Location: Columbia County FL

Slave Narrative of Claude Augusta Wilson

Interviewer: James Johnson Person Interviewed: Claude Augusta Wilson Location: Sunbeam, Florida In 1857 on the plantation of Tom Dexter in Lake City, Columbia County, Florida, was born a Negro, Claude Augusta Wilson, of slave parents. His master Tom Dexter was very kind to his slaves, and was said to have been a Yankee. His wife Mary Ann Dexter, a southerner, was the direct opposite, she was very mean. Claude was eight years old when Emancipation came. The Dexter plantation was quite a large place, covering 100 or more acres. There were about 100 slaves, including children. They had regular one room quarters built of logs which was quite insignificant in comparison with the palatial Dexter mansion. The slaves would arise early each morning, being awakened by a “driver” who was a white man, and by “sun-up” would be at their respective tasks in the fields. All day they worked, stopping at noon to get a bite to eat, which they carried on the fields from their cabins. At “sun-down” they would quit work and return to their cabins, prepare their meals and gossip from cabin to cabin. Finally retiring to await the dawn of a new day which signaled a return to their routine duties. At Sundays they would gather at a poorly constructed frame building which was known as the “Meeting House,” In this building they would give...

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Slave Narrative of Mary Minus Biddie

Person Interviewed: Mary Minus Biddie Location: Eatonville, Florida Age: 100 Slave Customs Mary Minus Biddie, age one hundred five was born in Pensacola, Florida, 1833 and raised in Columbia County. She is married, and has several children. For her age she is exceptionally active, being able to wash and do her house work. With optimism she looks forward to many more years of life. Her health is excellent. Having spent thirty-two years of her life as a slave she relates vividly some of her experiences. Her master Lancaster Jamison was a very kind man and never mistreated his slaves. He was a man of mediocre means, and instead of having a large plantation as was usual in those days, he ran a boarding house, the revenue there from furnishing him substance for a livelihood. He had a small farm from which fresh produce was obtained to supply the needs of his lodgers. Mary’s family were his only slaves. The family consisted of her mother, father, brother and a sister. The children called the old master “Fa” and their father “Pappy.” The master never resented this appellation, and took it in good humor. Many travelers stopped at his boarding house. Mary’s mother did the cooking, her father “tanded” the farm, and Mary, her brother and sister, did chores about the place. There was a large one-room house built in the...

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Slave Narrative of Rebecca Hooks

Interviewer: Pearl Randolph Person Interviewed: Rebecca Hooks Location: Lake City, Florida Age: 90 Rebecca Hooks, age 90 years, is one of the few among the fast-thinning ranks of ex-slaves who can give a clear picture of life “befo’ de wah.” She was born in Jones County, Georgia of Martha and Pleasant Lowe, who were slaves of William Lowe. The mother was the mulatto offspring of William Lowe and a slave woman who was half Cherokee. The father was also a mulatto, purchased from a nearby plantation. Because of this blood mixture Rebecca’s parents were known as “house niggers,” and lived on quarters located in the rear of the “big house.” A “house nigger” was a servant whose duties consisted of chores around the big house, such as butler, maid, cook, stableman, gardener and personal attendant to the man who owned him. These slaves were often held in high esteem by their masters and of course fared much better than the other slaves on the plantation. Quite often they were mulattoes as in the case of Rebecca’s parents. There seemed to be a general belief among slave owners that mulattoes could not stand as much laborious work as pureblooded Negro slaves. This accounts probably for the fact that the majority of ex-slaves now alive are mulattoes. The Lowes were originally of Virginia and did not own as much property in...

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Slave Narrative of Rev. Squires Jackson

Interviewer: Samuel Johnson Person Interviewed: Rev. Squires Jackson Location: Jacksonville, Florida Occupation: Bricklayer, Preacher Lying comfortably in a bed encased with white sheets, Rev. Squires Jackson, former slave and minister of the gospel living at 706 Third Street cheerfully related the story of his life. Born in a weather-beaten shanty in Madison, Fla. September 14, 1841 of a large family, he moved to Jacksonville at the age of three with the “Master” and his mother. Very devoted to his mother, he would follow her into the cotton field as she picked or hoed cotton, urged by the thrashing of the overseer’s lash. His master, a prominent political figure of that time was very kind to his slaves, but would not permit them to read and write. Relating an incident after having learned to read and write, one day as he was reading a newspaper, the master walked upon him unexpectedly and demanded to know what he was doing with a newspaper. He immediately turned the paper upside down and declared “Confederates done won the war.” The master laughed and walked away without punishing him. It la interesting to know that slaves on this plantation were not allowed to sing when they were at work, but with all the vigilance of the overseers, nothing could stop those silent songs of labor and prayers for freedom. On Sundays the boys on...

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Columbia County Florida Cemetery Records

Florida Cemetery records are listed by county then name of cemetery within the Florida county. Most of these are complete indices at the time of transcription, however, in some cases we list the listing when it is only a partial listing.   Columbia┬áCounty Cemetery Records Hosted at Columbia County, Florida USGenWeb Archives Bethlehem Lutheran Church Cemetery Corinth Cemetery Ft. White Cemetery Lulu Baptist Church Family Cemeteries New Zion Cemetery Oakland Cemetery Philippi Baptist Church Tustenuggee United Methodist Church Cemetery Williams Cemetery,...

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