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Location: Baltimore Maryland

Slave Narrative of Annie Young Henson

Interviewer: Rogers Person Interviewed: Annie Young Henson Location: Baltimore, Maryland Place of Birth: Northumberland County, Virginia Age: 86 Place of Residence: African M.E. Home, 207 Aisquith St., Baltimore, Maryland Reference: Personal interview with Annie Young Henson, ex-slave, at African M.E. Home, 207 Aisquith St., Baltimore. “I was born in Northumberland County, Virginia, 86 years ago. Daughter of Mina and Tom Miller. I had one brother Feelingchin and two sisters, Mary and Matilda. Owned by Doctor Pressley Nellum. “The farm was called Traveler’s Rest. The farm so named because a man once on a dark, cold and dreary night stopped there and asked for something to eat and lodging for the night; both of which was given and welcomed by the wayfarer. “The house being very spacious with porches on each side, situated on a high hill, with trees on the lawn giving homes to the birds and shade to the master, mistress and their guests where they could hear the chant of the lark or the melodious voices of the slaves humming some familiar tunes that suited their taste, as they worked. “Nearby was the slave quarters and the log cabin, where we lived, built about 25 feet from the other quarter. Our cabin was separate and distinct from the others. It contained two rooms, one up and one down, with a window in each room. This cabin was...

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Slave Narrative of Caroline Hammond

Interviewer: Rogers Person Interviewed: Caroline Hammond Location: Baltimore, Maryland Place of Birth: Anne Arundel County MD Date of Birth: 1844 Place of Residence: 4710 Road, Baltimore, MD Interview at her home, 4710 Falls Road, Baltimore, Md. “I was born in Anne Arundel County near Davidsonville about 3 miles from South River in the year 1844. The daughter of a free man and a slave woman, who was owned by Thomas Davidson, a slave owner and farmer of Anne Arundel. He had a large farm and about 25 slaves on his farm all of whom lived in small huts with the exception of several of the household help who ate and slept in the manor house. My mother being one of the household slaves, enjoyed certain privileges that the farm slaves did not. She was the head cook of Mr. Davidson’s household. “Mr. Davidson and his family were considered people of high social standing in Annapolis and the people in the county. Mr. Davidson entertained on a large scale, especially many of the officers of the Naval Academy at Annapolis and his friends from Baltimore. Mrs. Davidson’s dishes were considered the finest, and to receive an invitation from the Davidsons meant that you would enjoy Maryland’s finest terrapin and chicken besides the best wine and champagne on the market. “All of the cooking was supervised by mother, and the table...

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Slave Narrative of Menellis Gassaway

Interviewer: Rogers Person Interviewed: Menellis Gassaway Date of Interview: Sept. 1937 Location: M.E. Home, Carrollton Ave., Baltimore, Maryland Place of Birth: Carroll County MD Date of Birth: 1850 or 52 Reference: Personal interview with Menellis Gassaway, ex-slave, on Sept. 22, 1937, at M.E. Home, Carrollton Ave., Baltimore. “My name is Menellis Gassaway, son of Owing and Annabel Gassaway. I was born in Freedom District, Carroll County, about 1850 or 52, brother of Henrietta, Menila and Villa. Our father and mother lived in Carroll County near Eldersberg in a stone and log cabin, consisting of two rooms, one up and one down, with four windows, two in each room, on a small farm situated on a public road, I don’t know the name. “My father worked on a small farm with no other slaves, but our family. We raised on the farm vegetables and grain, consisting of corn and wheat. Our farm produced wheat and corn, which was taken to the grist mill to be ground; besides, we raised hogs and a small number of other stock for food. “During the time I was a slave and the short time it was, I can’t remember what we wore or very much about local conditions. The people, that is the white people, were friendly with our family and other colored people so far as I can recall. “I do not recall...

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Slave Narrative of Mrs. M. S. Fayman

Interviewer: Rogers Person Interviewed: Mrs. M. S. Fayman Location: Baltimore, Maryland Place of Birth: St. Nazaire Parish LA Date of Birth: 1850 Reference: Personal interview with Mrs. Fayman, at her home, Cherry Heights near Baltimore, Md. “I was born in St. Nazaire Parish in Louisiana, about 60 miles south of Baton Rouge, in 1850. My father and mother were Creoles, both of them were people of wealth and prestige in their day and considered very influential. My father’s name was Henri de Sales and mother’s maiden name, Marguerite Sanchez De Haryne. I had two brothers Henri and Jackson named after General Jackson, both of whom died quite young, leaving me the only living child. Both mother and father were born and reared in Louisiana. We lived in a large and spacious house surrounded by flowers and situated on a farm containing about 750 acres, on which we raised pelicans for sale in the market at New Orleans. “When I was about 5 years old I was sent to a private School in Baton Rouge, conducted by French sisters, where I stayed until I was kidnapped in 1860. At that time I did not know how to speak English; French was the language spoken in my household and by the people in the parish. “Baton Rouge, situated on the Mississippi, was a river port and stopping place for all large...

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Slave Narrative of James V. Deane

Interviewer: Rogers Person Interviewed: James V. Deane Date of Interview: Sept. 1937 Location: Baltimore, Maryland Place of Residence: 1514 Druid Hill Ave., Baltimore, Maryland Place of Birth: Charles County MD Place of Birth: May 20, 1850 Reference: Personal interview with James V. Deane, ex-slave, on Sept. 20, 1937, at his home, 1514 Druid Hill Ave., Baltimore. “My name is James V. Deane, son of John and Jane Deane, born at Goose Bay in Charles County, May 20, 1850. My mother was the daughter of Vincent Harrison, I do not know about my father’s people. I have two sisters both of whom are living, Sarah and Elizabeth Ford. “I was born in a log cabin, a typical Charles County log cabin, at Goose Bay on the Potomac River. The plantation on which I was born fronted more than three miles on the river. The cabin had two rooms, one up and one down, very large with two windows, one in each room. There were no porches, over the door was a wide board to keep the rain and snow from beating over the top of the door, with a large log chimney on the outside, plastered between the logs, in which was a fireplace with an open grate to cook on and to put logs on the fire to heat. “We slept on a home-made bedstead, on which was a...

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Slave Narrative of Richard Macks

Interviewer: Rogers Person Interviewed: Richard Macks Location: Baltimore, Maryland Place of Birth: Charles County MD Date of Birth: 1844 Place of Residence: 541 W. Biddle St., Baltimore, Maryland Occupation: Waiter, Coachman, Butler Reference: Personal interview with Richard Macks, ex-slave, at his home, 541 W. Biddle St., Baltimore. “I was born in Charles County in Southern Maryland in the year of 1844. My father’s name was William (Bill) and Mother’s Harriet Mack, both of whom were born and reared in Charles County—the county that James Wilkes Booth took refuge in after the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865. I had one sister named Jenny and no brothers: let me say right here it was God’s blessing I did not. Near Bryantown, a county center prior to the Civil War as a market for tobacco, grain and market for slaves. “In Bryantown there were several stores, two or three taverns or inns which were well known in their days for their hospitality to their guests and arrangements to house slaves. There were two inns both of which had long sheds, strongly built with cells downstairs for men and a large room above for women. At night the slave traders would bring their charges to the inns, pay for their meals, which were served on a long table in the shed, then afterwards, they were locked up for the night. “I lived...

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Slave Narrative of Perry Lewis

Interviewer: Rogers Person Interviewed: Perry Lewis Location: Baltimore, Maryland Place of Birth: Kent Island, MD Age: 86 Place of Residence: 1124 E. Lexington St., Baltimore, Maryland Reference: Personal interview with Perry Lewis, ex-slave, at his home, 1124 E. Lexington St., Baltimore. “I was born on Kent Island, Md. about 86 years ago. My father’s name was Henry and mother’s Louise. I had one brother John, who was killed in the Civil War at the Deep Bottom, one sister as I can remember. My father was a freeman and my mother a slave, owned by Thomas Tolson, who owned a small farm on which I was born in a log cabin, with two rooms, one up and one down. “As you know the mother was the owner of the children that she brought into the world. Mother being a slave made me a slave. She cooked and worked on the farm, ate whatever was in the farmhouse and did her share of work to keep and maintain the Tolsons. They being poor, not having a large place or a number of slaves to increase their wealth, made them little above the free colored people and with no knowledge, they could not teach me or any one else to read. “You know the Eastern Shore of Maryland was in the most productive slave territory and where farming was done on a...

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Slave Narrative of George Jones

Interviewer: Rogers Person Interviewed: George Jones Location: Baltimore, Maryland Place of Birth: Frederick County, Maryland Date of Birth: 1853 Age: 84 Place of Residence: 207 Aisquith St., Baltimore Md. Reference: Personal interview with George Jones, Ex-slave, at African M.E. Home, 207 Aisquith St., Baltimore. “I was born in Frederick County, Maryland, 84 years ago or 1853. My father’s name was Henry and mother’s Jane; brothers Dave, Joe, Henry, John and sisters Annie and Josephine. I know my father and mother were slaves, but I do not recall to whom they belonged. I remember my grandparents. “My father used to tell me how he would hide in the hay stacks at night, because he was whipped and treated badly by his master who was rough and hard-boiled on his slaves. Many a time the owner of the slaves and farm would come to the cabins late at night to catch the slaves in their dingy little hovels, which were constructed in cabin fashion and of stone and logs with their typical windows and rooms of one room up and one down with a window in each, the fireplaces built to heat and cook for occupants. “The farm was like all other farms in Frederick County, raising grain, such as corn, wheat and fruit and on which work was seasonable, depending upon the weather, some seasons producing more and some less....

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Slave Narrative of Charles Coles

Interviewer: Rogers Person Interviewed: Charles Coles Location: Baltimore, Maryland Date of Birth: 1851 Place of Birth: Charles County MD Place of Residence: 1106 Sterling St., Baltimore, Maryland Reference: Personal interview with Charles Coles at his home, 1106 Sterling St., Baltimore, Md. “I was born near Pisgah, a small village in the western part of Charles County, about 1851. I do not know who my parents were nor my relatives. I was reared on a large farm owned by a man by the name of Silas Dorsey, a fine Christian gentleman and a member of the Catholic Church. “Mr. Dorsey was a man of excellent reputation and character, was loved by all who knew him, black and white, especially his slaves. He was never known to be harsh or cruel to any of his slaves, of which he had more than 75. “The slaves were Mr. Dorsey’s family group, he and his wife were very considerate in all their dealings. In the winter the slaves wore good heavy clothes and shoes and in summer they were dressed in fine clothes. “I have been told that the Dorseys’ farm contained about 3500 acres, on which were 75 slaves. We had no overseers. Mr. and Mrs. Dorsey managed the farm. They required the farm hands to work from 7 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.; after that their time was their own. “There were no...

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Slave Narrative of James Calhart James

Person Interviewed: James Calhart James Location: Baltimore, Maryland Place of Residence: 2460 Druid Hill Ave., Baltimore, MD Reference: Personal interview with James Calhart James, ex-slave, at his home, 2460 Druid Hill Ave., Baltimore. “My father’s name was Franklin Pearce Randolph of Virginia, a descendant of the Randolphs of Virginia who migrated to South Carolina and located near Fort Sumter, the fort that was surrendered to the Confederates in 1851 or the beginning of the Civil War. My mother’s name was Lottie Virginia James, daughter of an Indian and a slave woman, born on the Rapidan River in Virginia about 1823 or 24, I do not know which; she was a woman of fine features and very light in complexion with beautiful, long black hair. She was purchased by her master and taken to South Carolina when about 15 years old. She was the private maid of Mrs. Randolph until she died and then continued as housekeeper for her master, while there and in that capacity I was born on the Randolph’s plantation August 23, 1846. I was a half brother to the children of the Randolphs, four in number. After I was born mother and I lived in the servants’ quarters of the big house enjoying many pleasures that the other slaves did not: eating and sleeping in the big house, playing and associating with my half-brothers and sisters....

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Slave Narrative of “Parson” Rezin Williams

Interviewer: Stansbury Person Interviewed: Rezin (Parson) Williams Date of Interview: September 18 and 24, 1937 Location: Baltimore, Maryland Date of Birth: March 11, 1822 Age: 116 Place of Residence: 2610 Pierpont Street, Mount Winans, Baltimore, MD References: Baltimore Morning Sun, December 10, 1928. Registration Books of Board of Election Supervisors Baltimore Court House. Personal interviews with “Parson” Rezin Williams, on Thursday afternoon, September 18 and 24, 1937, at his home, 2610 Pierpont Street, Mount Winans, Baltimore, Md. Oldest living Negro Civil War veteran; now 116 years old. Oldest registered voter in Maryland and said to be the oldest “freeman” in the United States. Said to be oldest member of Negro family in America with sister and brother still living, more than a century old. Father worked for George Washington. In 1864 when the State Constitution abolished slavery and freed about 83,000 Negro slaves in Maryland, there was one, “Parson” Rezin Williams, already a freeman. He is now living at the age of 116 years, in Baltimore City, Maryland, credited with being the oldest of his race in the United States who served in the Civil War. He was born March 11, 1822, at “Fairview”, near Bowie, Prince Georges County, Maryland—a plantation of 1000 acres, then belonging to Governor Oden Bowie’s father. “Parson” Williams’ father, Rezin Williams, a freeman, was born at “Mattaponi”, near Nottingham, Prince Georges County, the estate...

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Slave Narrative of James Wiggins

Person Interviewed: James Wiggins Location: Baltimore, Maryland Place of Birth: Anne Arundel County MD Date of Birth: 1850-1851 Place of Residence: 625 Barre St. Reference: Personal interview with James Wiggins, ex-slave, at his home, 625 Barre St. “I was born in Anne Arundel County, on a farm near West River about 1850 or 1851, I do not know which. I do not know my father or mother. Peter Brooks, one of the oldest colored men in the county, told me that my father’s name was Wiggins. He said that he was one of the Revells’ slaves. He acquired my father at an auction sale held in Baltimore at a high price from a trader who had an office on Pratt Street about 1845. He was given a wife by Mr. Revell and as a result of this union I was born. My father was a carpenter by trade, he was hired out to different farmers by Mr. Revell to repair and build barns, fences and houses. I have been told that my father could read and write. Once he was charged with writing passes for some slaves in the county, as a result of this he was given 15 lashes by the sheriff of the county, immediately afterwards he ran away, went to Philadelphia, where he died while working to save money to purchase mother’s freedom, through a white...

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Slave Narrative of Dan Smith

Interviewer: W. W. Dixon Person Interviewed: Dan Smith Location: Winnsboro, South Carolina Place of Birth: Richland County SC Date of Birth: January 11, 1862 Age: 75 Occupation: Construction Dan Smith lives in one room, rent free, of a three-room frame house, the property of his son-in-law, Jim Cason. It is situated on the southeast corner of Garden and Palmer streets in the town of Winnsboro, S.C. He is tall, thin and toothless, with watery eyes and a pained expression of weariness on his face. He is slow and deliberate in movements. He still works, and has just finished a day’s work mixing mortar in the construction of a brick store building for Mr. Lauderdale. His boss says: ‘The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.’ There is nothing organically wrong with Dan but he appears, in human anatomy, as Doctor Holmes’s One Horse Shay must have looked the day before its final collapse. “You been here once befo’ and now here you is again. You say you wanna git additions? Well, I’s told you dat I was born in Richland County, a slave of Marse John Lever and on his plantation, January de 11th day, 1862, when de war was gwine on. How I know? ‘Cause my mammy and pappy told me so. They call my pappy Bob and my mammy Mary. Strange as it seem, my mistress...

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Robert Davis of Baltimore, Maryland

U136 ROBERT DAVIS: b. in Baltimore, Md. Served as a soldier during Revolution under Gen. Washington. Among his ch. Was U137 DENNIS DAVIS: b. in Baltimore, 1791, and d. at Black Oak, Mo. Hem. Joanna Thomas. Ch. include: (1) John T.: b. 1812, d. 1882; m. Margaret Moore, 1817. Ch. include: (A) Mary Ann: b. 1838; m. (1), Anthony Sharp; m. (2), Alford Hawkes. Issue. (B) Elizabeth Jane: b. 1841; m. James T. Ross. Issue. (C) George NV: b. 1844; m. first, Paulina Naffizinger. (a) Rosetta: b. 1866; m. Edward E. Taylor and had Etta, Ethel and Homer. (b) Mary: b. 1868. (c) Ara Daniels: b. 1869; m. Cora D. Potter; grad. Missouri Wesleyan Coll.; served in ministry of Methodist Epis­copal churches for 22 yrs., and field sec’y of Education of the Methodist Church for 2 yrs. Add.: 1654 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 1. Ruth B.: b. 1894; m. Vincent Correll in 1921 in Nebr. They have Vincent Correll, b. 1926. 2. Paul B.: b. 1900, 111. Gladys Munson, 1921. Studied law and admitted to state bar as an attorney-at-law. Now engaged in teaching in Omaha. One dau, Betty, b. 1923. (d) Isom G.: b. 1871. Now successfully engaged in farming and stock raising in Missouri; m. Della Fisher, 1897. 1. Clay T.: b. 1899; m. and has one dau, Marjorie Ann. 2. Joe F.: b. 1904....

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Slave Narrative of Alex Huggins

Interviewer: Mrs. Edith S. Hibbs Person Interviewed: Alex Huggins Location: 920 Dawson St., Wilmington, North Carolina Date of Birth: July 9, 1850 Location of Birth: New Bern North Carolina Story Of Alex Huggins, Ex-Slave I was born in New Bern on July 9, 1850. My father and mother belonged to Mr. L. B. Huggins. My father was a carpenter and ship builder an’ the first things I remember was down on Myrtle Grove Sound, where Mr. Huggins had a place. I was a sort of bad boy an’ liked to roam ’round. When I was about twelve years old I ran away. It was in 1863 when the war was goin’ on. Nobody was bein’ mean to me. No, I was’nt bein’ whipped. Don’t you know all that story ’bout slaves bein’ whipped is all _Bunk_, (with scornful emphasis). What pusson with any sense is goin’ to take his horse or his cow an’ beat it up. It’s prope’ty. We was prope’ty. Val’able prope’ty. No, indeed, Mr. Luke give the bes’ of attention to his colored people, an’ Mis’ Huggins was like a mother to my mother. Twa’nt anythin’ wrong about home that made me run away. I’d heard so much talk ’bout freedom I reckon I jus’ wanted to try it, an’ I thought I had to get away from home to have it. Well, I coaxed two other...

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