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Slave Narrative of William Curtis

Person Interviewed: William Curtis Location: McAlester, Oklahoma Age: 93 “Run Nigger, run, De Patteroll git ye! Run Nigger, run, He’s almost here!” Please Mr. Pateroll, Don’t ketch me! Jest take dat nigger What’s behind dat tree.” Lawsy, I done heard dat song all my life and it warn’t no joke wither. Do Patrol would git ye too if he caught ye off the plantation thout a pass from your Master, and he’d whey ye too. None of we doesn’t save without a pass. We chillen sung lots of songs and me played marbles, mumble pog, my town call. In de winter we would set around de fire and listen to our mammy and Pappy tell host tales and witch tales. I don’t guess dey was sho’ off so, but we all thought fey was. My Mammy was bought in Virginia by our Master, Hugh McKeown. He owned a big plantation in Georgia. Soon after she come to George A she married my pa. Old Master was good to us. We lived for a while in the quarters behind the Big House, and my marry was de house woman. Somehow, in a trade, or maybe my pa was mortgaged, but anyway ld Master let a man in Virginia have him and we never see him no more ’till after the war. It nigh broke our hearts when he had to leave and old Master who’ done ever’thing he could to make it up to us. There was four of us chillun. I didn’t do no work ’till I was about fifteen years old. Old Master bought a tavern and mammy...

Slave Narrative of Jack Atkinson

Interviewer: Henrietta Carlisle Person Interviewed: Jack Atkinson Interviewed: August 21, 1936 Location: Griffin, Georgia Rt. D Griffin, Georgia, Interviewed August 21, 1936 [MAY 8 1937] “Onct a man, twice a child,” quoted Jack Atkinson, grey haired darkey, when being interviewed, “and I done started in my second childhood. I useter be active as a cat, but I ain’t, no mo.” Jack acquired his surname from his white master, a Mr. Atkinson, who owned this Negro family prior to the War Between the States. He was a little boy during the war but remembers “refugeeing” to Griffin from Butts County, Georgia, with the Atkinsons when Sherman passed by their home on his march to the sea. Jack’s father, Tom, the body-servant of Mr. Atkinson, “tuck care of him” [HW: during] the four years they were away at war. “Many’s the time I done heard my daddy tell ’bout biting his hands he wuz so hongry, and him and Marster drinking water outer the ruts of the road, they wuz so thirsty, during the war.” “Boss Man (Mr. Atkinson), wuz as fine a man as ever broke bread”, according to Jack. When asked how he got married he stated that he “broke off a love vine and throwed it over the fence and if it growed” he would get married. The vine “just growed and growed” and it wasn’t long before he and Lucy married. “A hootin’ owl is a sho sign of rain, and a screech owl means a death, for a fact.” “A tree frog’s holler is a true sign of rain.” Jack maintains that he has received “a...

Biography of Jason Clarke Swayze

Jason Clarke Swayze. Judged by the standard which must be applied to the men of his time and circumstances, Jason Clarke Swayze had many of the elements of greatness. He guided his life through a period of tense factional struggle, and always kept his rudder true and in the direction which his conscience told him was right and just. Kansas, and the City of Topeka particularly, has a just pride in recalling the record of this man. His home was in Kansas at Topeka from 1873 until his tragic death on the streets of Topeka. He was born in 1830 at Hope, New Jersey. He learned the printer’s trade under Horace Greeley on the old New York Tribune. For a time he conducted a weekly periodical in New York City. About that time he married Kate Edwards, who was then a well known actress upon the American stage, and after his marriage he engaged in writing plays and was also manager for his wife. During their residence in the East two children were born: Julia Harriet and Oscar Kepler. Late in 1860 Mr. Swayze went south with his family to tour the Southern States. Their plays were somewhat tinged with Northern sentiment, and consequently did not prove popular in the South. The outbreak of the war in 1861 found Mr. Swayze at New Orleans, where he was conscripted for service in the Confederate army. Watching for his opportunity, after about three weeks he escaped to the Union lines. In the meantime he had been allowed to bring his family as far as Griffin, Georgia, where he was compelled to...

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