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Slave Narrative of Frank Range

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Interviewer: Hattie Mobley
Person Interviewed: Frank Range
Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Age: 103
Place of Residence: 101 Hudson St. Greenville, S.C

Civil War Servant and Hero

At the age of one hundred and three, Frank Range is a familiar figure on the streets of Greenville, talking freely of pre-Civil and Civil War days, and the part he played in the war.

Frank, the oldest of nine children, was born of slave parents, Lenard and Elizabeth Herbert, on the plantation of Mr. Jim Boler, Newberry, South Carolina. He was sold several times, and is known by the name of one of his owners, John Range.

During the Civil War his master, Mr. Jim Herbert, carried him to the war as a cook, and when necessary, he was pressed into service, throwing up breast-works; and while he was engaged in this work, at Richmond Va. a terrific bombardment of their lines was made, and a part of their breast-works was crushed in, and his master buried beneath it. Frantic with fear for the safety of his master, Frank began to move the dirt away; finally he was able to drag him to safety. Though shot and shell were falling all around him, he came out unscathed.

Frank Range returned to Newberry at the close of the war, after which he moved to Greenville County in 1901, and into the city in 1935. He is never happier than when, in the center of a group of willing hearers, he is reciting in a sing-song tone the different periods of his life.

He attributes his longevity to the fact that he has never tasted whiskey, never chewed tobacco; never had a fight; toothache and headache are unknown to him; the service of a physician has never been needed; he does not know one playing card from another. He can walk five or more miles with seeming ease; is jovial and humorous.

He receives a state pension of twenty five dollars annually. His place of residence is 101 Hudson St. Greenville, S.C.

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