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Location: Oglethorpe County GA

Biographical Sketch of John H. Taylor

John H. Taylor was born in Oglethorpe County, Georgia, February 26, 1801, and, is the only living member of a family of seven children of Woody B. and Nancy (Seay) Taylor, who were born and married in the “Palmetto State,” and moved to Georgia, and in 1809 to Tennessee. At that time the country was covered with canebrake, and Lynchburg contained only two log cabins. Woody B. Taylor died in 1840, and the mother in 1846. John H. resided with his parents until July 18, 1826, when he wedded Elizabeth Ford, who was born in South Carolina and has since lived in the vicinity of Lynchburg. To this venerable couple ten children were born, seven of whom are living. Politically Mr. Taylor is a stanch democrat, and he and wife are members of the Baptist Church. W. B. Taylor is the second of John H. Taylor’s children. He was born near his present residence March 15, 1829, and resided with his parents on the farm until his marriage, March 2, 1869, to Susan T. Keller, a daughter of Dr. J. A. Keller, a native of the county. He moved to Illinois in 1842, and there enlisted in the Mexican War as first lieutenant, and died from the effects of the service in 1847. The family then came to Lynchburg, where the mother, whose maiden name was Lauriette Walker, now...

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Slave Narrative of Martha Colquitt

Interviewer: Sarah H. Hall Person Interviewed: Martha Colquitt Location: Athens, Georgia The aged Negress leaned heavily on her cane as she shuffled about her tiny porch in the waning sunlight of a cold January day. An airplane writing an advertising slogan in letters of smoke high in the sky was receiving but indifferent attention from Aunt Martha. Sha shivered and occasionally leaned against a post until a paroxysm of coughing subsided. “What would you have thought of that if it had suddenly appeared in the sky when you were a child?” she was asked. “It would have scared me plum to death,” was the response. “I didn’t come out here just to see dat,” she continued, “I didn’t have nothin’ to make no fire wid, and I had to git out in de sunshine ’cause it wuz too cold to stay in de house. It sho’ is mighty bad to have to go to bed wid cold feet and cough all night long.” Her visitor could not resist the impulse to say, “Let’s make a trade, Aunt Martha! If I give you a little money will you buy wood; then while you enjoy the fire will you think back over your life and tell me about your experiences when I come back tomorrow?” “Bless de Lord! I sho’ will be glad to tell you de truf ’bout anything I...

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Slave Narrative of Mary Colbert

Interviewer: Sadie B. Hornsby Person Interviewed: Mary Colbert Location: Athens, Georgia (NOTE: This is the first story we have had in which the client did not use any dialect. Mary Colbert’s grammar was excellent. Her skin was almost white, and her hair was quite straight. None of us know what a “deep” slave was. It may have the same meaning as outlandish Negro. The “outlandish Negroes” were those newly arrived Negroes who had just come in from any country outside of the United States of America, and were untrained. They were usually just from Africa. Sarah H. Hall) With the thermometer registering 93 degrees in the shade on a particularly humid July day, the visitor trudged up one steep, rocky alley and down another, hesitantly negotiated shaky little bridges over several ravines, scrambled out of a ditch, and finally arrived at the address of Mary Colbert. It was the noon hour. A Negro man had tied his mule under an apple tree in one corner of Mary’s yard. The animal was peacefully munching hay while his master enjoyed lunch from a battered tin bucket. Asked if Mary was at home, the man replied: “Yessum, jus’ call her at de door.” A luxuriant Virginia creeper shaded the front porch of Mary’s five-room frame house, where a rap on the front door brought the response: “Here I am, honey! Come right...

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Slave Narrative of James Bolton

Interviewer: Sarah H. Hall Person Interviewed: James Bolton Location: Athens, Georgia Age: 85 “It never was the same on our plantation atter we done laid Mistess away,” said James Bolton, 85 year old mulatto ex-slave. “I ain’t never forget when Mistess died—she had been so good to every nigger on our plantation. When we got sick, Mistess allus had us tended to. The niggers on our plantation all walked to church to hear her funeral sermon and then walked to the graveyard to the buryin’.” James, shrivelled and wrinkled, with his bright eyes taking in everything on one of his rare visits to town, seemed glad of the chance to talk about slavery days. He spoke of his owner as “my employer” and hastily corrected himself by saying, “I means, my marster.” “My employer, I means my marster, and my mistess, they was sho’ all right white folkses,” he continued. “They lived in the big ‘ouse. Hit was all painted brown. I heard tell they was more’n 900 acres in our plantation and lots of folkses lived on it. The biggest portion was woods. My paw, he was name Whitfield Bolton and Liza Bolton was my maw. Charlie, Edmund, Thomas and John Bolton was my brothers and I had one sister, she was Rosa. We belonged to Marse Whitfield Bolton and we lived on his plantation in Oglethorpe County...

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Slave Narrative of Benny Dillard

Interviewer: Grace McCune Person Interviewed: Benny Dillard Location: Athens, Georgia Age: 80 Benny’s rocky little yard is gay with flowers and a flourishing rose vine shades the small porch at the front of his ramshackle two-room cabin. The old Negro was busily engaged at washing his clothes. He is of medium size, darker than gingerbread in color, and his clothing on this day consisted of a faded blue shirt, pants adorned with many patches, and brogans. A frayed sun hat covered the gray hair that is “gittin’ mighty thin on de top of my haid.” Benny was singing as he worked and his quavering old voice kept tune and rhythm to a remarkable degree as he carefully and distinctly pronounced: “Jesus will fix it for you, Just let Him have His way He knows just how to do, Jesus will fix it for you.” Almost in the same breath he began another song: “All my sisters gone, Mammy and Daddy too Whar would I be if it warn’t For my Lord and Marster.” About this time he looked up and saw his visitor. Off came the old sun hat as he said: “‘Scuse me, Missy, I didn’t know nobody was listenin’ to dem old songs. I loves to sing ’em when I gits lonesome and blue. But won’t you come up on my porch and have a cheer in...

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Slave Narrative of Kizzie Colquitt

Interviewer: Grace McCune Person Interviewed: Kizzie Colquitt Location: Athens, Georgia Age: about 75 Old Aunt Kizzie Colquitt, about 75 years old, was busily washing in her neat kitchen. She opened the door and window frequently to let out the smoke, saying: “Dis old wore out stove don’t draw so good.” Her hands and feet were badly swollen and she seemed to be suffering. “I’ll be glad to tell all I kin ‘member ’bout dem old times,” she said. “I wuz borned durin’ de war, but I don’t ‘member what year. My pa wuz Mitchell Long. He b’longed to Marster Sam Long of Elbert County. Us lived on Broad River. My ma wuz Sallie Long, and she b’longed to Marster Billie Lattimore. Dey stayed on de other side of Broad River and my pa and ma had to cross de river to see one another. Atter de war wuz over, and dey wuz free, my pa went to Jefferson, Georgia, and dar he died. “My ma married some nigger from way out in Indiana. He promised her he would send money back for her chillun, but us never heered nothin’ from ‘im no mo’. I wuz wid’ my w’ite folks, de Lattimores, when my ma died, way out in Indiana. “Atter Marse Bob died, I stayed wid my old Missus, and slep’ by her bed at night. She wuz good to...

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Epps, Owen Mrs. – Obituary

Epps, Owen Mrs. Died at Crawford News of the death of Mrs. Owen Epps, which occurred Tuesday at her home at Crawford, Ga, was received with much sadness in Madison, where she was known to a number of our people met on visits to her husband’s family here. She had been an invalid for many years. Besides her husband, she leaves one daughter, 13 years old. Miss Pearl Epps attended the burial Wednesday. Mrs. Epps was a Miss Maxwell, and was one of the best known and best loved young women in Oglethorpe county. Additional Comments: Wife of Owen Epps. Father and mother-in-law W.P.H. and Emma Lester Epps of Morgan Co, Ga. Maiden name Maxwell Madisonian, Madison, Ga, May 19, 1922 Transcribed by C. Epps Bond great granddaughter of E. O. Epps youngest brother of WPH Epps. Owen Epps is the son of WPH and Emma Lester...

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