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Slave Narrative of Mattie Hariman

Person Interviewed: Mattie Hariman Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Place of Birth: Gunalis, Texas Date of Birth: January 2, 1859 Age: 78 I was born January 2, 1859, at Gunalis, Texas. My father’s name was William Tensley and my mother’s name Mildred Howard. They was brought from Virginia. I did have 8 brothers and sisters but all of them are dead. My Master was name William Henry Edward. Since I was too young to work I nursed my sisters’ children while they worked. The cooking was done all up to the general kitchen at Masters house and when slaves come from work they would send their children up to the kitchen to bring their meals to their homes in the quarters. Our Mistress would have one of the cooks to dish up vegetables and she herself would slice or serve the meat to see that it wasn’t wasted, as seemingly it was thought so precious. As my mother worked ’round the Big House quite a deal I would go up to the Big House with her and play with the white children who seemed to like for me to come to play with them. One day in anger while playing I called one of the white girls. “old black dog” and they pretended they would tell their mother (my Mistress) about it. I was scared, as they saw, and they promised me they would not tell if I’d promise to not do it again, and which I was so glad to do and be let off so lightly. For summer I wore a cotton slip and for winter my mother...

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