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Slave Narrative of Ambrose Douglass

Interviewer: Martin D. Richardson Person Interviewed: Ambrose Douglass Location: Brooksville, Florida Age: 92 In 1861, when he was 16 years old, Ambrose Hilliard Douglass was given a sound beating by his North Carolina master because he attempted to refuse the mate that had been given to him–with the instructions to produce a healthy boy-child by her–and a long argument on the value of having good, strong, healthy children. In 1937, at the age of 92, Ambrose Douglass welcomed his 38th child into the world. The near-centenarian lives near Brooksville, in Hernando County, on a run-down farm that he no longer attempts to tend now that most of his 38 children have deserted the farm for the more lucrative employment of the cities of the phosphate camps. Douglass was born free in Detroit in 1845. His parents returned South to visit relatives still in slavery, and were soon reenslaved themselves, with their children. Ambrose was one of these. For 21 years he remained in slavery; sometimes at the plantation of his original master in North Carolina, sometimes in other sections after he had been sold to different masters. “Yassuh, I been sold a lot of times”, the old man states. “Our master didn’t believe in keeping a house, a horse or a darky after he had a chance to make some money on him. Mostly, though, I was sold when I cut up”. “I was a young man”, he continues, “and didn’t see why I should be anybody’s slave. I’d run away every chance I got. Sometimes they near killed me, but mostly they just sold me. I guess I...

Slave Narrative of Annie Gail

Person Interviewed: Annie Gail Location: Dade County, Florida Annie Gail, 1661 NW 6th Court, Miami, Florida, was four years old when “peace came.” “I was borned on Faggott’s place near Greenville, Alabama. My mother, she worked for Faggott. He wuz her bossman. When she’d go out to de fiel’s, I ‘member I used to watch her, for somehow I wuz feared she would get away from me. “Now I ‘member dat jes ez good as ’twas yesterday. I didn’t do anything. I just runned ’round. “We just ‘stayed on’ after de’ ‘Mancipation’. My mother, she was hired then. I guess I wuzn’t ‘fraid ob her leavin’ after...

Slave Narrative of Amanda McCray

Interviewer: Pearl Randolph Person Interviewed: Amanda McCray Location: Madison, Florida Occupation: House servant Mrs. McCray was sitting on her porch crooning softly to herself and rocking so gently that one might easily have thought the wind was swaying her chair. Her eyes were closed, her hands incredibly old and work worn were slowly folding and unfolding in her lap. She listened quietly to the interviewer’s request for some of the “high lights” of her life and finally exclaimed: “Chile why’ny you look among the living fer the high lights?” There was nothing resentful in this expression; only the patient weariness of one who has been dragged through the boundaries of a yesterday from which he was inseparable and catapulted into a present with which he has nothing in common. After being assured that her life story was of real interest to some one she warmed up and talked quite freely of the life and times as they existed in her day. How old was she? She confessed quite frankly that she never “knowed” her age. She was a grownup during the Civil War when she was commandered by Union soldiers invading the country and employed as a cook. Her owner, one Reddin Pamell, possessed a hundred or more slaves and was, according to her statement very kind to them. It was on his plantation that she was born. Amanda McCray is one of several children born to Jacob and Mary Williams, the latter being blind since Amanda could remember. Children on the Pamell plantation led a carefree existence until they were about 12 years of age, when they were...

Slave Narrative of Rev. Squires Jackson

Interviewer: Samuel Johnson Person Interviewed: Rev. Squires Jackson Location: Jacksonville, Florida Occupation: Bricklayer, Preacher Lying comfortably in a bed encased with white sheets, Rev. Squires Jackson, former slave and minister of the gospel living at 706 Third Street cheerfully related the story of his life. Born in a weather-beaten shanty in Madison, Fla. September 14, 1841 of a large family, he moved to Jacksonville at the age of three with the “Master” and his mother. Very devoted to his mother, he would follow her into the cotton field as she picked or hoed cotton, urged by the thrashing of the overseer’s lash. His master, a prominent political figure of that time was very kind to his slaves, but would not permit them to read and write. Relating an incident after having learned to read and write, one day as he was reading a newspaper, the master walked upon him unexpectedly and demanded to know what he was doing with a newspaper. He immediately turned the paper upside down and declared “Confederates done won the war.” The master laughed and walked away without punishing him. It la interesting to know that slaves on this plantation were not allowed to sing when they were at work, but with all the vigilance of the overseers, nothing could stop those silent songs of labor and prayers for freedom. On Sundays the boys on the plantation would play home ball and shoot marbles until church time. After church a hearty meal consisting of rice and salt picked pork was the usual Sunday fare cooked in large iron pots hung over indoor hearths. Sometimes coffee,...

Slave Narrative of Duncan Gaines

Interviewer: Pearl Randolph Person Interviewed: Duncan Gaines Location: Madison, Florida Age: 83? Occupation: Field Worker Duncan Gaines, the son of George and Martha Gaines was born on a plantation in Virginia on March 12, 1853. He was one of four children, all fortunate enough to remain with their parents until maturity. They were sold many times, but Duncan Gaines best remembers the master who was known as “old man Beever.” On this plantation were about 50 slaves, who toiled all day in the cotton and tobacco fields and came home at dusk to cook their meals of corn pone, collards and sweet potatoes on the hearths of their one room cabins. Biscuits were baked on special occasions by placing hot coals atop the iron tops of long legged frying pans called spiders, and the potatoes were roasted in the ashes, likewise the corn pone. Their masters being more or less kind, there was pork, chicken, syrup and other foodstuffs that they were allowed to raise as their own on a small scale. This work was often done by the light of a torch at night as they had little time of their own. In this way slaves earned money for small luxuries and the more ambitious sometimes saved enough money to buy their freedom, although this was not encouraged very much. The early life of Duncan was carefree and happy. With the exception of carrying water to the laborers and running errands, he had little to do. Most of the time of the slave children was spent in playing ball and wrestling and foraging the woods for berries and...

Madison County Florida Cemetery Records

Florida Cemetery records are listed by county then name of cemetery within the Florida county. Most of these are complete indices at the time of transcription, however, in some cases we list the listing when it is only a partial listing. Madison County Cemetery Records Hosted at Madison County, Florida USGenWeb Archives Andrews Family Cemetery Antioch Cemetery Archtillery Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery Aucilla Fire Tower Cemetery Barclay Family Cemetery Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery Beulah Baptist Church Cemetery Blue Springs Primitive Baptist Church Brady Cemetery Campbell Family Cemetery Campbell Sink Cemeteries Cherry Lake Baptist Church Cemetery Cherry Lake United Methodist Church Church of the Nazarene Cemetery Concord Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery Coody Family Cemetery Cooksey Family Cemetery Corinth Church Cemetery Crossroad Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery Drew Family Cemetery & Edwards Family Cemetery Ebenezer United Methodist Church Cemetery Evergreen Cemetery Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery Friendship Cemetery Hacker Gravesite Hanson United Methodist Church Cemetery Harby Family Cemetery Harmony Baptist Church Cemetery Hays Cemetery Henderson Cemetery Hensey Cemetery Hickory Grove Cemetery Hicks Cemetery Hickstown (Hixtown) Cemetery Hopewell Baptist Church Cemetery Hurst Family Cemetery Jeslamb A.M.E. Church Cemetery Lee Memorial Cemetery Leggitt Cemetery Little Brown Church Cemetery, a.k.a. Cambell’s Church Cemetery Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery Midway Baptist Church Cemetery Mt. Horeb Church Cemetery Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery Mt. Olive Cemetery Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church #2 New Hopeful Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery New Hopewell Cemetery New Zion Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery Norton Creek Cemetery, aka Rowe-Rutherford Oak Grove Cemetery Oak Ridge Cemetery Old Oakland Cemetery Old St. Matthews Church Cemetery Old Walker Cemetery Pine Grove Cemetery Pine Grove Missionary Baptist...

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