Slave Narrative of Annie B. Boyd
Interviewer: Mamie Hanberry
Person Interviewed: Annie B. Boyd
Location: Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Place of Birth: Christian County, KY
Date of Birth: August 22, 1851
Place of Residence: Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Annie B. Boyd: [TR: Interviewer’s name also spelled also spelled Hanbery.]
Annie B. Boyd, born August 22nd 1851, resides at corner of Liberty and First Street, Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Born a slave belonging to Charles Cammack near Gordonsville, Kentucky in Christian County. “My mother and me war put on de block in front of de Courthouse in Hopkinsville and sold to Mr. Newt. Catlett and we brung $500.00. Marse Catlett lived on the corner of Seventh and Clay Streets, Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Wen I was older the white folks had me foh to nurse dar chilluns. I noes wen de war broke out marse had a store and den marsa took me to his wife’s kinfolks down in de country till freedom war declared den my stepfather come an’ got me. Of course I hed ter work and den I went ter nurse foh Dr. Fairleigh and nussed his daughter Madge. De white folks wont good to me. My marster was a good man but my missus wont no good woman. She uster box my ears, stick pins in me and tie me ter de cedar chest and whoop me as long as she wanter. Oh, how I did hate dat woman.
“Yes, once in my life I seed a ghost. We was goin’ thru de woods to a neighbors ter a prayer meeting en a man stepped out in de woad without no head wid all his clothes on en I had jes wropped my head dat day and wen I seed him all my hair strings en all jes stood straight up. I got hot den I’se got cold and he jest stepped ter de side of de road en I went by running. Yes, we got ter de prayer meeting en den we went back home de same way en did us niggers run?
“I was nurse in slave time en I carried de chilluns all ober de house en one day I had de chilluns upstars en my missus called me en I went ter see whar she wont and while I’se war gone de baby got hodter Indian Turnip an hed bit it by de time I git back dar en I called my missus en she come en made me eat de rest of de turnip en my face enall swelled up en my eyes war closed foh days. After missing de baby en tending ter de uther chilluns all de day an night wen I put de baby ter bed I bed ter knit two round ebery night en would be sleepy en my missus would reach ober en jab a pin in me to keep me awake. Now dat is what I calls a mean woman.
“I kin read en write at first of freedom I sent ter school some en learned ter read and write.
“I sho do believe in dreams. I had one once I laid down on de bed ter take er nap en den I dreamed dat somethin was a chokin me en I pulled at my dress en a big snake dropped out of my bosom rolled down on de bed. Den on de floor en when I woke up sho nuff dar war a snake on de floor by de bed en I killed it en den I knowed dat I had an enemy sho nuff in a few days a woman I thot was my friend turned gain me. By killing de snake I knowed dat I would conquer dat enemy.
“I noes wishes cen come tru seems ter me I hev but my memory aint so good but still I believes hit.
“Wen de smoke flies low hit sho is goin ter snow.”
“Spilling salt or ter waste salt is bad luck. I always wen I makes my bread put de salt in de bread den I puts some of de salt in de fire ter bring me good luck.
“Sometime de moon affects people wen it changes hit makes some folks crazy en dey is hard to git alon wid.”
“If you plant Irish pertatoes on de light of de moon you hev nuthin but top. Whatever ter be made underneath de ground like turnips, potatoes, onions is ter be planted by de dark of de moon. Beans, peas, corn in de light of de moon.
“Yes, spit will cure, cause I had ringworms once en in de morning wen I woke up afore I spoke ter anyone I’d take spit en put on my face en hit sho cured de ringworms.”
“If you nail a horse shoe ober de door hits a good luck ter you.
“I thin “13” is an unlucky number I’se heard so much talk of hit till I believes hit. Breaking a mirror is sho bad luck if you break one you will hev seben years bad luck.”
“Blue gummed niggers is shon bad luck wen I sees one gits as far away as I kin foh if one bites you you is a ded nigger foh dey is pizen as er diamond back.”
“De white folks jes made niggers carry on like brutes. One white man uster say ter nuther white man, “My nigger man Sam wanter marry yer nigger gal Lucy what does yer say en if he said hit war all right why dat couple war supposed to be married. Den Sam would work foh his marster in de daytime en den would spend de night at Lucy’s house on de next plantation.”