Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Slave Narrative of Dan Smith

Interviewer: W. W. Dixon Person Interviewed: Dan Smith Location: Winnsboro, South Carolina Place of Birth: Richland County SC Date of Birth: January 11, 1862 Age: 75 Occupation: Construction Dan Smith lives in one room, rent free, of a three-room frame house, the property of his son-in-law, Jim Cason. It is situated on the southeast corner of Garden and Palmer streets in the town of Winnsboro, S.C. He is tall, thin and toothless, with watery eyes and a pained expression of weariness on his face. He is slow and deliberate in movements. He still works, and has just finished a day’s work mixing mortar in the construction of a brick store building for Mr. Lauderdale. His boss says: ‘The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.’ There is nothing organically wrong with Dan but he appears, in human anatomy, as Doctor Holmes’s One Horse Shay must have looked the day before its final collapse. “You been here once befo’ and now here you is again. You say you wanna git additions? Well, I’s told you dat I was born in Richland County, a slave of Marse John Lever and on his plantation, January de 11th day, 1862, when de war was gwine on. How I know? ‘Cause my mammy and pappy told me so. They call my pappy Bob and my mammy Mary. Strange as it seem, my mistress name Mary, just de same as my mammy, tho’ marster wasn’t name Bob, lak pappy. Him name Marster John and de young marster, an only child, was name Marse Jim. You better stop right dere ’til I tell you pappy...

Pin It on Pinterest