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Slave Narrative of James Singleton

Person Interviewed: Rev. James Singleton Location: Mississippi Date of Birth: 1856 “My name’s James Singleton. I’se a Baptist preacher. I was born in 1856, but I doan know zactly what date. My mammy was Harr’et Thompson. Her marster was Marse Daniel Thompson over in Simpson County on Strong River at a place called Westville. My pappy, he come from South Ca’lina—Charleston—an’ was give to do old folks’ darter. His name was John Black an’ he was owned by Mr. Frank Smith over in Simpson. He was brought down frum South Ca’lina in a wagon ‘long wid lots mo’. “Me, I was sol’ to Marse Harrison Hogg over in Simpson when I was ’bout six years old, and Marse Hogg, he turn right ‘roun’, and sol’ me an’ sister Harr’et an’ brother John nex’ day for fo’ thousan’. Two thousan’ fo’ John, ’cause he’s older an’ bigger, an’ a thousan’ fo’ Harr’et an’ me. Miss Annie an’ Marse Elbert Bell bought us. “Marse Elbert had three mo’ sides us—makin’ six. Us slep’ on pallets on de flo’, an’ all lived in one long room made out of logs, an’ had a dirt flo’ an’ dirt chimbly. There was a big old iron pot hangin’ over de hearth, an’ us had ‘possum, greens, taters, and de lak cooked in it. Had coon sometimes, too. “Marse Elbert, he lived in jes a plain wood house made Califo’nia style, wid a front room an’ a shed room where de boys slep’. Dey had two boys, Jettie an’ William. “I reckin dere was ’bout a hun’erd an’ sixty acres planted in taters an’ corn,...

Slave Narrative of Jane Sutton

Person Interviewed: Jane Sutton Location: Gulfport, Mississippi Place of Birth: Simpson County MS Age: 84 Jane Sutton, ex-slave, is 84 years old. She is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. She is what the Negroes themselves call a “brown-skin.” “I was born in Simpson County, near old Westville, on a big farm what b’long to Marse Jack Berry. I was 12 years old when de surrender come, so my ole Mis’ say. Her name was ‘Mis Ailsey an’ all us cullud folks call her ‘Ole Mi’s. She an’ Old Marster had twelve chillun: Marthy, ‘Lizabeth, Flavilia, Mary, Jack, Bill, Denson, Pink, Tally, Thomas, Albert, and Frank. “My pappy’s name was Steve Hutchins. He b’long to de Hutchins what live down near Silver Creek. He jus’ come on Satu’d’y night an’ us don’ see much of ‘im. Us call him ‘dat man.’ Mammy tol’ us to be more ‘spectful to ‘im ’cause he was us daddy, but us aint care nothin’ ’bout ‘im. He aint never brung us no candy or nothin’. “My mammy was name Lucy Berry. She always go by de white folks name what she live wid. She aint never marry. She had fo’ boys an’ three girls. Dey was name Delia, Sarah, Ella, Nathan, Isom, Anderson, an’ Pleas. She work in de fiel’ an Old Marster say she’s de only woman on de place what could plow lak a man. “I ‘members my gran’ma, too. Us always call her ‘Granny.’ She say dey stole her back in Virginny an’ brung ‘er to Mississippi an’ sol’ her to Marse Berry. Her name was Hannah....

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