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Slave Narrative of Susan High

Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Susan High Location: 519 Haywood Street, Raleigh, North Carolina Age: 70 My name is Susan High. I wus born in June. I am 70 years old. My mother wus named Piety an’ she belonged to de ole man Giles Underhill before de surrender. My father he wus George Merritt an’ he belonged to Ben Merritt, Ivan Proctor’s grandfather. Dey lived on a plantation near Eagle Rock, Wake County. Dey called de creek near by Mark’s Creek. My parents said dat dey had a mighty hard time, an’ dat durin’ slavery time, de rules wus mighty strict. De hours of work on de farm wus from sun to sun wid no time ‘cept at Christmas and at lay-by time, 4th of July for anything but work. Dey were not ‘lowed no edication, and very little time to go to church. Sometimes de went to de white folks church. Mother said dey whupped de slaves if dey broke de rules. Dey said de overseers were worse den de slave owners. De overseers were ginerally white men hired by de marster. My father said dey had poor white men to overseer, and de slave owner would go on about his business and sometimes didn’t know an’ didn’t eben care how mean de overseer wus to de slaves. Dere wus a lot o’ things to drink, dey said, cider, made from apples, whiskey, an’ brandy. Dey said people didn’t notice it lak dey do now, not many got drunk, cause dere wus plenty of it. Father said it wus ten cents a quart, dat is de whiskey...

Slave Narrative of W. Solomon Debnam

Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: W. S. Debnam Location: 701 Smith Street, Raleigh, North Carolina Age: 78 Yes, I remember the Yankees coming to Raleigh. I don’t know very much about those times, I was so young, but I remember the Yankees all right in their blue clothes; their horses, and so on. I’ll be 78 years old the 8th of this comin’ September an’ I’ve heard mother an’ father talk about slavery time a whole lot. We belonged to T. R. Debnam at Eagle Rock, Wake County. His wife was named Priscilla Debnam. My father was named Daniel Debnam an’ my mother was named Liza Debnam. My master had several plantations an’ a lot of slaves. I don’t know how many, but I know he had ’em. He fed us well; we had a good place to sleep. We had wove clothes, enough to keep us warm. He treated me just like he had been my father. I didn’t know the difference. Marster an’ missus never hit me a lick in their lives. My mother was the house girl. Father tended business around the house an’ worked in the field sometimes. Our houses were in marster’s yard. The slave quarters were in the yard of the great house. I don’t remember going to church until after the surrender. I remember the corn shuckin’s, but not the Christmas and the fourth of July holidays. They had a lot of whiskey at corn shuckin’s and good things to eat. I heard pappy talk of patterollers, but I do not know what they were. Pappy said he had to have...

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