Slave Narrative of Martha Allen

Search Fold3 for your
Native American Records

Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks
Person Interviewed: Martha Allen
Location: 1318 South Person Street, Raleigh, North Carolina
Place of Birth: Craven County NC
Age: 78

Ex-Slave Story

An interview with Martha Allen, 78, of 1318 South Person Street, Raleigh.

I wuz borned in Craven County seventy eight years ago. My pappa wuz named Andrew Bryant an’ my mammy wuz named Harriet. My brothers wuz John Franklin, Alfred, an’ Andrew. I ain’t had no sisters. I reckon dat we is what yo’ call a general mixture case I am part Injun, part white, an’ part nigger.

My mammy belonged ter Tom Edward Gaskin an’ she wuzn’t half fed. De cook nussed de babies while she cooked, so dat de mammies could wuck in de fiel’s, an’ all de mammies done wuz stick de babies in at de kitchen do’ on dere way ter de fiel’s. I’se hyard mammy say dat dey went ter wuck widout breakfast, an’ dat when she put her baby in de kitchen she’d go by de slop bucket an’ drink de slops from a long handled gourd.

De slave driver wuz bad as he could be, an’ de slaves got awful beatin’s.

De young marster sorta wanted my mammy, but she tells him no, so he chunks a lightwood knot an’ hits her on de haid wid it. Dese white mens what had babies by nigger wimmens wuz called ‘Carpet Gitters’. My father’s father wuz one o’ dem.

Yes mam, I’se mixed plenty case my mammy’s grandmaw wuz Cherokee Injun.

I doan know nothin’ ’bout no war, case marster carried us ter Cedar Falls, near Durham an’ dar’s whar we come free.

I ‘members dat de Ku Klux uster go ter de Free Issues houses, strip all de family an’ whup de ole folkses. Den dey dances wid de pretty yaller gals an’ goes ter bed wid dem. Dat’s what de Ku Klux wuz, a bunch of mean mens tryin’ ter hab a good time.

I’se wucked purty hard durin’ my life an’ I done my courtin’ on a steer an’ cart haulin’ wood ter town ter sell. He wuz haulin’ wood too on his wagin, an’ he’d beat me ter town so’s dat he could help me off’n de wagin. I reckon dat dat wuz as good a way as any.

I tries ter be a good christian but I’se got disgusted wid dese young upstart niggers what dances in de chu’ch. Dey says dat dey am truckin’ an’ dat de Bible ain’t forbid hit, but I reckin dat I knows dancin’ whar I sees hit.



MLA Source Citation:

Federal Writers' Project. WPA Slave Narratives. Web. 2007. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 24 October 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/black-genealogy/slave-narrative-of-martha-allen.htm - Last updated on Aug 21st, 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.