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Slave Narrative of Lizzie Johnson

Interviewer: Irene Robertson Person Interviewed: Lizzie Johnson Location: Biscoe, Arkansas Place of Birth: Holly Springs, Mississippi Age: 65 Federal Writers’ Project of the W.P.A. District #6 Marion County Anna Pritchett 1200 Kentucky Avenue FOLKLORE MRS. LIZZIE JOHNSON 706 North Senate Avenue, Apt. 1 Mrs. Johnson’s father, Arthur Locklear, was born in Wilmington, N.C. in 1822. He lived in the South and endured many hardships until 1852. He was very fortunate in having a white man befriend him in many ways. This man taught him to read and write. Many nights after a hard days work, he would lie on the floor in front of the fireplace, trying to study by the light from the blazing wood, so he might improve his reading and writing. He married very young, and as his family increased, he became ambitious for them. Knowing their future would be very dark if they remained South. He then started a movement to come north. There were about twenty-six or twenty-eight men and women, who had the same thoughts about their children, banded together, and in 1852 they started for somewhere, North. The people selected, had to be loyal to the cause of their children’s future lives, morally clean, truthful, and hard-working. Some had oxen, some had carts. They pooled all of their scant belongings, and started on their long hard journey. The women and children rode in the ox-carts, the men walked. They would travel a few days, then stop on the roadside to rest. The women would wash their few clothes, cook enough food to last a few days more, then they would start out...

Slave Narrative of Joseph Anderson

Interviewer: Mrs. Edith S. Hibbs Person Interviewed: Joseph Anderson Location: 1113 Rankin St., Wilmington, North Carolina Yes’m I was born a slave. I belong to Mr. T. C. McIlhenny who had a big rice plantation “Eagles Nest” in Brunswick County. It was a big place. He had lots of slaves, an’ he was a good man. My mother and father died when I was fourteen. Father died in February 1865 and my mother died of pneumonia in November 1865. My older sister took charge of me. Interviewer: “Can you read and write?” Joseph: “Oh yes, I can write a little. I can make my marks. I can write my name. No’m I can’t read. I never went to school a day in my life. I just “picked up” what I know.” I don’t remember much about slave times. I was fourteen when I was freed. After I was freed we lived between 8th and 9th on Chestnut. We rented a place from Dan O’Connor a real estate man and paid him $5 a month rent. I’ve been married twice. First time was married by Mr. Ed Taylor, magistrate in Southport, Brunswick County. I was married to my first wife twenty years and eight months. Then she died. I was married again when I was seventy-five years old. I was married to my second wife just a few years when she died. I was on the police force for a year and a half. I was elected April 6, 1895. Mr. McIlhenny was an ole man then an’ I used to go to see him. I was a stevedore for...

Slave Narrative of Isabell Henderson

Interviewer: Mrs. Edith S. Hibbs Person Interviewed: Isabell Henderson Location: 1121 Rankin St., Wilmington, North Carolina Age: 83-84 Story Of Isabell Henderson, Negro I’ll be 84 years old come August 9. My gran’-daughter can tell you what year it was I was born I don’ ‘member but we has it down in the Bible. I lived near the “Clock Church” (Jewish Synagogue)[8], 4th and Market. We had a big place there. My gran’mother did the cookin’. My mother did the sewin’. I was jus five years old when the men went away. I guess to the war, I don’ know. Some men came by and conscip’ dem. I don’ know where they went but I guess dey went to war. I was such a little girl I don’t ‘member much. But I does know my Missus was good to me. I used to play with her little boy. I was jes’ one of the family. I played with the little boy around the house’ cause I was never ‘lowed to run the streets. They was good to me. They kept me in clothes, pretty clothes, and good things to eat. Yes’m we was slaves but we had good times. Interviewer: “What did you eat?” Isabell: “Oh I don’t ‘member ‘special but I et jes what the family et.” Maybe my father was killed in the war maybe he run away I don’ know, he jus’ neber come back no mo’. Yes’m I remember when the soldiers came along and freed us. They went through breakin’ down peoples shops and everything. My mother married again. She married Edward Robertson. He...

Slave Narrative of Alex Huggins

Interviewer: Mrs. Edith S. Hibbs Person Interviewed: Alex Huggins Location: 920 Dawson St., Wilmington, North Carolina Date of Birth:┬áJuly 9, 1850 Location of Birth: New Bern North Carolina Story Of Alex Huggins, Ex-Slave I was born in New Bern on July 9, 1850. My father and mother belonged to Mr. L. B. Huggins. My father was a carpenter and ship builder an’ the first things I remember was down on Myrtle Grove Sound, where Mr. Huggins had a place. I was a sort of bad boy an’ liked to roam ’round. When I was about twelve years old I ran away. It was in 1863 when the war was goin’ on. Nobody was bein’ mean to me. No, I was’nt bein’ whipped. Don’t you know all that story ’bout slaves bein’ whipped is all _Bunk_, (with scornful emphasis). What pusson with any sense is goin’ to take his horse or his cow an’ beat it up. It’s prope’ty. We was prope’ty. Val’able prope’ty. No, indeed, Mr. Luke give the bes’ of attention to his colored people, an’ Mis’ Huggins was like a mother to my mother. Twa’nt anythin’ wrong about home that made me run away. I’d heard so much talk ’bout freedom I reckon I jus’ wanted to try it, an’ I thought I had to get away from home to have it. Well, I coaxed two other boys to go with me, an’ a grown man he got the boat an’ we slipped off to the beach an’ put out to sea. Yes’m, we sho’ was after adventure. But, we did’n get very far out from sho’,...

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