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Slave Narrative of George Taylor Burns

Interviewer: Lauana Creel Person Interviewed: George Taylor Burns Location: Evansville, Indiana Ex-Slave Stories District #5 Vanderburgh County Lauana Creel THE LIFE STORY OF GEORGE TAYLOR BURNS [HW: Personal Interview] Ox-carts and flat boats, and pioneer surroundings; crowds of men and women crowding to the rails of river steamboats; gay ladies in holiday attire and gentleman in tall hats, low cut vests and silk mufflers; for the excursion boats carried the gentry of every area. A little negro boy clung to the ragged skirts of a slave mother, both were engrossed in watching the great wheels that ploughed the Mississippi river into foaming billows. Many boats stopped at Gregery’s Landing, Missouri to stow away wood, for many engines were fired with wood in the early days. The Burns brothers operated a wood yard at the Landing and the work of cutting, hewing and piling wood for the commerce was performed by slaves of the Burns plantation. George Taylor Burns was five years of age and helped his mother all day as she toiled in the wood yards. “The colder the weather, the more hard work we had to do,” declares Uncle George. George Taylor Burns, the child of Missouri slave parents, recalls the scenes enacted at the Burns’ wood yards so long ago. He is a resident of Evansville, Indiana and his snow white hair and beard bear testimony that his days have been already long upon the earth. Uncle George remembers the time when his infant hands reached in vain for his mother, the kind and gentle Lucy Burns: Remembers a long cold winter of snow and ice when...

Biography of James W. Brady

Natural talent, acquired ability, determination and energy have brought James W. Brady to a foremost position in the ranks of the legal fraternity of Haskell, where since 1905 he has followed his profession. He has been called upon to fill various public positions of honor and trust and is now capably discharging the duties of city attorney, in which connection he is making a highly commendable record. A native of Indiana, he was born in Dubois county, May 22, 1871, of the marriage of James and Margaret (Payne) Brady, both of whom were born in Tennessee. In 1863 the father removed to Indiana, where he devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits, first cultivating rented land in Dubois County, after which he went across the line into Perry county. There he entered a tract of government land, which he cleared and developed, and subsequently acquired additional holdings, becoming at length the owner of a valuable and well improved farm. He successfully continued his agricultural operations until his demise, which occurred in March l908 The mother 77 passed of the previous year. James W. Brady pursued his studies in the grammar and high schools of Perry county, Indiana, after which he took up educational work, devoting seven years to teaching. In the meantime he had employed his leisure hours in the study of the principles of jurisprudence and subsequently entered the Indiana Law School at Indianapolis, from which he was graduated with the class of 1901. However, in 1897 he had been admitted to the bar and had practiced his profession for three years at Connelton, Indiana, previous to his graduation,...

Biography of John Carson

JOHN CARSON. – Few, indeed, combine so many of those characteristics of frontier life, have undergone those experiences, successfully passed through those vicissitudes, which, aggregated and embodied in the life of one man, constitute him in the true sense a “pioneer,” as he whose name heads this sketch. It but feebly represents his real worth and genuine manhood. The picture is incomplete which fails to show those struggles and hardships and sacrifices to which he and his little family were subjected in their journey to this country, in their labor to make a dwelling-place in the wilderness, and to open the way by which American men, and women and children might appropriate these regions and dedicate them as homes. The busy, thoughtless throng which later followed, and converted solitude into society, have pushed into the background the early settlers, – those who had transformed the wilderness into garden spots, thereby inducing the masses to come to the Pacific slope and cast their lot in Oregon and Washington. They who dedicated the wilderness as appropriate residences for the myriads who have followed will yet live in history; those who pushed back the savage to give place to our race, who made Washington Territory a practicable and peaceable abiding place for women and children, will be recognized as the true commonwealth-builders, the avant-couriers and establishers of our Pacific civilization. Such, in every sense of the word, was John Carson, who lives, at a green old age and full of activity, at Puyallup, Pierce county, Washington. He was born January 25, 1828, in Butler county, Pennsylvania. His father was a farmer; and...

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