Location: Miami-Dade County FL

The Miami Circle

The Miami Circle was discovered in 1998 during excavation for the construction of a luxury condominium at Brickell Point in Downtown Miami near the Miami River and Biscayne Bay. 1“The Miami Circle.” Wikipedia. The developer, Michael Baumann, tore down an existing apartment complex in 1998. Prior to initiating construction of the new tower, he was required to retain archaeologists to carry out a brief field survey the site by the city’s historic preservation ordinance. However, Baumann did not do this until pressured by the Miami-Dade Historic Preservation Division Director, Bob Carr, pressured him to do so. The survey was...

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Slave Narrative of Rev. Eli Boyd

Person Interviewed: Rev. Eli Boyd Location: Dade County, Florida Dade County, Florida, Folklore Ex-Slaves Reverend Eli Boyd was born May 29, 1864, four miles from Somerville, South Carolina on John Murray’s plantation. It was a large plantation with perhaps one hundred slaves and their families. As he was only a tiny baby when freedom came, he had no “recomembrance” of the real slavery days, but he lived on the same plantation for many years until his father and mother died in 1888. “I worked on the plantation just like they did in the real slavery days, only I received a small wage. I picked cotton and thinned rice. I always did just what they told me to do and didn’t ever get into any trouble, except once and that was my own fault. “You see it was this way. They gave me a bucket of thick clabber to take to the hogs. I was hungry and took the bucket and sat down behind the barn and ate every bit of it. I didn’t know it would make me sick, but was I sick? I swelled up so that I all but bust. They had to doctor on me. They took soot out of the chimney and mixed it with salt and made me take that. I guess they saved my life, for I was awful sick. “I never learned...

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Slave Narrative of Annie Gail

Person Interviewed: Annie Gail Location: Dade County, Florida Annie Gail, 1661 NW 6th Court, Miami, Florida, was four years old when “peace came.” “I was borned on Faggott’s place near Greenville, Alabama. My mother, she worked for Faggott. He wuz her bossman. When she’d go out to de fiel’s, I ‘member I used to watch her, for somehow I wuz feared she would get away from me. “Now I ‘member dat jes ez good as ’twas yesterday. I didn’t do anything. I just runned ’round. “We just ‘stayed on’ after de’ ‘Mancipation’. My mother, she was hired then. I guess I wuzn’t ‘fraid ob her leavin’ after...

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Slave Narrative of Millie Sampson

Person Interviewed: Millie Sampson Location: Dade County, Florida Millie Sampson, 182 W. 14th St. Miami, Florida, was born in Manning, S.C. only three years ‘bfo’ Peace”. “My mother and father were born on the same plantation and I di’n’t have nothin’ to do ‘sept play with the white children and have plenty to eat. My mother and father were field han’s. I learned to talk from the white...

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Slave Narrative of Frank Bates

Person Interviewed: Frank Bates Location: Dade County, Florida Frank Bates, 367 N.W. 10th Street, Miami, Florida was born on Hugh Lee Bates’ farm in Alabama in the country not very far from Mulberry Beat. “My mother and father lived on the same plantation, but I was too little to do more than tote water to the servants in the fields. “I saw Old Bates whip my mother once for leaving her finger print in the pone bread when she patted it down before she put it into the oven. “I remember seeing Lundra, Oscar and Luke Bates go off to war on three fine horses. I dont know whether they ever came back or not, for we moved that same...

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Slave Narrative of Jessie Rowell

Person Interviewed: Jessie Rowell Location: Dade County, Florida Jessie Rowell, 331 NW 19th St., Miami, Florida was born in Mississippi, between Fossburg and Heidelberg, on the Gaddis plantation. “My grandmother worked in the house, but my mother worked in the field hoeing or picking cotton or whatever there was to do. I was too little to work. “All that I can ‘member is, that I was just a little tot running ’round, and I would always watch for my mother to come home. I was always glad to see her, for the day was long and I knew she’d cook something for me to eat. I can ‘member dat es good as ’twas yestiday. “We ‘stayed on’ after Freedom. Mother was give wages then, but I don’t know how...

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Slave Narrative of David Lee

Person Interviewed: David Lee Location: Dade County, Florida David Lee, 1006 NW 1st Court, Miami, Fla. is proud of his “missus” and the training he received on the plantation. “Ah can’t tell y’ ‘zackkly mah age, but ah knows dat when Freedom was declared, ah was big ‘nough ter drive a haws an’ buggy’, for ah had nice folks. Ah could tell u’ right smart ’bout ’em. “Ah libbed near Cusper, Ga. on Barefield’s fahm. Dare daughter, Miss Ann Barefield, she taught a school few miles away, ’round pas’ the Post Hoffice. Ah s’posen ah mus’ bee 9 or 10 years hold, for ah’ carried Miss Ann backwards and forwards t’ school hev’ry marnin’ and den in the hevenin’, ah’d stop ’round fer de mails when ah’d go fer to carry her home. “Miss Ann, she used ter gibme money, but hi didn’t know what t’ do wid hit. Ah had all de clothes ah could we ah and all ah could eat and didn’t need playthings, couldn’t read much, and didn’t know where to buy any books. Ah had hit good. “When peace wuz signed, dey gib me lots of Confederate bills to play with. Ah had ten-dollah bills and lots o’ twenty-dollah bills, good bills, but y’know dey wus ‘t wuth nothing. Ah have a twenty-doll ah bill ‘roun som’ers, if hi could evah fin’ hit. “Yes,...

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Slave Narrative of Fannie McCay

Person Interviewed: Fannie McCay Location: Dade County, Florida Age: 73 Fannie McCay, 1720 NW 3rd Court, Miami, Florida was born on a plantation while her father and mother were slaves; she claims her age is 73 years which would make her too young to remember “mancipation” but nevertheless she was slave property of her master and could have been sold or given away even at that tender age. Her parents, too, “stayed on” quite a while after the “mancipation”. Being one of those who “didn’t have too much time to talk too much,” her main statement was: “‘Bout all hi ken ‘member is dat hi hused go hout wid de old folks when dey went out to pick cotton. Hi used to pick a little along. “I had plenty to eat and when we went away, my Massy had a little calf that I liked so well. I begged my Massy to give it to me, but he never gave me...

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Slave Narrative of William Neightgen

Person Interviewed: William Neighten Location: Dade County, Florida William Neighten gave his address as 60th Street, Liberty City. He was only a baby when freedom came, but he too, “stayed on” a long time afterward. He did not know his real name, but he was given his Massy’s name. “Don’t ask me how much work I had to do. Gracious! I used to plow and hoed a lot and everything else and then did’nt do enough. I got too many whippings...

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Slave Narrative of Banana Williams

Person Interviewed: Banana Williams Location: Dade County, Florida Banana Williams, 1740 NW 5th Court, Miami, Florida was born in Grady County, Georgia near Cairo in the 16th district. “The man what I belonged to was name Mr. Sacks. My mother and father lived there. I was only about three years old when peace came, but I remember when the paddle rollers came there and whipped a man and woman. “I was awful ‘fraid, for that was somethin’ I nevah see before. We “stayed on” but we left before I was old enough to work, but I did work in the fields in Mitchell County. “I came to Miami and raised 5 children. I’m staying with my daughter, but I’m not able to work much. I’m too done played out with old...

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Slave Narrative of Margaret White

Person Interviewed: Margaret White Location: Dade County, Florida Age: 84 Margaret White, 6606 18th Ave., Liberty City, Miami, Florida is one of those happy creatures who doesn’t look as if she ever had a care in the world. She speaks good English: “I am now 84 years old, for I was 13 when the Emancipation Proclamation was made. It didn’t make much difference to me. I had a good home and was treated very nicely. “My master was John Eckels. He owned a large fruit place near Federal, N.C. “My father was a tailor and made the clothes for his master and his servants. I was never sold. My master just kept me. They liked me and wouldn’t let me be sold. He never whipped me, for I was a slave, you know, and I had to do just as I was told. “I worked around the house doing maid’s work. I also helped to care for the children in the...

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Slave Narrative of Salena Taswell

Interviewer: Cora M. Taylor Person Interviewed: Salena Taswell Location: Miami, Florida 1. Where, and about when, were you born? (Answer) In Perry, Ga. in 1844. 2. If you were born on a plantation or farm, what sort of farming section was it in? (Answer) Ole Dr. Jameson’s plantation near Perry, Ga. north of Macon. 3. How did you pass the time as a child? What sort of chores did you do and what did you play? (Answer) I worked around the table in my Massy’s dining room. I didn’t play. I sometimes pulled threads for mother. She was a fine seamstress for the plantation. 4. Was your master kind to you? (Answer) Yes; I was the pet. 5. How many slaves were there on the same plantation or farm? (Answer) He must have had about 400 slaves. 6. Do you remember what kind of cooking utensils your mother used? (Answer) We had copper kettles, crocks, and iron kettles. “I waited on de table when Lincum came dare. That day we had chicken hash and batter cakes and dried venison.” 7. What were your main foods and how were they cooked? (Answer) We had everything that was good (I ate in my Massy’s kitchen) Sweet potatoes biscuits, corn bread, pies and everything we eat now. 8. Do you remember making imitation or substitute coffee by grinding up corn or peanuts?...

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Slave Narrative of Charley Roberts

Person Interviewed: Charley Roberts Location: Dade County, Florida Charley Roberys of Perrine, Florida, was born on the Hogg plantation near Allendale, S. C. “Yes, sah, I’ members de vary day when we first heard that we was free. I was mindin’ the little calf, keepin’ it away from the cow while my mother was milkin’. “We have to milk the cows and carry the milk to the Confederate soldiers quartered near us. “At that time, I can ‘member of the soldiers comin’ ‘cross the Savannah River. They would go to the plantations and take all the cows, hogs, sheep, or horses they wanted and “stack” their guns and stay around some places and kill some of the stock, or use the milk and eat corn and all the food they wanted as they needed it. They’d take quilts and just anything they needed. “I don’t know why, but I remember we didn’t have salt given to us, so we went to the smoke house where there were clean boards on the floor where the salt and grease drippings would fall from the smoked hams hanging from the rafters. The boards would be soft and soaked with salt and grease. Well, we took those boards and cooked the salt and fat out of them, cooked the boards right in the bean soup. That way we got salt and the soup...

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Slave Narrative of Taylor Gilbert

Interviewer: Alfred Farrell Person Interviewed: Taylor Gilbert Location: Titusville, Florida Age: 91 Occupation: Farmer Taylor Gilbert was born in Shellman, Georgia, 91 years ago, of a colored mother and a white father, “which is why I am so white”, he adds. He has never been known to have passed as White, however, in spite of the fact that he could do so without detection. David Ferguson bought Jacob Gilbert from Dr. Gilbert as a husband for Emily, Taylor’s mother. Emily had nine children, two by a white man, Frances and Taylor, and seven by Jacob, only three of whom Gilbert remembers – Gettie, Rena, and Annis. Two of these children were sent to school while the others were obliged to work on the plantation. Emily, the mother, was the cook and washwoman while Jacob was the Butler. Gilbert, a good sized lad when slavery was at its height, recalls vividly the cruel lashings and other punishments meted out to those who disobeyed their master or attempted to run away. It was the custom of slaves who wished to go from one plantation to another to carry passes in case they were stopped as suspected runaways. Frequently slaves would visit without benefit of passes, and as result they suffered severe torturing. Often the sons of the slaves’ owners would go “nigger hunting” and nothing – not even murder was too...

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Biography of Rev. B. L. Baldridge

Rev. B. L. Baldridge was born in Adams County, Ohio, February 9, 1821. His father, Rev. William Baldridge, was born in Pennsylvania, in 1760. He served in the Revolutionary war at the age of sixteen years, and for many years after its close was an active minister in the United Presbyterian Church. He graduated from college in 1790, was licensed to preach in 1792, was ordained in 1793, and died October 31, 1830. The subject of this biographical sketch was educated at Miami University and subsequently studied theology at Oxford. He was ordained January 10, 1851, at Centerville, Michigan, by the United Presbyterian Church. He served as pastor of the Associate Reformed church in Centerville, Michigan, for seven years. In 1857 he was sent as a missionary to Leavenworth, Kansas. Here he organized a United Presbytertian Church and was settled as pastor until 1874; then served as chaplain in the Kansas State prison for about two years. June 3, 1876, he was commissioned Chaplain in the United States army, and continued in this position until 1884, when he was retired. At the time of his retirement he was stationed at Angel Island, California. Mr. Baldridge was married July 27, 1859, at Goshen, Indiana, to Miss Sarah M. Gilmore, a daughter of John and Harriet (Crane) Gilmore. They have two children, viz.: Mary H., now Mrs. Lieutenant R. H. R....

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