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Slave Narrative of Phillip Johnson

Interviewer: Guthrie Person Interviewed: Phillip Johnson Location: Poolesville, Maryland Ref: Phillip Johnson, R.F.D. Poolesville, Md. The subject of this sketch is a pure blooded Negro, whose kinky hair is now white, likewise his scraggy beard. He is of medium size and somewhat stooped with age, but still active enough to plant and tend a patch of corn and the chores about his little place at Sugarlands. His home is a small cabin with one or two rooms upstairs and three down, including the kitchen which is a leanto. The cabin is in great disrepair. Phillip John is above the average in intelligence, has some education and is quite well versed in the Holy Scriptures, having been for many years a Methodist preacher among his people. He uses fairly good English and freely talks in answer to questions. Without giving the questions put to him by this writer, his remarks given in the first person and as near his own idiom are as follows: “I’ll be ninety years old next December. I dunno the day. My Missis had the colored folks ages written in a book but it was destroyed when the Confederate soldiers came through. But she had a son born two or three months younger than me and she remember that I was born in December, 1847, but she had forgot the day of the month. “I was born down on the river bottom about four miles below Edwards’ Ferry, on the Eight Mile Level, between Edwards’ Ferry and Seneca. I belonged to ole Doctah White. He owned a lot o’ lan down on de bottom. I dunno...

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