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Slave Narrative of Josephine Stewart

Interviewer: W. W. Dixon Person Interviewed: Josephine Stewart Location: Blackstock, South Carolina Place of Birth: Blackstock, South Carolina Date of Birth: May, 1853 Age: 85 Phinie Stewart, as she is known in the community where she lives, is a small, black negress, who shows her age in appearance and movements. She lives with Robert Wood, a hundred yards back of the Presbyterian Church manse at Blackstock, S.C. Robert Wood married Phinie’s niece, who is now deceased. Phinie has no property, and depends entirely on the charity of Robert Wood for her support. “Does you know where de old Bell House is, about a mile de other side of Blackstock, on de Chester road? Yes? Well, dere is where I was borned, in May, 1853. “I doesn’t know who my pappy was. You know in them times folks wasn’t particular ’bout marriage licenses and de preacher tying de knot and all dat kind of thing. But I does know mammy’s name. Her name was Celie. Dese eyes of mine is dim but I can see her now, stooping over de wash tub and washing de white folks’ clothes every Monday and Tuesday. “Us belonged to Marster Charlie Bell and his lady, Miss Maggie Bell, our mistress in them slavery days. Does I ‘member who Miss Maggie was befo’ her married Marster Charlie? Sure I does. Mistress was a daughter of Miss Anne Jane Neil, who lived to be a hundred and five years old, and its writ on her tombstone in Concord Cemetery. I ‘spect you has seen it, ain’t you? Old Miss Anne Neil was a Irish lady, born...

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...

Slave Narrative of Al Rosboro

Interviewer: W. W. Dixon Person Interviewed: Al Rosboro Location: Woodward, South Carolina Age: 90 Ex-Slave 90 Years Old Al Rosboro, with his second wife, Julia, a daughter, and six small grandchildren, lives in a three-room frame house, three hundred yards east of the Southern Railway track and US #21, about two miles south of Woodward, S.C., in Fairfield County. Mr. Brice gives the plot of ground, four acres with the house, to Al, rent free. A white man, Mr. W.L. Harvey does the ploughing of the patches for him. Al has cataracts on his eyes and can do no work. Since this story was written he has received his first old age pension check of eight dollars from the Social Welfare Board in Columbia, S.C. “Does I know what a nonagenarian is? No seh, what dat? Old folks? Well, dats a mighty long name and I been here a mighty long time. Glad you say it’s a honor and a privilege by de mercy of de Lord. I’s thankful! You wants to know where I was born and who my white folks then? “I was born just one and a half mile b’low White Oak, S.C., on de old Marse Billie Brice place. My pappy b’long to old Miss Jennie Rosboro, but mammy b’long to Marse William Brice. Her name Ann. My old mistress name Mary, daughter of de Simontons, on Dumpers Creek. “You wants de fust thing I ‘members, then travel ‘long de years ’til I come to settin’ right here in dis chair. Well, reckon us git through today? Take a powerful sight of dat pencil to...

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