Location: Panama

Slave Narrative of Dave Taylor

Interviewer: Jules A. Frost Person Interviewed: Dave Taylor Location: Tampa, Florida A Marine In Ebony From a Virginia plantation to Florida, through perils of Indian war-fare; shanghaied on a Government vessel and carried ’round the world; shipwrecked and dropped into the lap of romance – these are only a few of the colorful pages from the unwritten diary of old Uncle Dave, ex-slave and soldier of fortune. The reporter found the old man sitting on the porch of his Iber City shack, thoughtfully chewing tobacco and fingering his home-made cane. At first he answered in grumpy monosyllables, but by the magic of a good cigar, he gradually let himself go, disclosing minute details of a most remarkable series of adventures. His language is a queer mixture of geechy, sea terms and broad “a’s” acquired by long association with Nassau “conchs.” Married to one of these ample-waisted Bahama women, the erst-while rambler and adventurer proved that rolling stones sometimes become suitable foundations for homes – he lived faithfully with the same wife for fifty-one years. “Shippin’ ‘fore de mahst ain’t no job to make a preacher f’m a youngster; hit’s plenty tough; but I ain’t nevah been sorry I went to sea; effen a boy gwine take to likker an’ wimmen, he kin git plenty o’both at home, same as in for’n ports.” The old man bit off a conservative...

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Biographical Sketch of Dolphin Stephenson

(II) Dolphin, son of Harvey Stephenson, was born in the town of Galen, New York, in 1812, died in 1883. He came to Phelps with his father, where he was engaged in legal practice for many years, being at the time of his death the oldest attorney in the county. He served as postmaster of Phelps for many years, and was elected as a member of the assembly. He was also appointed by the government to represent it at Panama, and remained there for some time. A portion of his life was also spent in California. He was married in New York State to Jennie, daughter of Joshua Porter, and his wife died at Phelps, New...

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