Location: Lauderdale County MS

North America Indian Names of Places in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Louisiana

The Indians all over this continent had names, traditions, religions, ceremonies, feasts, prayers, songs, dances all, more or less, with symbolism and allegory, adapted to circumstances, just as all other races of mankind. But the world has become so familiar with the continued and ridiculous publications in regard to everything touching upon that race of people that a universal doubt has long since been created and established as to the possibility of refinement of thought and nobleness of action ever having existed among the North American Indian race, ancient or modern; and so little of truth has also been learned regarding the real and true inner life of that peculiar and seemingly isolated race of mankind, that today only here and there can one be found who, from a lifetime association and intimate acquaintance, is well versed in Indian thought, feeling and character, and able to unfold and record the solution of that imagined mystery known as “The Indian Problem,” since they learned it from the Indians themselves. From the Indians own lips they were taught its elucidation, and only as it could be taught and learned, but never again can be taught and learned. Even as various nations of antiquity of, the eastern continent have left the evidences of their former occupation by the geographical names that still exist, so to have the North American Indians left their...

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Slave Narrative of Nettie Henry

Person Interviewed: Nettie Henry Location: Meridian, Mississippi Place of Birth: Livingston, Alabama Age: 82 Place of Residence: 19th Street, Meridian, Lauderdale County, Mississippi Nettie Henry, ex-slave, 19th Street, Meridian, Lauderdale County, is 82 years old. She is five feet tall and weighs one hundred pounds. “De Chil’s place was at Livingston, Alabama, on Alamucha Creek. Dat’s where I was born, but I jus’ did git borned good when Miss Lizzie—she was Marse Chil’s girl—married Marse John C. Higgins an’ moved to Mer-ree-dian. Me an’ my mammy an’ my two sisters, Liza an’ Tempe, was give to Miss Lizzie. “I aint no country Nigger; I was raised in town. My mammy cooked an’ washed an’ ironed an’ done ever’thing for Miss Lizzie. She live right where Miss Annie—she was Miss Lizzie’s daughter—live now. But den de house face Eighth Street ‘stead o’ Seventh Street, lak it do now. Day warnt any other houses in dat block. ‘Fore de Surrender, dey turnt de house to face Seventh Street ’cause de town was growin’ an’ a heap o’ folks was buildin’ houses. I tell you somp’in’ ’bout Seventh Street in a minute. Couldn’ nobody dat lived in Mer-ree-dian right after de Surrender ever forgit Seventh Street an’ where it head to. “My pappy didn’ go wid us to Mer-ree-dian. He b’longed to one set o’ white people, you see, an’ my mammy...

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Slave Narrative of Sam McAllum

Interviewer: Marjorie Woods Austin Person Interviewed: Sam McAllum Location: Meridian, Mississippi Date of Birth: September 2, 1842 Age: 95 Place of Residence: Meridian, Lauderdale County To those familiar with the history of “Bloody Kemper” as recorded, the following narrative from the lips of an eye-witness will be heresy. But the subject of this autobiography, carrying his ninety-five years more trimly than many a man of sixty, is declared sound of mind as well as of body by the Hector Currie family, prominent in Mississippi, for whom he has worked in a position of great trust and responsibility for fifty years or more. While this old Negro may be mistaken at some points (the universal failing of witnesses), his impressions are certainly not more involved than the welter of local records. Mrs. Currie states that if Sam said he saw a thing happen thus, it may be depended upon that he is telling exactly what he really saw. Sam McAllum, ex-slave, lives in Meridian, Lauderdale County. Sam is five feet three inches tall and weighs 140 pounds. “De firs’ town I ever seen were DeKalb in Kemper County. De Stephenson Plantation where I were born warnt but ’bout thirteen miles north o’ DeKalb. I were born de secon’ o’ September in 1842. My mammy b’longed to de Stephensons an’ my pappy b’longed to Marster Lewis Barnes. His plantation wasn’t so...

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Slave Narrative of Susan Snow

Interviewer: William B. Allison Person Interviewed: Susan Snow Location: Meridian, Mississippi Place of Birth: Wilcox County, Alabama Date of Birth: 1850 Age: 87 “Aunt Sue” Snow, a rather small and profusely wrinkled 87-year-old ex-slave, lives in the Negro quarters of the South Side in Meridian. In spite of her wild escapades, her reputation for honesty and reliability is high and she carries and exhibits with pride numerous letters attesting that fact. She often finds it necessary to stand and act the story she is telling. Her memory is amazing and she turns with equal readiness to copious quotations from the Scripture and other pious observations to amusing but wholly unprintable anecdotes of her somewhat lurid past. “I was born in Wilcox County, Alabama, in 1850. W.J. Snow was my old marster. He bought my ma from a man named Jerry Casey. Venus was her name, but dey mos’ly called her ‘Venie.’ “I’s workin’ now for one o’ my old folks. I can’t work much—jus’ carries things to ‘er an’ such. She’s my old mistis’ own daughter an’ she’s got gran’chillun grown an’ married. All de chillun dat’s livin’ is older’n me. “When her pa bought my mammy, I was a baby. Her pa owned a heap o’ Niggers. I’s de only one still hangin’ aroun’. “My ma was a black African an’ she sho’ was wild an’ mean. She...

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Slave Narrative of Berry Smith

Interviewer: W. B. Allen Person Interviewed: Berry Smith Location: Forest, Mississippi Place of Birth: Sumpter County, Alabama “Uncle Berry” Smith is five feet two or three inches tall. He is scrupulously neat. He is very independent for his age, which is calculated at one hundred and sixteen years. He believes the figure to be correct. His mind is amazingly clear. “I was born an’ bred in Sumpter County, Alabama, in de prairie lan’, six miles from Gainesville. Dat’s where I hauled cotton. It was close to Livingston, Alabama, where we lived. “I was twelve years old when de stars fell. Dey fell late in de night an’ dey lighted up de whole earth. All de chaps was a-runnin’ ‘roun’ grabbin’ for ’em, but none of us ever kotched[FN: caught] one. It’s a wonder some of’ em didn’ hit us, but dey didn’. Dey never hit de groun’ atall. “When dey runned de Injuns out de country, me an’ another chap kotched one o’ dem Injun’s ponies an hung him up[FN: tied him up] in de grape vines. He said it was his pony an’ I said it was mine. “Marse Bob’s boy tol’ us his daddy was gwine a-whup us for stealin’ dat pony, so we hid out in de cane for two nights. Marse Bob an’ his brother whupped us’ til we didn’ want to see no more...

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Slave Narrative of Fannie Alexander

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Person Interviewed: Fannie Alexander Location: Helena, Arkansas Age: 62 Occupation: Teacher “I was an orphant child. My mother-in-law told me during slavery she was a field hand. One day the overseer was going to whoop one of the women ’bout sompin or other and all the women started with the hoes to him and run him clear out of the field. They would killed him if he hadn’t got out of the way. She said the master hadn’t put a overseer over them for a long time. Some of ’em wouldn’t do their part and he put one of the men on the place over the women. He was a colored foreman. The women worked together and the men worked together in different fields. My mother-in-law was named Alice Drummond. She said they would cut the hoecakes in half and put that in your pan, then pour the beef stew on top. She said on Christmas day they had hot biscuits. They give them flour and things to make biscuit at home on Sundays. When they got through eating they take their plate and say, ‘Thank God for what I received.’ She said they had plenty milk. The churns was up high—five gallon churns. Some churns was cedar wood. The children would churn standing on a little stool. It would take two to churn. They...

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