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Slave Narrative of Ellen Renwick

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Interviewer: Mr. G. Leland Summer
Person Interviewed: Ellen Renwick
Location: Newberry, South Carolina

Folk-Lore: Ex-Slaves

“I was born on Capt. John P. Kinard’s place. My mammy and pa was Lucy and Eph Kinard who belonged to Marse Kinard. Marse Kinard was good to his slaves—didn’t whip them much. He whipped me a little. When I was a little girl I slept in the big house in the room with my mistress and her husband, and waited on them. I worked when I got old enough, in the field, and anywhere around. When I wouldn’t work good, my mammy whipped me most.

“I ‘member the folks cooked in skillets over an old fireplace.

“After the war was over and freedom come we stayed on with Capt. Kinard, ’till I married and then went over to Dock Renwick’s place where my husband worked. I married Tom Renwick. We went to the church of the colored folks after the war, and had preachings in mornings and evenings and at night, too. We didn’t have no nigger schools, and we didn’t learn to read and write.

“The white folks had corn-shuckings, cotton pickings at night, when the mistress would fix a big dinner for all working.”

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