Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Slave Narrative of Essex Henry

Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: Essex Henry Location: 713 S. East Street, Raleigh, North Carolina Age: 83 Ex-Slave Story An interview with Essex Henry 83 of 713 S. East Street, Raleigh, N. C. I wus borned five miles north of Raleigh on de Wendell Road, 83 years ago. My mammy wus Nancy an’ my pappy wus Louis. I had one sister, Mary, an’ one bruder, Louis. We ‘longed ter Mr. Jake Mordecai, an’ we lived on his six hundert acres plantation ’bout a mile from Millbrook. Right atter de war he sold dis lan’ ter Doctor Miller an’ bought de Betsy Hinton tract at Milburnie. Mr. Jake had four or five hundert niggers hyar an’ I doan know how many at de Edgecombe County place. De wuck wus hard den, I knows case I’se seed my little mammy dig ditches wid de best of ’em. I’se seed her split 350 rails a day many’s de time. Dat wus her po’tion you knows, an’ de mens had ter split 500. I wus too little ter do much but min’ de chickens outen de gyarden, an’ so I fared better dan most of ’em. You see Miss Tempie ‘ud see me out at de gate mornin’s as dey wus eatin’ breakfas’ on de ferander, an’ she’ud call me ter her an’ give me butter toasted lightbread or biscuits. She’d give me a heap in dat way, an’ do de rest of de slaves got hungry, I doan think dat I eber did. I know dat Miss Jenny Perry, on a neighborin’ plantation, ‘ud give my mammy food, fer us chilluns....

Pin It on Pinterest