had run on some of dat money den, but
I never found none. Lots of money buried somewhars, and folks died and
never remembered whar it was.

"A nigger republican leader got kilt. I hel't de hosses fer de Ku klux.
Great God-a-mighty, Dave and Dick Gist and Mr Caldwell run de sto' at de
Rutherford place in dem times. Feeder of dem hosses was Edmund Chalmers.
Mr. Dick say, 'Hello, Edmund, how come dem mules so po' when you got
good corn everywhar--what, you stealing corn, too?' Mr. Oatzel say,
'Yes, I cotch him wid a basket on his shoulder.' 'Whar was you carrying
it?' Edmund say, 'To Mr. Caldwell'. Mr. Caldwell say he ain't see'd no
corn. Dey took Edmund to de jail. He had been taking corn and selling it
to de carpetbaggers, and dat corn was fer de Ku Klux hosses.

"Dere was a Mr. Brown, a white man, dat come up to live in Newberry. Dey
called him a refugee. Us called him Mr. 'Refugee Brown'. He was sorter
destituted and not a bit up-to-date. He settled near de Gibson place. I
fed de Gibson boys' fox-dogs about dat time fer dem.

"I want to git right wid you, now; so I can meet you lovely. In '73, I
thought someone was shaking my house; I come out doors wid my gun; see'd
white and colored coming together. Everybody was scared. All got to
hollering and some prayed. I thought dat de earth gwine to be shook to
pieces by morning. I thought of old Nora (Noah).

"Dem Bible folks see'd a little hand-span cloud. Nora had done built him
a house three stories high. Dat little cloud busted. Water riz in de
second story of de wicked king's palace. He sont fer de northern lady.
When she come a-shaking and a-twisting in de room de king fell back in
his chair. He say dat he give her anything she want, all she got to do
is ask fer it. She say to cut off John Wesley's head and bring it to
her. De king had done got so suluctious dat he done it. Dat king and all
of dem got drowned. Nora put a lot of things in de ark dat he could have
left out, sech as snakes and other varments; but de ark floated off
anyhow. No sir, dat wasn't de Clifton flood, dat was Nora's flood."

  =Source:= Sim Greeley (82), 280 Fowler's Row, Spartanburg, S.C.
          Interviewer: Caldwell Sims, Union, S.C. (8/27/37)

  Project #1655
  Augustus Ladson
  Charleston, S.C.

  Page I
  No. Words: 1497



"I was bo'n in Charleston at 82 King Street, December 25, 1843. The
house is still there who' recent owner is Judge Whaley. My ma an' pa was
Kate an' John Green. My ma had seben chillun (boys) an I am the last of
'em. Their names was: Henry, Scipio, Ellis, Nathaniel, Hobart, Mikell,
an' myself.

"From the South-East of Calhoun Street, which was then Boundry Street, to
the Battery was the city limit an' from the North-West of Boundry Street
for sev'als miles was nothin' but fa'm land. All my brothers was fa'm
han's for our master, George W. Jones. I did all the house work 'til the
war w'en I was given to Mr. Wm. Jones's son, Wm. H. Jones as his "daily
give servant" who' duty was to clean his boots, shoes, sword, an' make
his coffee. He was Firs' Lieutenant of the South Car'lina Company
Regiment. Bein' his servant, I wear all his cas' off clothes which I was
glad to have. My shoes was call' brogan that has brass on the toe. W'en
a slave had one of 'em you couldn't tell 'em he wasn't dress' to death.

"As the "daily give servant" of Mr. Wm. H. Jones I had to go to Virginia
durin' the war. In the battle at Richmond Gen'al Lee had Gen'al Grant
almos' beaten. He drive him almos' in the Potomac River, an' then take
seven pieces of his artillery. W'en Gen'al Grant see how near defeat he
was, he put up a white flag as a signal for time out to bury his deads.
That flag stay' up for three weeks while Gen'al Grant was diggin'
trenches. In the meantime he get message to President Lincoln askin' him
to sen' a reinforcement of sojus. Gen'al Sherman was in charge of the
regiment who sen' word to Gen'al Grant to hol' his position 'til he had
captur' Columbia, Savannah, burn out Charleston while on his way with
dispatch of 45,000 men. W'en Gen'al Sherman got to Virginia, the battle
was renew' an' continued for seven days at the en' of which Gen'al Lee
surrender' to Gen'al Grant. Durin' the seven days fight the battle got
so hot 'til Mr. William Jones made his escape an' it was two days 'fore
I know he was gone. One of the Gen'als sen' me home an' I got here two
days 'fore Mr. William got home. He went up in the attic an' stay' there
'til the war was end'. I carry all his meals to him an' tell him all the
news. Master show was a frighten' man; I was sorry for him. That battle
at Richmond, Virginia was the wors' in American history.

Dr. George W. Jones, my master, ran a blockade. He had ships roamin' the
sea to capture pirates ships. He had a daughter, Ellen, who was always
kin' to the slaves. Master had a driver, William Jenkins, an' an' a'
overseer, Henry Brown. Both was white. The driver see that the work was
done by the supervision of the overseer. Master' fa'm amounted to
twenty-five acres with 'bout eighteen slaves. The overseer blow the
ho'n, which was a conch shell, at six in the mornin' an' every slave
better answer w'en the roll was call' at seven. The slaves didn't have
have to work on Sat'day.

Mr. Ryan had a private jail on Queen Street near the Planters Hotel. He
was very cruel; he'd lick his slaves to death. Very seldom one of his
slaves survive' a whippin'. He was the opposite to Govenor Aiken, who
live' on the North-West corner of Elizabeth an' Judith Streets. He had
several rice plantations, hundreds of his slaves he didn't know.

Not 'til John C. Calhoun' body was carried down Boundry Street was the
name change' in his honor. He is bury in St. Phillip Church yard, 'cross
the street with a laurel tree planted at his head. Four men an' me dig
his grave an' I clear' the spot w'ere his monument now stan'. The
monument was put up by Pat Callington, a Charleston mason. I never did
like Calhoun 'cause he hated the Negro; no man was ever hated as much as
him by a group of people.

The Work House (Sugar House) was on Magazine Street, built by Mr.
Columbus C. Trumbone. On Charlmer Street is the slave market from which
slaves was taken to Vangue Range an' auctione' off. At the foot of
Lawrence Street, opposite East Bay Street, on the other side of the
trolly tracks is w'ere Mr. Alonze White kept an' sell slaves from his
kitchen. He was a slave-broker who had a house that exten' almos' to the
train tracks which is 'bout three hundred yards goin' to the waterfront.
No train or trolly tracks was there then 'cause there was only one
railroad here, the Southern, an' the depot was on Ann Street w'ere the
Baggin' Mill now is.

W'en slaves run away an' their masters catch them, to the stockade they
go w'ere they'd be whipp' every other week for a number of mornins. An'
de for God sake don' you be cotch with pencil an' paper, dat was a major
crime. You might as well had kill your master or missus.

One song I know I use to sing to the slaves w'en master went 'way, but I
wouldn't be so fool as to let him hear me. What I kin 'member of it is:

  Master gone away
  But darkies stay at home,
  The year of jubilee is come
  An' freedom will begun.

A group of white men was in Doctor Wilson' drug store one day w'en I
went to buy something. They commence' to ax me questions concernin' some
historical happenin's an' I answer them all. So Dr. Wilson bet 'me that
I couldn't tell who fired the firs' shot on Fort Sumter. I tell him I
did know an' he offer's dollar if I was right. I tell him I wasn't goin'
tell 'less the dollar was given to one of the men. He did so an' I told
them it was Edward Ruffin who fired the firs' shot an' the dollar was
mine. Anderson was determine' not to leave the fort but w'en 'bout four
shells had hit the fort he was glad to be able to come out. W'en Sherman
was comin' through Columbia, he fired an' a shell lodged in the
South-East en' ef the State House which was forbidden to be fix'. He was
comin' down Main Street w'en that happens'.

The firs' two people that was hung in Charleston was Harry an' Janie;
husban' an' wife who was slaves of Mr. Christopher Black. Mr. Black had
them whip' an' they planned to kill the whole fambly. They poison the
breakast one morning an' if two of the fambly han' been sleep, they too
would a been dead. The others die almos' instantly. An investigation was
made an' the poison discovered an the two slaves hung on the big oak in
the middle of Ashley Avenue.

If'en any in your owner' fambly was goin' to be married the slaves was
dress' in linen clothes to witness the ceremony. Only special slaves was
chosen to be at the weddin'. Slaves was alway ax how they like' the one
who was comin' in the [TN: two illegible words.] myself by sayin' nice things
'bout the person en hate' the person at the same time.

Slaves was always bury in the night as no one could stop to do it in the
day. Ole boards was use' to make the coffin that was blackened with shoe

After the war I did garden work.

Mr. Stiles Bee on James Islan' give track of lan' to the Negroes for a
school jus' after the war; he put up a shed-like buildin' with a few
chairs in it. It was at the place call Cut Bridge.

Henry McKinley, a Negro who ran as congressman from Charleston jus'
after the war, lived on Calhoun Street. He was a mail carrier. He made
an oath to Almighty God that if he was elected, he'd never betray his
trus'. In one of his speeches he said: "I hope God 'ill paralize me
should I do as others have done." He was elected an' never see the
Congress. One white man from Orangeburg, Samuel Dibbin, bought him out.
An' three weeks later McKinley took a stroke that carry him to a' early
grave. James Wright, a Negro judge of Charleston in 1876 sol' out for
ten thousand dollars--a dime of which he hasn't receive' yet. He 'cross
the bridge an' stay in a' ole house an' die there. The Probate Judge, A.
Whipper, refused to give up the books of Judge Wright to the white man
he sell out to. Judge Whipper went in Beauford jail an' die there 'cause
he wouldn't give up the books. Wright kept such a poor record that Judge
Whipper was ashamed to have them expose', an' that's why he didn't give
up the books. Henry Smalls, owner of the Smalls Lot on Comin' Street was
Second Lieutenant on the Police Force. Henry Fordham was Second
Assistant Lieutenant. Captain James Williams, Third Assistant Lieutenant
who become Captain of the Military Department an' forme' the Carolina
Light Infantry which was recogniz' 'til Ben Tillman call' them on the
Green an' take their guns.

I was janitor at Benedict College in Columbia for two years an' at
Clafflin in Orangeburg for twelve. The Presidents under which I worke'
was: Allen Webster, grandson of the dictionary maker; J.C. Cook; an' Dr.

Now all that is pass' an I'm livin' from han' to mouth. The banks took
all my money an' I can't work. I do the collectin' for my lan'lord an'
he give me a room free. If it wasn't for that I don't know what I'd do.


  Interview with Elijah Green, 156 Elizabeth Street, Charleston, S.C.

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg, Dist. 4
  Sept. 7, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"Cap, I was born on de Bonner place, five miles from Gaffney. Jest about
de very first recollection dat sticks wid me, is my mammy a-hiding me
when de Ku Klux was riding. She heard de hosses a-trotting and she
rushed us out'n our beds and took us and buried us in de fodder out in
our barn, and told us to be as quiet as possible. Both my parents went
and hid in de edge of de woods. De Ku Klux passed on by widout even
holding up dere hosses.

"During slavery my mother went to Mississippi wid her mistress,
Artimesse Smith Ross. Soon atter Freedom dey come back to Smith's Ford
on de Pacolet. Steers pulled 'slides', wid de white folk belongings on
de slides. We niggers went to meeting on de slides. De ends of de slides
was curved upward. When we got to meeting, we went under de brush
arbors. Fresh brush was kept cut so dat de sun would not shine through.
Under de arbors we sat on slabs and de preacher stood on de ground. We
had better meetings den dan dey have now. Everybody had better religion
den dan dey does now. In dem days religion went further dan it does now.
Yes sir, religion meant something den, and went somewhars. My pappy rode
a ginny to preaching.

"Dere was not as much devilment as dere is now. Times was better fer
niggers. One day last week I went to meeting and took dinner. We eat on
a slab table and had ice tea to drink. Meas was dere drinking on de
side, and all other devilment dey could carry on in sight of de church.
De preacher eat wid us. Some eat out of dere buckets and would not come
and be wid de crowd. Long time ago, nobody didn't act greedy like dat.
Girls cut up like boys now, and nobody don't look down on dem.

"When I was a boy, girls acted like de old folks and dey did not carry
on. Nobody ever heard of a girl drinking and smoking den. If a girl made
a mistake in de old days she was throwed overboard. Why when I was
little, us boys went in a-washing wid de girls and never thought nothing
'bout it. We was most grown befo' we know'd a thing 'bout man and woman.
I was fifteen years old when I got my first shoes and dey had brass
toes. We played ball wid de girls in de house, and sung songs like:
'Goosey, Goosey Gander'."

"We had wheat bread only once a week," said Jesse Stevenson who came up
and entered the conversation, "and dat was on Sunday. I had a good time
at Green's wedding. Green married Carrie Phillips who lived two miles
above me. We boys talked to de girls in school. We was around twenty
years old befo' we went to school. Of course dat was atter Freedom. De
teacher would light on both of us fer talking across de books. Carrie
was about a year younger dan Green. Green, tell de gentleman
(interviewer) what you said when you ax'd uncle Ben fer Carrie."

"I say," said Green, "come out into de cool of de yard, please sir, if
you will uncle Ben; I has a question of de utmost concern to us both to
lay at your feet'. Uncle Ben say, 'Look here, young nigger, don't you
know dat I ain't got no business gwine out in no night dew--what ails
you nohow?' I 'lows, 'Uncle Ben, it is a great matter of life and death
dat I wishes to consult wid you over'. He clear his throat and spit in
de fire and say, 'Wait, I'll come if it's dat urgent.' I took him under
a tree so dat no dew wouldn't drap on his head and give him a cold. I
said, 'I want to marry your daughter, uncle Ben.' He say, 'Which one is
dat dat you wishes, Sir?' 'De purttiest one, Carrie,' says I; 'dat is,
if you ain't got no objection.'

"Befo' I axed fer Carrie I was loving two gals, but of course I drapped
de other'n after uncle Ben give me a favorable answer. Me and Carrie
married at Miss Twitty Thompson's house. Dat whar uncle Ben had raised
Carrie. Carrie's missus give her a good wedding supper wid chicken, ham,
turkey, cake and coffee, and tater salad. Seventy-five people is what
Miss Twitty let Carrie ax to dat supper. All dem niggers was dere, too.

"I had on a grey suit wid big stripes in it. Carrie had on a white dress
and a white veil. We used dat veil to keep de skeeters off'n our first
two babies. It made de best skeeter net. We married one Sunday morning
at 'leven o'clock and had dinner at twelve; give de preacher twenty-five
cents. Never no one give us no presents. We stayed at my pappy's house
fer years. He give us a bed, a bureau and a washstand. Carrie's folks
give us de bed clothes, and dats what we started on. Jesse, tell de
gentleman what you did at my wedding."

"I stood wid Green," said Jesse Stevenson, "and I had on a brown suit
wid grey stripes gwine up and down it. Atter de ceremony all de gals
wanted to swing me and Green, but Carrie grabbed him and shake her head
and grin; so I got all de swinging."

Green said, "Me and Carrie never went no whar atter our marriage. We
stayed on wid my pappy and worked. We been doing well ever since."

  =Source:= W. M. Green (71); Jesse Stevenson (71), Rt. 1, Gaffney, S.C.
          Interviewer: Caldwell Sims 8/23/37

  Project #-1655
  Phoebe Faucette
  Hampton County

  Approx. 390 words


Adeline Grey seemed in good health as she sat before her granddaughter's
comfortable fire. She spoke quietly, with little excitement, and readily
recalled events of her early childhood.

"I was a girl when freedom was declare, an' I kin remember 'bout de
times. My Ma used to belong to ole man Dave Warner. I remember how she
used to wash, and iron, an' cook for de white folks durin' slavery time.

"I member when de Yankees come through. I wuz right to de old boss'
place. It wuz on de river side. Miss Jane Warner, she wuz de missus. De
place heah now--where all de chillun raise. Mr. Rhodes got a turpentine
still dere now--jes after you pass de house. Dey burn de ginhouse, de
shop, de buggyhouse, de turkeyhouse an' de fowlhouse. Start to set de
cornhouse afire, but my Ma say: 'Please sir, don't burn de cornhouse.
Gie it to me an' my chillun.' So dey put de fire out. I member when dey
started to break down de smokehouse door, an' ole Missus come out an'
say: 'Please don't break de door open, I got de key.' So dey quit. I
remember when dey shoot down de hog. I remember when dey shoot de two
geese in de yard. Dey choked my Ma. Dey went to her an' dey say; 'Where
is all de white people gold an' silver?' My Ma say she don't know. 'You
does know!' dey say, an' choke her till she couldn't talk. Dey went into
de company room where de ole Miss wuz stayin' an' start tearin' up de
bed. Den de captain come an' de ole Miss say to him: 'Please don't let
'em tear up my bed,' an' de captain went in dere an' tell 'em 'Come

De ole Miss wasn't scared. But de young Miss May was sure scared. She
was courtin' at de time. She went off an' shut herself up in a room. De
ole Miss ask de captain: 'Please go in an' talk to de Miss, she so
scared'. So he went in an' soon he bring her out. We chillun wasn't
scared. But my brother run under de house. De soldiers went under dere
a-pokin' de bayonets into de ground to try to find where de silver
buried, an' dey ran 'cross him. 'What you doin' under heah?' dey say.
'I'se jes runnin' de chickens out, sir,' he say. 'Well, you kin go on
out,' dey say. 'We aint gwine to hurt you.'

'I remember when dey kill de hog an' cook 'em. Cook on de fire where de
little shop been. Cook 'em an' eat 'em. Why didn't dey cook 'em on de
stove in de house? Didn't have no stoves. Jes had to cook on de
fireplace. Had an oven to fit in de fireplace. I remember when my Ma saw
de Yankees comin' dat mornin' she grab de sweet potatoes dat been in dat
oven and throw 'em in de barrel of feathers dat stayed by de kitchen
fireplace. Jes a barrel to hold chicken feathers when you pick 'em.
Dat's all we had to eat dat day. Dem Yankees put de meat in de sack an'
go on off. It was late den, 'bout dusk. I remember how de Missus bring
us all 'round de fire. It was dark den.

'Well chillun,' she say, 'I is sorry to tell you, but de Yankees has
carry off your Ma. I don't know if you'll ever see her any mo.' Den we
chillun all start cryin.' We still a-sittin' dere when my Ma come back.
She say she slip behind, an' slip behind, slip behind, an' when she come
to a little pine thicket by de side of de road, she dart into it, drop
de sack of meat dey had her carryin, an' start out for home. When we had
all make over her, we say to her den: 'Well why didn't you bring de sack
of meat 'long wid you?'

Dey took de top off ole Marse John carriage, put meat in it, an' made
him pull it same as a horse. Carry him way down to Lawtonville, had to
pull it through de branch an' all. Got de rock-a-way back though--an' de
ole man. I remember dat well. Had to mend up de ole rock-a-way. An' it
made de ole man sick. He keep on sick, sick, until he died. I remember
how he'd say: 'Don't you all worry'. An' he'd go out in de orchard.
Dey'd say: 'Don't bother him! Jes let him be! He want to pray!' Atter a
while he died an' dey buried him. His name was John Stafford. Dey Massa
wasn't dere. I guess he was off to de war.

"But after freedom was de time when dey suffered more dan before. Dese
chillun don't know how dey blessed. My Ma cooked for de white folks for
one year after freedom. I remember dey cook bread, an' dey ain't have
nuthin' to eat on it. Was thankful for a cornbread hoecake baked in de
fireplace. But dey had some things. Had buried some meat, an' some
syrup. An' dey had some corn. My Ma had saved de cornhouse. De rice burn
up in de ginhouse. After freedom, dey had to draw de best thread out of
de old clothes an' weave it again. Ole Miss had give my Ma a good moss
mattress. But de Yankees had carry dat off. Rip it up, throw out de
moss, an' put meat in it. Fill it full of meat. I remember she had a red
striped shawl. One of de Yankee take dat an' start to put in under his
saddle for a saddle cloth. My brother go up to him an' say: 'Please sir,
don't carry my Ma's shawl. Dat de only one she got.' So he give it back
to him. To keep warm at night, dey had to make dere pallet down by de
fire; when all wood burn out, put on another piece. Didn't have nuthin'
on de bed to sleep on.

"I remember when de ole Miss used to have to make soap, out of dese red
oaks. Burn de wood, an' catches de ashes. Put de ashes in a barrel wid a
trough under it, an' pour de water through de ashes. If de lyewater dat
come out could cut a feather, it was strong.

"Used to weave cloth after freedom. Used to give a brooch (hank) or two
to weave at night. I'se sometimes thread de needle for my Ma, or pick
out de seed out de cotton, an' make it into rolls to spin. Sometimes I'd
work de foot pedal for my Ma. Den dey'd warp de thread. If she want to
dye it, she'd dye it. She'd get indigo--you know dat bush--an' boil it.
It was kinder blue. It would make good cloth. Sometimes, de cloth wuz
kinder strip, one strip of white, an' one of blue. I remember how dey'd
warp de thread across de yard after it wuz dyed, an' I remember seem' my
Ma throw dat shuttle through an' weave dat cloth. I member when de ole
Miss made my Mamma two black dresses to wear through de winter. She'd
keep 'em clean; had two so she could change.

"I don't know why dey didn't burn de house. Must have been 'cause de
captain wuz along. De house dere now. One of de chimney down. I don't
think dey ever put it up again. Colored folks are in it now.

"I never did know my Pa. He was sold off to Texas when I was young. My
mother would say, 'Well, chillun, you aint never known your Pa. Joe
Smart carry him off to Texas when he went. I don't guess you'll ever see
him.' My father wuz name Charles Smart. He never did come back. Joe
Smart come back once, an' say dat our father is dead. He say our Pa had
three horses an' he want one of them to be sent to us chillun heah; but
no arrangements had been made to get it to us. You see he had chillun
out dere, too.

"Atter freedom, my Ma plow many a day, same as a man, for us chillun.
She work for ole man Bill Mars. Den she marry again. Part of de time dey
work for Mr. Benny Lawton, de one-arm man, what lost his arm in de war.
Dese chillun don't know what hard times is. Dey don't know how to
preciate our blessings.

  =Source:= Adeline Grey, 82-year old resident of Luray, S.C.

  Project #1655
  Everett R. Pierce
  Columbia, S.C.


"You wants me to tell you all what I 'members 'bout slavery in slavery
time? Well ma'am, I was just a young gal then and I's a old woman now,
nigh on to ninety-four years old; I might be forgot some things, but
I'll tell you what I 'members best.

My massa, Massa Joe Beard, was a good man, but he wasn't one of de
richest men. He only had six slaves, three men and three women, but he
had a big plantation and would borrow slaves from his brother-in-law on
de 'joining plantation, to help wid de crops.

I was de youngest slave, so Missy Grace, dats Massa Joe's wife, keep me
in de house most of de time, to cook and keep de house cleaned up. I
milked de cow and worked in de garden too. My massa was good to all he
slaves, but Missy Grace was mean to us. She whip us a heap of times when
we ain't done nothing bad to be whip for. When she go to whip me, she
tie my wrists together wid a rope and put that rope thru a big staple in
de ceiling and draw me up off de floor and give me a hundred lashes. I
think 'bout my old mammy heap of times now and how I's seen her whipped,
wid de blood dripping off of her.

All that us slaves know how to do, was to work hard. We never learn to
read and write nor we never had no church to go to, only sometimes de
white folks let us go to their church, but we never jine in de singing,
we just set and listen to them preach and pray. De graveyard was right
by de church and heap of de colored people was scared to go by it at
night, they say they see ghosts and hants, and sperits but I ain't
never see none, don't believe there is none. I more scared of live
people than I is dead ones; dead people ain't gwine to harm you.

Our massa and missus was good to us when we was sick; they send for de
doctor right off and de doctor do all he could for us, but he ain't had
no kind of medicine to give us 'cepting sperits of turpentine, castor
oil, and a little blue mass. They ain't had all kinds of pills and stuff
then, like they has now, but I believe we ain't been sick as much then
as we do now. I never heard of no consumption them days; us had
pneumonia sometime tho'.

You wants to know if we had any parties for pastime? Well ma'am, not
many. We never was allowed to have no parties nor dances, only from
Christmas Day to New Year's eve. We had plenty good things to eat on
Christmas Day and Santa Claus was good to us too. We'd have all kinds of
frolics from Christmas to New Years but never was allowed to have no fun
after that time.

I 'members one time I slip off from de missus and go to a dance and when
I come back, de dog in de yard didn't seem to know me and he bark and
wake de missus up and she whip me something awful. I sho didn't go to no
more dances widout asking her. De patarollers (patrollers) would ketch
you too, if you went out after dark. We most times stay at home at night
and spin cloth to make our clothes. We make all our clothes, and our
shoes was handmade too. We didn't have fancy clothes like de people has
now. I likes it better being a slave, we got along better then, than we
do now. We didn't have to pay for everything we had.

De worst time we ever had was when de Yankee men come thru. We had heard
they was coming and de missus tell us to put on a big pot of peas to
cook, so we put some white peas in a big pot and put a whole ham in it,
so that we'd have plenty for de Yankees to eat. Then when they come,
they kicked de pot over and de peas went one way and de ham another.

De Yankees 'stroyed 'most everything we had. They come in de house and
told de missus to give them her money and jewels. She started crying and
told them she ain't got no money or jewels, 'cepting de ring she had on
her finger. They got awfully mad and started 'stroying everything. They
took de cows and horses, burned de gin, de barn, and all de houses 'cept
de one massa and missus was living in. They didn't leave us a thing
'cept some big hominy and two banks of sweet potatoes. We chipped up
some sweet potatoes and dried them in de sun, then we parched them and
ground them up and that's all we had to use for coffee. It taste pretty
good too. For a good while we just live on hominy and coffee.

No ma'am, we ain't had no celebration after we was freed. We ain't know
we was free 'til a good while after. We ain't know it 'til General
Wheeler come thru and tell us. After that, de massa and missus let all
de slaves go 'cepting me; they kept me to work in de house and de

  Home address:

  2125 Calhoun St.
  Columbia, S.C.

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg Dist. 4
  June 22, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I will be 85 years old dis coming August. My master said I was 14 years
old de August coming after freedom.

"My master was Billy Scott who had seven or eight hundred acres of land,
and 48 slaves. He wouldn't have no white overseers, but had some nigger
foremen dat sometimes whipped de niggers, and de master would whip dem,
too. He was a fair man, not so good and not so mean. He give us poor
quarters to live in, and sometimes plenty to eat, but sometimes we went
hungry. He had a big garden, plenty cows, hogs and sheep. De most we had
ter eat, was corn, collards, peas, turnip-greens and home-made molasses.
We had wheat bread on Sundays. It was made from flour grind at our own
mill. We didn't have but one day off, that was Christmas Day and den we
had to grind our axes.

"We made our clothes out of cotton and wool mixed, made dem at home wid
our own cards and spinning wheels. We made our shoes out of leather
tanned at home, but had to use woolen shoes after de war, which would
wear out and split open in three weeks.

"My daddy was Amos Wilson and mammy was Carline Griffin. I had some
brothers and sisters. When freedom come, de master come to us and told
us de damn Yankees done freed us, 'what you gwinter do? If you want ter
stay on wid me, I will give you work.' We stayed fer awhile.

"The patrollers caught me once when I run off. I run fast and lost my
hat and dey got it. I saw some slaves sold on de block. Dey was put in a
ring and sold by crying out de price. We didn't learn to read and
write, not allowed to. De niggers went to de corn shuckings and was give
pumpkin custards to eat and liquor. Dey wasn't allowed to dance, but
sometimes we had secret dances, shut up in de house so de master
couldn't hear us.

"After de war, we went hunting and fishing on Sundays. We never had
Saturday afternoons off. We killed wild deer and other things. Once de
master killed 14 squirrels in three quarters of hour.

"We raised our own tobacco, the master did, for home use. Most always a
small patch was planted.

"De master once saw ghosts, he come from his sisters and passed de
graveyard and saw 9 cows with no heads. His horse jest flew home. Most
white folks didn't believe in ghosts, but dat is one time de master
believed he saw some.

"I went wid de Red Shirts, belonged to de company and went to meetings
wid dem. I voted fer Hampton. Befo' dat, de Ku Klux had bad niggers
dodging like birds in de woods. Dey caught some and threw dem on de
ground and whipped dem, but de master say he don't know nothing 'bout it
as he was asleep. Dey caught a nigger preacher once and made him dance,
put him in muddy water and walloped him around in de mud.

"Once seven Indians come in our neighborhood an call fer meat, meal and
salt. Dere was three men and four women. Dey cooked all night, murmuring
something all de time. Next morning three squirrels was found up a tree,
and de Indians shot 'em down wid bow and arrow.

"One time I saw horses froze to death. Dey couldn't get dere breath, and
de people took warm water and wash dere foreheads. I was a small boy
den. My master had 46 guineas.

"I married Nancy Robinson who belonged to Robert Calmes. She was living
at de Gillam place near Rich Hill.

"We used to ask a riddle like this: Love I stand, Love I sit, Love I
hold in my right hand. What is it? It was made up when an old woman had
a little dog named 'Love'. She killed it and put a part of it, after it
was baked, in her stockings; part in her shoes; part in back of her
dress, and part in her gloves. A nigger was going to be hung the next
Friday, and told if he guess the riddle he would be turned loose. He
couldn't guess it, but was turned loose anyway.

"I think Abe Lincoln might ter done good, but he had us all scared to
death, took our mules and burned our places. Don't know anything about
Jeff Davis. Booker Washington is all right.

"I joined de church when 28 years old, because I thought it was right.
Wanted to git right and git to God's Kingdom. I think everybody ought to
join de church.

"O' course I rather it not be slavery time, but I got more ter eat den
dan now. Den we didn't know what ter do, but now we perish ter death."

  =Source:= Madison Griffin (84), Whitmire, S.C.
          Interviewer: G.L. Summer, Newberry, S.C. (6/18/1937)

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg, Dist. 4
  June 7, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I was born in old Edgefield county, about three miles below what is now
Saluda Courthouse. I was a slave of Alec Grigsby. He was a fair marster,
but his wife was awful mean to us. She poked my head in a rail fence
once and whipped me hard with a whip. I lived in that section until
eight years ago, when I come to Newberry to live with my daughters.

"I worked hard in cotton fields, milked cows and helped about the
marster's house. When the bush-whackers and patrollers come around dere,
us niggers suffered lots with beatings. Some of dem was killed.

"The old folks had corn-shuckings, frolics, pender pullings, and
quiltings. They had quiltings on Saturday nights, with eats and frolics.
When dey danced, dey always used fiddles to make the music.

"The men folks hunted much: doves, partridges, wild turkeys, deer,
squirrels and rabbits. Sometimes dey caught rabbits in wooden boxes,
called 'rabbit-gums'. It had a trap in the middle, which was set at
night, with food in it, and when the rabbit bite, the tray sprung, and
the opening at the front was closed so he couldn't get out.

"The marster had a big whiskey still, and sold lots of liquor to people
around there."

  =Source:= Peggy Grigsby (106), Newberry, S.C.
          Interviewer: G.L. Summer, Newberry, S.C. 5/10/37.

  Project #1655
  W.W. Dixon
  Winnsboro, S.C.


"I was born a slave in de Rocky Mount part of Fairfield County, up close
to Great Falls. I hear them falls a roarin' now and I see them waters
flashin' in de sunshine when I close my eyes.

My pappy name Robert and my mammy name Phyllis. They b'long to de old
time 'ristocats, de Gaither family. Does you know Miss Mattie Martin,
which was de secretary of Governor Ansel? Dat one of my young mistresses
and another is dat pretty red headed girl in de telegraph office at
Winnsboro, dat just sit dere and pass out lightnin' and 'lectricity over
de wires wheresomever she take a notion. Does you know them? Well, befo'
their mama marry Marster Starke Martin, her was Sally Gaither, my young
missus in slavery time. Her die and go to Heaven last year, please God.

Marster Richard was a good marster to his slaves, though he took no
foolishness and worked you from sun to sun. 'Spect him had 'bout ten
family of slaves and 'bout fifty big and little slaves altogether on dat
plantation befo' them Yankees come and make a mess out of their lives.

Honey, us wasn't ready for de big change dat come! Us had no education,
no land, no mule, no cow, not a pig, nor a chicken, to set up house
keeping. De birds had nests in de air, de foxes had holes in de ground,
and de fishes had beds under de great falls, but us colored folks was
left widout any place to lay our heads.

De Yankees sho' throwed us in de briar patch but us not bred and born
dere lak de rabbit. Us born in a good log house. De cows was down dere
in de canebrakes to give us milk, de hogs was fattenin' on hickory nuts,
acorns, and shucked corn, to give us meat and grease; de sheep wid their
wool, and de cotton in de gin house was dere to give us clothes. De
horses and mules was dere to help dat corn and cotton, but when them
Yankees come and take all dat away, all us had to thank them for, was a
hungry belly, and freedom. Sumpin' us had no more use for then, than I
have today for one of them airplanes I hears flyin' 'round de sky, right

Well, after ravagin' de whole country side, de army got across old
Catawba and left de air full of de stink of dead carcasses and de sky
black wid turkey buzzards. De white women was weepin' in hushed voices,
de niggers on de place not knowin' what to do next, and de piccaninnies
suckin' their thumbs for want of sumpin' to eat; mind you 'twas winter
time too.

Lots of de chillun die, as did de old folks, while de rest of us scour
de woods for hickory nuts, acorns, cane roots, and artichokes, and seine
de river for fish. De worst nigger men and women follow de army. De
balance settle down wid de white folks and simmer in their misery all
thru de spring time, 'til plums, mulberries, and blackberries come, and
de shad come up de Catawba River.

My mammy stay on wid de same marster 'til I was grown, dat is fifteen,
and Thad got to lookin' at me, meek as a sheep and dumb as a calf. I had
to ask dat nigger, right out, what his 'tentions was, befo' I get him to
bleat out dat he love me. Him name Thad Guntharpe. I glance at him one
day at de pigpen when I was sloppin' de hogs, I say: 'Mr. Guntharpe, you
follows me night and mornin' to dis pigpen; do you happen to be in love
wid one of these pigs? If so, I'd like to know which one 'tis; then
sometime I come down here by myself and tell dat pig 'bout your
'fections.' Thad didn't say nothin' but just grin. Him took de slop
bucket out of my hand and look at it, all 'round it, put upside down on
de ground, and set me down on it; then he fall down dere on de grass by
me and blubber out and warm my fingers in his hands. I just took pity on
him and told him mighty plain dat he must limber up his tongue and ask
sumpin', say what he mean, wantin' to visit them pigs so often. Us carry
on foolishness 'bout de little boar shoat pig and de little sow pig,
then I squeal in laughter over how he scrouge so close; de slop bucket
tipple over and I lost my seat. Dat ever remain de happiest minute of my
eighty-two years.

After us marry, us moved on de Johnson Place and Thad plow right on a
farm where dere use to be a town of Grimkeville. I was lonely down dere
all de time. I's halfway scared to death of de skeeters 'bout my legs in
day time and old Captain Thorn's ghost in de night time. You never heard
'bout dat ghost? If you went to school to Mr. Luke Ford sure he must of
tell you 'bout de time a slave boy killed his marster, old Captain
Thorn. He drag and throwed his body in de river.

When they find his body they ketch John, de slave boy, give him a trial
by six white men, find him guilty and he confess. Then they took de
broad axe, cut off his head, mount it on a pole and stick it up on de
bank where they find old Captain Thorn. Dat pole and head stay dere 'til
it rot down. Captain Thorn's ghost 'pear and disappear 'long dat river
bank ever since in de night time. My pappy tell me he see it and see de
boy's ghost too.

De ghost rode de minds of many colored folks. Some say dat de ghost had
a heap to do wid deaths on dat river, by drowning. One sad thing happen;
de ghost and de malaria run us off de river. Us moved to Marster Starke
P. Martin's place. Him was a settin' at a window in de house one night
and somebody crept up dere and fill his head full of buck-shot. Marster
Starke was Miss Sallie's husband, and Miss Mattie and Miss May's papa.
Oh, de misery of dat night to my white folks! Who did it? God knows!
They sent poor Henry Nettles to de penitentiary for it, but most white
folks and all de colored didn't believe he done it. White folks say a
white man done it, but our color know it was de work of dat slave boy's

My white folks come here from Maryland, I heard them say. They fought in
de Revolution, set up a tanyard when they got here, and then when cotton
come, my marster's pappy was de fust to put up a hoss-gin and screw pit
in Rocky Mount section. I glories in their blood, but dere none by de
name 'round here now, 'cept colored folks.

Marster Wood you read a heap of books. Did you ever read 'bout foots of
ghosts? They got foots and can jump and walk. No they don't run, why?
'Cause seem lak their foots is too big. Dat night Marster Starke Martin
was killed it was a snowin'. De whole earth was covered wid a white
blanket. It snowed and snowed and snowed. Us measure how big dat snow
was next mornin' and how big dat ghost track. De snow was seven inches,
and a little bit deep. De ghost track on top de snow big as a
elephant's. Him or she or it's tracks 'pear to drap wid de snow and just
rise up out de snow and disappear. De white folks say 'twas a man wid
bags on his foots, but they never found de bags, so I just believe it
was ghost instigate by de devil to drap down dere and make all dat
misery for my white folks.

Dere's a great day a comin' when de last trumpet will sound and de devil
and all de ghosts will be chained and they can't romp 'round de old
river and folks houses in de night time and bring sorrow and pain in de
wake of them big tracks."

  Project #-1655
  Gyland H. Hamlin
  Charleston, S.C.



"Good a'ternoon, suh. Yassuh, I'ze gittin' on up in de years. I be
eighty-one year ole nex' May. I name John Hamilton an' I lib at
sickty-t'ree Amherst Street.

"I 'member sumptin' 'bout slabery. I wuz 'bout big as dat gal gwine dere
w'en de Fed'rul war broke out," indicating a child, passing down the
street who appeared to be about eight years old.

"I belong' to Maussa Seabrook, an' he lib at W'ite Point, ten mile from
Adams Run. De Maussa, he been daid but he got some boys. Dem boys all
scatter', dough. Yassuh, ole Maussa treat us good. I not big 'nough to
wuk, I jus' a li'l boy den. My fadder name' Rhode Hamilton, an' 'e hab
two acre to wuk. Dere didn't been no hoss, an' 'e grub it wid de hoe.

"Some slabes no good an' not satisfy fo' tuh wuk. Dey run 'way fum de
plantation. Dere been big dawgs high as street-cyar, yassuh, high as dat
street-cyar. Dey name' nigger-dawg an' dey trace nigger an' put dem
nigger back to wuk. Dere been Yankee man name' Tom Cudry. I kin sho' de
house 'e been in. He say 'e tired see colored mans wuk hard an' git
nuttin'. He put colored mans on banjoo (vendue) table an' 'e be free.

"I didn't be marry till I git in my t'irty year. My wife, she 'bout
sickty-fibe year ole'. We got fibe chillun libbin', 'bout twelbe haid in
all. Grand-chillun? 'Bout sebben haid an' one gal. Hab great
grand-chillun, too.

"I ain't been know nuttin' 'bout jailhouse. Ain't see a jailhouse in my
life. I hab to look all day to find one in Charleston, an' don't know
where 'bouts de court-house. Ain't gwine to jailhouse. Nobody hab to
'rest me no how.

"I be a Babtis'. I babtize' in de ribber, de Edisto ribber. I tryin' git
to Hebben. Hebben be glory. Yassuh, Hebben be glory. You got to lub all
God's chillun to git dere. God send w'ite folks an' colored folks, an'
dey mus' he'p each odder an' wuk togedder. Dey got to lib in union.
Yassuh, got to lib in union to git to Hebben.

"I 'pend on de w'ite folks to he'p me. Dese pore colored folks ain't got
nuttin'. Nawsuh, I ain't be too ole to wuk an' mek a honest libbin' like
lot o' dem no good nigger what too stiff fo' to speak. I wuk some
flower-yard fo' some w'ite folks, an' I wuk a li'l gyarden.

"Yassuh, I hol' up berry well, but I can't see at night w'en de sun go
down. My sight gone back den. I got git 'long now.

"You gimme a nickel or dime? T'ank you, suh. T'ank you kin'ly."

  =Source:= Personal interview with John Hamilton, colored,
          of 63 Amherst Street, Charleston, S.C.

  Project #-1655
  Jessie A. Butler
  Charleston, S.C.



  (Verbatim Conversation)

Old Susan Hamlin, one hundred and four years old, was strolling down
lower King St., about a mile from where she lives, when she was met by a
white "friend," and the following conversation took place:

"How are you, Susan, do you remember me?"

"Yes, Ma'am, I 'member yo face, Missus, but I can't 'member yo name. I
gettin' ole. Dis eye (touching the right one) leabin' me. Ole age you
know. Somet'ing got tuh gie way."

"Don't you remember I came to see you one morning, and you told me all
about old times?"

"Yes, Ma'am, (with enthusiasm) come tuh see me 'gain, I tell you some
mo'. I like tuh talk 'bout dem days; 'taint many people left now kin
tell 'bout dat time. Eberybody dead. I goes 'round tuh de ole house, an'
I t'ink 'bout all dem little chillen I is nuss, (calling them by name)
dey all sleep, all sleep in de groun'. Nobody lef' but ole Susan. All my
fambly, de massa, de missus, all de little chillen, all sleep. Only me
one lef', only ole Susan. Sometime I wonder how it is. I ober a hund'ed,
I stahtin' (starting) tuh forgit de years."

"Tell me one thing, Susan, you have lived a long time, do you think the
young people of today are better or worse than in the old days?"

"Well, Missus, some is wuss but not all. Some stray jus' like dey always
done but dey'll come back. I stray 'way myself but dey'll come back jus'
like I did. Gib um time dey come back. I git converted you know."

"Yes, you told me about that."

"Yes, Ma'am, I see de Sabior. He show me hoe He die. I nebber forget dat
day. Dere He hang,--so--(with arms outstretched) an' He show me de great
brightness, an' He show me de big sin on my back, black as dat cyar
(car). Den I pray an' I pray, an' it fall off. Den I praise Him. Nebber
since dat day is I forget what I see. When I see dat reconcile Sabior
countenance,--oh!--I nebber forget. No, Ma'am. I nebber forget dat
reconcile countenance. As I tell yuh, I stray 'way, but not after I see
dat reconcile countenance. I pray and praise Him. Sometimes all by
myself I get so happy, jes t'inkin' on Him. I cyant forget all dat He
done fuh me."

"People tell me I ought not walk 'round by myself so. I tell um I don't
care where I drop. I 'member when my ma was dyin' I beg um not to leabe
me, she say: 'Wha' I got yuh, wha' I want tuh stay yuh fuh? I want tuh
go, I want tuh see muh Jesus.' I know what she mean now. I don't care if
I drop in de street, I don't care if I drop in my room. I don't care
where I drop, I ready tuh go."

"All you got tuh do is libe right, yuh got tuh libe (live) de life. What
is de life?--Purity.--What is Purity?--Righteousness.--What is
Righteousness?--Tuh do de right t'ing.--Libe right,--pray an' praise.
Beliebe on de delibrin (delivering) Sabior. Trus' Him. He lead yuh. He
show yuh de way. Dat all yuh got tuh do. Beliebe--pray--praise. Ebery
night befo' I lay on my bed I git on my knees an' look up tuh Him. Soon
I wake in de mornin' I gibe Him t'anks. Eben sometime in de day I git on
my knees an' pray. He been good to me all dese years. He aint forget me.
I aint been sick for ober twenty-five years. Good t'ing too, nobody left
tuh tek care of me. Dey all gone. But I don't care now, jus' so I kin
see my Jesus when I gone."

"I goin' down now tuh see my people I use to cook fuh. I too ole now tuh
cook. I use tuh cook fine. Come tuh see me again, missus, come tuh see
de ole monkey, I tell yuh mo' 'bout dose times. You know I kin 'member
dem when I been a big girl, most grown, when de bombardment come ober de

  =Source:= Writer's conversation with Susan Hamlin, 17
          Henrietta Street, Charleston. S.C.

  Jessie A. Butler
  Charleston, S.C.

  Approx. 1739 Words


On July 6th, I interviewed Susan Hamlin, ex-slave, at 17 Henrietta
street, Charleston, S. C. She was sitting just inside of the front door,
on a step leading up to the porch, and upon hearing me inquire for her
she assumed that I was from the Welfare office, from which she had
received aid prior to its closing. I did not correct this impression,
and at no time did she suspect that the object of my visit was to get
the story of her experience as a slave. During our conversation she
mentioned her age. "Why that's very interesting, Susan," I told her, "If
you are that old you probably remember the Civil War and slavery days."
"Yes Ma'am, I been a slave myself," she said, and told me the following

"I kin remember some things like it was yesterday, but I is 104 years
old now, and age is starting to get me, I can't remember everything like
I use to. I getting old, old. You know I is old when I been a grown
woman when the Civil War broke out. I was hired out then, to a Mr.
McDonald, who lived on Atlantic Street, and I remembers when de first
shot was fired, and the shells went right over de city. I got seven
dollars a month for looking after children, not taking them out, you
understand, just minding them. I did not get the money, Mausa got it."
"Don't you think that was fair?" I asked. "If you were fed and clothed
by him, shouldn't he be paid for your work?" "Course it been fair," she
answered, "I belong to him and he got to get something to take care of

"My name before I was married was Susan Calder, but I married a man name
Hamlin. I belonged to Mr. Edward Fuller, he was president of the First
National Bank. He was a good man to his people till de Lord took him.
Mr. Fuller got his slaves by marriage. He married Miss Mikell, a lady
what lived on Edisto Island, who was a slave owner, and we lived on
Edisto on a plantation. I don't remember de name cause when Mr. Fuller
got to be president of de bank we come to Charleston to live. He sell
out the plantation and say them (the slaves) that want to come to
Charleston with him could come and them what wants to stay can stay on
the island with his wife's people. We had our choice. Some is come and
same is stay, but my ma and us children come with Mr. Fuller.

We lived on St. Philip street. The house still there, good as ever, I go
'round there to see it all de time; the cistern still there too, where
we used to sit 'round and drink the cold water, and eat, and talk and
laugh. Mr. Fuller have lots of servants and the ones he didn't need
hisself he hired out. The slaves had rooms in the back, the ones with
children had two rooms and them that didn't have any children had one
room, not to cook in but to sleep in. They all cooked and ate downstairs
in the hall that they had for the colored people. I don't know about
slavery but I know all the slavery I know about, the people was good to
me. Mr. Fuller was a good man and his wife's people been grand people,
all good to their slaves. Seem like Mr. Fuller just git his slaves so he
could be good to dem. He made all the little colored chillen love him.
If you don't believe they loved him what they all cry, and scream, and
holler for when dey hear he dead? 'Oh, Mausa dead my Mausa dead, what I
going to do, my Mausa dead.' Dey tell dem t'aint no use to cry, dat
can't bring him back, but de chillen keep on crying. We used to call him
Mausa Eddie but he named Mr. Edward Fuller, and he sure was a good man.

"A man come here about a month ago, say he from de Government, and dey
send him to find out 'bout slavery. I give him most a book, and what he
give me? A dime. He ask me all kind of questions. He ask me dis and he
ask me dat, didn't de white people do dis and did dey do dat but Mr.
Fuller was a good man, he was sure good to me and all his people, dey
all like him, God bless him, he in de ground now but I ain't going to
let nobody lie on him. You know he good when even the little chillen cry
and holler when he dead. I tell you dey couldn't just fix us up any kind
of way when we going to Sunday School. We had to be dressed nice, if you
pass him and you ain't dress to suit him he send you right back and say
tell your ma to see dat you dress right. Dey couldn't send you out in de
cold barefoot neither. I 'member one day my ma want to send me wid some
milk for her sister-in-law what live 'round de corner. I fuss cause it
cold and say 'how you going to send me out wid no shoe, and it cold?'
Mausa hear how I talking and turn he back and laugh, den he call to my
ma to gone in de house and find shoe to put on my feet and don't let him
see me barefoot again in cold weather.

When de war start going good and de shell fly over Charleston he take
all us up to Aiken for protection. Talk 'bout marching through Georgia,
day sure march through Aiken, soldiers was everywhere.

"My ma had six children, three boys and three girls, but I de only one
left, all my white people and all de colored people gone, not a soul
left but me. I ain't been sick in 25 years. I is near my church and I
don't miss service any Sunday, night or morning. I kin walk wherever I
please, I kin walk to de Battery if I want to. The Welfare use to help
me but dey shut down now, I can't find out if dey going to open again or
not. Miss (Mrs.) Buist and Miss Pringle, dey help me when I can go there
but all my own dead."

"Were most of the masters kind?" I asked. "Well you know," she answered,
"times den was just like dey is now, some was kind and some was mean;
heaps of wickedness went on just de same as now. All my people was good
people. I see some wickedness and I hear 'bout all kinds of t'ings but
you don't know whether it was lie or not. Mr. Fuller been a Christian

"Do you think it would have been better if the Negroes had never left
Africa?" was the next question I asked. "No Ma'am," (emphatically) dem
heathen didn't have no religion. I tell you how I t'ink it is. The Lord
made t'ree nations, the white, the red and the black, and put dem in
different places on de earth where dey was to stay. Dose black
ignoramuses in Africa forgot God, and didn't have no religion and God
blessed and prospered the white people dat did remember him and sent dem
to teach de black people even if dey have to grab dem and bring dem into
bondage till dey learned some sense. The Indians forgot God and dey had
to be taught better so dey land was taken away from dem. God sure bless
and prosper de white people and He put de red and de black people under
dem so dey could teach dem and bring dem into sense wid God. Dey had to
get dere brains right, and honor God, and learn uprightness wid God
cause ain't He make you, and ain't His Son redeem you and save you wid
His precious blood. You kin plan all de wickedness you want and pull
hard as you choose but when the Lord mek up His mind you is to change,
He can change you dat quick (snapping her fingers) and easy. You got to
believe on Him if it tek bondage to bring you to your knees.

You know I is got converted. I been in Big Bethel (church) on my knees
praying under one of de preachers. I see a great, big, dark pack on my
back, and it had me all bent over and my shoulders drawn down, all hunch
up. I look up and I see de glory, I see a big beautiful light, a great
light, and in de middle is de Sabior, hanging so (extending her arms)
just like He died. Den I gone to praying good, and I can feel de
sheckles (shackles) loose up and moving and de pack fall off. I don't
know where it went to, I see de angels in de Heaven, and hear dem say
'Your sins are forgiven.' I scream and fell off so. (Swoon.) When I come
to dey has laid me out straight and I know I is converted cause you
can't see no such sight and go on like you is before. I know I is still
a sinner but I believe in de power of God and I trust his Holy name. Den
dey put me wid de seekers but I know I is already saved."

"Did they take good care of the slaves when their babies were born?" she
was asked. "If you want chickens for fat (to fatten) you got to feed
dem," she said with a smile, "and if you want people to work dey got to
be strong, you got to feed dem and take care of dem too. If dey can't
work it come out of your pocket. Lots of wickedness gone on in dem days,
just as it do now, some good, some mean, black and white, it just dere
nature, if dey good dey going to be kind to everybody, if dey mean dey
going to be mean to everybody. Sometimes chillen was sold away from dey
parents. De Mausa would come and say "Where Jennie," tell um to put
clothes on dat baby, I want um. He sell de baby and de ma scream and
holler, you know how dey carry on. Geneally (generally) dey sold it when
de ma wasn't dere. Mr. Fuller didn't sell none of us, we stay wid our
ma's till we grown. I stay wid my ma till she dead.

"You know I is mix blood, my grandfather bin a white man and my
grandmother a mulatto. She been marry to a black so dat how I get fix
like I is. I got both blood, so how I going to quarrel wid either side?"

  =Source:= Interview with *Susan Hamlin, 17 Henrietta Street.

     NOTE * Susan lives with a mulatto family of the better type. The
     name is Hamlin not Hamilton, and her name prior to her marriage was
     Calder not Collins. I paid particular attention to this and had
     them spell the names for me. I would judge Susan to be in the late
     nineties but she is wonderfully well preserved. She now claims to
     be 104 years old.

  Project #1885
  Augustus Ladson
  Charleston, S.C.

  No. Words: 1195




I'm a hund'ed an' one years old now, son. De only one livin' in my crowd
from de days I wuz a slave. Mr. Fuller, my master, who was president of
the Firs' National Bank, owned the fambly of us except my father. There
were eight men an' women with five girls an' six boys workin' for him.
Most o' them wus hired out. De house in which we stayed is still dere
with de cisterns an' slave quarters. I always go to see de old home
which is on St. Phillip Street.

My ma had t'ree boys an' t'ree girls who did well at their work. Hope
Mikell, my eldest bredder, an' James wus de shoemaker. William Fuller,
son of our master, wus de bricklayer. Margurite an' Catharine wuz de
maids an' look at de children.

My pa b'long to a man on Edisto Island. Frum what he said, his master
was very mean. Pa real name wus Adam Collins but he took his master'
name; he wus de coachman. Pa did supin one day an his master whipped
him. De next day which wuz Monday, Pa carry him 'bout four miles frum
home in de woods an' give him de same 'mount of lickin' he wus given on
Sunday. He tied him to a tree an' unhitched de horse so it couldn't git
tie-up an' kill a self. Pa den gone to de landin' an' catch a boat dat
wus comin' to Charleston wood fa'm products. He wus permitted by his
master to go to town on errands, which helped him to go on de boat
without bein' question'. When he got here he gone on de water-front an'
ax for a job on a ship so he could git to de North. He got de job an'
sail' wood de ship. Dey search de island up an' down for him wood
houndogs en w'en it wus t'ought he wus drowned, 'cause dey track him to
de river, did dey give up. One of his master' friend gone to New York en
went in a store w'ere Pas wus employed as a clerk. He reconize' pa is
easy is pa reconize' him. He gone back home an' tell pa master who know
den dat pa wusn't comin' back an' before he died he sign' papers dat pa
wus free. Pa ma wus dead an' he come down to bury her by de permission
of his master' son who had promised no ha'm would come to him, but dey
wus fixin' plans to keep him, so he went to the Work House an' ax to be
sold 'cause any slave could sell e self if e could git to de Work House.
But it wus on record down dere so dey couldn't sell 'im an' told him his
master' people couldn't hold him a slave.

People den use to do da same t'ings dey do now. Some marry an' some live
together jus' like now. One t'ing, no minister nebber say in readin' de
matrimony "let no man put asounder" 'cause a couple would be married
tonight an' tomorrow one would be taken away en be sold. All slaves wus
married in dere master house, in de livin' room where slaves an' dere
missus an' massa wus to witness de ceremony. Brides use to wear some of
de finest dress an' if dey could afford it, have de best kind of
furniture. Your master nor your missus objected to good t'ings.

I'll always 'member Clory, de washer. She wus very high-tempered. She
wus a mulatta with beautiful hair she could sit on; Clory didn't take
foolishness frum anybody. One day our missus gone in de laundry an' find
fault with de clothes. Clory didn't do a t'ing but pick her up bodily
an' throw 'er out de door. Dey had to sen' fur a doctor 'cause she
pregnant an' less than two hours de baby wus bo'n. Afta dat she begged
to be sold fur she didn't want to kill missus, but our master ain't
nebber want to sell his slaves. But dat didn't keep Clory frum gittin' a
brutal whippin'. Dey whip' 'er until dere wasn't a white spot on her
body. Dat wus de worst I ebber see a human bein' got such a beatin'. I
t'ought she wus goin' to die, but she got well an' didn't get any better
but meaner until our master decide it wus bes' to rent her out. She
willingly agree' since she wusn't 'round missus. She hated an' detest'
both of them an' all de fambly.

W'en any slave wus whipped all de other slaves wus made to watch. I see
women hung frum de ceilin' of buildin's an' whipped with only supin tied
'round her lower part of de body, until w'en dey wus taken down, dere
wusn't breath in de body. I had some terribly bad experiences.

Yankees use to come t'rough de streets, especially de Big Market,
huntin' those who want to go to de "free country" as dey call' it. Men
an' women wus always missin' an' nobody could give 'count of dere
disappearance. De men wus train' up North fur sojus.

De white race is so brazen. Dey come here an' run de Indians frum dere
own lan', but dey couldn't make dem slaves 'cause dey wouldn't stan' for
it. Indians use to git up in trees an' shoot dem with poison arrow. W'en
dey couldn't make dem slaves den dey gone to Africa an' bring dere black
brother an' sister. Dey say 'mong themselves, "we gwine mix dem up en
make ourselves king. Dats e only way we'll git even with de Indians."

All time, night an' day, you could hear men an' women screamin' to de
tip of dere voices as either ma, pa, sister, or brother wus take without
any warnin' an' sell. Some time mother who had only one chile wus
separated fur life. People wus always dyin' frum a broken heart.

One night a couple married an' de next mornin' de boss sell de wife. De
gal ma got in in de street an' cursed de white woman fur all she could
find. She said: "dat damn white, pale-face bastard sell my daughter who
jus' married las' night," an' other t'ings. The white 'oman treaten' her
to call de police if she didn't stop, but de collud woman said: "hit me
or call de police. I redder die dan to stan' dis any longer! De police
took her to de work House by de white woman orders an' what became of
'er, I never hear.

W'en de war began we wus taken to Aiken, South Ca'lina w'ere we stay'
until de Yankees come t'rough. We could see balls sailin' t'rough de air
w'en Sherman wus comin'. Bumbs hit trees in our yard. W'en de freedom
gun wus fired, I wus on my 'nees scrubbin'. Dey tell me I wus free but I
didn't b'lieve it.

In de days of slavery woman wus jus' given time 'nough to deliver dere
babies. Dey deliver de baby 'bout eight in de mornin' an' twelve had too
be back to work.

I wus a member of Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church for 67
years. Big Zion, across de street wus my church before den an' before
Old Bethel w'en I lived on de other end of town.

Sence Lincoln shook hands with his assasin who at de same time shoot
him, frum dat day I stop shakin' hands, even in de church, an' you know
how long dat wus. I don't b'lieve in kissin' neider fur all carry dere
meannesses. De Master wus betrayed by one of his bosom frien' with a


  Interview with (Mrs.) Susan Hamilton, 17 Henrietta Street, who claims to be
  101 years of age. She has never been sick for twenty years and walks as though
  just 40. She was hired out by her master for seven dollars a month which had to
  be given her master.

  Project #1655
  Stiles M. Scruggs
  Columbia, S.C.


Anson Harp, eighty-seven years old, lives out in the country on Route
#3. He still works on the few acres he owns, raising vegetables for
himself and a few baskets to sell. He is a gray-haired, medium sized man
and his geniality is frequently noticed by white and Negro friends who
know him.

"I was born in Mississippi in 1850, on a big plantation dat b'long to
Master Tom Harp. I can see dat big rushin' river now, 'ceptin' the
mosquitoes. My daddy and mammy b'long to Master Harp and we live in a
cabin 'bout a mile from the big house of my master's home.

"One day when the slaves was choppin' cotton, a strange white man come
and watch us, and in a day or two me and three other chillun was called
in the yard of the big house and told we goin' to git to go wid the
stranger. My daddy and mammy and the other chillun's daddy and mammy all
cry when we was put in a big wagon and carried 'way to somewhere.

"We gits plenty of rations on the way and when we gits to Aiken one
mornin', we was told we was close to home and soon we was on the big
plantation of Master James Henry Hammond. We find other boys there, too.
We go to the fields and chop cotton, after we rest up. No sah, we wasn't
flogged often. One time the grown men and women was choppin' two rows to
our one, and a straw-boss slave twit us and call us lazy. The white
overseer, who was riding by, heard him. He shake his whip at the
straw-boss and tell him: 'The young niggers not yet 'spected to make a
half hand and you do pretty well to 'tend to your own knittin'.

"I been there for a pretty long time befo' I really talks to my great
white master, James Henry Hammond. He not at home much, and when he was
home, many big white men wid him 'most every day.

"One Saturday, we always had a half holiday on Saturday, me and my
friends 'bout the same age, was playin' a game on a big lot behind the
barn. We quit yellin' and playin' when we see Master Hammond and three
or four white men at the barn. They was lookin' at and talkin' 'bout
Master Hammond's big black stallion. Master Hammond lead him out of the
stall and he stand on his hind feet.

"'Well Senator,' says one big man to Master Hammond, 'I has come a long
ways to see this famous hoss. It's no wonder he was s'lected as a model
for the war hoss of General Jackson. I seen his statue in Washington and

"'And I see him in New Orleans', says another big man, in a fine black
slick suit.

"'I 'clare, Governor', says the other big man, also dressed just lak he
goin' to church, 'this grand stallion look today well as he did when I
use him for my model'.

"Then they all pat the hoss's nose and stroke him down his mane, and the
big buckra hoss steps, just lak the fine gentlemen he is, back to his
stall, while all the big men wave him goodbye!

"No, I not take the name of Hammond after we free, 'cause too many of
his slaves do. I kept the name of my old master and the one my daddy and
mammy had. No, I never hear of them in Mississippi. Lak as not they was
sold and taken far away, lak me.

"I was eleven in 1861, when the war start, 'cordin' to my count. Master
Hammond was hardly ever at home no more. He, too, was angry at President
Lincoln and I love my master, so I used to wonder what sort of man the
President was. My Master Hammond sure did honor President Davis. I hear
him say once, dat President Davis was a Chesterfield and dat the
Lincoln fellow is coarse and heartless.

"In 1862 I was twelve years old, big for my age, and I do more than half
as much work as any grown slave. At dat time we see many free niggers,
and nearly all of them sorry lookin'. They eat off of slave families,
when they could git it.

"I come to Columbia in 1865, after all the niggers everywhere am set
free. I work for white folks 'bout town and when the Freedman's aid was
set up, I goes 'long wid some new found friends to the aid headquarters,
and was the last one to be heard. The others got bundles of food and I
see one git a piece of money, too. When I got to the white man in
charge, he eye me and zay: 'What damn rebel did you slave for?' I forgot
'bout what I am there for and I say: 'I never slave for no damn rebel. I
work for Governor Hammond and he is the finest buckra that is.'

"Then the aid man say: 'Dat damn rebel Hammond and all lak him yet
unhung, should be, and you wid him. Go let him feed and clothe you! When
you come here again maybe you have 'nough sense to ask for favors
decent.' I so mad, I hardly 'member just what happen, 'ceptin' I come
'way just lak I go, empty handed.

"I am now an old man, as you see, but I am happy to know dat the white
folks has always been ready to help me make a livin'. I now own a patch
of ground, where I makes a livin' on the shares. My boy, a son by my
second wife, works it, and he takes care of me now. If I had been as
big, and knowed as much at the start of the war as I did at the end of
it, I would surely have gone to the front wid my white master."

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg Dist. 4
  May 25, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I was born in Fairfield County, S.C. near Broad River. I was de son of
John and Harriet Harper. I worked in slavery time and was a slave of
John Stanley who was a good man and easy to work with. He give me a good
whipping once when I was a boy. We earned no money but had our place to
sleep and something to eat and wear. We didn't have any gardens, but
master had a big plantation and lots of slaves, and worked a garden
himself. I remember he whipped mother once the last year of the
war,--just about to get freedom.

"Master belonged to patrollers, and let dem come on the place and punish
the slaves if needed. They whipped my sister once. He had a house to
lock slaves in when dey was bad. He learned us to read and write. He had
a school on de plantation for his niggers. After the days work was over,
we frolicked, and Saturday afternoons we had off to do what we wanted.
We had to go to the white folks church and set in back of de church.
Corn shuckings, cotton picking and carding and quilting, the old folks
had when dey had big times and big eats.

"Weddings and funerals of slaves were about like white folks. Some would
go walking and singing to de grave in back of hearse or body. There was
a conjurer in our neighborhood who could make you do what he wanted,
sometimes he had folks killed. The Yankees marched through our place,
stole cattle, and meat. We went behind dem and picked up lots dat dey
dropped when dey left. When de war was over, de niggers was promised
small farms but dey didn't get 'em.

"I have been preaching many years in colored Methodist churches. I have
7 children, 22 grand-children but no great-grand-children.

"I think Abraham Lincoln was a great man, and Jefferson Davis, too.
Booker Washington was a grand educator for the colored race. Bishop S.D.
Chappell, colored preacher of the A.M.E. church South, one time
president of Allen University at Columbia, S.C. was a great colored man,
too. He went to Nashville, Tenn. as secretary-treasurer of the Sunday
School Union.

"I don't believe slavery was good--much better for all of us now.

"I joined the church when I was young, because I thought it right to be
a member. I think everybody ought to join some church, and they ought to
join early in life, when quite young."

  =Source:= Rev. Thomas Harper (84), Newberry, S.C., interviewed by:
          G.L. Summer, Newberry, S.C. May 21, 1937.

  Project #1555
  W.W. Dixon
  Winnsboro, S.C.


Abe Harris lives about nine miles southwest of the town of Winnsboro,
South Carolina. His home is a two-room frame house, with rock chimneys
of rough masonry at each gable end. It is the property of Mr. Daniel
Heyward. Abe is one-fourth white and this mixture shows in his features.
He is still vigorous and capable of light manual labor.

"My father was Samuel Lyles. My mother's name was Phenie Lyles. My
father and mother had fifteen chillun. I am de only one livin'. De last
one to die was my brother, Stocklin, that tended to de flowers and
gardens of people in Winnsboro for many years. He was found dead, one
mornin', in de Fortune Park woods.

"My parents b'long to Captain Tom Lyles, in slavery time. Father was de
hog man. He 'tended to de hogs; didn't pasture them as they do now.
Marster had a drove of eighty or more in de fall of de year befo' hog
killin' time. They run 'bout in de woods for acorns and hickory nuts and
my father had to keep up wid them and bring them home. He pen them, feed
them, and slop them at night.

"My white folks was de fust white settlers in de county. De fust one was
name Ephram, so I hear them tell many times. They fought in all wars dat
have been fought. My old marster, Tom, live up 'til de Civil War and
although he couldn't walk, he equip and pay a man to go in his place.
When Sherman's men come to de house, he was in bed wid a dislocated hip.
They thought he was shammin', playin' 'possum, so to speak. One of de
raiders, a Yankee, come wid a lighted torch and say: 'Unless you give me
de silver, de gold, and de money, I'll burn you alive.' Him reply: 'I
haven't many more years to live. Burn and be damned!' De Yankee was
surprised at his bravery, ordered father to take de torch from under de
bed and say: 'You 'bout de bravest man I ever see in South Carolina.'

"His wife, old Miss Mary, was sister to Congressman Joe Woodward. Deir
house and plantation was out at Buckhead. I was a boy eleven years old
and was in de house when he died, in 1874. He was de oldest person I
ever saw, eighty-seven. He had several chillun. Thomas marry Eliza Peay,
de baby of Col. Austin Peay, one of de rich race horse folks. Marse
Boykin marry Miss Cora Dantzler of Orangeburg. Him went to de war. Then
Nicholas, Austin, John, and Belton, all went to de Civil War. Austin was
killed at second Bull Run. Marse Nicholas go to Alabama and become
sheriff out dere. Marse John marry Miss Morris and was clerk of court
here for twenty-eight years.

"One of Marse John's sons is Senator Lyles, de cotton buyer here in
Winnsboro. De youngest boy, just a lad at freedom, marry Miss Cora Irby.
Two of deir chillun marry Marse Jim and Marse Bill Mobley in Columbia.
De youngest child, Miss Rebecca marry Marse DuBose Ellison in Winnsboro.

"First time I marry Emily Kinlock and had one child. Emily die. Then I
marry Lizzie Brown. Us had six chillun. When Lizzie die, I marry a
widow, Frances Young. Us too old to have chillun.

"I live at Rion, S.C. Just piddle 'round wid chickens and garden truck.
I sells them to de stone cutters and de mill people of Winnsboro. I's
past de age to work hard, and I'm mighty sorry dat our race was set free
too soon."

  PROJECT #1655
  W.W. Dixon,
  Winnsboro, S.C.


Eli Harrison lives on a small ten-acre tract of land near Dutchman
Creek, in Fairfield County, approximately seven miles southeast of
Winnsboro. The house, which he owns, is a small shack or shanty
constructed of scantlings and slabs. He lives in it alone and does his
own cooking. He has been on the relief roll for the past three years,
and ekes out a subsistence on the charity of the Longtown and Ridgeway
people. He is small, wiry, and healthy, weighing about 110 pounds.

"I sure has had a time a finding you! I was up here to Winnsboro befo'
dis Welfare Society, tryin' to git a pension and they ask me who know my
age. I tell them a whole lot of people out of town knows it. Then they
ask if anybody in town know my age. I gived in your name. They say they
will take your affidavit for it and tell me to bring dis paper to you.

"I b'long, in slavery, to your step-mother's people, de Harrisons, in
Longtown. You 'members comin' down when I was a young man and you was a
boy? Don't you 'member us playin' in de sand in front of de old Harrison
house? Dat house older than you and me. 'Member how I show you how to
call de doodles from de sand? How was it? I just git down on my hands
and knees in de sand and say: 'Doodle, doodle, doodle, doodle, come up
your house is afire!' Them black little doodles would come right up out
of de sand to see what gwine on up dere 'bove de sand. Mighty glad you
keeps dat in your mem'ry, 'til dis blessed day.

"I b'long to old Marse Eli Harrison, de grandpa of your step-mother. I
was born and raised on his Wateree River plantation. They called it
Harrison Flats, 'til de Southern Power Company and de Dukes taken over
de land, de river, de bull-frogs, de skeeters, whoop owls, and
everything else down here. De Harrisons owned dat place befo' de
Revolutionary War, they say. De skeeters run them out and de folks built
a string of houses out of logs, all 'long de roadside and call it
Longtown. Marse John D. tell me dat, and fust thing you know they was
callin' it Longtown and dats what it's called today.

"Old Marse Eli is a quiet man but him have two brudders dat wasn't so
quiet. They was Marse Aaron Burr Harrison and Marse John R. Harrison.
All of them have race horses. I, bein' little, ride de horses in de
races at de last. De tracks I ride on? One was up near Great Falls,
'tween old Marse Strother Fords and de Martin place. De other was out
from Simpsons' Turn Out. De Hamptons used to have horses on dese tracks.

"My mistress name Mary. My young marsters name: Sylvester, Lundsford,
David, and John D. They all dead but de old house is still dere on de
roadside and I alone is live to tell de tale.

"Dere's one thing I wants to tell you 'bout old Marse John. Him was
'suaded by de Hamptons, to buy a big plantation in Mississippi. Him go
out dere to raise cattle, race horses, cotton, sugar cane and niggers.
When him die, after so long a time they take him out of his grave. De
Harrisons done built a long, big, rock, family vault in de graveyard
here to put all de dead of de family name in. Well, what you reckon? Why
when dat coffin reach Ridgeway and they find it mighty heavy for just
one man's body, they open it and find Marse John's body done turned to
solid rock. What you think of dat? And what you think of dis? They put
him in de vault in de summertime. Dat fall a side show was goin' on in
Columbia, showin' a petrified man, you had to pay twenty-five cents to
go in and see it. De show leave and go up North. 'Bout Christmas, de
family go together to de vault, open it, and bless God dat rock body
done got up and left dat vault. What you think 'bout dat? What people
say? Some say one thing, some say another. Niggers all 'low, 'Marse John
done rose from de dead.' White folks say: 'Somebody done stole dat body
of Marse John and makin' a fortune out of it, in de side show line.'

"Well, I's told you 'nough for one day. I's impatient to git back down
yonder to them white ladies wid dis paper, so as to speed up dat pension
as fast as I used to speed up them race horses I use to ride on de old
race track road from Simpson's to Columbia."

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg Dist. 4
  Sept. 20, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"I was born July 16, 1852 at Jeter's old mill place in Santuc township.
The Neal's Shoal dam now marks the site of the old Jeter mill. My family
consisted of my parents and an older brother. My mother was Mandy Clark
of Union township. My grandfather Clark moved to the Jeter mill and ran
it for Mr. Jeter. My father, Tom Clark, was a laborer for the Jeters and
old man Tom Sims up on Broad River at what was then known as Simstown.
The Tom Sims and Nat Gist families owned everything in Santuc township
until their lands hit the Jimmie Jeter place.

"When I was twelve, my father went to the Confederate War. He joined the
Holcombe Legion of Union County and they went immediately to Charleston.
They drilled near the village of Santuc in what was then called
Mulligan's Old Field, now owned by Rion Jeter. This was the only
mustering ground in our part of the county. The soldiers drilled once a
week, and for the 'general muster, all of the companies from Sedalia and
Cross Keys come there once a month. During the summer time they had what
they called general drill for a week or ten days. Of course on this
occasion the soldiers camped over the field in covered wagons. Some came
in buggies. Slaves, called 'wait-men' cared for the stock and did the
cooking and other menial duties for their masters.

"The general store at Santuc and the store at the Cross Roads at Fish
Dam did good business during the summer while the soldiers were in camp.
The 'cross roads' have long been done away with at Fish Dam. The store
was under a big oak in front of the house now owned and lived in by W.
H. Gist. The Cross Roads were made by the Fish Dam Ferry Road and the
old Ninety-Six Road. They tell me that the old Ninety-Six Road was
started as an Indian trail by the Cherokee Indians, way yonder before
the Revolution. I have been told that a girl named Emily Geiger rode
that ninety-six miles in one day to carry a message to an American
general. The message kept the general and his army from being captured
by the red-coats.

"Near the Kay Jeter place just below the Ninety-six road there was a
small drill ground. The place is now known as the Pittman place and is
owned by the wife of Dr. J. T. Jeter of Santuc, I believe. Mr. 'Kay'
would send a slave on a horse or a mule to notify the men to come and
drill there. From here they went on to Mulligan's Field some five or six
miles away for the big drills. As I have told you, Mulligan's Field was
the big field for all that countryside. They tell me that the same
drilling tactics used then and there, are the same used right down
yonder at Camp Jackson.

"For about four of five years after the Confederate War, we had very
little to eat. We had given everything we could to the soldiers. After
the 'May Surrender' there came a big flood and washed everything away,
and the crops were so promising that August. As you know, that was in
'65. The rains and the high water destroyed everything. I do not believe
that Broad River and the Forest and Tyger have ever been as high before
or since.

"On Henderson's Island they saved no livestock at all. They just did
manage to save themselves. They had a hard time getting the slaves to
the mainland. Mrs. Sallie Henderson, her step-son, Jack and her son,
Jim, and daughter, Lyde were in the Henderson house when the freshet
came down upon them. They had to go up on the second floor of their
house but the water came up there.

"Mr. Ben Hancock was the ferryman at Henderson's Ferry at this time. Now
you know, Henderson's Ferry is on the Enoree just above where it empties
into the Broad. Henderson's Island is in the middle of Broad River in
full sight of where old Enoree goes into the channel of the Broad. Well,
Mr. Hancock was the best boatman in his day. He knew about the
Hendersons, so he tried to go to them but failed the first three times.
The fourth time, he got to the house. When he got there, he found the
whites and twenty-five slaves trapped with them.

"A barrel of flour had caught in the stairway that had washed down the
river from somewhere above. This was pulled upstairs and that is what
Mrs. Henderson fed her family and slaves on for about five days, or
until they were rescued by Mr. Hancock. Capt. Jack blew his opossum horn
every two hours throughout the day and night to let the people over on
the mainland know that they were still safe.

"For the rest of that year, river folks had very little to eat until
food crops were produced the next spring.

"My own father was shot down for the first time at the Second Battle of
Manassas. Here he got a lick over his left eye that was about the size
of a bullet; but he said that he thought the lick came from a bit of
shell. They carried him to a temporary make-shift hospital that had been
improvised behind the breastworks. A soldier who was recovering from a
wound nursed him as best he could.

"The second time my father was wounded was in Kingston, N.C. He shot a
Yankee from behind a tree and he saw the blood spurt from him as he
fell. Just about that time he saw another Yankee behind a tree leveling
a gun at him. Father threw up his gun but too late, the Yankee shot and
tore his arm all to pieces. The bullet went through his arm and struck
the corner of his mouth knocking out part of his jaw bone. Then it went
under the neck vein and finally it came out on his back knocking a hole
in one of his shoulder blades large enough to lay your two thumbs in.
His gun stock was also cut into. He lay on the battlefield for a whole
day and night; then he was carried to a house where some kind ladies
acting as nurses cared for him for over four months. He was sent home
and dismissed from the army just a mile below Maybinton, S.C. in
Newberry County. Father was unable to do any kind of work for over two
years. The war closed a year after he got home. From that time on I
cared for my mother and father.

"We had moved to the plantation of Mr. Ben Maybin in Maybinton before my
father was sent home wounded. Father lived until March, 1st, 1932 when
he died at the ripe old age of 102. When he died we were living at one
of the Jeter plantations near Kelley's Chapel, in Fish Dam township,
one-half mile from Old Ninety-Six Road. Father is buried at Kelley's

"Mr. Harvey has a bullet that Gov. Scott issued to the negroes during
reconstruction times when he was governor of South Carolina under the
carpetbag rule. Scott issued these bullets to the negroes to kill and
plunder with. Mr. Harvey says that bullets like this one were the cause
of many negroes finding their graves in the bottom of Broad River. Mr.
Harvey, so it is said, is still a Ku Klux. They were the chief
instruments in getting him into the County Home of Union in 1925.

"The Ku Klux made a boat twenty-five feet long to carry the negroes down
the river. They would take the negroes' own guns, most of them had two
guns, and tie the guns around their necks in the following manner: The
barrel of one gun was tied with wire around the negro's neck, and the
stock of the other gun was fastened with wire around the negro's neck.
When the captain would say, 'A-M-E-N', over the side of the boat the
negro went, with his guns and bullets taking him to a watery grave in
the bottom of Broad River. The wooden parts of the guns would rot, and
sometimes the bodies would wash down on the rocks at Neal's Shoals what
was then Jeter's Old Mill. Old gun stocks have been taken from there as

"Bill Fitzgerald was my first Ku Klux Captain. He organized the clan in
Newberry. When I came to the Klan over on the Union side, Judge W. H.
Wallace and Mr. Isaac McKissick were leaders.

"When we got the negroes from the county jail, the same jail that we
have now, that were arrested for killing Matt Stevens, I broke the lock
on the jail door. Buck Allen was the blacksmith. He held a sledge hammer
under the lock while I threw a steel hammer overhanded on the lock to
break it.

"I think Abe Lincoln would have done the South some good if they had let
him live. He had a kind heart and knew what suffering was. Lee would
have won the war if the mighty Stonewall Jackson had lived. Stonewall
was ahead of them all. I had two uncles, Jipp and Charlie Clark in
Stonewall's company. They would never talk much about him after his
death. It hurts them too much, for Stonewall's men loved him so much.
Jeff Davis was a great man, too."

  =Source:= Mr. Charlie Jeff Harvey, Rt. 4, Box 85, Union, S.C.
          Interviewer: Caldwell Sims, Union, S.C. 8/18/35.

  Project #1655
  W.W. Dixon
  Winnsboro, S.C.


Eliza Hasty lives with her son-in-law and her daughter, Philip Moore and
Daisy Moore, in an old time ante bellum home. It has two stories, eight
rooms, and front and back piazzas, supported by slender white posts or
columns. It is the old William Douglas homestead, now owned by John D.
Mobley. He rents it to Philip Moore, a well behaved Negro citizen, who,
out of respect for his mother-in-law, Eliza, supports her in the sore
trials and helplessness of blindness and old age. The home is five miles
southeast of Blackstock, S.C.

"Boss, you is a good lookin' man, from de sound of your voice. Blind
folks has ways of findin' out things that them wid sight know nothin'
'bout and nobody can splain. De blindness sharpens de hearin', 'creases
de tech, prickles de skin, quickens de taste, and gives you de nose of a
setter, pointer or hound dog. Was I always blind? Jesus, no! I just got
de 'fliction several years ago. I see well enough, when I was a young
gal, to pick out a preacher for my fust husband. So I did! How many
times I been married? Just two times; both husbands dead. Tell you 'bout
them directly.

"What dat? Er ha, ha, ha, ha, er ha, ha, ha! Oh Jesus, you makes me
laugh, white folks! De idea of my lossin' my sight a lookin' 'round for
a third husband! You sho' is agreeable. Ain't been so tickled since de
secon' time I was a widow. You know my secon' husband was bad after
blind tiger liquor, and harlot eyed, brassy, hussy women.

"Well, I comes down to Winnsboro today to see, I should say to find out,
'cause you know I can't see, 'bout de pension they is givin' out to de
aged and blind. My white folks say dat you wanna see me and here I is.

"Yes sir, I was born two miles south of Woodward and one mile south of
old Yonguesville, on de Sterling place. I born a slave of old Marse John
Sterling. Him have a head as red as a pecker-wood bird dat just
de-sash-sheys 'round de top of dead trees, and make sich a
rat-ta-ta-tapple after worms. His way of gittin' his meat for dinner. My
mistress name Betsy. Deir fust child was Robert, dat never marry; him
teach nearly every school in Fairfield County, off and on befo' he died.
Then dere was young Marster Tom, small little man, dat carry his
Seceeder 'ligion so far, him become 'furiated and carry dat 'ligion
right up and into de Secession War. Make a good soldier, too! General
Bratton call him, 'My Little Jackass of de Sharp Shooters'! Marse Tom
proud of dat name, from de mouth of a great man lak General John

"Marse Tom heard de fust gun fire at Fort Sumter, and laid down his gun,
him say, under a big horse apple tree at 'Applemattox'.

"Miss Sallie, one of de chillun, marry Mr. Chris Elder, of Blackstock.
Miss Hepzibah, they call her Heppie, marry a man named Boyd, in Chester
County. Miss Mary Izabella, they call her Bell, marry Marse John
Douglas; they are de 'cestors of dat very angel whose house us is
settin' in right dis minute. Her name is Martha but when grown-up, they
sublet (meaning change) dat name to Mattie, and when her marry, her
become Mrs. Thomas P. Bryson. Her is a widow, just lak I is a widow. De
only difference is, I's black and her is white. Her can see well enough
to run after and ketch another man, but I's blind and can't see a man,
much less chase after him. So dere it is! What for you laughin' 'bout?
No laughin' business wid me.

"My pappy no b'long to Marse John Sterling: him slave of de Stinsons.
Have to git a pass to come to see my mammy, Mary. Him name Aleck. After
de war him take de name of Alexander Roseboro. Him lak a big long name
dat would make folks set up and take notice of him.

"Us live in a little log-house wid a dirt floor. Us had mighty poor
beds, I tell you. Us just had planks to lay de wheat straw mattress on.
Pillows? De pillows was just anything you could snatch and put under
your head. Yes sir, us had plenty to eat.

"They 'struct us in de short catechism, make us go to church, and sit up
in de gallery and jine in de singin' on Sundays. Us was well 'tended to
when sick. Marster didn't have many slaves. 'Members only two they have,
'sides us; they was Uncle Ned and Cindy. Seem lak dere was another. Oh
yes! It was Fred, a all 'round de creation boy, to do anything and
everything. He was a sorta shirt-tail boy dat pestered me sometime wid
goo-goo eyes, a standin' in de kitchen door, drappin' his weight from
one foot to de other, a lookin' at me while I was a churnin' or washin'
de dishes. Dat boy both box-ankle and knock-kneed. When you hear him
comin' from de horse lot to de house, his legs talk to one another, just
lak sayin': 'You let me pass dis time, I let you pass nex' time.' I let
you know I had no time for dat ape! When I did git ready to marry, I fly
high as a eagle and ketch a preacher of de Word! Who it was? Him was a
Baptis' preacher, name Solomon Dixon. 'Spect you hear tell of him. No?
Well, him b'long, in slavery time, to your Aunt Roxie's people in
Liberty Hill, Kershaw County. You 'members your Aunt Roxie dat marry
Marse Ed D. Mobley, her fust cousin, don't you?

"I love Solomon and went down under de water to be buried wid him in
baptism, I sho' did, and I come up out of dat water to be united wid him
in wedlock. When us marry, him have on a long-tail coat, salt and pepper
trousers, box-toed shoes, and a red lead pencil over his ear, just as
long as de one I 'spects you is writin' wid, tho' I can't see it.

"How I dressed? I 'members 'zactly. I wore a blue worsted shirt, over a
red underskirt, over a white linen petticoat wid tuckers at de hem, just
a little long, to show good and white 'long wid de blue of de skirt and
de red of de underskirt. Dese all come up to my waist and was held
together by de string dat held my bustle in place. All dis and my corset
was hid by de snow white pleated pique bodice, dat drapped gracefully
from my shoulders. 'Round my neck was a string of green jade beads. I
wore red stockin's and my foots was stuck in soft, black, cloth, gaiter

"My go-away-hat was 'stonishment to everybody. It was made out of red
plush velvet and trimmed wid white satin ribbons. In de front, a ostrich
feather stood up high and two big turkey feathers flanked de sides. Oh,
de treasures of memory to de blind. I's happy to sit here and talk to
you 'bout dat day! I sho' is!

"Us live at Marse John Douglas for a time and dat's where my fust child
was born. I name her for your Aunt Roxie, tho' I give her de full name,
Roxanna Dixon. Her marry John Craig. They live on your grandpa
Woodward's old Nickey place, four miles southeast of Blackstock. I had
another baby and I name her Daisy. Her marry Philip Moore. I lives wid
them in de old William Douglas mansion. Nearly all de white folks
leavin' de country dese days and de colored folks gits de fine country
houses to live in.

"Well, after de years fly by, my husband, Solomon, go to de mansion
prepared for him and me in hebben. I wait a year and a day and marry
William Hasty. Maybe I was a little hasty 'bout dat, but 'spects it was
my fate. Him drink liquor and you know dat don't run to de still waters
of peace and happiness in de home. Him love me, I no doubt dat, but he
get off to de bar room at Blackstock, or de still house in bottom lands,
get drunk and spend his money. De Bible say dat kind of drowsiness soon
clothe a man in rags. Him dead now. God rest his soul!

"De Yankees come. They took notice of me! They was a bad lot dat
disgrace Mr. Lincoln dat sent them here. They insult women both white
and black, but de Lord was mindful of his own.

"I knows nothin' else to tell you, 'less you would be pleased to hear
'bout what de cyclone did to my old missus and de old Sterling house.
Somewhere 'bout 1880's one of them super knockshal (equinoctial) storms
come 'long, commencin' over in Alabama or Georgia, crossed de Savannah
River, sweep through South Carolina, layin' trees to de ground, cuttin'
a path a quarter of a mile wide, as it traveled from west to east. Every
house it tech, it carry de planks and shingles and sills and joists 'way
wid it. De old Sterling house was in de path. Dere was a big oak tree in
de front yard. Old miss and her son, Robert, was dere and Miss Heppie, a
granddaughter, was in dat house. De storm hit dat house 'bout 9 o'clock
dat night and never left a bit of it, 'cept some of de bricks. Some of
de logs and sills was found de nex' day over at de other side of de
railroad track. Some of de planks was found six miles east, some of de
shingles across Catawba River, 25 miles east, and curious to say, de
wind blowed old miss against de big oak tree and kill her. It blowed
Miss Heppie in de top of dat tree where she was settin' a cryin' and
couldn't git down, and it never harm a hair of Marse Robert's head. Him
look 'round for Miss Heppie, couldn't find her, went off to get help,
and when they come back, they have to git a ladder from old Mr. Bob
Mobley's house to git her down.

"Well, here comes my daughters. I hear one outside but I bet you don't
hear a thing. Dats deir steps I hear. Glad for you to meet them. They is
mighty fine gals, if I do have to say so. They come up wid good white
folks, de Mills'. Marse Jim Mills have family prayer in de mornin' and
family prayer befo' they go to bed. Dat was de fust thing wid him and de
last thing wid de Mills' family. If all de families do dat way, dere
would be de answer to de prayer, 'Dy kingdom come, Dy will be done, on
earth, as 'tis in hebben'.

"Well, give me my stick. Here they is. I bids you goodbye and God bless


    Personal interview with Aunt Dolly Haynes, age 91
    Arthurtown, S.C.


"I nebber wuz no rockin' chair setter. I ain't nebber had no time to set
down and do nuthin'. I wuz born at Euta, South Carolina. We belong to
Marse Charlie Baumer. My Ma died and lef four motherless chillun but de
missus wuz mighty good to us--call us her chillun. Pa rung de bell on de
plantation fur ter wake de slaves up fur to go to de fiel'. My Missus
wuz blind but she wuz a mighty kin' lady. Mek de cook bring plate of
vittals to see ef it wuz heavy nough for her little chillun.

"After freedom all us moved wid de Marse and Missus to Childs, South
Carolina and I mar'd Paul Haynes, who belonged to old Colonel Hampton.

"Paul wanted to preach but nedder of us had no learnin' an' I say to
Paul, 'Does you think you got nough learnin' to lead a flock of people?
I don' wan' you to git up an' mek me shame.' I tell him to go to de
Benedicts an' see what book he needs to study, come by town bring me a
pair of broggans for me, 'cause I wuz a-gwine to wuk and he wuz a-gwine
to school. For t'ree long years I plowed de farm an' sent Paul to de
Benedicts 'til he wuz edicated. De briars cut my legs an' de breshes
tore my skirt, but I tuck up de skirt an' plow right on 'til I bought my
little farm. Paul bin dead now 'bout twelve years, but he preached right
up to de day he died.

"I got a neffu but I lives alone, wen deys some one in de house I puts
down and dey picks up--I cleans up and dey tears up. I don' owe nobody
nuthin'. Wen de nurvus spells leaves me an' I feels a little strong in
de legs I wuks mah garden. I loves to be doin' somethin' to keep clean,
'cause I jes ain't no rockin chair setter".

  Code No.
  Project, 1885-(1)
  Prepared by Annie Ruth Davis
  Place, Marion, S.C.
  Date, November 11, 1937

  Reduced from ---- words
  Rewritten by ----


"Accordin to de way dey figures up my age, dey say I 70 now en I
believes dat right, too, en de government ought to give me somethin.
When we was born, de white folks put us chillun age down in de Bible en
I know from dat I been 19 years old de year of de shake. Cose I gets
clothes give to me, but no help no more den dat en all dis here wood en
coal bill put on me. No, mam, ain' got no support to help me out no
time. But justice will plum de line some day. I just gwine leave it in
de hands of de Lord. Ain' gwine cry over it."

"I tell you, I been wid white folks all my days en I was properly cared
for long as I been in dey protection. I suffers now more den I is ever
think bout would come to me. Yes, mam, I done raise over 20 head of
white chillun. Dat de God truth. I been in de white folks kitchen all my
days en if I feel right, I think dey ought to take of me in my old age.
I don' brag on myself, but if I could work like I used to, I wouldn' ax
nothin from nobody. I had a family of white people to send for me de
other week to come en live wid dem en dey would take care of me, but I
never had nobody to trust aun' Sallie wid. You see, child, she such a
helpless, poor creature just settin dere in dat bed all de time en can'
see to do one thing widout I give her my hand. Cose de government helps
aun' Sallie, but dat ain' me. En, honey, I ain' even able to stand up en
iron, I has dis rheumatism so bad. It hurts me so terrible at night, I
has to keep my foots out from under de cover. It a sort of burnin
rheumatism like. Yes, mam, it does worry me right smart."

"Oh, my Lord, I was raise down dere to old Dr. Durant plantation. Yes,
mam, dem Durants had everything right to dey hand. Never had to want for
a glass of water or nothin en didn' none of Dr. Durant's colored people
never had no trouble wid de law from de time de law take care to dis. I
remember old Massa would always kill his plantation people a cow on de
fourth of July en couldn' never count de number of hogs dey would have,
dere be so many. Honey, dey would take dem hogs up dis time of de year
from out de swamp en put dem in dey fattenin pen. Lord, Lord, de many a
time dat I been see dem take bucket on a bucket of milk to dat pen. When
my mother was dere helpin dem, dey used to been a week to a time tryin
up lard en makin blood puddin en sausage en joinin up ears en things
like dat. Yes, mam, all dey plantation niggers what been helpin dat day
set for hog killin would eat to de white folks yard. Dey would just put
two or three of dese big wash pot out in de yard en full dem up wid
backbone en haslets en rice to satisfy dem hungry niggers wid en would
bake de corn bread to de Missus kitchen. I mean dey would have hog
killin days den, too. Would have dese long old benches settin out dere
under de trees to work on--long benches, child. Some days, dey would
kill 15 hogs en some days, dey would kill 20 hogs en I mean dey was
hogs, not pigs. De number dey would kill would be accordin to how many
hands was helpin de day dey pick to kill. You see, dey would kill dem
one day en hang dem up en den dey would set de next day to cut dem up.
Oh, dey would hang dem up right out to de eyes of everybody en didn'
nobody never have no mind to bother nothin. My Lord, couldn' trust to do
nothin like dat dese days. En dey had de nicest homemade butter en whip
cream dere all de time. Seems like things was just more plentiful en dey
was better in dat day en time."

"It just like I tellin you, it de way of de past, everything had to be
carried out right on Dr. Durant's plantation. When freedom come here,
dere couldn' no head never get dem colored people to leave from dere.
Yes, mam, dey great grand-chillun dere carryin on to dis very day. Dem
Durant chillun ain' never had to hunt for no hand to do somethin for
dem. Yes, mam, my white folks had dey own colored people graveyard what
was corn crated in en it still dere right now. When one of de colored
people on de plantation would die, dey white folks would be right dere
to de funeral. En it de blessed truth, old Dr. Durant had his own
carpenters right dere on de plantation to make de corpse boxes en line
dem en all dat en dig de graves. Dat was a day, honey, en dat a day gone
from here, I say."

"I ain' never been one of dese peck abouts when I was comin on cause I
didn' done nothin, but nurse de white folks chillun dat was comin up.
Yes, mam, I would go all bout wid de white people. Dey never didn' leave
me home. Lord, de chillun what I nurse, dey got seven en eight head of
chillun of dey own now. Like I been tellin you, some of dem beg me to
come en live wid dem, but my God, I can' struggle wid dem chillun no
more after I done wash baby breeches all my best days, so to speak. Yes,
my Lord, dem chillun would get dey 10:30 lunch in de mornin en I been
get mine, too. Ain' never had to work in de field in all my life.
Anybody can tell you dat what know me."

"I has a little boy stayin here wid me en aun' Sallie what was give to
me. I don' never think hard of de people for not fussin bout him stayin
here cause he helps me so much. No, mam, I know his mother fore she die
en he been stayin wid his aun' en she chillun en dey treat him mean. He
been raise to himself en he can' stand no other chillun en he come home
from school one day en ax me to let him stay here wid me. No, child, he
ain' no trouble cause de Lord give me dat child. He can stay out dere in
dat yard right by himself en play all day fore he would ever get dirty

"Well, I tell you, I don' know hardly what to say bout how de world
gwine dese days. I just afraid to say bout it. I know one thing, I used
to live better, but President Roosevelt, seem like he tryin to do de
right thing. But if I could be de whole judge of de world, I think de
best thing would be for de people to be on dey knees en prayin. De
people talkin bout fightin all de time en dis here talk bout fightin in
de air, dat what got my goat. Might lay down at night sound en wake up
in de mornin en find us all in destructiveness. I say, de Lord all what
can save dis country."

  =Source:= Liney Henderson, age 70, colored, Marion, S.C.
          Personal interview by Annie Ruth Davis, Nov., 1937.

  Project #1655
  W.W. Dixon
  Winnsboro, S.C.


Jim Henry lives with his wife, Mary, in a four-room frame house, three
miles southeast of Winnsboro, S.C. He owns the house and nine acres of
land. He has only one arm, the other having been amputated twenty years
ago. He employs a boy to plough, and he and his wife make a living on
the property.

"I was born in the Bratton slave quarter, about six miles northeast of
Winnsboro. I was born a slave of General John Bratton. He use to tell me
I come from 'stinguished stock, dat he bought my father, James, from de
Patrick Henry family in Virginia. Dat's de reason my pappy and us took
dat name after freedom.

"My mother, Silva, and her mother, was bought from de Rutledge family in
Charleston, by General Bratton. My grandfather, on my mother's side, was
name Edward Rutledge. No, sir, I don't mean he was a white man; he just
ginger-cake color, so my mother say. My pappy say his father was a
full-blooded Indian, so, dat makes three bloods in my veins, white
folks, Indian folks, and Negro folks. Derefore, us been thrifty like de
white man, crafty like de Indians, and hard workin' like de Negroes.

"In slavery time, us lived in one of de nice log houses in de Bratton
quarters. Our beds was pole beds, wid wheat straw ticks, and cotton
pillows. De Brattons was always sheep raisers, and us had woolen
blankets and woolen clothes in de winter. My mother was one of de
seamstresses; she make clothes for de slaves. Course, I'm tellin' you
what she tell me, mostly. I was too little to 'member much 'bout slavery
time. All de little niggers run 'round in deir shirt-tails in summer
time; never work any, just hunt for grapes, muscadines, strawberries,
chinquapins, hickory nuts, calamus root, slippery elmer (elm) bark, wild
cherries, mulberries, and red and black haws, and was as happy as de
days was long.

"I just can 'member de Yankees. Don't 'member dat they was so bad. You
know they say even de devil ain't as black as he is painted. De Yankees
did take off all de mules, cows, hogs, and sheep, and ransack de
smoke-house, but they never burnt a thing at our place. Folks wonder at
dat. Some say it was 'cause General Bratton was a high 'gree mason.

"While Marse John, who was a Confederate General, was off in de war, us
had overseers. They made mother and everybody go to do field. De little
chillun was put in charge, in de daytime, wid an old 'mauma', as they
called them in them days. Dere was so many, twenty-five or thirty, dat
they had to be fed out of doors. At sundown they was 'sembled in a tent,
and deir mammies would come and git them and take them home. Dere used
to be some scrappin' over de pot liquor dat was brought out in big pans.
De little chillun would scrouge around wid deir tin cups and dip into de
pan for de bean, pea, or turnip pot liquor. Some funny scraps took
place, wid de old mauma tryin' to separate de squallin', pushin',
fightin' chillun.

"De overseers was Wade Rawls and a Mr. Timms. After freedom, us moved to
Winnsboro, to Dr. Will Bratton's farm near Mt. Zion College. I went to
school to Mr. Richardson and Miss Julia Fripp, white teachers employed
by northern white people. I got very 'ligious 'bout dat time, but de
brand got all rubbed out, when us went to work for Major Woodward. His
'ligion was to play de fiddle, go fox huntin', and ride 'round gittin'
Negroes to wear a red shirt and vote de democrat ticket. I went 'long
wid him and done my part. They tell a tale on Marse Tom Woodward and I
'spects it's true:

"He was runnin' for some kind of office and was goin', nex' day, up in
de dark corner of Fairfield to meet people. Him hear dat a old fellow
name Uriah Wright, controlled all de votes at dat box and dat he was a
fox hunter to beat de band. He 'quire 'round 'bout Mr. Wright's dogs. He
find out dat a dog name 'Ring Smith' was de best 'strike'. Jolly Wright
was de name of de cold 'trailer', and Molly Clowney was de fastest dog
of de pack. Marse Tom got all dis well in his mind, and nex' day rode up
to old Mr. Wright's, 'bout dinner time.

"De old man had just come in from de field. Marse Tom rode up to de gate
and say; 'Is dis Dr. Wright?' De old man say: 'Dat's what de people call
me 'round here.' Marse Tom say: 'My name is Woodward. I am on my first
political legs, and am goin' 'round to see and be seen, if not by
everybody, certainly by de most prominent and 'fluential citizens of
each section.' Then de old man say: 'Git down. Git down. You are a
monstrous likely man. I'll take you in to see Pinky, my wife, and we'll
see what she has to say 'bout it.'

"Marse Tom got down off his horse and was a goin' to de house talkin'
all de time 'bout crops. Spyin' de dogs lyin' 'round in de shade, him
say: 'Dr. Wright, I am a 'culiar man. I love de ladies and admire them
much but, if you'll pardon my weakness, a fine hound dog comes nearer
perfection, in my eye, than anything our Father in heaven ever made to
live on this green earth!'

"'And what do you know 'bout hounds?' Old man Uriah asked, turnin' from
de house and followin' Marse Tom to where de dogs was. Marse Tom set
down. De whole pack come to where he was, sniffed and smelt him, and wag
deir tails in a friendly way. Marse Tom say: 'What is de name of dis
dog? Ring Smith, did you say, Doctor? An uncommon fine dog he seems to
me. If dere be any truth in signs, he oughta be a good strike.' De old
man reply: 'Good strike, did you say? If dere was 5,000 dogs here, I
would bet a million dollars dat Ring Smith would open three miles ahead
of the best in de bunch. And you might go befo' a trial justice and
swear it was a fox, when he opened on de trail.'

"Marse Tom nex' examined de pale black and tan dog, which was Jolly
Wright, de coldest trailer. Feelin' his nose and eyein' him all over, he
say at last: 'Dr. Wright, I think dis is one of de most remarkable dogs
I has ever seen. I would say he is de coldest trailer of your pack?'

"'Coldest, did you say? Why he can smell them after they have been along
three or four weeks.' Molly Clowney was nex' picked out by Marse Tom,
and come in for his turn. 'Here ought to be de apple of your eyes, Dr.
Wright,' say Marse Tom, 'for if I know anything 'bout dogs, this is the
swiftest animal dat ever run on four feet. Tell me now, honor bright,
can't she out run anything in these parts?'

"'Run, did you say? No. She can't run a bit. But dere ain't a crow nor a
turkey buzzard, dat ever crossed de dark corner, dat can hold a candle
to her flyin'. I've seen her run under them and outrun deir shadows many
times. Dinner is 'bout ready, and I want you to meet Pinky.'

"Marse Tom was took in de house and de old man led him 'round like a
fine horse at a show or fair. 'Why, Pinky, he is smart; got more sense
than all de candidates put together. He is kin to old preacher Billy
Woodward, de smartest man, I heard my daddy say, in Europe, Asia,
Africa, North America, or South America.' They say Marse Tom promised
befo' he left to pass a bill dat no fence was to be higher than five
rails, to suit fox hunters. Then de old man tell Miss Pinky to bring his
fiddle, and he played 'De Devil's Dream'. When he finished, Marse Tom
grab de fiddle and played: 'Hell Broke Loose In Georgia', wid such power
and skill dat de old man, Uriah, hugged Miss Pinky and cut de 'Pigeon
Wing' all over de floor. Marse Tom, they say, carry every vote at dat
dark corner box.

"I fall in love with Mary Hall. Got her, slick as a fox. Us had ten
chillun. Eight is livin'. Robert is at de Winnsboro Cotton Mills. Ed in
de same place. Estelle marry a Ford, and has some land near Winnsboro.
Maggie marry a Pickett. Her husband took her to Washington. John Wesley
is at Greensboro. Florence marry a Barber and lives in Winston Salem,
N.C. Charley is in Winnsboro. Corinne marry a McDuff and is in

"Mighty glad to talk to you, and will come some day and try to bring you
a 'possum. You say you would like to have one 'bout Thanksgivin' Day?"

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg Dist. 4
  June 1, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


"Yas Sir, my ole Marster had lots o' land, a big plantation down at
Lockhart whar I was born, called de Herndon Plantation. Den he live in a
big house jes' outside o' Union, called 'Herndon Terrace', and 'sides
dat, he was de biggest lawyer dat was in Union.

"Furs' 'membrance was at de age o' three when as yet I couldn't walk
none. My mother cooked some gingerbread. She told de chilluns to go down
a hill and git her some oak bark. De furs' one back wid de bark 'ud git
de furs' gingerbread cake dat was done. My sister sot me down, a sliding
down de side o' her laag, atter she had carried me wid her down de side
o' de hill. Dem big chaps started to fooling time away. I grab up some
bark in my hand and went toddling and a crawling up to de house. My
mother seed me a crawling and toddling, and she took de bark out'n my
hand and let me pull up to de do'. She cook de gingerbread, and when de
other chilluns got back, I was a setting up eating de furs' cake.

"She put gingerbread dough in a round oven dat had laags on hit. It
looked like a skillet, but it never had no handle. It had a lid to go on
de top wid a groove to hold live coals. Live coals went under it, too.
Mother wanted oak chips and bark, 'cause dey made sech good hot coals
and clean ashes.

"Pots biled in de back o' de chimney, a hanging from a pot rack over de
blazing fire. It had pot hooks to git it down.

"Bread was cooked in a baker like de ginger cake was. Dey roasted both
kinds o' 'taters in de ashes and made corn bread in de ashes and called
it ash cake, den.

"Us lived in a one-room log house. Fer de larger families, dey had two
rooms wid de fire place in de middle o' de room. Our'n was at de end by
de winder. It had white or red oak, or pine shingles to kivver de roof
wid. O' course de shingles was hand made, never know'd how to make no

"All beds was corded. Along side de railings, dar was holes bored to
draw de ropes through, as dese was what dey used in dem days instead o'
slats. Ropes could be stretched to make de bed lay good. Us never had a
chair in de house. My paw made benches fer us to set by de fire on.
Marse Zack let de overseer git planks fer us. My paw was called Lyles
Herndon. We had a large plank table dat paw made. Never had no mirrows.
Went to de spring to see ourselfs on a Sunday morning. Never had no sech
things as dressers in dem days. All us had, was a table, benches and
beds. And my paw made dem. Had plenty wood fer fire and pine knots fer
lights when de fire git low or stop blazing.

"Us had tallow candles. Why ev'ybody know'd how to make taller candles
in dem days, dat wudd'n nothing out de ordinary. All you had to do, was
to kill a beef and take de taller from his tripe and kidneys. See, it de
fat you gits and boil it out. Stew it down jes' as folks does hog lard
dese days. De candle moulds was made out'n tin. Fer de wicks, all de
wrapping string was saved up, and dar wasn't much wrapping string in dem
times. Put de string right down de middle o' de mould and pour de hot
taller all around it. De string will be de wick fer de candle. Den de
moulds was laid in raal cold water so dat de taller shrink when it
harden, and dis 'low de candle to drap easy from de mould and not break
up. Why, it's jes' as easy to make taller candles as it is to fall off'n
a log.

"Firs' lamp dat I ever seed was a tin lamp. Dat was at Dr. Bates' place
in Santuc. Him and his brother, Fair, lived together. It was a little
table lamp wid a handle and a flat wick. He had it in his house. I was
Dr. Bates' house-boy.

"My son tuck me back to Union last year, 1936, I 'members. Nothing
didn't look natual 'cept de jail. Ev'ything else look strange. Didn't
see nobody I knowed, not narry living soul. Marse big white house, wid
dem kallems (columns) still setting dar; but de front all growed up in
pine trees. When I slave time darkey, dat front had flowers and figgers
(statues), setting all along de drive from de road to de big house.
T'aint like dat now.

"Atter Mr. Herndon died, I was sold at de sale at Lockhart, to Dr. Tom
Bates from Santuc. He bought me fer $1800 so as dey allus told me. Marse
Zack had a hund'ed slaves on dat plantation. Stout, healthy ones, brung
from $1,000 on up to $2,000 a head. When I was a young kid, I heard dat
he was offered $800 fer me, but he never tuck it. Dis de onliest time
dat I was ever sold. Marse Zack never bred no slaves, but us heard o'
sech afar off. He let his darkies marry when dey wanted to. He was a
good man and he allus 'lowed de slaves to marry as dey pleased, 'cause
he lowed dat God never intent fer no souls to be bred as if dey was
cattle, and he never practice no sech.

"I is old and I does not realize who Marse Zack's overseer was, kaise
dat been a long while. I was Dr. Bates' house-boy. I allus heard dat
Dr. Bates bought my maw fer $1,500, at de same time he bought me. He
give $2,000 fer my paw. My brother, Jim, was bought fer $1,800.
Adolphus, 'bout fifteen years old, sold fer 'bout $1,400; and my onliest
sister, Matilda, was bought fer a maid gal, but I cannot recollect fer
what price. She was purty good size gal den. All o' dem is dead now but
me, even all my white folks is done gone. I sees a lonely time now, but
my daughter treat me kind. I live wid her now.

"Dr. Bates' brother, Fair, was single man dat live in de house wid Dr.
Bates fer thirteen years. I lived in slavery fer over twenty-one years.
Yas, I's twenty-one when Freedom come; and den Dr. Bates up and marry
Mr. Henry Sartor's daughter, Miss Ma'y. Don't know how long she live,
but she up and tuck and died; den he pop up and marry her sister, Anne.
It was already done Freedom when he marry de furs' time. When he married
de second time, Mr. Fair, up and went over to de Keenan place to live.
He never did marry, hisself, 'though.

"As house-boy dar, I mind de flies from de table and tote dishes to and
fro from de kitchen. Kitchen fer ways off from de house. James Bates,
his cook. Sometime I help wash de dishes. Marse never had no big house,
kaise he was late marrying. Dar wasn't no company in dem days, neither.

"Rations was give out ev'y week from de smokehouse. Twenty-five or
thirty hogs was killed at de time. Lots o' sheep and goats was also
killed. All our meat was raised, and us wore wooden-bottom shoes. Raised
all de wheat and corn. Hogs, cows, goats and sheep jes' run wild on
Tinker and Brushy Fork Creeks. On Sat'day us git one peck meal; three
pounds o' meat and one-half gallon black molasses fer a person; and
dat's lot mo' dan dey gits in dese days and times. Sunday morning, us
git two, or maybe three pounds o' flour. Didn't know nothing 'bout no
fat-back in dem times. Had sassafras and sage teas and 'dinty' tea
(dinty tea is made from a wild S.C. weed).

"Marse's coachman called Tom 'Cuff', kaise he bought from old Dr. Culp.
He driv two black hosses to de carriage. Marse's saddle hoss was kinder
reddish. Gen'ally he do his practice on hossback. He good doctor, and
carry his medicine in saddle bags. It was leather and fall on each side
o' de hoss's side. When you put something in it, you have to keep it
balanced. Don't never see no saddle bags; neither does you see no
doctors gwine round on no hosses dese days.

"Never seed no ice in dem days 'cep in winter. Summer time, things was
kept in de milk-house. Well water was changed ev'y day to keep things
cool. Ev'ybody drink milk in de summer, and leave off hot tea, and de
white folks only drink coffee fer dere breakfast. T'other times dey also
drink milk. It bees better fer your health all de time.

"At de mouth o' Brushy Fork and Tinker Creek whar dey goes together dar
is a large pond o' water. Us n'used to fish in dat pond. One day, me and
Matilda tuck off a-fishing. I fell in dat pond, and when I riz up, a
raft o' brush held my head under dat water and I couldn't git out no
ways. 'Tilda sees my dangerment, and she jump in dat deep water and pull
me from under dat raff. She couldn't swim but us both got out. Can't
think no mo' today."

  =Source:= Zack Herndon, Grenard St., Gaffney, S.C. (col. 93)
          Interviewer: Caldwell Sims, Union, S.C. 5/11/37

  Project #1655
  Stiles M. Scruggs
  Columbia S.C.


Lavinia Heyward, a Negro woman 67 years old, living at 515 Marion
Street, Columbia, S.C., is a daughter of ex-slaves. Her parents were
Peter Jones and Rachel Bryant Jones. They married in Columbia, soon
after they were freed, in 1865. Lavinia reviews her mother's experiences
with a famous South Carolina family, before and after bondage, and takes
a glance at Columbia's progress in the past half century.

"Sho' I's been here 67 years, and I's seen a stragglin' town of 10,000
grow from poverty to de present great city and riches. Shucks, I 'spects
if you was to set me down at Broad River bridge and tell me to go home,
I might git lost tryin' to find my way to where I has lived for many
years. Durin' my time I's sho' seen dis city sad and glad, and I's happy
to say dat it seem to be feelin' a right smart lak itself now.

"My mammy, and her daddy and mammy, was bought from de Bryants at
Beaufort by de Rhett family, when my mammy was a little pickaninny. She
not able to tell nothin' 'bout her 'speriences with de Bryants, but she
sho' recall a lot of things after she jine de Rhetts. She live with them
'til she was just turnin' twelve years old, then she come to Columbia as
a slave of Master John T. Rhett. He move here, as a refugee, in 1862.
Master Rhett was not healthy 'nough to go to war but some of his folks

"One of Master Rhett's brothers, who was too old to go to war, march
'way to fight Yankees at Honey Hill. De Yankee fleet send an army in
boats to cut de Charleston and Savannah Railroad, and de Confederates
meet them at Honey Hill, half way 'tween Beaufort and Savannah. In a
bloody battle dere de Confederates won. Master Rhett, of Beaufort was
wounded dere, and his brother, John, leave Columbia and go dere to see
him while he was in bed, battlin' for life.

"My mammy never work in de field at Beaufort, nor after she come to
Columbia. She was kep' on duty in de big house and learned to sew and
make garments, quilts, and things. She also learn to read, write, and
cipher, and she could sing many of de church songs them days. She play
with de white chillun dat come to see de Rhetts in Beaufort and in
Columbia. She tell me 'bout things in Beaufort, where de Rhetts live

"She say de Rhetts has been buckra since de time when Colonel William
Rhett go out in his battle ships to chase and kill pirates, in de days
when Carolina was ruled by de King of England. She say they own many big
plantations in Beaufort County and raise big crops of rice and sea
island cotton. She say de sea island cotton was so costly that it was
handpicked by slaves and placed in hundred pounds sacks. Then it was
shipped to France and de growers reap a rich harvest.

"Mammy tell us chillun dat de Rhetts sho' was de 'big folks' of South
Carolina, and I reckons dat's so, 'cause de books, swords, guns,
windlasses and things lak dat, in a room at de John T. Rhett home, show
what they has been doin' for several hundred years.

"Oh yes, you wants to know where 'bouts John T. Rhett live in Columbia?
He live at de house now number 1420 Washington Street, right 'cross de
street from where de parsonage of the Washington Street Methodist Church
now stands. I go dere with Mammy, often, and play 'round de yard. Mammy
always work dere as long as she able to serve a-tall. She take sick and
die in 1883.

"Master John T. Rhett was mayor of de city three times, in 1882, 1884
and in 1886. I knows well, 'cause he see to it dat us chillun go to
school, 'long 'bout then, and not a one of us has been unable to read,
write, and cipher since. He see dat we gits chances to become useful
citizens, and his very name is sweet to me since he died.

"You ask if I knows R. Goodwin Rhett of Charleston? I sho' does; I has
talked with him and he ask me many questions. He was born in Columbia
but move to Charleston many years ago and, lak the buckra dat he is, he
climb to de top as de mayor of Charleston, big banker, and president of
de Chamber of Commerce of de United States. So you see, my mammy was
lucky in livin' with such a fine family.

"You asks if my man (husband) has come down from de Heyward family of de
Combahee River slaves? No. He come from de North and he say dere was
Heywards up dere, both white and black. He got that name in de North. He
has been a carpenter, hired by de month, at de State Hospital for many
years, and we bought dis two-story home by de sweat of our brow. We
lives, and has always lived, as my mammy tell us to. And we git 'long
pretty well by trustin' in God and doin' our best."

  Project #-1655
  Mrs. Chlotilde R. Martin
  Beaufort County

  Approx. 530 Words


  Stories from Ex-slaves
  Lucretia Heyward
  Ex-slave Age - 96

W'en gun fust shoot on Hilton Head Islandt, I been 22 year old. Muh Pa
name Tony MacKnight and he b'long to Mr. Stephen Elliott. My Ma name
Venus MacKnight and she b'long to Mr. Joe Eddings, who had uh plantation
on Parri (Parris) Islandt. De overseer been Edward Blunt. He been poor
white trash, but he wuk haa'd and save he money and buy slave. He buy my
Ma and bring she to Beaufort to wuk in he house by de Baptist chu'ch. I
been born den. I hab seven brudder name Jacob, Tony, Robert, Moses--I
can't 'member de odders, it been so long ago. I hab one sister
Eliza--she die de odder day.

W'en I been little gal, I wuk in de house. Wuk all day. I polish knife
and fork, mek bed, sweep floor, nebber hab time for play game. W'en I
git bigger, dey send me to school to Miss Crocker to learn to be

W'en I small, I sleep on floor in Miss Blunt room. I eat food left ober
from table. Dey nebber learn me to read and write. I ain't hab time for
sech t'ing. I go to chu'ch in white Baptis' chu'ch. Nigger hab for sit
up stair, white folks sit down stair. If nigger git sick, dey send for
doctor to 'tend um. Mr. Blunt nebber lick me, but Miss Blunt cut my back
w'en I don't do to suit her. Nigger git back cut w'en dey don't do wuk
or w'en dey fight. Dey hab uh jail in town, run by Mr. McGraw. If nigger
be too bad, run street and t'ing, he git in jail and Mr. McGraw lick um.
I been lock in jail one time. Dey hang me up by wrist and beat me
twenty-five lick wid uh cowhide. I forgit w'at I don't to git dat.

W'en Yankee been come de Blunts leab Beaufort, and I walk out house and
go back to Parri Islandt. De Yankee tell we to go en Buckra corn house
and git w'at we want for eat. Den I come back to Beaufort and go to wuk
in cotton house (gin.) De Yankee pay we for wuk and I tek my money and
buy twenty acre ob land on Parri Islandt. I ain't had dat land now
'cause de Government tek em for he self and mek me move. (This was when
the Government bought Parris Island for a naval station.)

I been hab two husband. De fust name Sephus Brown. How I 'member w'en he
die, it been de year ob de ninety-tree storm. My odder husband been
Cupid Heyward--he daid (dead) too.

I hear tell ob de Ku Klux, but I nebber shum (see them). I don't know
nuting 'bout no night rider.

See um sell slabe? I see um. Dey put um on banjo table and sell um just
lak chicken. Nigger ain't no more den chicken and animal, enty? (isn't
it so?)

Abraham Lincoln? Sho' I 'members him. He de one w'at gib us freedom,
enty? He come to Beaufort. He come 'fo de war. He sho been one fine man.
He come to Beaufort on uh ship and go all 'round here, but I nebber

Jefferson Davis? No I nebber hear ob him. Booker T. Washington. I
'members him. I hear him mek speech in Beaufort. It been uh beautiful
speech. Dat been one smaa't colored man.

W'at I t'ink 'bout slabery? Huh--nigger git back cut in slabery time,

Does I hate Mr. Blunt? No, I ain't hate um. He poor white trash but he
daid now. He hab he self to look out for, enty? He wuk, he sabe he money
for buy slabe and land. He git some slabe, but he nebber git any
land--de war cum.

  Project #-1655
  Mrs. Genevieve W. Chandler
  Murrells Inlet, S.C.
  Georgetown County



Aunt Mariah Heywood, born in 1855, was 'Allston labor' on Waccamaw Neck.
Given as a bridal present to 'Miss Susan Alston by her father, Mr.
Duncan Alston of Midway Plantation Waccamaw, Aunt Mariah has for the
last fifty years lived much in the past when 'I wuz raise on the cream
of the earth' and her head is just a little higher and her backbone just
a little stiffer than that of the average colored person because of
pride--family pride--in her people--her white people. And as one can
readily see from her testimony, her chief cause for her pardonable
snobbery seems to be that her Massa was the last man to surrender and
"swear gainst his swear."

Her sons, one of whom is a preacher in the Methodist Conference and 'one
a zorter--a locust' and her youngest son John (who got all the credrick)
have built her a comfortable house (painted a bilious yaller) which she
keeps clean and sweet with flowers in the front yard--two treasured
plants having been sent by her brother (born after mancipations) clean
from Pittsburgh.

The fact that she was raised by aristocrats shows plainly in her dealing
with both races and she is a leader in church activities and her opinion
valued when a vote is taken about school matters.

Being the oldest 'communion steward' she is affectionately spoken of as
'THE MOTHER OF HEAVEN'S GATE'--the Methodist church founded in Murrells
Inlet community by colored leaders shortly after Mancipation.

"Aunt Mariah, you home?"

"Missus, what you brought me?"


"I too thank you."

(Soon she began to reminisce)

"You could hear 'em over there slamming and banging. The Yankee tear up
the Dr. Flagg house but they didn't come Sunnyside. Bright day too! Old
man Thomas Stuart lead 'em to Hermitage. Had team they take from Mr.
Betts and team they take from Dr. Arthur to Woodland. Free everywhere
else and we wasn't free Sunnyside till June third or second. Sunday we
got our freedom. Bright day too. Our colored people fare just like the
white; wearing, eating, drinking. I wuz raise on the cream of earth.

"They wuz glad. Sign a contract for your boss you would work the same
and get pay the end of the year-and tend you when you sick all the
same." (The same medical attention to be given that was given before
'Freedom') "Big guns shooting! House jar to Sunnyside and one day water
shake out the glass! Miss Susan take her spyglass and stand behind one
them big posses (posts) and spy them big boats shooting. And boss say,
'Don't get in front of them posses-they might shoot you!'

"Yankee come to Mrs. Belin and Parson Betts. And they tell Mrs. Belin,
they want her to know no more slave holding and she thank 'em and she
say, HE people wuz always free! Grandma Harriet, (Harriet Mortor wuz her
title but that time they always gone by they Master title). Joe Heywood
wuz Joe Belin--he was Parson Belin man--he take the Heywood title after
mancipation. Poinsette (Uncle Fred) ALWAYS carry that title. That day,
all the right hand servant always take they Massa title. When the big
gun shooting, old people in the yard, 'Tank God! Massa, HE COMING!'
(Referring to 'Freedom') 'HE COMING!' (Guns gone just like thunders roll
now!) Chillun say, "What coming? What coming? What coming, Grandma?"

'You all will know! You all will know!'

"Massa live 'Wee ha kum' for years. We are fifty-five (55) chillun. Mary
Rutledge Allston and I one year chillun." (She and Mary R. Allston born
same year.) "My missus have four chillun--Mary Rutledge, Susan Bethune,
Marsa Pink and Marse Fanuel. (Benjamine Nathaniel!)

"Four years of the war been hold prayer-meeting." (Praying for
'freedom'). Lock me up in house. Me, I been PREsent to Miss Minna--'Miss
Mary! We, us lock up! My brother and I listen! (Two brother mancipation
chillun. Smart Robert Brockington and Harrison Franklin Brockington in
Pittsburgh. I nuss (nurse) him--jess like you hold that book.) Old
people used to go to Richmond Hill, Laurel Hill and Wachesaw have these
little prayer-meeting. All bout in people house. Hold the four year of
the war. Great many time the chicken crow for day. Hear the key. We say
'Yeddy!' Change clothes. Gone on in the house. Get that eight, seven
o'clock breakfast.'

"Parson Glennie (Rector All Saints, Waverly lived at Rectory there and
did wonderful work teaching and preaching to slaves as well as
whites--preaching at beautiful St. Mary's chapel, built by Plowden
Weston at Hagley for the slaves of materials from England--baptismal
font from this chapel now in Camden Episcopal church and stained glass
also removed before chapel burned some few years ago. At this
period--prior to mancipation Waccamaw slaves were usually educated in
the faith of their masters--the Episcopal.) Parson Glennie come once a
month to Sunnyside. Parson Glennie read, sing, pray. Tell us obey Miss
Minna. (I wuz little highest.) Two of us 55 chillun! We'd fight. She
knock me. I knock back! Wouldn't take a knock! She say, 'I tell Parson
Glennie! Lord won't bless you! You bad.' I say, 'You knock me, I knock

"Have a play-house. Charlie buy from Mott. Used to summer it at
Magnolia. Row from Bull Creek once a month to Chapel. (10 miles or
more) Put them All Saints eleven o'clock service. Four best men his
rowsmen. Fuss (first) year war we tuh Bull Creek. Nobody go (to All
Saints) but Missus and Massa and the four rowsmen.

"Flat going from Midway to Cheraw. Best rice on flat. (Couldn't grind
corn) Kill chicken. Gone to protect from Yankees--to hide! When they
come (to Cheraw). Sherman coming from MONDAY till SATDY! Come on RAIL!
Said 'twas a shocking sight! When Sherman army enter Cheraw, town full
of sojers. Take way from white people and give horses colored people!
Didn't kill none the horses. (On Sunnyside on Waccamaw) Cheraw Yankee
kill horses! (Indeed--YES! It is history in Marlboro, near Cheraw they
were killed and thrown in the wells to pollute the water.)"

"Mr. Charley horse, couldn't nobody ride but him! Father-in-law (Mr.
Duncan to Midway) had a pair of grey--BUCK and SMILER. Driver, Tom Carr.
Come in carriage every month to Sunnyside. Get the family. Go and spend
ten days--Midway! Family wuz MYSELF, MISS MINNA, and the three and the
Massa and Miss Susan. Mary Huger one my Missus sister. One marry a Huger
to Charleston.

"Major Charles say he'd die in Sunnyside yard fore he'd go there
(Georgetown) and take off his hat and 'swear gainst my swear.' He'd die
in Sunnyside yard. My Massa, Major Charles Alston, was the last one to
gone to Georgetown and gone under that flag! He was Charles Jr., but
after Confederick war he was Major Charles! Major Charles the last man
off Waccamaw gone under the flag! At Georgetown. Went down in row-boat.
My fadder gone and tell old man Tom Nesbitt to have his boat and four of
his best mens. Got to go off a piece! Pa gone. Have boat ready. Ma got
up. Cook a traveling lunch for 'em. Fore day! Blue uniform. Yellow
streak down side--just like this streak in my dress. Yellow bar!" (Most
of 'em had to rob dead yankees or go naked) "LAST GENTLEMAN GONE UNDER

"Walking up and down the piazza! Say, Can I go to town and swear gainst
my slave?" Can I? Up and down!

"I hear bout them slave try to run way. Aunt Tella Kinloch eye shot out.
Marsh (baby) cry! Mother say take her apron and stuff the child mouth.
Blockade (patrollers) wuz hiding. Shot in range of that sound. Row! Row!
Row! Put everything in jail! All in jail! Mr. McCuskey tell us! He wuz
one of the men help lynch. I got married 1873. They wuz talking bout the
time (war) "Mr. McCuskey told us Nemo Ralston was one. Say he never see
a fatter man. Fat in there in shield! Like a fattening hog! (They
running way from Oregon--Dr. McGill place). Say they put four horses to
him--one to every limb. Stretch 'em. And cut horses and each horse carry
a piece! Mr. McCuskey was one help lynch Nemo.

"Uncle William Heywood didn't birth till after mancipation. Not a thing
to do with slavery time! But I know when the big gun shooting to free
me! Yankee come and free Waccamaw! No slave hold. Whole neck free but
us! Last people free on 'Neck.' MY MAJOR last one to went under flag to
Georgetown! Old man Moses Gibson and Peter Brockington build Sunnyside

"I wuz birth November 5th, 1855. Mr. Buck say, 'Aunt Mariah, know your

"'Yes, sir!'

"'Aunt Mariah, you too old to work! You born 1800, go on home raise your

  Aunt Mariah Heywood
  Murrells Inlet, S.C.

  Project 1885-1
  Spartanburg, S.C.
  May 10, 1937

  Edited by:
  Elmer Turnage


Living with his married daughter is an old negro slave by the name of
Jerry Hill. He was born Jan. 12, 1852. He and his mother were owned by
Jim Fernandes who had a plantation between Union and Jonesville, S.C.
His father was a slave owned by another white man on an adjoining
plantation. "Uncle" Jerry was nine years old when the war began, and
thirteen when he was set free. He was born near Rocky Creek which ran
into Fairforest Creek. He was always treated kindly by his master. He
was taught to plow and work on the farm, which he did regularly; though
he always took his time and would not let anybody hurry him. He said
that he had always taken his time to do his farm work, so got along fine
with all for whom he worked. He says that he always had plenty to eat;
yet most of the "niggers" had to eat Ash-bread. This is corn-bread which
is cooked in hot ashes raked from the fireplace. Once a week he was
given biscuits, though this was a luxury to colored folks. He said, that
when a slave had to have a whipping, he was taken to a whipping post in
Jonesville. A bull-whip was used for the punishment and it brought the
blood from the bare back of the man or woman being whipped. One day a
grown slave was given 150 lashes with the bull-whip, for teaching the
young boys to gamble. He saw this punishment administered. He had
climbed a tree where he could get a better view. He said that several
slaves were being whipped that day for various things, and there were
several men standing around watching the whipping. He said that he was
laughing at the victim, when some by-stander looked up and saw him;
"that boy needs 150 lashes, too," he said. "He is laughing at the
punishment being given." So his master told the by-stander to get the
boy and give him the lashing if he thought he needed it. When he was led
up to the whipping post, some man there shook his head at the
by-stander; so the boy did not get whipped. Jerry says that the sister
of Jim Fernandas used to carry a bull-whip around her neck when she
walked out on the farm, and would apply it herself to any slave she
thought needed it.

"When the Yankee soldiers came," he said, "my master had to hide out for
awhile, as he had gotten into some trouble with them at Union. They
would search the house occasionaly and then go into the woods looking
for him. One day the soldiers caught him down on the branch and killed
him. As the Yankee soldiers would come to the plantation, they would
leave their worn-out horses and take our good ones. They also stole
meat, hams, sugar etc.; but they were pretty quiet most of the time. One
of our neighbors caught a Yankee stealing his horse and killed him right
there. His name was Bill Isom. All his family is now dead. The soldiers
would slip around and steal a good horse and ride it off. We would never
see that horse again. After we were told by my master that we were now
free and could go to work whereever we chose, my mother hired me out to
a man and I stayed with him two years. It was pretty hard to make a
living after we were free, but I worked hard and always got on."

  =Source:= Jerry Hill, 265 Highland St., Spartanburg, S.C. Interviewed
          by: F.S. DuPre, Spartanburg Office, Dist. 4.

  Project #-1655
  Martha S. Pinckney
  Charleston, S.C.



  AGE 97

Jane was found in the sunshine on her piazza, busily occupied, as she
always would be. With her full cotton skirt she brushed off the
hard-wood bench, and asked the writer to have a seat; this being
declined, she said,

"Then I'll sit, because I'm old and get tired.

"Now what you want with old Jane? From old Mausa time you can get my
age--you can 'pute it up. (compute) I was 95 June before this last June
gone. I got a son 70 what lives in the country--he pay my rent. I dunno
how many children I had; my son July Ladson lives here with me--he gone
out now. One son is gone off somewhere in the world; he's married and
has a family--I dunno where he is--somewhere in the world!"--spreading,
out her arms.

"I come from Eutawville and Belvidere and Belmont. My Master?--Charles
Sinkler, Belvidere Plantation, (a few miles from Eutawville) Mausa went
to Eutaw for Miss--I remember all two place, Belvidere and Eutaw. We
live at Belvidere. My master house been beautiful--'e dey yet! (in her
deep feeling and excitement she lapsed into Gullah). That was the
plantation where we lived--and, the beautiful steps went up at the back
to the 'pantry and to the side was the smoke house', she jumped up and
illustrated--'the smoke come up from here, and the meat was hangin' all
here', she showed vital interest in everything she told, and was
absorbed in her subject, as when we relate experiences which we have

"You know what 'Daily Gift'?--I was Daily Gift--Mausa give me to Miss
Margaret, his daughter, when she was married to Mr. Gaillard--I give to
Miss Margaret--=I never was sold=." She repeated twice, and was very proud
of it that she was a "Free Gift". "I never was sold, =and my Mama never
was sold=." (Faithful servants remained for generations in one family,
inherited and willed like other valued property)

"What I do?--I milk cows", and she illustrated. "I do outside work wid
de hoe--plant corn, potato, peas, rice!" She beamed with pride and
pleasure as she told of each thing she could do--"Help fix the hogs, you
know, make lard and cracklings to put in bread. When dinner time they
blow the big conk and everybody come for dinner. I not the cook. The
cook, Delia, stout round, (illustrated) she do cook! We jus' make out
now with dese vittles.

"We went to church all de time--an' I sing an' shout in de Heavenly
land! De church been on de plantation. Mausa had a white minister for
us. His name Mr. Quinbey. I believe in God. Heaven a restin'
place--there we is all one spirit--the spirit go about jus' how we go
about here."

"Do they come back? Did you ever see one?" she was asked.

"I hear 'bout dat," she frowned, "but I never see um. My mama, Eve, died
after freedom. My mama gone--she never come back--my children never come
back to me any time. I dont know how many of my children dead. My
daughters, dey lookin' to themselves."

"I come to Charleston long after Freedom. I remember all two
place--Belvidere and Eutawville. Belmont I cant forget--de name Gaillard
I cant forget, cause I was 'Free Gift.' Dese time aint like de times way
back dere."

"I been a mid-wife here 60 years. My name writ right down dere and you
can find it. No longer than this mornin' I burn up some papers. I aint
have any remembrance any more." Here she went in to the house and got
some sheets of paper.--"I want to be truthful to you, dese was my
nursery book."

"I'm too old to sing.--I did know spirituals but cant remember them--I
tell you dese things, then they go out of my remembering."

"My sister been seamstress in de house--her name Rachel--I do de
pointing I can work at anything--after supper, before dark come, do
cutting out for next days work."

"I cut out a suit for my master," she said proudly--"pants, and a
waistcoat--you know?" Then she remembered suddenly that she could
spin--card the cotton and spin it into yarn--"'I glad I can remember
things I do in those days--.'"

Her farewell benediction was: ="I trust de Lord will carry you whereever
you want to go!"=

  =Source:= Jane Hollins, age 97, the Lane at 50 Ashe St, Charleston, S.C.

  Project #1655
  W. W. Dixon
  Winnsboro, S.C.


Cornelius Holmes lives with his wife, Nancy, in a two-room annex to the
house that his son, David, occupies. It is on the old Harden place, nine
miles northwest of Winnsboro, S.C. The land and the house belong to Mr.
John Means Harden, a resident of Winnsboro. Cornelius is intelligent,
courteous in manner, tidy in appearance, and polite. His occupation is
that of basket-making, in which he is an adept. He picks up a little
money by repairing chairs and putting split-bottoms in them.

"I was born in de town of Edgefield, South Carolina, November 29th,
1855, 'cordin' to de Bible, and was a slave of Marse Preston Brooks. Dat
name seem to make you set up and take notice of me.

"How come I a slave of Marse Preston? Well, it was dis way. My grands
b'long to de Means family of Fairfield County, 'round old Buckhead
section. My grandpap, Wash, tell me Marse Preston come dere visitin' de
Harpers, 'nother buckra family dat live further toward de Broad River
side of de county. When he git up dere, it come over his 'membrance dat
de Meanses was some punkins too, as well as him and de Harpers. Maybe he
done heard 'bout Miss Martha, how her could ride a horse and dance a
cotillion in Columbia, when Marse John Hugh was de governor. Well, de
part goes, he comes over dere but didn't do lak they does now, bust
right in and 'clare his 'fections to de gal. Him fust, solemn lak, ask
to see de marster and ask him if he object to him pursuing Miss Martha,
in de light of becomin' his son-in-law? Then, when dat was settled,
Marse Preston and Miss Martha gallop and race all 'round de country but
de hosses was always neck and neck. Dat fall, dat race ended in a tie.
Dat what Grandpap Wash tell me.

"After they marry, my mother, Scylla, was give to Miss Martha and
'company her to Edgefield. Dere she marry de carriage driver, Hillard,
who was my pappy. I was born in a room 'joinin' de kitchen and a part of
de big kitchen. De plantation was out in de country. I never was dere,
so I can't tell you nothin' 'bout dat. De fact is, I was just a small
boy and most I know, comes from mother and grandpap. They 'low Marse
Preston was in Washington most of de time. One day he marched right in
de Senate, wid his gold head cane, and beat a Senator 'til him fainted,
'bout sumpin' dat Senator say 'bout him old kinsman, Senator Butler. Dat
turn de world up side down. Talk 'bout 'peachin' Marse Preston. Marse
Preston resign and come home. De town of Edgefield, de county of
Edgefield, de state of South Carolina, and Miss Martha, rise to
vindicate Marse Preston and 'lect him back to Washington.

"Marse Preston go back and stay dere 'til he die, in 1859. His body was
brought back to Edgefield. De nex' year de war come on. I's too young to
'member much 'bout it but my pappy die while it was goin' on. Him have
three chillun by mother: Me, Audie, and Nancy. They is dead now but I
'members them crawlin' 'round on de plank floor in de winter time and in
de sand in de summer time.

"I never worked in slavery time. Us eat from de dairy and de kitchen,
just what mistress and her chillun eat. One thing I lak then was
'matoes. They wasn't big 'matoes lak they is now. They was 'bout de size
of marbles. Us cooked them wid sugar and they was mighty good dat way.

"My mistress had chillun by Marse Preston. Sho' I recollect them. Dere
was Preston; de last I hear of him, him livin' in Tennessee. Then dere
was Miss Mary; her marry Mr. George Addison of Edgefield. Miss Carrie;
her marry Marse Capers Byrd. De youngest, Miss Martha, marry Col. McBee
of Greenville, S.C.

"Does I 'members 'bout de Yankees? Not much. I 'members more 'bout
Wheeler's men. They come and take nearly everything, wid de excuse dat
de Yankees was not far behind and when they come, they would take all,
so they just as well take most of what was in sight.

"When freedom come, my pappy was dead. Mother brought me back to
Fairfield County and give me to my grandpap, Washington Holmes. Us live
on 'Possum Branch; now own by Mr. Jim Young. I stay dere 'til I 'come
twenty-one. Then I marry Maggie Gladden, 'cause I love her. Us had four
chillun, in de twenty years her live. Henry is in Philadephia. David, de
oldest, is fifty years old, livin' out in de county from Winnsboro. Lula
died, unmarried. Carrie lives here, in Winnsboro; her husband is Arthur
Rosboro, dat you white folks all know so well. When Maggie die, I marry
Nancy Holmes, a widow. Us have had no chillun.

"Now you is finished wid me and you wants me to relax, you say, and talk
to you freely 'bout de past and slavery, de present and social
conditions, and de risin' generation and de future? Well, dat is a heap
of territory. Now let's think. You see I got a heap a white blood in me,
and a heap of de Negro too. Slavery did de white race a whole lot a good
but it wasn't lastin' good. It did de Negro good, dat will be lastin'
good forever. De Negro women protected de pure white woman from
enticement and seduction of de white man in slavery time. My grandpap
say he never heard of a bad white woman befo' freedom. I leave it wid
you if dere's any dese times? Dat was worth more to de South, my
grandpap say, dis santification of de white women, than all de cotton
and corn dat de Negroes ever makes, in all de years of slavery times.

"Now it was de finest thing could have happen for de Negro, to have been
snatched out of Africa and brought here in touch wid civilization and
Christianity. It will work out untold benefit to de race. 'Bout social
conditions? De Bible say, 'De poor you will have wid you always.' Tho'
de slave question am settled, de race question will be wid us always,
'til Jesus come de second time. It's in our politics, in our justice
courts, on our highways, on our side walks, in our manners, in our
'ligion, and in our thoughts, all de day and every day.

"De good Marster pity both sides. In de end, will it be settle by hate
or by de policy of, love your neighbor, as you do yourself? Who knows?
Dere's not much promise at de 'mediate moment of de risin' generation,
of either side, and I means no disrespect to you. My grandpap say no
race can rise higher than its women. De future of de Negro race, depends
on its mothers. I leave you to answer de last half of de question."

  Project #-1655
  Mrs. Genevieve W. Chandler
  Murrells Inlet, S.C.
  Georgetown County



(Uncle Ben lives in his own cabin with his second wife, Stella. Formerly
almost inaccessible, the new Coastal Highway has put Uncle Ben and Aunt
Stella in the world. The rural electricity program has current right at
their door. Aunt Stella was asked 'Why don't you have lights, Aunt
Stella?' and she replied, 'White folks run me if I do that!' So you see
the old couple still live with many old and odd beliefs one being that
the white man only is entitled to the good things--the better things.
Like most old ex-slaves in South Carolina low country, they love and
revere the names and memories of their old masters.)

"Right now, I oldest one from Longwood to Prospect--see dere? (Pointing
to forest wall--great pines and live-oaks in front of the cabin)--Look!
I know when he cleared and plant! Josh Ward have potato there. I have
manure and plant tater. I been here, daughter!" (He pronounces it
'Dater' with a short 'a')

(Aside: "Stella, mind now! Don't quarrel me to-night! What you do?"

Aunt Stella: The second wife--some years his junior--probably 65--"I do

"Got to go up there and cook supper to the Schoolfield house." (This was
Uncle Ben's announcement as he crawled into the car with a bucket in
which were his shoes. He was walking down the Coastal Highway and not
staying where he belonged--on the shoulder!) "Got to cook crab and
ister (oyster). Ain't got much to cook. They don't eat much. Got a gal
there to fry fish. They give me recommend for cook. Been get the sea
foods for 'em for five year. Iron oven the way we raise." (Aside to his
wife) "Stella, if that man come there, see that sack there? Tell that
man I put fire there. Gie 'em fork and knife. Tell 'em eat all he want!"
(Uncle Ben arranges oyster roasts.)

"That man to Schoolfield house want me to stay and sleep wid 'em. All
women gone. Tell me keep the man and lock up the house when he gone. I
tell 'em too much o' tief!"

     Lillie: "Aunt Stella, ain't you fraid when Uncle Ben stay out all

     Uncle Ben: "Stella keep pot o' water boil and tief come she trow

     Visitor: "Uncle Ben tell Lillie bout your father and the whiskey

Uncle Ben: "You see, to Brookgreen we nuster plant rice and my fadder
had the barn key. He kinder boss man. He nuster (used to) take me and go
out woods night time." (Aside to mother of child at pump--"Take care dat

"Fadder take me out woods night time (What you say, Primus?) and I hold
storch (torch) for him see for trash (thrash) out rice what he take out
the barn. Rice been money dem time you know. And he take he rice and
gone on down to town for get he liquor. And he come from town wid
whiskey. Boss find it out. Five or six chillun and always give us
rations. Broke that jug and when they call his name (put rations in pile
you know--pile for every one been in fambly) when they call my fadder
name but a piece o' broken jug there is discourage him from whiskey--.
He come from town and been drop the jug and it break up. And Boss know.
Far as I can remember he keep give 'em that broken jug bout a year. You
see he sponsible for key. Seem like I member right where we go beat that
rice. Pine tree saw off and chip out make as good a mortar as that one I
got. Dan'l, Summer, Define! Define the oldest brother my fadder have.
Young Missus Bess, Florence, Georgia, Alice. Those boys the
musicianer--go round play for the girl."

Aunt Stella: Interrupting, "You orter be carry money with you. Get the
meat. I ain't going no whey (where)."

     Lillie: To Primus who has walked up. "Handful back yet?" (Handful
     his wife's basket name.)

     Primus: "No. This man bacco barn burn up."

     Lillie: "What?"

     Primus: "Mr. Len barn. Must'er been asleep!"

     Lillie: "Rich most cure all his'n. Taint mine! Rich tease me. He
     say, 'MY bacco; YOUR kitchen!'"

     Lillie: "What you all think bout that tale the Elder tell Sunday
     bout his Great Uncle and the snakes!"

     Stella: (To Uncle Ben) "What you tink bout it? You tink a man truss
     to go in cypress hollow wid rattle-snake?"

     Uncle Ben: "Let me see how was it!" (Deep thought as he rubbed his
     face in his palm; smile as recollection came) "On Rutledge
     Plantation a man wouldn't take no beating. Found a large hollow
     cypress tree been rotten out long years. Gone in. Lie down sleep.
     Fore day wake up! Feel something crawl over him. Nother one crow
     like game chicken!" (Negroes all say rattlers crow!) "Smell him.
     Crawl over him. Crawl out. Get out."

     Stella: "Revents had it wuz a man in a cypress tree and seven--how
     much wuz it? Twelve? These twelve monster snake crawl over him. If
     you move, he strike."

     Uncle Ben: "Right there where Dr. Ward stay had a big old
     stable--see these two hole in my jaw. Had a stable high as that
     tree. Big Jersey bull gone in there eating that straw like we
     thrashing. Big rattle-snake pop 'um. Fell dead."

"How does we mark shoat? Under-bit; upper-bit. Swallow fork in the right
year! And a square crop in the left!

"How much been task? A quarter (acre) if you mashing ground. Ten compass
digging ground. Cutting rice one half acre a day." (awful job.)

     Stella: "Plow; harrow 'em."

     Ben: "Ain't you mash 'em?"

     Stella: "Mash a bed a day three task deep."

     Ben: "Mashing raw ground half acre--some quarter. Mash 'em--take
     hoe full up them hole, level dem, chop dem big sod!"

     Stella: (age 65) "You got a mis-sheen (machine). Ox pull dat

     Ben: "Dat mis-sheen come in YOU day, darling! My day I trenching
     hoe trench dat! I done dat, Stella. You come on sow in trench lak
     (like) dey sow turnip. YOU day got mis-sheen! Ox pull 'em. Great I
     AM! Missus, fifteen to old islant (island), twenty silver islant,
     (I been Silver Islant. Cross old islant go Silver islant.) Josh
     Ward one some four or five hundred acre. Something been here,
     darling! Something been here! Left Brookgreen go Watsaw; left
     Watsaw gone Longwood. Plant ALL DEM plantation. I work there. Cut
     rice there. Cutting rice task been half acre a day.

     "Squirrel creek? Cedar tree and cypress hang low. Squirrel love dem
     ball. Tree work up wid dem. Good place for go shoot squirrel. Give
     'em name Squirrel Creek.

     "Bury live? I did hear some talk o' that. I didn't know whether
     they bury 'em to scay 'em (scare 'em) or what. I DID hear tell bout
     it. I most know that man name. Some these white people that day
     something! They either manage you or kill you."

     Lillie: (To Primus who was a listener to Uncle Ben standing propped
     by a post of the porch where Uncle Ben, Aunt Stella, and the white
     visitor sat)

     "Prime! Why you keep that church door lock Sunday and not let the
     Missus out?"

     Primus: (Grinning--and he hadn't grinned Sunday but steadfastly
     shook his head when, after a three hour service, guests thought it
     time to go) "Second man next to me, Asham, Secretary, tell me keep
     door shet through sacrament.

     Ben: (Who is quite deaf--ignoring interruption--when asked about
     Oregon Plantation which was owned by a family who, from all
     accounts, had a cruel overseer.)

"I didn't have to much to do to Oregon in them dark days. If I go from
Brookgreen, I go Cap'n Josh git my mittment. Anybody bother me I say, 'I
not a run-way nigger! I got mittment!'

"Very FUSS girl--FUSS one I go with name wuz Teena. How many girl? Great
God! I tell you! FUSS one Teena; next Candis. Candis best looking but
Teena duh largest! Go there every Sunday after school. (Oatland
Plantation--blong to Marse Benjamine Allston.) Stay till sunset. Got to
have paper. Got to carry you paper. Dem patroller put you cross a log!
Beat you to death. I see them beat Ben Sharp. Beat 'em till Ben kin
hardly git cross fence. Jump over fence give 'em last chop! Patroll jess
like road men now! (Stella! That man ain't coming! I got to go! Got to
cook my supper. Cook dem crab--) Blood! Christ! Yes, man. Listen me.
Lemme tell you what I see wid my eye now! (here he pried both eyes wide
with his ten fingers) If I much of age reckon they have to kill me! I
see gash SO LONG (measuring on fore-finger) in my Mama--my own Mama!
(aside to Lillie) I shame fore Miss Jinny! If one them driver want you
(want big frame gal like you Lillie!) they give you task you CAN'T DO.
You getting this beating not for you task--for you flesh!"

Lillie: "That why nation get mix up so!" (Races)

     Ben: "Susan wuz a house woman, to buckra woman like a you to Miss
     Jin. (Susan worked in the house--no field hand--like Lillie works
     for Miss Jin) To my knowing she had three white chillun. Not WANT
     'em. HAB 'em. Boy (you know 'em Lill) near bout clean as them boy
     of Missus! Tief chillun show up so! Woman over-power! My mother
     nuss (nurse.) Get up so high--natural nuss for white people.

"Place they call duh 'Bull Pen.' In 'Bull Pen' thing they call 'PONY'.
Got to go on there--on the 'PONY.'

Lillie: "RIDE you on it, Uncle Ben?"

Ben: "Ain't going ride you on 'PONY'; going RIDE YOU! I stay there look
wid DESE HERE (eyes)! Want you to know one thing--MY OWN DADDY DERE
couldn't move! Couldn't venture dat ober-sheer! (Colored overseer)
Everybody can't go to boss folks! (Meaning only house servants could
contact Missus and Massa). Some kin talk it to Miss Bess. Everybody
don't see Miss Bess. Kin see the blood of dat ober-sheer fuss year atter
Freedom; and he blood there today! Atter Freedom mens come from French
Broad and you know the colored people--we go there whey (where) they
music. Agrippa--daddy name Parrish--Redmond one he child outside.
(Outside chillun are those not born to a man's legal wife) He say, to
gal, 'Go that barn!' YOU GO. You could yeddy him SLAP cross dat creek!
When fowl crow (daylight) and you yeddy him SQUALL, you best git to
flat! I stand dere and my Daddy HAVE to stand dere and see! Josh Ward
from French Broad--hundred mile away. (Boss Massa 'summering it' in
mountains) and negro over seer--just fresh out of Africa TURNED LOOSE.
White obersheer a little different for one reason! White obersheer want
to hold his job. (On Waccamaw--and same true of all south as all
know--white overseers worst kind of 'White trash'--respected less by
negroes than by whites) Nigger obersheer don't care too much. He know he
going stay on plantation anyhow.

"Now, dater, I tell you bout the loom and weaving next time!"

  And we left Uncle Ben Horry--age 87
    Murrells Inlet, S.C.
    August 1937.

to go on 'to the Schoolfield house and cook supper for a house-party.
This week he stepped up to Con-o-way. Says he had to walk it twice a
week--formed the habit when he was on old river Steamer Burroughs and
had to walk up to Conway Monday and back home Saturday. About thirty
miles (or more from his place) to Conway. At 87 he still takes this
little exercise almost weekly. Having such a struggle holding on to his
land. All the lawyers saying 'sign here' and trying to rob him! Poor
Uncle Ben needs desperately a Massa to help him out with his land. Not
many Uncle Ben's left to be robbed--

(told that the cruel negro overseer was shot down after Freedom--blood
still on ground (according to Uncle Ben) because he led Yankees to where
silver, etc., was buried. Have heard story from other old livers.)

  Project # 2570
  Mrs. Genevieve W. Chandler,
  Murrell's Inlet, S.C.
  Georgetown county.

  Ex Slave Story.


Uncle Ben and his wife, aunt Stella, live in their two-room,
white-washed cabin that sits sideways to the King's Highway, which Uncle
Ben always calls 'the King Road,' near Murell's Inlet, S.C. Paving and
straightening this old King's Road, now US 17, has put the two old
people in the world. Around the cabin lie the fourteen and three quarter
acres that were paid for by Uncle Ben and his father, six or eight acres
cleared, the rest woodland. Uncle Ben earns a living by gathering
oysters from the Inlet's waters, opening and roasting the oysters for
white visitors. Uncle Ben is a great walker. He walks to Conway, the
county seat of Horry (Murrell's Inlet is situated on the line between
Horry and Georgetown counties), a distance of approximately thirty miles
depending on whether one sticks to the paved highway or takes short cuts
through the woods, in preference to riding. One day he had walked to
Conway and back by eleven o'clock in the morning. Uncle Ben's scrappy
conversation will tell how he earns his bread, fears and fights 'the
Law', provides for Stella's future, and works for and honors white
folks. Brookgreen, which he mentions as the plantation on which he was
born and raised, is an open-air museum, donated to South Carolina by
A.M. Huntingdon, and visited by thousands of tourists. (=See US17, Tour

"I the oldest liver left on Waccamaw Neck that belong to Brookgreen,
Prospect, (now Arcadia), Longwood, Alderly Plantations. I been here! I
seen things! I tell you. Thousand of them things happen but I try to
forget 'em. Looker!" He pointed to what appeared to be primeval forest
in front of his battered little porch. "That woods you see been Colonel
Josh Ward's taters patch. Right to Brookgreen Plantation where I born.
My father Duffine (Divine) Horry and my brother is Richard Horry. Dan'l
and Summer two both my uncle. You can put it down they were Colonel
Ward's musicianer. Make music for his dater (daughter) and the white
folks to dance. Great fiddlers, drummers. Each one could play fiddle,
beat drum, blow fife. All three were treat with the same education. You
know, when you going to do anything for them big people you got to do it
right. Before time (formerly) they danced different. Before strange city
people fetched different steps here. But, then, they could use they feet
all right!

"My father fore he dead been the head man for old Colonel Josh Ward.
Lived to Brookgreen. They say Colonel Ward the biggest rice man been on
Waccamaw. He start that big gold rice in the country. He the head rice
Cap'n in dem time. My father the head man, he tote the barn key. Rice
been money dem day and time. My father love he liquor. That take money.
He ain't have money but he have the rice barn key and =rice= been money!
So my father gone in woods (he have a head, my father!), take a old
stump, have 'em hollow out. Now he (the stump) same as mortar to the
barn yard. And my father keep a pestle hide handy. Hide =two= pestle! Them
pestle make outer heart pine. When that pestle been miss (missed), I
wuzn't know nothing! The way I knows my age, when the slavery time war
come I been old enough to go in the woods with my father and hold a
lightard (lightwood) torch for him to see to pestle off that golden rice
he been tote out the barn and hide. =That= rice he been take to town
Sat'd'y when the Colonel and my father go to get provision like sugar,
coffee, pepper and salt. With the money he get when he sell that rice,
he buy liquor. He been hide that sack o' rice fore day clean (daylight)
in the prow of the boat and cover with a thing like an old coat. I
members one day when he come back from town he make a miss (step) when
he onloading and fell and broke he jug! The Big Boss see; he smell; and
he see WHY my father make that miss step; he already sample that liquor!
But the Boss ain't say too much. Sat'd'y time come to ration off. Every
head on the Plantation to Brookgreen line up at smoke-house to draw he
share of meat and rice and grits and meal. (This was fore my father been
pint (appointed) head man. This when they had a tight colored man in
that place by name Fraser. They say Fraser come straight from Africa).
Well, Sat'd'y when time come to give my father he share of rations, the
headman reach down in the corner and pull out a piece of that broke
whiskey jug and put on top my father rations where all could see!
Colonel Ward cause that to be done to broke him off from that whiskey
jug. My father was a steady liquor man till then and the Boss broke him

"Slavery going in. I members Marse Josh and Miss Bess had come from
French Broad (Springs) where they summered it. They brought a great deal
of this cloth they call blue drilling to make a suit for every boy big
enough to wear a suit of clothes and a pair of shoes for every one. I
thought =that= the happiest 'set up' I had in boyhood. Blue drilling pants
and coat and shoe. And Sund'y come we have to go to the Big House for
Marse Josh to see how the clothes fit. And him and Miss Bess make us run
races to see who run the fastest. That the happiest time I members when
I wuz a boy to Brookgreen.

"Two Yankee gun boats come up Waccamaw river! Come by us Plantation. One
stop to Sandy Island, Montarena landing. One gone Watsaw (Wachesaw
landing). Old Marse Josh and all the white buckra gone to Marlboro
county to hide from Yankee. Gon up Waccamaw river and up Pee Dee river,
to Marlboro county, in a boat by name Pilot Boy. Take Colonel Ward and
all the Cap'n to hide from gun boat till peace declare. I think Pilot
Boy been a rear-wheeler. Most boats like the Old Planter been side

"They say the Yankee broke in all the rice barn on Sandy Island and
share the rice out to colored people. The big mill to Laurel Hill been
burn right den. That the biggest rice mill on Waccamaw river. Twuzn't
the Yankee burn dem mill. Dese white mens have a idea the Yankee mean to
burn dese mill so they set 'em afire before the Yankee come. Nothing
left to Laurel Hill today but the rice mill tower. That old brick tower
going to BE there. Fire can't harm 'em.

"The worst thing I members was the colored oberseer. He was the one
straight from Africa. He the boss over all the mens and womens and if
omans don't do all he say, he lay task on 'em they ain't able to do. My
mother won't do all he say. When he say, 'You go barn and stay till I
come,' she ain't do dem. So he have it in for my mother and lay task on
'em she ain't able for do. Then for punishment my mother is take to the
barn and strapped down on thing called the Pony. Hands spread like this
and strapped to the floor and all two both she feet been tie like this.
And she been give twenty five to fifty lashes till the blood flow. And
my father and me stand right there and look and ain't able to lift a
hand! Blood on floor in that rice barn when barn tear down by Huntingdon
(A.M. Huntingdon). If Marse Josh been know 'bout that obersheer, the
oberseer can't do 'em; but just the house servant get Marse Josh' and
Miss Bess' ear. Them things different when my father been make the head
man. What I tell you happen fore Freedom, when I just can remember.

"Father dead just before my mother. They stayed right to Brookgreen
Plantation and dead there after they free. And all they chillun do the
same, till the Old Colonel sell the plantation out. Where we going to?
Ain't we got house and rations there?

"How many chillun I got? Lemme see. Lemme see how many head of chillun.
You, Stella! Help me now! Don't let me tell the Missis wrong. Charles
Henry, thirty eight, dere in New York. Ben Horry--I gie' 'em directly!"
(Lifting cap and scratching high forehead and gray wool). "Twenty four.
I going to give you all I got! All I know about! Bill Horry, that's a
boy, he twenty. Dinah, that's a gal, twenty five. Christine, she bout
twenty. Mary Horry, I would say fifteen. When the last war come, the
last war deputize them boy and take 'em way up North and the gals
follow, trail 'em on to New York. That the war when you can't get no
sugar and have to put candy in your coffee.

"How old I is?" Slowly and deliberately "December 13th., 1852. Eighty
five years or more. When my mother dead to Brookgreen I would say I
'bout thirty three year old.

"After Freedom, from my behavior wid my former owner, I wuz pinted
(appointed) head man on Brookgreen Plantation. By that put drop in my
hand (getting the drop on others). When kennel been dug out (canal dug)
from the Oaks Plantation to Dr. Wardie Flagg house, I wuz pint
(appointed) head man. Take that down, Missis. Kennel (canal) cut 1877.
Near as I kin, I must task it on the kennel (canal) and turn in every
man's work to Big Boss. That kennel (canal) bigger than one Mr.
Huntingdon dig right now with machine.

"Missus, slavery time people done something."

Uncle Gabe Lance, born on Sandy Island the first year of the Civil War,
a visitor at Uncle Ben's: "Yes sir. All them rice field been nothing but
swamp. Slavery people cut kennel (canal) and dig ditch through the raw
swamp. All these fields been thick woods. Ditching man task was ten

Uncle Ben continues:

"Storm? Ain't I tell you I BEEN here? Yes, sir. More than one storm I
live through! Been through the Flagg storm. Been turn over twice outside
there in the sea. One time been have the seine. Been rough. Have
weather. And the breakers take the boat. I swim till I get the rope
hold. Two men on the shore have the rope end of the seine rope and I
hold to that and that how I save THAT time.

"Member another time. Had a boat full of people this last go 'round. Wuz
Miss Mary, he aunty and the lawyer. I take them fishing outside in
oshun. Been in the Inlet mouth. Come half way to Drunken Jack Island.
Breaker start to lick in the boat! I start to bail! Have a maters
(tomatoes) can for bail with. And that been danjus (dangerous); have too
much women in there; dey couldn't swim like a man. And it happen by
accident, when the boat swamp and full with water, our FEET TOUCH
BOTTOM. When he (the boat) turn over, I didn't aim to do no thing but
swim for myself. Wasn't able to help nobody. But here out feet touch
bottom. Only an accident from God!

"One time again I swamp outside, 'tween Georgetown and Charleston. Try
to bail. Swim with one hand, hold boat with the other. Roughest time I
ever see 'cause it been cold wedder (weather). Old before-time yawl
boat, carry eight oar, four to each side. Young man then; 1877. After
the wedder (weather) surrender, we we gone back in dere and find cork
going up and down and save us net and all!

"When the Flagg storm been, 1893, I working for Ravanel and Holmes. I
was taken up in that storm in a steamer boat. Leave Charleston
generally about five in morning. That trip never reach Georgetown till
nine that night. Meet a man on that trip got he wife hug to mast in a
little kinder life boat. Had he two chillun; rope wrap 'em to that mast.
Save man and wife and chillun and gone back and save he trunk. After
that they quit call me 'Ben'; they call me 'Rooster'.

"After Flagg storm, Colonel Ward take me and Peter Carr, us two and ah
horse, take that shore (follow the ocean shore line) to Little River.
Search for all them what been drowned. Find a trunk to Myrtle Beach.
Have all kinder thing in 'em; comb for you hair, thing you put on you
wrist. Find dead horse, cow, ox, turkey, fowl--everything. Gracious God!
Don't want to see no more thing like that! But no dead body find on
beach outside Flagg family. Find two of them chillun way down to Dick
Pond what drownded to Magnolia Beach; find them in a distance apart from
here to that house. Couldn't 'dentify wedder Miss or who. All that
family drown out because they wouldn't go to this lady house on higher
ground. Wouldn't let none of the rest go. Servant all drown! Betsy, Kit,
Mom Adele! Couldn't 'dentify who lost from who save till next morning.
Find old Doctor body by he vest stick out of the mud; fetch Doctor body
to shore and he watch still aticking. Dr. Wardie Flagg been save hanging
to a beach cedar. When that tornado come, my house wash down off he
blocks. Didn't broke up.

"Religion! Reckon Stella got the morest of dat. I sometimes a little
quick. Stella, she holds one course. I like good song. One I like best?"

  'Try us, Oh Lord,
  And search the ground
  Of every sinful heart! (Uncle Ben stopped to think).
  What 'eer of sin
  In us be found
  Oh, bid it all depart!'

"Reason I choose that for a favorite hymn, I was to Brookgreen doing
some work for Dr. Wardie Flagg and I had to climb as high as that live
oak tree, and I fell high as that tree! I lay there till I doze off in
sleep. And I tell you what happen to me curious. While I was sleep I
seen two milk white chickens. You know what them two white fowl do? They
gone and sit on my mother dresser right before the glass and sing that
song. Them COULD sing! And it seem like a woman open a vial and pour
something on me. My spiritual mother (in dem day every member in the
church have what they call a spiritual mother) say, 'That not natural
fowl. That sent you for a token.' Since that time I serve the choir five
or six years and no song seem strange to me since that day. God ain't ax
about you color; God ax about you heart.

"Make my living with the ister (oyster). Before time (formerly) I get
seventy five cents a bushel; now I satisfy with fifty cents. Tide going
out, I go out in a boat with the tide; tide bring me in with sometimes
ten, sometimes fifteen or twenty bushels. I make white folks a roast;
white folks come to Uncle Ben from all over the country--Florence,
Dillon, Mullins--every kind of place. Same price roast or raw, fifty
cents a bushel.

"I bout to quit up with sell. All the lawyer. Turn all my papers over to
Mr. Burris. I got too much of paper in that Con-o-way. Court House. Got
more paper in there than the house worth! Have to step to Con-o-way all
the time. Struggle and starve myself out for these fifteen acres. Thirty
miles to Con-o-way. Thirty miles back by the course I travels. All them
tricky mens try to go and get old Ben's land sign to 'em. That's the
mainest thing take me to Con-o-way every week. They all talk so sugar
mouth till my name down; then when my name write is another thing. When
I in too much trouble, I just has to step up to Con-o-way and see Mr.
Burris. He's a good man.

"They try to mix old Ben up in this whiskey business. It look too
brutish to me.

"Missis, I want to tell you all I kin but the old man punish with this
bone felom (felon). Worse'n I ever been punish in all my eighty five
year. Crab bite 'em and ister (oyster) cut 'em (hand). Woman die and
bury Sunday have hand just like this. If you say so, I'll go to doctor.
Don't want no blood poison. He (bone felon) did act like he trying to
dry up. I tie pea leaf on 'em. Can't put my hand to my head."

The next day Uncle Ben was found with the doctor's white bandage very
muddy. Uncle Ben had gotten out of bed to go get oysters and even the
bone felon did not stop him. Uncle Ben is still hale and hearty, having
triumphed over the bone felon, and is one of the noted characters of
that region.

  Project #-1655
  Mrs. Genevieve W. Chandler
  Murrells Inlet, S.C.
  Georgetown County


  Uncle Ben Horry (Reb's time nigger--over 80)
  (Uncle Ben and visitors)

Uncle Ben: (To white children) "Go on see if you can find one or two
plum on duh tree. I been want to go to town wid you--dat all right
daughter. (He pronounces it Dater--long Italian 'A') Chillun, ain't find
duh plum, enty? Dem Sandy Island people come and clean the tree. Too
sorry wonneh ain't get them plum!

"Stella gone in creek fishing. Him and Lula gone--Lula McCoy. You say
me?" (To neighbor walking up) "Four men been here load they car up wid
hand. How come you ain't gone to the bacco?" (To work in the tobacco
fields in truck sent to find hands)

Pauline Pyatt: "If they ain't pay my price, I ain't going leave home. I
ain't gone for 75¢ a day. Feenie Deas gone yestiddy."

Uncle Ben: "Near bout blind. Couldn't see out no eye nor nare (neither)
one o' my eye. Doctor put sumptin in 'em do me too much o' good. How I
is? Fall out? Deth come I fix! Don't know bout you!"

Pauline: "I fix!"

Mary Gary: "You fix, Uncle Ben?"

Uncle Ben: "I gwine fix!"

Pauline: "You ain't fix?"

Uncle Ben: "I fix all right! I going fudder dan duh grave!"

Pauline: "I been Tarbox." (To Mr. Tarbox)

Uncle Ben: "Down by Gallie?" (Gallie's house)

Pauline: "I ain't see nobody. What you see?"

Uncle Ben: "Ain't see nobody tall--tall--."

Pauline: "Alice! I see Alice!"

Uncle Ben: "Ain't see nobody else?"

Pauline: "Nobody else!"

Uncle Ben: "Nobody else?"

Pauline: "Nobody else. She by herself!"

Uncle Ben Reminisces

"Fore freedom? Fore freedom? Well now, fore freedom we were treated by
our former owners I will say good--cording to situation of time. Every
year when Massa and Missus gone mountains, they call up obersheer
(overseer) and say, 'Don't treat them anyway severe. Don't beat them.
Don't maul them.' (Mr. Heminingway been severe.)

"Anybody steal rice and they beat them, Miss Bessie cry and say, 'Let
'em have rice! My rice--my nigger!'

"Brookgreen and Springfield every Sunday morning, every gal and the
young one must dress up and go to the yard and Miss Bessis give 'em
candy. Don't want too much o' beating. Glad to see young women dance.
But some cruel to the colored. Some on 'Prospect,'--'Hermitage'--and
'Woodland' treat all right.

"I know the Yankee boat come to Inlet and went to Oaks sea-shore with
load of cotton. Band of our sojer gone--(Rebs--'OUR sojer!), and Yankee
sojer come off in a yawl boat and our sojer caught two of them men and
they hang that man to Oaks sea-shore. And when the Yankee find out--do
my Lord! A stir been! A stir here! Shell clean to Sandy Island! Knock
hole through the sick-house (at Brookgreen!) Pump! Well, ain't it? Brick
work pump. Well. Handle. You turn! Turn. One bucket gone up; one gone
down. Ward take care of his nigger, sho! Best man own slave! Ward and
Ploughdon sho treat they nigger right! Live 'Laurel Hill.'

"Ward had on Prospect and Brookgreen. You know what I see? Right there
to Oaks sea-sho after them people done that murdering with that man?
Take all the slave, get on flat and gone out way of shell. Gone sand
hole. Take all the people from Brookgreen and Springfield--and carry dem
to Marlboro. Boat tow flat. Carmichael came through and established the
freedom through here. They come back from Marlboro where they refugee to
and Maham Ward come back on the flat. And this Ward, share out the
rice--broke open barn. We people? Anything like a silver, bury right
there in that garden! Right to Brookgreen garden, what Hontington got
now. All Ward thing bury there. Them old time people kill you--you
meddle them thing. Cry out, 'Massa Ting!' You better let 'em stay there!

"After Freedom Miss Bessie gone to she house in Charston--Rutledge
Street Charston. And you could see way out in ocean.

"My fadder--him and Uncle Dan'l and Uncle Summer uster been fiddler.
Gone all round when the white people gone to Prospect to ball and sich
as that. Dem white people didn't treat you so brutish! Dem obersheer!"
(Aside) "Wonder Christ sake why Lula stay out that creek so long!"

Pauline: "Fine season for corn!"

Ben: "Sho is!"

(Uncle Ben keeps a little grocery and fruit for sell. Customer comes)

"Missus, Take twenty cent out a dollar."

Pauline: "My grand-mother in that storm. They leave that Thursday. I
been to Oaks. When Flagg storm wuz. Richmond come off Magnolia beach to
Oaks Plantation and get the washing--the missus clean clothes. Had to
swim the horse off the beach to get the clothes. I been on the beach
Thursday--and cousin Joshuaway. Pony Myers daughter born in Brookgreen
street day of storm. Pony Myers wife name Adele. Marse Arthur had one
little twin. Joshua Stuart and Ben find dem to the end of Myrtle Beach.
Arthur twin baby--bout that high--little walking chillun. Look how
curious thing is! Them two chillun drown and find to the foot of Myrtle
Beach! (fifteen or twenty miles north). Find Tom Duncan mother. Find
Francis mother--Francis Gadsden. Doctor Ward pa--find him by duh vest.
Vest sticking out duh mud. Watch going. My grand-mother was keep a
walking from door to door.

"Find a mer-maid and kept to Magnolia." (Pauline said, 'mere-maid')
"Doctor Ward and dem shut 'em up a month. Mer-maid. Had a storm ball.
Keep a turning round. Keep a telling him (Dr. Arthur) storm coming. He
wouldn't b'lieve 'em. (Barometer--called by Uncle Isaac's wife,
gatekeeper at Brookgreen, chronometer.) He wouldn't b'lieve. And a
cussing man! All the time cuss! Mere-maid got a forked tail just like
shark. From here down (illustrating by pantomine) all blue scale like a
cat-fish. Pretty people! Pretty a white woman as you ever lay your eye

Ben: "Pretty, enty?"

Pauline: "Dem stay in sea. Dey walk--slide long on tail." (twisting from
her waist to illustrate.) Pretty. From they waist down to tail blue
scale. You got a bathing house on beach. Leave bread in there. They sho
eat bread.

"Marse Allard say top of the barn fly off. Cat jump and on it! And
horse too. And he jump too and tide bring 'em to Brookgreen.

"Joshuaway Stuart been plantation carpenter. He made one box for the
twin what drown and Colonel Mortimer bring one from Georgetown."

(Aunt Stella and Lula arriving from fishing trip)

"What ketch?"

Lula: "Get some catty!" (cat-fish) "Mary, you dress down!"

Mary: "I gwine ketch me a fellow! (Looking in bucket) Gosh! Did got a
good mess!"

Lula: "Little fellow."

Mary: "Rather eat them than large one."

Pauline: "What yinnah nuse for bait?"

Lula: "Swimp."

Pauline: "How you catch 'em?"

Lula: "Take a crocus and dip 'em up."

Pauline: "I gwine try to-morrow."

Lula: "To-morrow been Sundy! How old I is? Have to put a guess on 'em.
Bout fifty I guess. Flagg storm? That big one? When the storm wuz, I wuz
seven year old."

(Discuss Reb time and Flagg storm.)

Pauline: "Yes. Wind bring young Allard in to Uncle Joshuaway Stuart
field right down there where Cindy Poinsett now. Joshuaway been Cindy

"Doctor Ward shut that mere-maid up. He been in that! When that storm
wuz, he wuzn't old. I go there now and talk bout that storm and he eye
get full o' water. Looker his Papa clothes. Got 'em all pack in trunk. I
never shee 'um court myself. Every time I shee 'um with a crowd o' man.

"Long as he have mere-maid shut up, it rain! People gone there to look
at 'em. Long as keep 'em shut up it rain. That time rain thirty days.
That just fore Flagg storm." (Looking toward creek) "Yonder Stella,
wonneh, now!"

(Uncle Ben gave each white child a little cake--then gave, from his
hand, hunks of corn bread to each colored woman.)

     Conversation taken down on Uncle Ben Horry's porch where he sat
     awaiting the return of Aunt Stella who had gone 'in the creek' to
     'catch a mess o' fish.' Murrells Inlet, S.C. June 15, 1937.

  Project 1655
  Genevieve W. Chandler
  Georgetown County, S.C.



"He was a full-blooded man--the Cap'n. Didn't disgrace. He put goat on
Goat Island. Money was bury to Goat Island. People after people been
sent. I dinnah know wedder they find or no.

"Mack McCosky was sent by the State to fetch molasses, meal and hominy
and goat on Goat Island. He can't tell you! People can't know sumpin
when they ain't born!

"After de war 'e come back and take into big drinkin' and was 'em (waste
them) till 'e fall tru. He been fell tru wid his money (lost his
property). Didn't bury so destent (decent).

"We smaller one didn't have chance to go to war. My Daddy have for go.
Have to go ditch and all and tend his subshun. His subshun was waste and
steal. Paris! He the man control all the Buckra ting. And, by God, he go
and show Yankee all dem ting! Ole Miss git order to have him kill and
don't harm none! She ain't one to see him tru all that thousand head o'
nigger for get 'em.

"They come have big dinner. Cap'n come from Muldro. (Marlboro). Drum
beatin' little one dancin'. Gone back to Muldro. (Maham Ward and these
udder come from Muldro.) And they leave ting in Uncle William Gaillard
hand. And he carry on till everting surrender. And then the Cap'n come
home from Muldro and they try give you sumpin to make start on like cow
and ting. They ain't treat you like a beast. Ain't take no advance o'
you. What the Cap'n do he do for you good. I b'long Dr. Ward. I entitle
to bring him two string o' bird. Rice bird come like jest as tick as dat
(thick as that) Sometimes a bushel one shot.

"They put you in the flat and put you over there. When they tink Yankee
comin' you take to Sandhole Crick for hide. Mr. Carmichael sent by the
state. Go to Brookgreen, Longwood, Watsaw. Tell everting surrender. Go
to any located place. He's a Gineral. Go open the barn door and give us
all us need. He better to we nigger boy dan he Daddy been! Wouldn't beat
you 'thout the lil' boy really fightin'.

"Time o' the war the colored people hear 'bout Yankee. Not a one eber
understand to run way and go to Yankee boat from WE plantation. These
Yankee people wuz walkin' 'bout on the beach. And while they come in to
the hill, the Reb have a battery to Laurel Hill and they cut off them
Yankee from the ocean. These they cut off they carry dem to Brookgreen
barn. Hang one colored man and one white man to Oaks Seashore. White man
musser be Sergeant or big Cap'n. Just as soon as the sun go down you see
a big streak come over and they BUSS (bust) Duds. Woman in the street
killed. (Street of negro Quarters--Brookgreen) Blacksmith killed. Cut
off he brudder-in-law (Judy's) and kill Judy. Dem shell go clean to
Sandy Island. Pump make out o' brick to Brookgreen. Dat boy (shell) come
and hit the pump. De horn blow and they make for flat and gwine on to
Sandhole down that black crick. There a man for dat--dat flat. Get
everbody line up. Ain't gone there for PLAY. Gone for wuk (work). I was
big 'nouf to do diss--go wid my fadder and hold light.

"It this way. You ain't LOW to eat the whole rice you kin make money
outer. Beat dat rice. But my Daddy been a great whiskey man. Liquor.
Didn't have 'em less he go to town. Money scase. ('E wuz a kind of
musicianer for the Ward fambly). But he break he jug. He break he
whiskey jug. En when de obersheer (overseer) git out de ration and
gib'em to mah Ma and us chillun he hand mah Pa a piece o' dem break jug!
That keep him in mind o' that whiskey jug.

"Yankee come here and butt us colored people. I 'member we youngun's
just could 'tote up dem gold pitcher and bury dem in the garden. Not far
from the flowers tank. Tank have on 'em a woman head (Flowers' tank was
a fountain). All the master fine ting way down there bury! De Ward
didn't loss nothin'. They move us out the plantation. Col. Ward took 'em
in a flat to Mulbro.

"Dr. Heriot after the war took into big drinkin'. Didn't bury so decent.
Fell tru wid all he money. Not bury so decent."

  =Source:= Told by Uncle Ben Horry, Age 88, April 1938, Murrells Inlet, S.C.

  Project #1655
  Everett R. Pierce
  Columbia, S.C.


"Missy, I likes to talk to de white folks, I gits awful lonesome for my
massa and missus, and de white folks I used to be wid. Yes'm, I was born
out here 'bout ten miles from Columbia, at a little place called Nipper
Hill. My massa was named Daniel Finley, and my missus was named
Elizabeth, but we called her Missy Betsy. My massa had a big plantation
and a heap of slaves; he had so many he couldn't keep us faces in his
mind. One day he see some of us over on another plantation, and he ask
us who we b'long to, and we tell him, and he just smile and say he
couldn't 'member all of us. De massa and de missus was so good to us
'til de slaves on other plantations was jealous; they call us free
niggers befo' we was freed.

The grown-up slaves had to work in de field all day and then at night
they spin cloth and make their clothes. We had one shoemaker what didn't
do nothing else much 'cept make shoes for all of us. I was too young to
do much work, so the missus mostly keep me in de house to nurse de
chillun. When de chillun go to school, she make me go 'long wid them for
to look after them and tote their books. I stayed wid them all day and
brought their books home in de evening.

I got in trouble one day while I was at de school house; I was a right
bad little gal, anyway. I got mad wid one of de little white chillun
'cause she talk mean to Sissy, dat's one of my missus little girls, and
I took her books and put them in a bucket of water. The teacher punish
me, and told my missus I couldn't come back to de school house, 'less
she teach me how to behave more better. I was right good after that,
'cause I was scared of whippings. My missus had three chillun: Mary, we
call her Sissy 'cause she de oldest, then Sally and Willie. I slept in
de big house and play wid de white chillun. When de white folks went off
in de carriage they always let me go too; I set up in de seat wid de
driver. They had awful pretty horses to drive.

Massa Daniel had a overseer, named Jake Graddick. He kept de slaves at
work and looked after de crops. He woke de slaves every morning by
blowing a big cow horn, and called them to dinner the same way. We went
to work at sunrise, had two hours for dinner, and stopped work at

The slaves had plenty to eat, and had their own gardens. I helped work
de gardens. My old daddy worked in de garden and made chairs for de
slaves, besides working in de fields.

My massa never whip de slaves very much, but he do sometime. Once I saw
my poor old daddy in chains. They chained his feet together, and his
hands too, and carry him off to whip him, 'cause he wouldn't tell who
stole a trunk that was missing. He couldn't tell though, 'cause he
didn't know, but they thought he did.

No ma'am missy, us slaves never had no church to go to. We was allowed
to go to de white folks' church though. There was a low partition in de
church wid a little gate in it; we set on one side of it, and de white
folks on de other. We listen to de preaching and sung de songs right
'long wid de white folks. Us never had no baptizings though. I learned a
heap of things in Sunday School.

Talking 'bout patrollers, I was awful scared of them. We had to have a
pass from our massa to go from one plantation to another, and if we went
without a pad the patrollers would ketch us and whip us. I never did
get ketched though. De only time de massa ever let us ride de horses was
when he want us to carry a message from one plantation to another.

Yes ma'am, 'bout these weddings you asked me 'bout; well, we had a big
time when any of de slaves got married. De massa and de missus let them
get married in de big house, and then we had a big dance at one of de
slave house. De white folks furnish all kinds of good things to eat, and
de colored peoples furnish de music for de dance. My mammy's brother
been one of de best fiddlers there was; he teach de other niggers how to

The best times we had was 'long in summer time, 'tending them Camp
Meetings. We had good men to preach de service, and then all of us women
got together and spread a big picnic dinner, that we'd brought from home
in baskets, and we sure had a good time. Sometime some of them eat so
much they get sick. We ain't had so much sickness 'long them times
though, not like we do now. Us used to wear garlic and asafetida 'round
our neck to keep off diseases; never had many neither. We was vaccinated
to keep from ketching smallpox.

Well little missy, I done told you just 'bout all I 'members 'cept 'bout
de Yankees. When I used to hear de older niggers talking 'bout de
Yankees coming, I was scared, 'cause I thought it was some kind of
animal they was talking 'bout. My old aunty was glad to hear 'bout de
Yankees coming. She just set and talk 'bout what a good time we was
going to have after de Yankees come. She'd say; 'Child we going to have
such a good time a settin' at de white folks table, a eating off de
white folks table, and a rocking in de big rocking chair.'

Something awful happen to one of de slaves though, when de Yankees did
come. One of de young gals tell de Yankees where de missus had her
silver, money and jewelry hid, and they got it all. What you think
happened to de poor gal? She'd done wrong I know, but I hated to see her
suffer so awful for it. After de Yankees had gone, de missus and massa
had de poor gal hung 'til she die. It was something awful to see. De
Yankees took everything we had 'cept a little food, hardly 'nough to
keep us alive.

When de slaves were freed de most of them didn't had nowhere to go, so
we just stayed on wid de massa and missus and they was good to us as
long as we stayed wid them. I wishes sometime I was a slave again,
'cause I likes being a slave, didn't have nothing to worry 'bout then."

  Home address
  3105 Asylum Road.

  Code No.
  Project, 1885-(1)
  Prepared by Annie Ruth Davis
  Place, Marion, S.C.
  Date, May 18, 1937

  No. ----
  Reduced from ---- words
  Rewritten by ----

  Ex-Slave, 85 years.

"Well, bless ye little heart, honey, ye say ye is wan' me to tell ye
'bout how de people lived way back dere in slavery time. Honey, I dunno
wha' to tell ye cause I ain' never been treated no ways but good in me
life by my Missus. I tell dese chillun here dat dey ain' never see no
sech time uz dere been den. My Missus been marry Massa John Bethea en
dey is raise dey flock up dere to de crossroads next Latta. Dat whey I
been raise. Honey, my Missus see to it she self dat we look a'ter in de
right way. Ain' never been made to do no work much den. Jes played dere
in de back yard wid me dolls aw de time I wanna. Honey, I dunno nuthin
to tell ye cause I is lib lak uh lamb in dem days."

"I wus born on de 25th uv December, right on de big Chrissmus day, dere
on Massa John plantation en I was 14 year old when freedom declare. I is
85 year old now en, honey, me health jes uz good now uz ever it wuz. My
Missus take sech good care uv us aw de time en see a'ter us she self
when we sick en I is take sech good care uv me self a'ter I leab dere
dat I 'spect to be here long time from now. Ain' know no ailment tall.
Coase de rheumatism is worry me right smart on uh night. Honey, dis
rheumatism ain' been cause from no bad teeth. I is hab eve'y tooth in me
head wha' I hab when I wuz 7 year old en dey jes uz good uz dey was
den. It jes dis way, jes uz long uz I is workin', I feels mighty smart,
mighty smart, child!"

"I 'clare to goodness white folks come down here jes to hear me talk.
Honey, I is wish I could stay wid yunnah aw de day. I could tell yunnah
aw 'bout dem days cause I ain' know nuthin but big living den. I tell me
grandchillun dat dem times 'ud be uh show for dem now. My Massa had uh
big plantation, honey, uh big plantation! Right in de center wuz me
Missus house en den dere wuz two long row uv we house to de right dere
on de place close to de big house. I 'members when de plantation hand
wha' work in de field been come to de house in de middle uv de day to
ge' dey dinner, I been lub to stand 'round de big pot en watch em when
dey ge' dey sumptin to eat. Yas'um, dey is cook aw de food for de field
hand in de same big ole black pot out in de yard. Yas'um, dey is put aw
de victual in one pot. Dey'ud go to de smokehouse en cut off uh whole
half uh side uv bacon en drap it right in dat pot. Dat been flavor de
pot jes right cause in dem days, us ration been season wid meat. Honey,
dere 'ud be 'bout thirty uv dem hand wha' had to eat out dat pot. Dere
been uh shelter built over de pot to keep de rain out en den dere was uh
big scaffold aw 'round de pot whey de put de pans when dey dish de
victual up. De field hands 'ud come dere en ge' dey pan uv ration offen
dis scaffold."

"Now de chillun on de plantation ain' been 'low to eat outer dat pot wid
de field hand. My auntie cook us victuals right dere in de kitchen on de
Missus fireplace an we eat right dere outer us own separate pan. My
Missus see she self dat we been fed right en she see dat de food been
cook done, cook done, honey, en been seasoned right aw de time. My
Missus ain' never stand fa me to go widout me meat fa break'ast. Al'ays
had hominy en milk en meat fa me break'ast en when supper time come, dey
is al'ays gi'e us uh big bowl uv corn bread en milk. Folks ain' eat den
lak dey does nowadays. Dey been eat more meat den en it ain' hu't dem
lak it hu'ts em now. Honey, peoples ain' lib peaceful lak dey been lib
den. Den peoples ain' cook dey food done lak de food been cook den. My
auntie cook aw de bread right dere in de kitchen on de fireplace. I is
hab some uv dem spider right here in de yard now. (She showed us two
iron spiders about 8 inches deep with three legs. One was being used in
the yard as a drinking place for the chickens and the other was
carelessly thrown just under the edge of her house.) When I come 'way
from my Missus plantation, I been take care uv wha' I bring 'way wid me.
Dere uh ole loom dere in de house right now. I 'members how I use 'er
lub to lie down on de Missus floor under de loom en watch my auntie when
she wuz spinning dere."

"Dey'ud hab gray sheep en white sheep den en dey'ud make sech nice
cloth. Yas'um, dey'ud dye de cloth right dere on de plantation. I
'member aw 'bout dat. De Missus hab uh big patch uv indigo dat dey
growed right dere en dey'ud gather it en boil it in de pot en den dey'ud
take de cloth dat my auntie is help weave an put it in dat pot en dye it
jes uz pretty. My Missus see to it she self dat de plantation peoples
clothes been make right en dat we is hab nice clean place to sleep. De
Missus never 'low none uv us to lay down in rags. She see 'bout aw dis
she self. I know my Missus gone to Hebbun, honey, en I hope she restin'

  =Source:= Mom Hester Hunter, age 85, colored. (Personal
          interview, Marion, S.C., May 1937.)

  Code No.
  Project, 1885-(1)
  Prepared by Annie Ruth Davis
  Place, Marion, S.C.
  Date, October 15, 1937

  No. ----
  Reduced from ---- words
  Rewritten by ----

  Ex-Slave, 85 Years

"Yes, mam, I remember all bout slavery time just as good as I know you
dis mornin. Remember de first time dem Yankees come dere, I was settin
down in de chimney corner en my mammy was givin me my breakfast.
Remember I been settin dere wid my milk en my bowl of hominy en I hear
my old grandmammy come a runnin in from out de yard en say all de sky
was blue as indigo wid de Yankees comin right dere over de hill den. Say
she see more Yankees den could ever cover up all de premises bout dere.
Den I hear my Missus scream en come a runnin wid a lapful of silver en
tell my grandmammy to hurry en sew dat up in de feather bed cause dem
Yankees was mighty apt to destroy all dey valuables. Old Missus tell all
de colored people to get away, get away en take care of demselves en
tell we chillun to get back to de chimney corner cause she couldn'
protect us noways no longer. Yes, honey, I was a little child settin
dere in dat chimney corner listenin to all dat scamperin bout en I
remember dat day just as good as it had been dis day right here."

"Oh, my God, dem Yankees never bring nothin but trouble en
destructiveness when dey come here, child. I remember I hear tell dat my
old stepfather been gone to de mill to grind some corn en when he was
comin down de road, two big Yankees jump out de bushes side de road en
tell him stop dere. He say dey tell him if he want to save his neck, he
better get off dat ox right den en get away from dere. He say he been so
scared he make for de woods fast as he could get dere en tell dat he
lay down wid knots under his head many a night fore he would venture to
come out from dat woods. Never hear tell of his ox en corn no more
neither. Oh, honey, my old Missus was a dear old soul en didn' none of
her colored people have no mind to want to leave dere no time."

"We chillun never didn' know nothin bout no hard times in dat day en
time. Seems like de Lord had just open up en fix de way for us to have
everything we want. Oh, honey, we chillun never been harness up in no
little bit of place to play like dese chillun bout here dese days. We
had all de big fields en de pretty woods to wander round en bout en make
us playhouse in. Seems like de Lord had made de little streams just
right for we chillun to play in en all kind of de prettiest flowers to
come up right down side de paths us little feet had made dere, but dat
wasn' nothin. Dere was flowers scatter bout everywhe' you look in de
woods en all kind of birds en squirrels en rabbits en honey, dey was
live play things. Dat how-come we been so satisfy. I here to tell you my
old Missus was a dear old soul en we chillun sho had a fine time comin
up. She didn' never have her niggers cut up en slashed up no time. She
was good to us en we stuck to her."

"In de mornin bout dis time, me en my Missus would take a walk in de
woods down by de creek. I remember I would be dere wid my mammy en old
Missus would say, 'Judy, whe' Hester? I want her to take a walk wid me
dis mornin.' I been bout five or six years old den en I would get
tired. I say, 'Mittie, I tired, I tired.' She say, 'Well, set down en
rest awhile.' I remember dere been a big old sweet gum tree settin dere
side de creek dat had a place hollow out in it dat looked just like a
chair been made dere. Old Missus would set down dere en take me right
down side her en stay dere till we was rested. I go wid her one day when
de creek been rise way up high en dere been a heap of water in de road.
I say, 'Mittie, I scared, I scared.' She tell me dere couldn' nothin
hurt me en I remember we went on en see a big black fish just a jumpin
in de road. Old Missus say, 'Hester, catch him, catch him.' I say,
'Mittie, I can', I can', I scared.' I recollects she caught dat fish en
tied it wid her garter en let me drag it home en tell my mammy cook it
for my supper. Honey, dat been a day. Never couldn' forget bout dat."

"I remember me en my old Missus went to de graveyard one mornin en we
found a runaway nigger hidin in a house dat was standin in de graveyard.
Dat was an old, old slavery time house to de graveyard en people would
go dere en hide. It was just like dis, honey, generally people in de
country be scared of a graveyard en wouldn' nobody go dere to hunt dem.
I remember just as good when he see us, he squatted down right low. I
say, 'Mittie, looka, looka, I scared.' Den she say, 'Hester, I notice de
clouds are growin more en more gray en I fear we better be gettin back
home. I never like for a rain to catch us away from home.' I know Missus
say dat to make me think she wasn' scared, but I never had no mind to
tell her I know what been de matter dat she want to hurry home. Yes'um,
dat old house in de graveyard was one of dem kind dat been settin high
off de ground. Dat de kind of house dey cook underneath in slavery time.
Cose it was closed up when dey had de kitchen down dere. No, mam, Massa
never didn' go to walk wid old Missus. He was seein over all de
plantation en Missus didn have but one son, little John O. Bethea, en he
was gone off to school. No, child, old Missus wouldn' never allow nobody
to go wid her but just me."

"You see, it was like dis, my old Missus been name Sara Davis fore she
marry Massa John Bethea en my mammy en grandmammy had come up wid her in
de country en dat how-come dere been such a feelin twixt dem. Yes, mam,
I love my old Missus better den I ever love honey en flour bread cause
she was a dear old soul. You see, she was always lookin to me to do
somethin for her. Say I was her favorite child to pick up things bout de
house en yard for her. She always had my mammy preserve me en Bob as her
favorite house chillun. She wouldn' never allow none of dem other nigger
chillun to come nowhe' round whe' she was cause dem what went bout de
Missus never didn' stay to de nigger quarter no time. My grandmammy, she
had to get all dem other plantation chillun together en see dat dey do
what de Missus look for dem to do."

"My God, child, people never know nothin but to go to church on de big
Sunday in dat day en time. No, mam, dey know dat been dey Massa rule en
didn' nobody have no mind to question nothin bout it. My old Missus was
a dear old soul en she would see to it dat all her niggers wash en iron
en cook on Saturday cause she never allow no work gwine on round whe'
she was when Sunday come, be dat she know bout it. I remember my old
Massa en Missus used to ride to church in dey big black carriage en dey
always would carry me en Bob right dere in de carriage wid dem somehow
another. Stuff us down 'tween de seats somewhe'. I recollects just as
bright as de stars be shinin old Missus would carry me en Bob to de same
little seats we been sit in every Sunday en den she en old Massa would
go to dey certain pew in de front part of de church. Oh, honey, dat was
a day for dem niggers to walk de road to church. Dat was a picnic for
dem. Oh, dey never had to walk but bout four miles. Why, darlin, I used
to walk fourteen miles to church every Sunday en didn' think nothin bout
it. I think dat was de finest thing I know for me en my grandfather to
walk 14 miles to church over dere on de hill every Sunday. I remember we
would set out bout time de sun would be risin. Yes, mam, we would carry
our dinner wid us cause we know we would be till night gettin back home
again. It just like I been tell you, de peoples sho cook dey dinner for
Sunday on Saturday in dat day en time. Dat been a mighty good thing,
child, been a mighty good thing. Honey, it been de rule to follow what
de Bible say do in dat day en time en now it seem like de rule must be,
do like you see de other fellow is doin. Yes, mam, if you ain' been to
church in dat day en time, you sho had to report how-come you ain' been

"I tell you, child, I been here. If I live to see de Christmas day, I'll
be past 85 years old. I ain' been up town in God knows when en I wants
to go so bad back to see my white folks. Dem Evans chillun, dey comes to
see me often. Dat child had took dat trip round de world en she come
right back en tell me all bout it. Well, bless my heart, she done gone
en get married last Sunday en I never know bout it. She tell me she was
gwine marry one of dese days, but I never know. I hope dat man will take
care of her en be good to my baby. I hope her older days won' be her
worser days."

"Yes, mam, I remember just as good as it was yesterday what dey say when
freedom come here. Oh, I hates to think bout dat day till dis one.
Remember dey call all de niggers up to de yard en I hear old Missus say,
'You don' no more belong to me. You can go if you want to en if you want
to, you can stay.' I say, 'Yes, mam, I do want to stay, I ain' gwine
leave you.' Dat was my white mammy en I stay dere long as she live too.
Didn' want no better livin den I was gettin right dere. It been a
Paradise, be dat what I calls it."

  =Source:= Hester Hunter, ex-slave, 85 years, Marion, S.C.
          Personal interview by Annie Ruth Davis, Oct., 1937.

  Code No.
  Project, 1885-(1)
  Prepared by Annie Ruth Davis
  Place, Marion, S.C.
  Date, October 26, 1937

  No. ----
  Reduced from ---- words
  Rewritten by ----

  Ex-Slave, 85 Years

"Bless my soul, honey, I tell you I been here a time. Been here a day. I
tell dese chillun here de other week dere ain' no need for me to be
frettin bout nothin no more cause my time bout out. I got my ducks en my
chickens en my chair right dere in de yard en I stays out dere wid dem
all de day till sundown. You see, I have such a hurtin in my back en
such a drawin in my knees en seems like de sun does just help me along
to bear de pain, but honey, I been walkin a long time. I remember I been
a little child in de bed listenin on en I hear my aunt come in one day
en say, 'Ma, I hear boss talkin bout dey gwine free de niggers.' Ma say,
'I don' have no mind for nothin like dat. I gwine be gone en you gwine
be gone too fore den.' Child, I sho been here a time. Remember dey been
four years buildin dem embankments en dey been four years fightin. Yes,
mam, I been through a day since I come here."

"Honey, I was a hustlier when I was a young woman en dat de reason my
chillun had such good schoolin. If it had been left to my husband, dey
wouldn' been know A from B. I think bout how my old Massa used to try to
learn me to spell en dat how-come I had such a feelin for my chillun to
get some learnin. My daughter, she taught 20 years in dat school right
over dere en when she see dat I wasn' able to carry on no longer, she
throwed up her hands one day en say she wasn' gwine teach school no
more. Tell Bill en dem chillun dat she was gwine stay here home en keep
me from fallin in de pots. Den she put out de word dat she would do a
washin for dis one en a washin for dat one en honey, I see her dere
washin so hard sometimes, I have a feelin dat I would rather she be out
en gone from here. Seems like it does hurt me so to see her wastin away
like dat after I been worry so to give her such a good school learnin."

"I tell you when I come up, it de Lord's truth, I ain' know nothin but a
decent livin all de time. My old Missus was a dear old soul en I been
raise dat way. I hear talk bout how some of de white folks would bout
torture dey niggers to death sometimes, but never didn' see my white
folks allow nothin like dat. Dey would whip dey niggers dat runaway en
stay in de woods, but not so worser. No, mam, my Missus wouldn' allow no
slashin round bout whe' she was. I remember my boss had one of my old
Missus niggers up dere in de yard one mornin en say he was gwine whip
him en my Missus say, 'John O., you let my nigger alone.' You see, my
Missus had her niggers en den old Boss had his niggers cause when old
Missus been marry Massa John O. Bethea, she had brought here share of
niggers from whe' she was raise in de country. It been like dis, old
Missus father had scratch de pen for everyone of his chillun to have so
many niggers apiece for dey portion of his property so long as dey would
look after dem en treat dem good. Den if dere been talk dat dem chillun
never do what he say do, dey was to take dem niggers right back to dey
old Massa home. But, child, dey never didn' take no niggers away from
my old Missus cause she sho took care of dem. Stuck to her niggers till
she died."

"I remember just as good dere been two long row of nigger house up in de
quarter en de Bethea niggers been stay in de row on one side en de Davis
niggers been stay in de row on de other side. En, honey, dere been so
much difference in de row on dis side en de row on dat side. My God,
child, you could go through dere en spot de Sara Davis niggers from de
Bethea niggers time you see dem. Won' no trouble no time. All old Missus
niggers had dey bresh (brush) pile side dey house to sun dey beds on en
dry dey washin cause my Missus would see to it herself dat dey never
kept no nasty livin. We was raise decent, honey, en dat how-come me en
my chillun is dat way to dis very day. Dere dat child in de house now,
she does put fresh sheet on all us bed every week just like dey was
white people bed. You see, if you raise dat way, you ain' gwine never be
no ther way. Yes, mam, my old Missus sho took time to learn her niggers
right. Honey, both dese hands here was raise not to steal. I been cook
for heap of dese white folks bout here dat been left everything right
wide open wid me en ain' nobody never hear none of dem complain bout
losin nothin to dis day. No, mam, ain' nobody never didn' turn no key on
me. I remember, if my old Missus would hear talk dat we been bother
somethin dat didn' belong to us, she would whip us en say, 'I'm not mad,
but you chillun have got to grow up some day en you might have to suffer
worse den dis if you don' learn better while you young."

"Yes, mam, dat been a day. Dem niggers what been bred on Massa John C.
Bethea's plantation never know nothin but big livin in dat day en time.
Remember all bout dem days. Recollect dat dey would give all dey colored
people so much of flour for dey Sunday eatin en den dey had a certain
woman on de place to cook all de other ration for de niggers in one big
pot out in old Massa's yard. All de niggers would go dere to de pot on
Sunday en get dey eatin like turnips en collards en meat en carry it to
dey house en make dey own bread. Den in de week time, dey would come out
de field at 12 o'clock en stand round de pot en eat dey pan of ration en
den dey would go back in de field en work. When dey would come home at
night, dere would be enough cook up for dem to carry home to last till
de next day dinner. Didn' eat no breakfast no time. Had meat en greens
en corn bread en dumplings to eat mostly en won' no end to milk. Got
plenty of dat en dey was sho glad to get it. Cose dem what been stay to
de white folks house would eat to de Missus kitchen. En, my Lord, child,
my white folks had de prettiest kind of rice dat dey made right dere on
dey own plantation. Had plenty rice to last dem from one year to de
other just like dey had dey hominy. Den old Massa had a big fish pond en
in de summer time when it would get too hot to work, he would allow all
his plantation niggers to catch all de pikes en jacks dey wanted en salt
dem down in barrels for de winter. Didn' allow nobody to go nowhe' bout
dat fish pond but us niggers. En another thing, dey wouldn' cure dey
meat wid nothin but dis here green hickory wood en I speak bout what I
been know, dere ain' never been nothin could touch de taste of dem hams
en shoulder meat. Oo--oo--oo, honey, dey would make de finest kind of
sausages in dem days. I tell my chillun I just bout turn against dese
sausage de people make bout here dese days."

"Yes, mam, I been hearin bout dat thing call conjurin all my days, ever
since I been in dis world, but I ain' never put no faith in nothin like
dat. I say, I don' want no hand but what God give me. I remember I got
de sore eyes one time en a woman come to me en say, 'Miss Hester, dere a
woman in dis town poison you.' Tell me dey put somethin on de rag I had
wipe my eyes wid. I tell her she was wastin her speech cause I know I
never had nothin to worry bout. It de blessed truth I'm tellin you, dere
some of dese people right bout here now got dese transfer driver gwine
down in de country to get people to do somethin for dem all de time.
Honey, if some people in dis town had dis rheumatism I got, dey would
swear somebody do somethin to dem. Oh, my God, dere so much devilment
gwine on in de world dese days. I sho has faith in God en I reckon dat
how-come I gets along so good."

"Oh, de people, dey is awful worser den what dey used to be. I know by
my comin on dat dey awful worser. De little tots bout here dese days
know things de older people used to be de only ones dat know bout. Yes,
mam, I sets down en prays when others sleep en I say, 'Lord, what gwine
happen? Look like de young people on de straight road to hell gettin in
so much devilment. When I was comin up, I didn' have nothin to grieve
over, but seem like dere somethin all de time dese days. I does worry
bout it so much sometimes, child, I goes along just a whistlin, 'Lord, I
wish I had went fore I had so much to grieve over.'

  =Source:= Hester Hunter, age 85, Marion, S.C.
          Personal interview by Annie Ruth Davis, October, 1937.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States - From Interviews with Former Slaves - South Carolina Narratives, Part 2" ***

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