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Slave Narrative of Gabe Emanuel

Interviewer: Esther de Sola Person Interviewed: Gabe Emanuel Location: Port Gibson, Mississippi Gabe Emanuel is the blackest of Negroes. He is stooped and wobbly from his eighty-five years and weighs about one hundred and thirty-five pounds. His speech is somewhat hindered by an unbelievable amount of tobacco rolled to one side of his mouth. He lives in the Negro quarters of Port Gibson. Like most ex-slaves he has the courtesy and the gentleness of a southern gentleman. “Lawsy! Dem slav’ry days done been s’long ago I jus’ ‘member a few things dat happen den. But I’s sho’ mighty pleased to relate dat what I recollec’. “I was de house boy on old judge Stamps’ plantation. He lived ’bout nine miles east o’ Port Gibson an’ he was a mighty well-to-do gent’man in dem days. He owned ’bout 500 or 600 Niggers. He made plenty o’ money out o’ his fiel’s. Dem Niggers worked for dey keep. I ‘clare, dey sho’ did. “Us ‘ud dike out in spick an’ span clean clothes come Sund’ys. Ever’body wore homespun clo’es den. De mistis an’ de res’ o’ de ladies in de Big House made mos’ of ’em. De cullud wimmins wore some kin’ o’ dress wid white aprons an’ de mens wore overalls an’ homespun pants an’ shirts. Course, all de time us gits han’-me-downs from de folks in de Big House. Us what was a-servin’ in de Big House wore de marster’s old dress suits. Now, dat was somep’n’! Mos’ o’ de time dey didn’ fit—maybe de pants hung a little loose an’ de tails o’ de coat hung a little...

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