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Slave Narrative of Josephine Stewart

Interviewer: W. W. Dixon Person Interviewed: Josephine Stewart Location: Blackstock, South Carolina Place of Birth: Blackstock, South Carolina Date of Birth: May, 1853 Age: 85 Phinie Stewart, as she is known in the community where she lives, is a small, black negress, who shows her age in appearance and movements. She lives with Robert Wood, a hundred yards back of the Presbyterian Church manse at Blackstock, S.C. Robert Wood married Phinie’s niece, who is now deceased. Phinie has no property, and depends entirely on the charity of Robert Wood for her support. “Does you know where de old Bell House is, about a mile de other side of Blackstock, on de Chester road? Yes? Well, dere is where I was borned, in May, 1853. “I doesn’t know who my pappy was. You know in them times folks wasn’t particular ’bout marriage licenses and de preacher tying de knot and all dat kind of thing. But I does know mammy’s name. Her name was Celie. Dese eyes of mine is dim but I can see her now, stooping over de wash tub and washing de white folks’ clothes every Monday and Tuesday. “Us belonged to Marster Charlie Bell and his lady, Miss Maggie Bell, our mistress in them slavery days. Does I ‘member who Miss Maggie was befo’ her married Marster Charlie? Sure I does. Mistress was a daughter of Miss Anne Jane Neil, who lived to be a hundred and five years old, and its writ on her tombstone in Concord Cemetery. I ‘spect you has seen it, ain’t you? Old Miss Anne Neil was a Irish lady, born...

Slave Narrative of Bill Williams

Interviewer: W. W. Dixon Person Interviewed: Bill Williams Location: Winnsboro, South Carolina Age: 82 Bill Williams lives on the Durham place, nine miles east of Winnsboro, S.C., on the warm charity of Mr. Arthur M. Owens, the present owner. He is decrepit and unable to work. “I was born a slave of old Marster John Durham, on a plantation ’bout five miles east of Blackstock, S.C. My mistress name Margaret. Deir chillun was Miss Cynthia, Marse Johnnie, Marse Willie and Marse Charnel. I forgits de others. Then, when young Marse Johnnie marry Miss Minnie Mobley, my mammy, Kizzie, my daddy, Eph, and me was give to them. Daddy and mammy had four other chillun. They was Eph, Reuben, Winnie and Jordan. Us live in rows of log houses, a path ‘twixt de two rows. Us was close to de spring, where us got water and mammy did de white folks washin’ every week. I kep’ de fires burnin’ ’round de pots, so de water would keep boilin’. Dat’s ’bout all de work I ‘members doin’ in slavery time. Daddy was a field hand and ploughed a big red mule, name Esau. How many slaves was dere? More than I could count. In them days I couldn’t count up to a hundred. How, then, I gonna kno’ how many dere was? You have to ask somebody else. I’ll just risk sayin’ dere was big and little ones, just a little drove of them dat went to de field in cotton pickin’ time, a hollerin’ and a singin’ glory hallelujah all day long, and pick two bales a day. “Marse Johnnie...

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