Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Slave Narrative of Charlie Barbour

Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: Charlie Barbour Date of Interview: May 20, 1937 Location: Smithfield, North Carolina Age: 86 I belonged ter Mr. Bob Lumsford hyar in Smithfield from de time of my birth. My mammy wuz named Candice an’ my pappy’s name wuz Seth. My brothers wuz Rufus, William an’ George, an’ my sisters wuz Mary an’ Laura. I ‘minds me of de days when as a youngin’ [HW correction: youngun’] I played marbles an’ hide an’ seek. Dar wuzn’t many games den, case nobody ain’t had no time fer ’em. De grown folkses had dances an’ sometimes co’n shuckin’s, an’ de little niggers patted dere feets at de dances an’ dey he’p ter shuck de co’n. At Christmas we had a big dinner, an’ from den through New Year’s Day we feast, an’ we dance, an’ we sing. De fust one what said Christmas gift ter anybody else got a gif’, so of cou’se we all try ter ketch de marster. On de night ‘fore de first day of Jinuary we had a dance what lasts all night. At midnight when de New Year comes in marster makes a speech an’ we is happy dat he thanks us fer our year’s wuck an’ says dat we is good, smart slaves. Marster wucked his niggers from daylight till dark, an’ his thirteen grown slaves had ter ten’ ’bout three hundred acres o’ land. Course dey mostly planted co’n, peas an’ vege’ables. I can ‘member, do’ I wuz small, dat de slaves wuz whupped fer disobeyin’ an’ I can think of seberal dat I got. I wuz doin’...

Slave Narrative of Cornelia Andrews

Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: Cornelia Andrews Date of Interview: May 21, 1937 Location: Smithfield, North Carolina Age: 87 An interview on May 21, 1937 with Cornelia Andrews of Smithfield, Johnston County, who is 87 years old. De fust marster dat I ‘members wuz Mr. Cute Williams an’ he wuz a good marster, but me an’ my mammy an’ some of de rest of ’em wuz sold to Doctor McKay Vaden who wuz not good ter us. Doctor Vaden owned a good-sized plantation, but he had just eight slaves. We had plank houses, but we ain’t had much food an’ clothes. We wored shoes wid wooden bottom in de winter an’ no shoes in de summer. We ain’t had much fun, nothin’ but candy pullin’s ’bout onct a year. We ain’t raised no cane but marster buyed one barrel of ‘lasses fer candy eber year. Yo’ know dat dar wuz a big slave market in Smithfield dem days, dar wuz also a jail, an’ a whippin’ post. I ‘members a man named Rough somethin’ or other, what bought forty er fifty slaves at de time an’ carried ’em ter Richmond to re-sell. He had four big black horses hooked ter a cart, an’ behind dis cart he chained de slaves, an’ dey had ter walk, or trot all de way ter Richmond. De little ones Mr. Rough would throw up in de cart an’ off dey’d go no’th. Dey said dat der wuz one day at Smithfield dat three hundret slaves wuz sold on de block. Dey said dat peoples came from fer an’ near, eben from New...

Slave Narrative of George W. Harris

Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: George W. Harris Location: 604 E Cabarrus Street, Raleigh, North Carolina Date of Birth: November 25, 1855 Age: 82 Hey, don’t go ‘roun’ dat post gitting it ‘tween you and me, it’s bad luck. Don’t you know it’s bad luck? Don’t want no more bad luck den what I’se already got. My name is George Harris. I wuz born November 25, 82 years ago. I have been living in the City of Raleigh onto 52 years. I belonged to John Andrews. He died about de time I wuz born. His wife Betsy wuz my missus and his son John wuz my marster. Deir plantation wuz in Jones County. Dere were about er dozen slaves on de plantation. We had plenty o’ food in slavery days during my boyhood days, plenty of good sound food. We didn’t have ‘xactly plenty o’ clothes, and our places ter sleep needed things, we were in need often in these things. We were treated kindly, and no one abused us. We had as good owners as there were in Jones County; they looked out for us. They let us have patches to tend and gave us what we made. We did not have much money. We had no church on the plantation, but there wuz one on Marster’s brother’s plantation next ter his plantation. We had suppers an’ socials, generally gatherings for eatin’, socials jist to git together an’ eat. We had a lot o’ game ter eat, such as possums, coons, rabbits and birds. De plantation wuz fenced in wid rails about 10 ft. in length split...

Slave Narrative of Barbara Haywood

Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: Barbara Haywood Location: 1111 Mark Street, Raleigh, North Carolina Age: 85 Aunt Barbara’s Love Story An interview with Barbara Haywood, 85 years old. Address 1111 Mark Street, Raleigh, North Carolina. Anything dat I tells you will near ’bout all be ’bout Frank Haywood, my husban’. I wus borned on de John Walton place seben miles southeast of Raleigh. My father, Handy Sturdivant, belonged to somebody in Johnston County but mother an’ her chilluns ‘longed ter Marse John Walton. Marse John had a corn shuckin’ onct an’ at dat corn shuckin’ I fust saw Frank. I wus a little girl, cryin’ an’ bawlin’ an’ Frank, who wus a big boy said dat he neber wanted ter spank a youngin’ so bad, an’ I ain’t liked him no better dan he did me. He ‘longed ter Mr. Yarborough, what runned de hotel in Raleigh, but he wus boun’ out ter anybody what’ud hire him, an’ I doan know whar he got his name. I seed Frank a few times at de Holland’s Methodist Church whar we went ter church wid our white folks. You axes iffen our white folks wus good ter us, an’ I sez ter yo’ dat none of de white folks wus good ter none of de niggers. We done our weavin’ at night an’ we wurked hard. We had enough ter eat but we was whupped some. Jest ‘fore de war wus ober we wus sent ter Mr. William Turner’s place down clost ter Smithfield an’ dats whar we wus when de Yankees come. One day I wus settin’ on de...

Slave Narrative of Frank Freeman

Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Frank Freeman Location: 216 Tuppers Lane, Raleigh, North Carolina Date of Birth: December 14, 1857 Place of Birth: Wake County NC Age: 76 I was born near Rolesville in Wake County Christmas Eve, 24 of December 1857. I am 76 years old. My name is Frank Freeman and my wife’s name is Mary Freeman. She is 78 years old. We live at 216 Tuppers Lane, Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina. I belonged to ole man Jim Wiggins jus’ this side o’ Roseville, fourteen miles from Raleigh. The great house is standin’ there now, and a family by the name o’ Gill, a colored man’s family, lives there. The place is owned by ole man Jim Wiggins’s grandson, whose name is O. B. Wiggins. My wife belonged to the Terrells before the surrender. I married after the war. I was forty years ole when I was married. Old man Jim Wiggins was good to his niggers, and when the slave children were taken off by his children they treated us good. Missus dressed mother up in her clothes and let her go to church. We had good, well cooked food, good clothes, and good places to sleep. Some of the chimneys which were once attached to the slave houses are standing on the plantation. The home plantation in Wake County was 3000 acres. Marster also owned three and a quarter plantations in Franklin County. He kept about ten men at home and would not let his slave boys work until they were 18 years old, except tend to horses and do light jobs around...

Robert H. Wells

Sergt., Amb Co. 318, 80th Div., Regt. 305th, San. Tr.; of Johnston Co.; son of H. D. and Mrs. A. J. Wells. Entered service May 10, 1917, at Princeton, N.C. Sent to Ft. Thomas, then to Ft. Oglethorpe, then to Camp Lee, Va. Sailed for France May, 1918. Fought at Somme, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne. Returned to USA June 8, 1919. Mustered out at Camp Lee, Va., June 13,...

Harvey C. Stanley

Sergt. 1st Class, Inf., Co. C, 30th Div., 119th Regt. Born in Johnston County; son of O. J. and Mrs. Betty Stanley. Entered service May 22, 1917, at Four Oaks, N.C. Sent to Camp Royster, N.C. Transferred to Camp Wadsworth and from there to Camp Sevier. Promoted to rank of Corpl. July, 1917. Promoted to rank of 1st Sergt. 1918. Mustered out at Camp Sevier, S. C., March 14,...

T. G. Strickland

Merchant Marine. Born in Johnston County; the son of Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Strickland. Husband of Mrs. Rosa Strickland. Entered the service Aug. 2, 1918, at Smithfield, N.C. Was sent to Boston, Mass. Mustered out at Norfolk, Va., Dec. 1, 1918.

John E. Sauls

Sergt., 119th Inf., Co. C, 30th Div. Born in Johnston County; the son of Mr. and Mrs. L. J. Sauls. Husband of Mrs. Agnes Belle Sauls. Entered the service May 1, 1916, at Selma, N.C. Was sent to Camp Wadsworth, S. C., and from there to Camp Sevier, S. C., transferred to Camp Merritt, N. J. Sailed for France May 11, 1918. Fought at Bellicourt, Busigny, Brancourt, St. Souplet, Mazinghein, Montbrehain, Voormizelle, Joncourt. Returned to USA April 2, 1919; landed at Charleston, S. C. Was mustered out at Camp Jackson, S. C., April 8, 1919. Served on the Mexican border five months and twenty...
Page 1 of 41234

Pin It on Pinterest