Interviewer: G. Leland Summer
Person Interviewed: Anne Rice
Location: Newberry, South Carolina
Place of Birth: Spartanburg County, SC
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“I was born in Spartanburg County, S.C., near Glenn Springs. I can’t ‘member slavery or de war, but my ma and pa who was Green Foster and his wife, Mary Posey Foster, always said I was a big gal when the war stopped, when freedom come.
“We belonged to Seth Posey who had a big farm there. He was a good man, but sure made us work. I worked in the fields when I was small, hoed and picked cotton, hoed corn. They didn’t give us no money for it. All we got was a place to sleep and a little to eat. The big man had a good garden and give us something from it. He raised loads of hogs, to eat and to sell. He sold lots of them. The young fellows hunted rabbits, possums, squirrels, wild turkeys, partridges, doves, and went fishing. The Master’s wife, Miss Nancy, was good to us. She had one son, William.
“Yes, I ‘member my ma telling us ’bout the padder-rollers. They would ride around, whipping niggers.
“My ma said her step-mother sold her. Sometimes they would take crowds of slaves to Mississippi, taking away mothers from their infant babies, leaving the babies on the floor.
“We always shuck corn and shell it at night, on moon-light nights we pick cotton. On Saturday afternoons we had frolics, sometimes frolics ’till Sunday daylight, then sleep all day Sunday.
“When we got sick all the medicine we took was turpentine—dat would cure almost any ailment. Some of the niggers used Sampson snake weed or peach leaves boiled and tea drunk.
“I joined the church when I was 12 years old ’cause the other girls joined. I think everybody ought to join a church to get their souls right for heaven:
“I married Charley Rice in Spartanburg County, at a colored man’s house, named Henry Fox, by a colored preacher named ‘Big Eye’ Bill Rice. I had four children, and have five grand-children. I have been living in Newberry about 35 years or more. I worked as a wash-woman many years.
“When freedom come, my folks stayed on with Capt. Posey, and I washed and ironed with them later when I was big enough. I done some cooking, too. I could card and spin and make homespun dresses. My ma learned me.
“I don’t know much about Abraham Lincoln and Jeff Davis but reckon dey was good men. I never learned to read and write. Booker Washington, I reckon, is a good man.”