Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Slave Narrative of Spencer Barnett

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Person Interviewed: Spencer Barnett (blind) Location: Holly Grove, Arkansas Age: 81 Occupation: Brakeman on freight train, Farmed, Worked in timber, He sold “shuck mats” and “bottomed” chairs “I was born April 30, 1856. It was wrote in a old Bible. I am 81 years old. I was born 3 miles from Florence, Alabama. The folks owned us was Nancy and Mars Tom Williams. To my recollection they had John, William, and Tom, boys; Jane, Ann, Lucy, and Emma, girls. In my family there was 13 children. My parents name Harry and Harriett Barnett. “Mars Tom Williams had a tanning yard. He bought hides this way: When a fellow bring hides he would tan em then give him back half what he brought. Then he work up the rest in shoes, harness, whoops, saddles and sell them. The man all worked wid him and he had a farm. He raised corn, cotton, wheat, and oats. “That slavery was bad. Mars Tom Williams wasn’t cruel. He never broke the skin. When the horn blowed they better be in place. They used a twisted cowhide whoop. It was wet and tied, then it mortally would hurt. One thing you had to be in your place day and night. It was confinin’. “Sunday was visiting day. “One man come to dinner, he hit a horse wid a rock and run way. He missed his dinner. He come back fo dark and went tole Mars Tom. He didn’t whoop him. I was mighty little when that took place. “They worked on Saturday like any other day. One man fixed out...

Pin It on Pinterest