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Slave Narrative of Arnold Gragston

Interviewer: Martin Richardson Person Interviewed: Arnold Gragston Location: Eatonville, Florida Age: 97 (Verbatim interview with Arnold Gragston, 97-year old ex-slave whose early life was spent helping slaves to freedom across the Ohio River, while he, himself, remained in bondage. As he put it, he guessed he could be called a ‘conductor’ on the underground railway, only we didn’t call it that then. I don’t know as we called it anything – we just knew there was a lot of slaves always a-wantin’ to get free, and I had to help ’em.”) “Most of the slaves didn’t know when they was born, but I did. You see, I was born on a Christmas mornin’ – it was in 1840; I was a full grown man when I finally got my freedom.” “Before I got it, though, I helped a lot of others get theirs. Lawd only knows how many; might have been as much as two-three hundred. It was ‘way more than a hundred, I know. “But that all came after I was a young man – ‘grown’ enough to know a pretty girl when I saw one, and to go chasing after her, too. I was born on a plantation that b’long to Mr. Jack Tabb in Mason County, just across the river in Kentucky.” “Mr. Tabb was a pretty good man. He used to beat us, sure; but not nearly so much as others did, some of his own kin people, even. But he was kinda funny sometimes; he used to have a special slave who didn’t have nothin’ to do but teach the rest of us –...

Biography of George H. Long

George H. Long is a business man of Kansas City, Kansas, where he has been located for the past eight years. As an undertaker he has built up a large clientage on the basis of thorough and competent service, and has given to that profession the best of his energies and his conscientious study for a number of years. Mr. Long is a native of Ohio, born September 30, 1875, at Ripley in Brown County. He was the oldest of the five children of James A. and Jemima (Fluharty) Long. Both parents were natives of Ohio. James A. Long had a brother, John, two years older. They were left motherless when children, and their father, George Long, soon afterward determined to seek a home in Kansas. He came out to the state by ox team and wagon and married here and soon after getting his home established he went back to Ohio to get his children. On returning to Kansas he found that his second wife had died during his absence, and he himself fell a victim to cholera about 1854. His children, James and John, went back to Ohio and were reared there by separate families. John was in the regular army, was injured during service in the West against the Indians, and his subsequent record became lost to the family. James A. Long was a lumberman in Ohio, and for fifteen years served as deputy marshal of Ripley, Ohio. He was a democrat and a man held in the highest esteem throughout his community. He was a Methodist and an active supporter of church and school. Mr....

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