Location: Gary Indiana

Slave Narrative of John Eubanks & Family

Interviewer: Archie Koritz Person Interviewed: John Eubanks Location: Gary, Indiana Place of Birth: Barren County, Kentucky Date of Birth: June 6, 1836 Age: 98 Archie Koritz, Field Worker Federal Writers’ Project Lake County-District #1 Gary, Indiana EX-SLAVES JOHN EUBANKS & FAMILY Gary, Indiana Gary’s only surviving Civil War veteran was born a slave in Barren County, Kentucky, June 6, 1836. His father was a mulatto and a free negro. His mother was a slave on the Everrett plantation and his grandparents ware full-blooded African negroes. As a child he began work as soon as possible and was put to work hoeing and picking cotton and any other odd jobs that would keep him busy. He was one of a family of several children, and is the sole survivor, a brother living in Indianapolis, having died there in 1935. Following the custom of the south, when the children of the Everrett family grew up, they married and slaves were given them for wedding presents. John was given to a daughter who married a man of the name of Eubanks, hence his name, John Eubanks. John was one of the more fortunate slaves in that his mistress and master were kind and they were in a state divided on the question of slavery. They favored the north. The rest of the children were given to other members of the Everrett family...

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Slave Narrative of Rev. Wamble

Interviewer: Archie Koritz Person Interviewed: Rev. Wamble Location: Gary, Indiana Place of Birth: Monroe County, Mississippi, Date of Birth: 1859 Place of Residence: 1827 Madison Street, Gary, Indiana Occupation: Wagon-maker Archie Koritz, Field Worker Federal Writers’ Project Porter County-District #1 Valparaiso, Indiana EX-SLAVES REV. WAMBLE 1827 Madison Street Gary, Indiana [TR: above ‘Wamble’ in handwriting is ‘Womble’] Rev. Wamble was born a slave in Monroe County, Mississippi, in 1859. The Westbrook family owned many slaves in charge of over-seers who managed the farm, on which there were usually two hundred or more slaves. One of the Westbrook daughters married a Mr. Wamble, a wagon-maker. The Westbrook family gave the newly-weds two slaves, as did the Wamble family. One of the two slaves coming from the Westbrook family was Rev. Wamble’s grandfather. It seems that the slaves took the name of their master, hence Rev. Wamble’s grandfather was named Wamble. Families owning only a few slaves and in moderate circumstances usually treated their slaves kindly since like a farmer with only a few horses, it was to their best interest to see that their slaves were well provided for. The slaves were valuable, and there was no funds to buy others, whereas the large slave owners were wealthy and one slave more or less made little difference. The Reverend’s father and his brothers were children of original African slaves and...

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Slave Narrative of Mrs. Hockaday

Interviewer: Archie Koritz Person Interviewed: Mrs. Hockaday Location: Gary, Indiana Place of Residence: 2591 Madison Street, Gary, Indiana Archie Koritz, Field Worker Federal Writers’ Project Porter County-District #1 Valparaiso, Indiana EX-SLAVES MRS. HOCKADAY 2581 Madison Street Gary, Indiana Mrs. Hockaday is the daughter of an ex-slave and like so many others does not care to discuss the dark side of slavery and the cruel treatment that some of them received. After the Civil War the slaves who for the most part were unskilled and ignorant, found it very difficult to adjust themselves to their new life as free persons. Formerly, they lived on the land of their masters and although compelled to work long hours, their food and lodging were provided for them. After their emancipation, this life was changed. They were free and had to think for themselves and make a living. Times for the negro then was much the same as during the depression. Several of the slaves started out to secure jobs, but all found it difficult to adjust themselves to the new life and difficult to secure employment. Many came back to their old owners and many were afraid to leave and continued on much as before. The north set up stores or relief stations where the negro who was unable to secure employment could obtain food and shelter. Mrs. Hockaday says it was the...

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Slave Narrative of John Eubanks

Interviewer: Archie Koritz Person Interviewed: John Eubanks Location: Gary, Indiana Age: 98 Place of Residence: 2713 Harrison Boulevard, Gary, Indiana Archie Koritz, Field Worker 816 Mound Street, Valparaiso, Indiana Federal Writers’ Project Lake County, District #1 Gary, Indiana EX-SLAVES INTERVIEW WITH JOHN EUBANKS, EX-SLAVE John Eubanks, Gary’s only negro Civil War survivor has lived to see the ninety-eighth anniversary of his birth and despite his advanced age, recalls with surprising clarity many interesting and sad events of his boyhood days when a slave on the Everett plantation. He was born in Glasgow, Barron County, Kentucky, June 6, 1839, one of seven children of a chattel of the Everett family. The old man retains most of his faculties, but bears the mark of his extreme age in an obvious feebleness and failing sight and memory. He is physically large, says he once was a husky, weighing over two hundred pounds, bears no scars or deformities and despite the hardships and deprivations of his youth, presents a kindly and tolerant attitude. “I remembah well, us young uns on the Everett plantation,” he relates, “I worked since I can remembah, hoein’, pickin’ cotton and othah chohs ’round the fahm. We didden have much clothes, nevah no undahweah, no shoes, old ovahalls and a tattahed shirt, wintah and summah. Come de wintah, it be so cold mah feet weah plumb numb mos’ o’...

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