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Location: Aberdeen Mississippi

Slave Narrative of Wayne Holliday

Interviewer: Mrs. Richard Kolb Person Interviewed: Wayne Holliday Location: Aberdeen, Mississippi Place of Birth: Aberdeen, Mississippi Date of Birth: 1853 Age: 84 “I was born an’ raised in Aberdeen an’ I’se been a railroad nigger fo’ mos’ of my days. I’se retired now ’cause dey say I too old to work any longer, but shucks, I ain’t half dead yet. I was born in 1853 right here close to whar I live now. My folks b’longed to de Hollidays—you know de grand folks of Miss Maria Evans? An’ we stayed right dere in de lot whar de white folks lived. “My pa an’ my ma was named Frank an’ Sarah Holliday an’ de Cunel brung dem wid him frum North Car’lina. Dey was lot niggers an’ never worked in de fiel’ or lived in de Quarters. My pa was one of de best carpenters in de country. I was too young to work much but sometime I he’ped him ‘roun’ de house but mos’ of de time, I jes played wid my brudders an’ sisters an’ de white chullun what lived aroun’. We played marbles, ridin’ de stick hoss, an’ play house jes lak de chullun do now days, but I think we had mo’ fun. Dey was fo’teen of us in our family an’ we allus had somebody to play wid. An’ den li’l Marse Ben, he wa’nt...

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Slave Narrative of Pet Franks

Interviewer: Mrs. Richard Kolb Person Interviewed: Pet Franks Location: Aberdeen, Mississippi Age: 92 Uncle Pet, 92 year old ex-slave, is the favorite of Ackers’ Fishing Lodge which is situated 14 miles north of Aberdeen, Monroe County. He is low and stockily built. His ancestry is pure African. Scarcely topping five feet one inch, he weighs about 150 pounds. Though he walks with the slightest limp, he is still very active and thinks nothing of cooking for the large groups who frequent the lodge. He has his own little garden and chickens which he tends with great care. “I knows all ’bout slav’ry an’ de war. I was right dere on de spot when it all happened. I wish to goodness I was back dere now, not in de war, but in de slav’ry times. Niggers where I lived didn’ have nothin’ to worry ’bout in dem days. Dey aint got no sense now-a-days. All dey b’lieves in now is drinkin’ an’ carousin’. Dey aint got no use for nothin’ but a little corn likker an’ a fight. I dont b’lieve in no such gwine-on, no sir-ree. Dat’s de reason I stays out here by myse’f all de time. I don’t want to have nothin’ to do wid ’em. I goes to town ’bout once a mont’ to git s’pplies, but I don’ never fool ‘roun’ wid dem Niggers den....

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Slave Narrative of Dora Franks

Interviewer: Mrs. Richard Kolb Person Interviewed: Dora Franks Location: Aberdeen, Mississippi Place of Residence: Aberdeen, Monroe County, Mississippi Age: 100 (?) Dora Franks, ex-slave, lives at Aberdeen, Monroe County. She is about five feet tall and weighs 100 pounds. Her hair is inclined to be curly rather than kinky. She is very active and does most of her own work. “I was born in Choctaw County, but I never knowed zackly how old I was, ’cause none o’ my folks could read an’ write. I reckon I be’s ’bout a hund’ed, ’cause I was a big girl long time fo’ Surrender. I was old ‘nough to marry two years after dat. “My mammy come from Virginny. Her name was Harriet Brewer. My daddy was my young Marster. His name was Marster George Brewer an’ my mammy always tol’ me dat I was his’n. I knew dat dere was some dif’ence ‘tween me an’ de res’ o’ her chillun, ’cause dey was all coal black, an’ I was even lighter dan I is now. Lawd, it’s bean to my sorrow many a time, ’cause de chillun used to chase me ’round an’ holler at me, ‘Old yallow Nigger.’ Dey didn’ treat me good, neither. “I stayed in de house mos’ o’ de time wid Miss Emmaline. Miss Emmaline’s hair was dat white, den. I loved her’ cause she was so...

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Slave Narrative of Anna Baker

Interviewer: Mrs. Richard Kolb Person Interviewed: Anna Baker Location: Aberdeen, Mississippi Age: 80 Anna Baker, 80-year old ex-slave, is tall and well built. She is what the Negroes term a “high brown.” Her high forehead and prominent cheek bones indicate that there is a strain of other than the pure African in her blood. She is in fair health. “Lemme see how old I is. Well, I tells you jus’ lak I tol’ dat Home Loan man what was here las’ week. I ‘members a pow’ful lot ’bout slavery times an’ ’bout ‘fore surrender. I know I was a right smart size den, so’s ‘cording to dat I mus’ be ‘roun’ ’bout eighty year old. I aint sho’ ’bout dat an’ I don’t want to tell no untruth. I know I was right smart size ‘fore de surrender, as I was a-sayin’, ’cause I ‘members Marster comin’ down de road past de house. When I’d see ‘im ‘way off I’d run to de gate an’ start singin’ dis song to ‘im: ‘Here come de marster, root toot too! Here come Marster, comin’ my way! Howdy, Marster, howdy do! What you gwine a-bring from town today?’ Dat would mos’ nigh tickle him to death an’ he’d say, ‘Loosahna (dat was his pet name for me) what you want today? I’d say, ‘Bring me some goobers, or a doll, or some...

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Slave Narrative of Clara C. Young

Person Interviewed: Clara C. Young Location: Mississippi Age: 95 Place of Residence: Monroe County, Mississippi Clara C. Young, ex-slave, Monroe County, is approximately 95 years old, about five feet two inches tall, and weighs 105 pounds. She is a frail, dark skinned Negro, with the typical broad nose and the large mouth of the southern Negro. Her physical condition is especially good for a woman of her age. She is very talkative at times, but her memory appears to come and go, so that she has to be prompted at intervals in her story-telling by her daughter or granddaughter, with whom she lives. Familiarly known as “Aunt Classie,” she is very proud of her age and more especially of her long line of descendants. “Law, Miss, I doan know when I was born, but I do know dat I’se sebenteen years old when I was fust sol’. Dey put me an’ my brudder up on de auction block at de same time. He brung $1400 but I dis’members zactly what dey paid far me. Wa’nt dat much, tho’, fer big strong mans brung mo’ dan wimmens an’ gals.” Long pauses accentuated the quavery voice of the old Negro, whose head resembled a nappy patch of cotton, and who was so enthusiastic over reminiscing about the days when she was young and carefree. “I was born in Huntsville, Alabamy, an’...

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