Interviewer: G. Leland Summer Person Interviewed: Henry Ryan Date of Interview: August 18, 1937 Location: Newberry, South Carolina Place of Birth: Edgefield County SC Date of Birth: (about) 1854 “I was born in Edgefield county, S.C., about 1854. I was the son of Larkin and Cheny Ryan who was the slaves of Judge Pickens Butler who lived at Edgefield Courthouse. I has some brothers and sisters, but don’t remember them all. We lived in a log house with but one room. We had good beds to sleep in, and always had plenty to eat. Old Judge Butler was a good man. I was 10 years old when he died. Before then I worked in and around the house, and freedom come I stayed with the Butler family two years, then went to Dr. Maxwell’s. “In slavery time we had extra patches of ground to work for ourselves which we sometimes worked on Saturday afternoons as we had dat time off. Judge Butler used to give us a little money, too, before freedom come, for our work. We bought clothes and things we had to have. We had a big plantation garden dat the overseers planted for all on de place to eat out of. “We used to hunt ‘possums, rabbits, squirrels, wild turkeys, doves, partridges, and set traps for partridges and set box gums for rabbits. We had good...Read More
Location: Newberry South Carolina
Interviewer: G. Leland Summer Person Interviewed: Mary Veals Date of Interview: May 20, 1937 Location: Newberry, South Carolina Place of Birth: Newberry South Carolina “I was born in the town of Newberry, S.C. I do not remember slavery time, but I have heard my father and mother talk about it. They were Washington and Polly Holloway, and belonged to Judge J.B. O’Neall. They lived about 3 miles west of town, near Bush River. An old colored man lived nearby. His name was Harry O’Neall, and everybody said he was a miser and saved up his money and buried it near the O’Neall spring. Somebody dug around there but never found any money. There were two springs, one was called ‘horse spring’, but the one where the money was supposed to be buried had a big tree by it. “I married Sam Veals, in ‘gravel town’ of Newberry. I had a brother, Riley, and some sisters. “We would eat fish, rabbits, ‘possums and squirrels which folks caught or killed. We used to travel most by foot, going sometimes ten miles to any place. We walked to school, three or four miles, every day when I was teaching school after the war. I was taught mostly at home, by Miss Sallie O’Neall, a daughter of Judge J.B. O’Neall. “My father and mother used to go to the white folks’ church, in...Read More
Interviewer: G. Leland Summer Person Interviewed: Emoline Wilson Date of Interview: May 21, 1937 Location: Newberry, South Carolina “I was a Garmany before I married Calvin Wilson. My father was Henry Garmany, and my mother Sidney Boozer. My husband was in the Confederate army with his master. Dey was near Charleston on de coast. I was slave of Lemuel Lane, of de Dutch Fork. He was killed after de war, some say by some of his young slaves, but we’uns did not know naything about who killed him. We had a good house to live in on Marse Lane’s plantation. I used to work around the house and in de fields. My mother was a good seamstress and helped de white folks sew, and she learn’t me to sew had help too. We didn’t get any money for our work. One time after de war, dey paid me only $5.00 and I quit ’em. My mother hired me out to work for her, and I didn’t have any money, still; so I said I better get me a man of my own. Marse Lane was mean to most of us, but good to me. He whipped me once and I deserved it because I wouldn’t answer him when he called me. He jes’ give me about two licks. He was mean to my mother, but he wouldn’t let his...Read More
Interviewer: G. Leland Summer Person Interviewed: Emoline Wilson Date of Interview: August 10, 1937 Location: Newberry, South Carolina Place of Birth: Newberry County SC “I was born in Newberry County near Cannon’s Creek section in the Dutch Fork. I was a slave of Lemuel Lane. He was killed by some slaves just after freedom. They killed him for his money but didn’t find any, it was said. When freedom come, my mistress give me some things to eat when we left. “I can’t work much any more; I am old and I can’t get about. I live with my son who works when he can find work. We rent a two-room cottage in town. “I never heard anything about slaves getting 40 acres of land and a mule. None in that section got any. We had to go to work for other people. “The Ku Klux Klan never bothered us then, and we never had nothing to do with them, nor with politics. “There was no slaves living in our section who had come from...Read More
Interviewer: G. Leland Summer Person Interviewed: Jane Wilson Date of Interview: June 9, 1937 Location: Newberry, South Carolina Age: 77 “I am daughter of Billy Robertson and Louisa Robertson; was born about 77 years ago in Newberry, on Marse Job Johnstone’s place. My father lived with Judge Job Johnstone as his extra man or servant. He lived in the house with him, slept in his room and waited on him when he became old; and, too, was the driver of his carriage. He drove him to other courthouses to hold court. After the war, my father was janitor at Newberry College, and he was liked by professors, students, and everybody who knew him as ‘Uncle Billy’. At commencement, he always made a speech at night on the campus, which the students enjoyed. He told about his travels from Virginia to Newberry before the war. Judge Johnstone never wanted anybody else to be with him when he traveled. “I belonged to the Avelleigh Presbyterian Church in Newberry, and was christened in the church by the preacher, the Rev. Buist. Colored people were allowed to be members and set in the gallery when they went to church. “After the war, a colored man named Amos Baxter was killed by the Ku Klux at the old courthouse. My father was on Judge Johnstone’s farm a few miles away. He was sent for...Read More
Interviewer: G. Leland Summer Person Interviewed: Emoline Satterwhite Date of Interview: May 19, 1937 Location: Newberry, South Carolina “I am bad-sick woman, in bed and can’t hardly talk and can’t ‘member much. I was born near Broad River in de Blair section. I belonged in slavery to de Blair family. My mudder and papa was Grace and Samuel Blair, and dey belonged to Capt. Blair. When dey was sold, I was put in de house wid a good free nigger woman to raise me and to stay ’till de war was over. Den I come to de Blair house, and helped around de house. My sisters could card, spin and weave, and I helped dem wid it. I didn’t have but one dress. When it got dirty, I went down to de creek and washed it and put it against de lims to dry, but I had to put it back on before it got good dry. “When I got old enough, I worked in de field, hoeing and picking...Read More
Interviewer: G. Leland Summer Person Interviewed: Morgan Scurry Date of Interview: May 19, 1937 Location: Newberry, South Carolina Place of Birth: Newberry County SC “I was born in Newberry County, near the Laurens County line, above Chappells Depot. My father and mother were Tom and Francis Scurry and belonged as slaves to the Drury Scurry family. Dr. Drury Scurry bought them from Col. Cooper of Laurens County. He was a fine man and mighty good to his slaves. I worked around the house as a boy, and in the fields when I got old enough. Some of the nigger boys hunted ‘possums, rabbits and squirrels. Dr. Scurry had 100 acres in woods. They were just full of squirrels and we killed more squirrels than you can count. “The slaves didn’t have a garden, but after the war, we stayed on wid Marse Scurry. When freedom come, he come to us in the yard where we had congregated and told us we was free and could go anywhere we wanted, but if any wanted to stay on wid him, he would pay wages. All of us stayed on wid him. He give us a one-acre patch of ground to raise anything we wanted to raise. He had white overseers during slavery, but none ever whipped us ’cause the master wouldn’t let them. He had a plantation of about 300 acres...Read More
Interviewer: G. Leland Summer Person Interviewed: Anne Rice Location: Newberry, South Carolina Place of Birth: Spartanburg County, SC Folk-Lore: Ex-Slaves “I was born in Spartanburg County, S.C., near Glenn Springs. I can’t ‘member slavery or de war, but my ma and pa who was Green Foster and his wife, Mary Posey Foster, always said I was a big gal when the war stopped, when freedom come. “We belonged to Seth Posey who had a big farm there. He was a good man, but sure made us work. I worked in the fields when I was small, hoed and picked cotton, hoed corn. They didn’t give us no money for it. All we got was a place to sleep and a little to eat. The big man had a good garden and give us something from it. He raised loads of hogs, to eat and to sell. He sold lots of them. The young fellows hunted rabbits, possums, squirrels, wild turkeys, partridges, doves, and went fishing. The Master’s wife, Miss Nancy, was good to us. She had one son, William. “Yes, I ‘member my ma telling us ’bout the padder-rollers. They would ride around, whipping niggers. “My ma said her step-mother sold her. Sometimes they would take crowds of slaves to Mississippi, taking away mothers from their infant babies, leaving the babies on the floor. “We always shuck corn and...Read More
Interviewer: Mr. G. Leland Summer Person Interviewed: Ellen Renwick Location: Newberry, South Carolina Folk-Lore: Ex-Slaves “I was born on Capt. John P. Kinard’s place. My mammy and pa was Lucy and Eph Kinard who belonged to Marse Kinard. Marse Kinard was good to his slaves—didn’t whip them much. He whipped me a little. When I was a little girl I slept in the big house in the room with my mistress and her husband, and waited on them. I worked when I got old enough, in the field, and anywhere around. When I wouldn’t work good, my mammy whipped me most. “I ‘member the folks cooked in skillets over an old fireplace. “After the war was over and freedom come we stayed on with Capt. Kinard, ’till I married and then went over to Dock Renwick’s place where my husband worked. I married Tom Renwick. We went to the church of the colored folks after the war, and had preachings in mornings and evenings and at night, too. We didn’t have no nigger schools, and we didn’t learn to read and write. “The white folks had corn-shuckings, cotton pickings at night, when the mistress would fix a big dinner for all...Read More
Interviewer: G. Leland Summer Person Interviewed: Lila Rutherford Location: Newberry, South Carolina Place of Birth: Dutch Fork, Newberry County, SC Date of Birth: about 1849 “I was born about 1849 in the Dutch Fork section of Newberry County, S.C. I was slave of Ivey Suber and his good wife. My daddy was Bill Suber and my mammy was Mary Suber. I was hired by Marse Suber as a nurse in the big house, and I waited on my mistress when she was sick, and was at her bed when she died. I had two sisters and a brother and when we was sold they went to Mr. Suber’s sister and I stayed with him. “My master was good to his slaves. He give them plenty to eat, good place to sleep and plenty of clothes. The young men would hunt lots, rabbits, possums, and birds. My white folks had a big garden and we had eats from it. They was good cooks, too, and lived good. We card and spin and weave our own clothes on mistress’s spinning wheels. “Marse Suber had one overseer who was good to us. We went to work at sun-up and worked ’till sun-down, none of us worked at night. We sometimes got a whipping when we wouldn’t work or do wrong, but it wasn’t bad. “We never learned to read and write. We...Read More
Interviewer: Hattie Mobley Person Interviewed: Frank Range Location: Greenville, South Carolina Age: 103 Place of Residence: 101 Hudson St. Greenville, S.C Civil War Servant and Hero At the age of one hundred and three, Frank Range is a familiar figure on the streets of Greenville, talking freely of pre-Civil and Civil War days, and the part he played in the war. Frank, the oldest of nine children, was born of slave parents, Lenard and Elizabeth Herbert, on the plantation of Mr. Jim Boler, Newberry, South Carolina. He was sold several times, and is known by the name of one of his owners, John Range. During the Civil War his master, Mr. Jim Herbert, carried him to the war as a cook, and when necessary, he was pressed into service, throwing up breast-works; and while he was engaged in this work, at Richmond Va. a terrific bombardment of their lines was made, and a part of their breast-works was crushed in, and his master buried beneath it. Frantic with fear for the safety of his master, Frank began to move the dirt away; finally he was able to drag him to safety. Though shot and shell were falling all around him, he came out unscathed. Frank Range returned to Newberry at the close of the war, after which he moved to Greenville County in 1901, and into the city in...Read More
Interviewer: G. Leland Summer Person Interviewed: Susie Riser Date of Interview: May 17, 1937 Location: Newberry, South Carolina Place of Birth: Dutch Fork, South Carolina “I was born near Broad River in de Dutch Fork of Newberry County. I was a slave of Cage Suber. He was a fair master, but nothing to brag about. I was small at slavery time and had to work in de white folks’ house or around the house until I was big enough to go to de field and work. “Old Marse Cage always made me fan flies off of him when he lay down to take a nap. The fan was made out of brushes. “De white folks had cotton-pickings, corn-shuckings and quiltings. Dey allus had something to eat at the frolics and I had to help wid ’em. “I married John Riser. I moved to town several years...Read More
Interviewer: G. Leland Summer Person Interviewed: Ellen Swindler Date of Interview: May 20, 1937 Location: Newberry, South Carolina Place of Birth: Newberry County SC “I was born on the Enoree River in Newberry County. Tom Price was my master. I married Nathan Swindler when I was about grown. My father and mother was Dave and Lucy Coleman. I had a brother and several sisters. We children had to work around the home of our master ’till we was old enough to work in de fields, den we would hoe and pick cotton, and do any kinds of field work. We didn’t have much clothes, just one dress and a pair of shoes at a time, and maybe one change. I married in a ole silk striped dress dat I got from my mistress, Miss Sligh. We had no ‘big-to-do’ at our wedding, just married at home. In cold weather, I had sometimes, heavy homespun or outing dress. When Saturday afternoons come, we got off from work and do what we want. Some of us washed for de week. We had no schools and couldn’t read and write. Sometimes we could play in our yards after work was over or on Saturday afternoons. On Christmas the master give us something good to eat. We didn’t have doctors much, but de ole folks had cures for sickness. Dey made cherry-bark tea...Read More
Interviewer: G. Leland Summer Person Interviewed: Joe Rutherford Location: Newberry, South Carolina “I was born about 1846, ’cause I was in de war and was 19 years old when de war was over. I went to Charleston with my master, Ros Atwood, my mistress’s brother. My mistress was Mrs. Laura Rutherford and my master at home was Dr. Thomas Rutherford. We was on Morris Island. “My father was Allen Rutherford and my mother Barbara Rutherford. My daddy had come from Chili to this country, was a harness maker, and belonged awhile to Nichols. We had a good house or hut to live in, and my work was to drive cows till I was old ‘nough to work in de fields, when I was 13. Then I plowed, hoed cotton, and hoed corn ’till last year of war and den went to Charleston. “Master paid us no money for work. We could hunt and fish, and got lots of game around there. We had dogs but our master didn’t like hounds. “Col. Daryton Rutherford, doct’s son, had me for a ‘pet’ on the place. They had overseers who was sometimes bossy but they wouldn’t allow dem to whip me. One old nigger named ‘Isom’, who come from Africa, was whipped mighty bad one day. The padderollers whip me one night when I went off to git a pair of shoes...Read More
Interviewer: G. Leland Summer Person Interviewed: Bettie Suber Date of Interview: May 18, 1937 Location: Newberry, South Carolina Place of Birth: Newberry County, SC “I was born near old Bush River Baptist Church in Newberry County, S.C. This was the white folks’ church, but the colored folks have a Bush River church in that section now. I was grown when the war started. I was a slave of Bonny Floyd. He was a good man who owned several slaves and a big farm. I was the house-girl then, and waited on the table and helped around the house. I was always told to go to the white folks’ church and sit in the gallery. “When the Patrollers was started there, they never did bother Mr. Bonny’s slaves. He never had any trouble with them, for his slaves never run away from him. “The Ku Klux never come to our place, and I don’t remember seeing them in that section. “We took our wheat to Singley’s Mill on Bush River to be ground. We made all our flour and grain. We plowed with horses and mules. “I am an old woman, sick in bed and can’t talk good; but glad to tell you anything I...Read More
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