Slave Narrative of Jennylin Dunn

Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks
Person Interviewed: Jennylin Dunn
Location: 315 Bledsoe Avenue, Raleigh, North Carolina
Place of Birth: Wake County NC
Age: 87

Ex-Slave Story

An interview with Jennylin Dunn 87, of 315 Bledsoe Avenue, Raleigh, N. C.

I wuz borned hyar in Wake County eighty-seben years ago. Me an’ my folks an’ bout six others belonged ter Mis’ Betsy Lassiter who wuz right good ter us, do’ she sho’ did know dat chilluns needs a little brushin’ now an’ den.

My papa wuz named Isaac, my mammy wuz named Liza, an’ my sisters wuz named Lucy, Candice an’ Harriet. Dar wuz one boy what died ‘fore I can ‘member an’ I doan know his name.

We ain’t played no games ner sung no songs, but we had fruit ter eat an’ a heap of watermillions ter eat in de season.

I seed seberal slabe sales on de block, front of de Raleigh Cou’t house, an’ yo’ can’t think how dese things stuck in my mind. A whole heap o’ times I seed mammies sold from dere little babies, an’ dar wuz no’min’ den, as yo’ knows.

De patterollers wuz sumpin dat I wuz skeerd of. I know jist two o’ ‘em, Mr. Billy Allen Dunn an’ Mr. Jim Ray, an’ I’se hyard of some scandelous things dat dey done. Dey do say dat dey whupped some of de niggers scandelous.

When dey hyard dat de Yankees wuz on dere way ter hyar dey says ter us dat dem Yankees eats little nigger youngins, an’ we shore stays hid.

I jist seed squeamishin’ parties lookin’ fer sumpin’ ter eat, an’ I’se hyard dat dey tuck ever’thing dey comes ‘crost. A whole heap of it dey flunged away, an’ atterwards dey got hongry too.

One of ‘em tried ter tell us dat our white folks stold us from our country an’ brung us hyar, but since den I foun’ out dat de Yankees stole us dereselves, an’ den dey sold us ter our white folkses.

Atter de war my pappy an’ mammy brung us ter Raleigh whar I’se been libin’ since dat time. We got along putty good, an’ de Yankees sont us some teachers, but most o’ us wuz so busy scramblin’ roun’ makin’ a livin’ dat we ain’t got no time fer no schools.

I reckon dat hit wuz better dat de slaves wuz freed, but I still loves my white folkses, an’ dey loves me.



MLA Source Citation:

Federal Writers' Project. WPA Slave Narratives. Web. 2007. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 31 October 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/black-genealogy/slave-narrative-of-jennylin-dunn.htm - Last updated on Aug 20th, 2012


Categories: ,
Topics:
Locations: ,
Surnames: ,

Contribute to the Conversation!

Our "rules" are simple. Keep the conversation on subject and mind your manners! If this is your first time posting, we do moderate comments before we let them appear... so give us a while to get to them. Once we get to know you here, we'll remove that requirement.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Newsletter Signup

We currently provide two newsletters. Why not take both for a run?

Genealogy Update: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new, or significantly updated, collection or database on our website.

Circle of Nations: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new (or significantly updated) Native American collection or database on our website.

Once you've clicked on the Subscribe button above you'll receive an email from us requesting confirmation. You must confirm the email before you will be able to receive any newsletter.