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Slave Narrative of Mack Taylor

Interviewer: W. W. Dixon Person Interviewed: Mack Taylor Location: Ridgeway, South Carolina Age: 97 Mack Taylor lives six miles southeast of Ridgeway, S.C., on his farm of ninety-seven acres. The house, in which he resides, is a frame house containing six rooms, all on one floor. His son, Charley, lives with him. Charley is married and has a small family. “Howdy do sir! I sees you a good deal goin’ backwards and forwards to Columbia. I has to set way back in de bus and you sets up to de front. I can’t ketch you to speak to you, as you is out and gone befo’ I can lay hold of you. But, as Brer Fox ‘lowed to Brer Rabbit, when he ketched him wid a tar baby at a spring, ‘I is got you now.’ “I’s been wantin’ to ask you ’bout dis old age pension. I’s been to Winnsboro to see ’bout it. Some nice white ladies took my name and ask me some questions, but dat seem to be de last of it. Reckon I gwine to get anything? “Well, I’s been here mighty nigh a hundred years, and just ’cause I pinched and saved and didn’t throw my money away on liquor, or put it into de palms of every Jezabel hussy dat slant her eye at me, ain’t no valuable reason why them dat did dat way and ‘joyed deirselves can get de pension and me can’t get de pension. ‘Tain’t fair! No, sir. If I had a knowed way back yonder, fifty years ago, what I knows now, I might of gallavanted ’round...

Slave Narrative of Reuben Rosborough

Interviewer: W. W. Dixon Person Interviewed: Reuben Rosborough Location: Ridgeway, South Carolina Age: 82 “No sir, I can ‘member nothin’ ’bout de State of Verginny, where pappy said us was born. He told me, when I was ’bout two years old he and mammy Kitty was took from somewhar in dat state to Richmond, wid de understandin’ to sell us as a family, and to give a man name Johnson, de preference. He say de trader couldn’t find de man Johnson, and sold us to my marster, John Rosborough. My pappy name William, my brothers, Tom and Willie and my sisters, Mary and Alice. “My marster was a kind and tender man to slaves. You see a man love hosses and animals? Well, dat’s de way he love us, though maybe in bigger portion, I ‘low. Marster John never marry. Set down dere dat he was good enough to buy my old gran’ mammy Mary, though she never could do much work. “Us knowed dat our gran’pappy was a white man back in Verginny, but dat was her secret, dat she kept locked in her breast and carried it wid her to de grave. You say I’s very light color myself? So I is, so was she, so was pappy. Ease your mind, us had none of de white Rosborough in us. Us come on one side from de F.F.V’s. I’s proud of dat, and you can put down dere dat deres no poor white trash blood in dese old veins, too. “De last part of de war I worked some in de field, but not enough to hurt....

Slave Narrative of Alexander Robertson

Interviewer: W. W. Dixon Person Interviewed: Alexander Robertson Location: White Oak, South Carolina Age: 84 Ex-Slave 84 Years Old Alexander Robertson lives as a member of the household of his son, Charley, on the General Bratton plantation, four miles southeast of White Oak, S.C. It is a box-like house, chimney in the center, four rooms, a porch in front and morning glory vines, in bloom at this season, climbing around the sides and supports. Does Alexander sit here in the autumn sunshine and while the hours away? Nay, in fact he is still one of the active, working members of the family, ever in the fields with his grandchildren, poke around his neck, extracting fleecy cotton from the bolls and putting it deftly into the poke. He can carry his row equally as well as any of the six grandchildren. He has a good appetite at meal time, digestive organs good, sleeps well, and is the early riser in the mornings. He says the Negro half of his nature objects to working on Saturday afternoon, and at such times his tall figure, with a green patch cloth over the left eye, which is sightless, may be seen strolling to and fro on the streets of Winnsboro. “Well, well! If it ain’t de youngun dat use to sell me sugar, coffee, fat back and meal, when he clerk for Calvin Brice & Company, at Woodward, in ’84 and ‘long dere. “I hopes you is well dis mornin’. I’s told to come to Winnsboro and gits blanks for a pension. Andy Foster, man I knows, d’rect me up dese steps and...

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