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Slave Narrative of Perry Sid Jemison

Interviewer: Bishop & Taleman Person Interviewed: Perry Sid Jemison Location: Steubenville, Ohio Place of Birth: Perry County, Alabama Age: 79 Place of Residence: 422 South Sixth Street, Steubenville, Ohio WPA in Ohio Federal Writers’ Project Written by Bishop & Isleman Edited by Albert I. Dugen [TR: also reported as Dugan] Ex-Slaves Jefferson County, District #2 PERRY SID JEMISON [TR: also reported as Jamison] Ex-Slave, 79 years (Perry Sid Jemison lives with his married daughter and some of his grand-children at 422 South Sixth Street, Steubenville, O.) “I wuz borned in Perry County, Alabama! De way I remember my age is, I was 37 years when I wuz married and dat wuz 42 years ago the 12th day of last May. I hed all dis down on papers, but I hab been stayin’ in different places de last six years and lost my papers and some heavy insurance in jumpin’ round from place to place. “My mudders name wuz Jane Perry. Father’s name wuz Sid Jemison. Father died and William Perry was mudders second husband. “My mudder wuz a Virginian and my father was a South Carolinian. My oldest brodder was named Sebron and oldest sister wuz Maggie. Den de next brudder wuz William, de next sister wuz named Artie, next Susie. Dats all of dem. “De hol entire family lived together on the Cakhoba river, Perry County, Alabama. After dat we wuz scattered about, some God knows where. “We chillun played ‘chicken me craner crow’. We go out in de sand and build sand houses and put out little tools and one thing and another in der. “When we...

Monument To Deh-He-Wa-Mis (Mary Jemison) At Letchworth Park, New York

Mary Jemison was taken as a captive by a band of Seneca Indians at March Creek, Pennsylvania in 1776. She was carried down the Ohio River where she was adopted into a Seneca Indian family. In 1759 she moved with the Senecas to the Genesee River Country. She was aged 91 years when she died, Sept. 13, 1833. When offered her freedom, this white woman refused, preferring to live and die with her Seneca People. On one occasion she said, that the life of the old time Indian, before he was given liquor and crowded by the white man, was the happiest life known. She defended her adopted people on many occasions and preferred to be an Iroquois to the end. Over her grave is an impressive monument. It bears the inscription: “To the memory or Mary Jemison, whose home during more than 70 years of a life of strange vicissitude was among the Senecas upon the banks of this river and whose history inseparably connected with that of this valley has caused her to be known as the white woman of the Genesee. Her bones lie beneath this monument.” Near her grave the warriors saw an ancient Seneca Indian Long House.      ...

The Captivity of Mary Jemison

The Captivity of Mary Jemison tells the story of Mary, taken captive by the Shawnee in 1755 and sold to the Seneca among whom she lived for almost 80 years. The story of Mary is like many other captivity stories, where the young captive is kept alive and sold into another tribe to replace a son or daughter who had died. Mary’s case was not common in the fact that when, after the death of her first husband, she was given a chance of freedom and returning to her white family, she chose instead to remain with the Seneca.

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