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Slave Narrative of James Singleton

Person Interviewed: Rev. James Singleton Location: Mississippi Date of Birth: 1856 “My name’s James Singleton. I’se a Baptist preacher. I was born in 1856, but I doan know zactly what date. My mammy was Harr’et Thompson. Her marster was Marse Daniel Thompson over in Simpson County on Strong River at a place called Westville. My pappy, he come from South Ca’lina—Charleston—an’ was give to do old folks’ darter. His name was John Black an’ he was owned by Mr. Frank Smith over in Simpson. He was brought down frum South Ca’lina in a wagon ‘long wid lots mo’. “Me, I was sol’ to Marse Harrison Hogg over in Simpson when I was ’bout six years old, and Marse Hogg, he turn right ‘roun’, and sol’ me an’ sister Harr’et an’ brother John nex’ day for fo’ thousan’. Two thousan’ fo’ John, ’cause he’s older an’ bigger, an’ a thousan’ fo’ Harr’et an’ me. Miss Annie an’ Marse Elbert Bell bought us. “Marse Elbert had three mo’ sides us—makin’ six. Us slep’ on pallets on de flo’, an’ all lived in one long room made out of logs, an’ had a dirt flo’ an’ dirt chimbly. There was a big old iron pot hangin’ over de hearth, an’ us had ‘possum, greens, taters, and de lak cooked in it. Had coon sometimes, too. “Marse Elbert, he lived in jes a plain wood house made Califo’nia style, wid a front room an’ a shed room where de boys slep’. Dey had two boys, Jettie an’ William. “I reckin dere was ’bout a hun’erd an’ sixty acres planted in taters an’ corn,...

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