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Slave Narrative of Scott Mitchell

Interviewer: Margaret Bishop
Person Interviewed: Scott Mitchell
Location: Breathitt County, Kentucky

As told by Scott Mitchell, a former slave:

Scott Mitchell, claims his age as somewhere in the 70’s but his wool is white on the top of his head. Negroes don’t whiten near as quickly as white people, evidently he is nearly 90, or there-a-bouts.

“Yes’m I ‘members the Civil Wah, ’cause I wuz a-livin’ in Christian County whah I wuz bohn, right wif my masteh and mistress. Captin Hester and his wife. I wuz raised on a fahm right wif the, then I lef there.

“Yes, Cap’n Hester traded my mother an my sister, ‘Twuz in 1861, he sent em tuh Mississippi. When they wuz ‘way from him ’bout two years he bot em back. Yes, he wuz good tuh us. I wuz my mistess’ boy. I looked afteh her, en she made all uv my cloes, en she knit my socks, ’cause I wuz her niggah.

“Yes, I wuz twenty yeahs old when I wuz married. I members when I wuz a boy when they had thet Civil Wah. I members theah wuz a brick office wheah they took en hung colohed folks. Yes, the blood wuz a-streamin’ down. Sumtimes theah hung them by theah feet, sometimes they hung them by theah thumbs.

“I cum tu Kentucky coal mines when I wuz ’bout twenty years old. I worked for Mistah Jenkins. I worked right here et the Davis, the R.T. Davis coal mine, en at the Bailey mine; that was a-fore Mistah Bailey died.

“When I worked for Mistah Davis he provided a house in the Cutt-Off, that’s ovah wheath the mine’s at. We woaked frum 7 o’clock in the mawnin’ til 6 ‘clock at night. Yes, I sure liked tuh woak for Mistah Davis. I tended fuahnaces some, too. I sure wuz sorry wen Mistah Davis died.”

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