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Slave Narrative of Harriet Ann Daves

Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Harriet Ann Daves Location: 601 E. Cabarrus Street, Raleigh, North Carolina Date of Birth: June 6, 1856 My full name is Harriet Ann Daves, I like to be called Harriet Ann. If my mother called me when she was living, I didn’t want to answer her unless she called me Harriet Ann. I was born June 6, 1856. Milton Waddell, my mother’s marster was my father, and he never denied me to anybody. My mother was a slave but she was white. I do not know who my mother’s father was. My mother was Mary Collins. She said that her father was an Indian. My mother’s mother was Mary Jane Collins, and she was white–maybe part Indian. My grandfather was old man William D. Waddell, a white man. I was born in Virginia near Orange Courthouse. The Waddells moved to Lexington, Missouri, after I was born. I guess some of the family would not like it if they knew I was telling this. We had good food and a nice place to live. I was nothing but a child, but I know, and remember that I was treated kindly. I remember the surrender very well. When the surrender came my grandfather came to mother and told her: ‘Well, you are as free as I am.’ That was William D. Waddell. He was one of the big shots among the white folks. My white grandmother wanted mother to give me to her entirely. She said she had more right to me than my Indian grandmother that she had plenty to educate and care for...

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