Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: Barbara Haywood Location: 1111 Mark Street, Raleigh, North Carolina Age: 85 Aunt Barbara’s Love Story An interview with Barbara Haywood, 85 years old. Address 1111 Mark Street, Raleigh, North Carolina. Anything dat I tells you will near ’bout all be ’bout Frank Haywood, my husban’. I wus borned on de John Walton place seben miles southeast of Raleigh. My father, Handy Sturdivant, belonged to somebody in Johnston County but mother an’ her chilluns ‘longed ter Marse John Walton. Marse John had a corn shuckin’ onct an’ at dat corn shuckin’ I fust saw Frank. I wus a little girl, cryin’ an’ bawlin’ an’ Frank, who wus a big boy said dat he neber wanted ter spank a youngin’ so bad, an’ I ain’t liked him no better dan he did me. He ‘longed ter Mr. Yarborough, what runned de hotel in Raleigh, but he wus boun’ out ter anybody what’ud hire him, an’ I doan know whar he got his name. I seed Frank a few times at de Holland’s Methodist Church whar we went ter church wid our white folks. You axes iffen our white folks wus good ter us, an’ I sez ter yo’ dat none of de white folks wus good ter none of de niggers. We done our weavin’ at night an’ we wurked hard. We had enough ter...Read More
Location: Raleigh North Carolina
Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: John Coggin Location: Method, North Carolina Date of Birth: March 1, 1852 Location of Birth: Orange County NC Ex-Slave Story. An interview with John Coggin 85, of Method, N. C. When the interviewer first visited Uncle John he was busy cutting hay for a white family nearby, swinging the scythe with the vigor of a young man. In late afternoon he was found sitting on the doorsteps of his granddaughter’s house after a supper which certainly had onions on the menu and was followed by something stronger than water. “I was borned on March 1, 1852 in Orange County. My mammy wuz named Phillis Fenn an’ she wuz from Virginia. I ain’t neber had no paw an’ I ain’t wanted none, I ain’t had no brothers nar sisters nother.” “We ‘longed ter Doctor Jim Leathers, an’ de only whuppin’ I eber got wuz ’bout fightin’ wid young Miss Agnes, who wuz sommers long’ bout my age. Hit wuz jist a little whuppin’ but I’ members hit all right.” “We wucked de fiel’s, I totin’ water fer de six or seben han’s that wucked dar. An’ we jist wucked moderate like. We had plenty ter eat an’ plenty ter w’ar, do’ we did go barefooted most of de year. De marster shore wuz good ter us do’.” “I ‘members dat de fust I hyard...Read More
Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Frank Freeman Location: 216 Tuppers Lane, Raleigh, North Carolina Date of Birth: December 14, 1857 Place of Birth: Wake County NC Age: 76 I was born near Rolesville in Wake County Christmas Eve, 24 of December 1857. I am 76 years old. My name is Frank Freeman and my wife’s name is Mary Freeman. She is 78 years old. We live at 216 Tuppers Lane, Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina. I belonged to ole man Jim Wiggins jus’ this side o’ Roseville, fourteen miles from Raleigh. The great house is standin’ there now, and a family by the name o’ Gill, a colored man’s family, lives there. The place is owned by ole man Jim Wiggins’s grandson, whose name is O. B. Wiggins. My wife belonged to the Terrells before the surrender. I married after the war. I was forty years ole when I was married. Old man Jim Wiggins was good to his niggers, and when the slave children were taken off by his children they treated us good. Missus dressed mother up in her clothes and let her go to church. We had good, well cooked food, good clothes, and good places to sleep. Some of the chimneys which were once attached to the slave houses are standing on the plantation. The home plantation in Wake County was 3000 acres. Marster...Read More
Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: Bill Crump Location: Raleigh, North Carolina Age: 82 I reckon dat I wus borned in Davidson County on de plantation of Mr. Whitman Smith, my mammy’s marster. My daddy wus named Tom an’ he ‘longed ter Mr. Ben Murry fust an’ later ter Mr. Jimmy Crump. Daddy wus named atter his young marster. Dey lived in Randolph, de county next ter Davidson whar me mammy an’ de rest of de chilluns, Alt, George, Harriet, Sarah, Mary an’ de baby libed. Both of de marsters wus good ter us, an’ dar wus plenty ter eat an’ w’ar, an’ right many jubilees. We ain’t none of de dozen er so of us eber got a whuppin’, case we ain’t desarved no whuppin’; why, dar wusn’t eben a cowhide whup anywhar on de place. We wucked in de fie’ls from sunup ter sundown mos’ o’ de time, but we had a couple of hours at dinner time ter swim or lay on de banks uv de little crick an’ sleep. Ober ’bout sundown marster let us go swim ag’in iff’en we wanted ter do it. De marster let us have some chickens, a shoat an’ a gyarden, an’ ‘tater patch, an’ we had time off ter wuck ’em. In season we preserved our own fruits fer de winter an’ so we larned not ter be so...Read More
Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Georgianna Foster Location: 1308 Poole Road, Route #2., Raleigh, North Carolina Date of Birth: 1861 I wus born in 1861. I jes’ can ‘member de Yankees comin’ through, but I ‘members dere wus a lot of ’em wearin’ blue clothes. I wus born at Kerney Upchurch’s plantation twelve miles from Raleigh. He wus my marster an’ Missus Enny wus his wife. My father wus named Axiom Wilder and my mother wus Mancy Wilder. De most I know ’bout slavery dey tole it to me. I ‘members I run when de Yankees come close to me. I wus ‘fraid of ’em. We lived in a little log houses at marsters. De food wus short an’ things in general wus bad, so mother tole me. She said dey wus a whole lot meaner den dey had any business bein’. Dey allowed de patterollers to snoop around an’ whup de slaves, mother said dey stripped some of de slaves naked an’ whupped ’em. She said women had to work all day in de fields an’ come home an’ do de house work at night while de white folks hardly done a han’s turn of work. Marse Kerney had a sluice of chilluns. I can’t think of ’em all, but I ‘members Calvin, James, Allen, Emily, Helen, an’ I jest can’t think of de rest of de chilluns...Read More
Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: Sarah Harris Date of Interview: May 19, 1937 Location: North Carolina Date of Birth: April 1861 Age: 76 Sarah Harris is my name. I wuz borned April 1861, on the plantation of Master John William Walton. My father wuz name Frank Walton and my mother wuz name Flora Walton. My brothers wuz name Lang and Johnny. My sisters: Hannah, Mary, Ellen, Violet and Annie. My grandmother wuz name Ellen Walton. She wuz 104 years old when she died. My mother wuz 103 years old when she died; she has been dead 3 years. She died in October, 3 years this pas’ October. I ‘member seeing the Yankees. I wuz not afraid of ’em, I thought dey were the prettiest blue mens I had ever seed. I can see how de chickens and guineas flew and run from ’em. De Yankees killed ’em and give part of ’em to the colored folks. Most of de white folks had run off and hid. I can’t read and write. I nebber had no chance. De Yankees had their camps along the Fayetteville road. Dey called us Dinah, Sam, and other names. Dey later had de place dey call de bureau. When we left de white folks we had nothing to eat. De niggers wait there at de bureau and they give ’em hard tack, white potatoes,...Read More
Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Fannie Dunn Location: 222 Heck Street, Raleigh, North Carolina I don’t ‘zakly know my age, but I knows and ‘members when de Yankees come through Wake County. I wus a little girl an’ wus so skeered I run an hid under de bed. De Yankees stopped at de plantation an’ along de road fur a rest. I ‘members I had diphtheria an’ a Yankee doctor come an’ mopped my throat. Dey had to pull me outen under de bed so he could doctor me. One Yankee would come along an’ give us sumptin’ an another would come on behind him an’ take it. Dats de way dey done. One give mother a mule an’ when dey done gone she sold it. A Yankee give mother a ham of meat, another come right on behind him an’ took it away from her. Dere shore wus a long line of dem Yankees. I can ‘member seeing ’em march by same as it wus yisterday. I wus not old enough to work, but I ‘members ’em. I don’t know ‘zackly but I wus ’bout five years old when de surrender wus. My name before I wus married wus Fannie Sessoms an’ mother wus named Della Sessoms. We belonged to Dr. Isaac Sessoms an’ our missus wus named Hanna. My father wus named Perry Vick, after his...Read More
Interviewer: T. Pat Matthew Person Interviewed: Martha Adeline Hinton Location: Raleigh, North Carolina Date of Birth: May 3, 1861 I wus born May 3, 1861 at Willis Thompson’s plantation in Wake County about fifteen miles from Raleigh. He wus my marster an’ his wife Muriel wus my missus. My father’s name wus Jack Emery an’ mother’s name was Minerva Emery. My mother belonged to Willis Thompson and my father belonged to Ephriam Emery. Mother stayed with my marster’s married daughter. She married Johnny K. Moore. Marster had three children, all girls; dere names wus Margaret, Caroline and Nancy. There wus only one slave house dere ’cause dey only had one slave whur my mother stayed. Marster Thompson had five slaves on his plantation. He wus good to slaves but his wife wus rough. We had a reasonably [HW correction] good place to sleep an’ fair sumptin to eat. You sees I wus mighty young an’ I members very little ’bout some things in slavery but from what my mother an father tole me since de war it wus just ’bout middlin’ livin’ at marster’s. Slaves wore homemade clothes an’ shoes. De shoes had wooden bottoms but most slave chilluns went barefooted winter an’ summer till dey wus ole ‘nough to go to work. De first pair of shoes I wore my daddy made ’em. I ‘member it well. I...Read More
Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Andrew Boone Location: Wake County, North Carolina. Harris Farm. Age: 90 years Occupation: Worked in show business I been living in dese backer barns fifteen years. I built this little shelter to cook under. Dey cut me off the WPA cause dey said I wus too ole to work. Dey tole us ole folks we need not put down our walkin’ sticks to git work cause dey jes’ won’t goin’ to put us on. Well, I had some tomatoes cooked widout any grease for my breakfast. I had a loaf of bread yesterday, but I et it. I ain’t got any check from the ole age pension an’ I have nothin’ to eat an’ I am hongry. I jes’ looks to God. I set down by de road thinkin’ bout how to turn an’ what to do to git a meal, when you cum along. I thanks you fer dis dime. I guess God made you give it to me. I wus glad to take you down to my livin’ place to give you my story. Dis shelter, an ole tobacco barn, is better dan no home at all. I is a man to myself an’ I enjoy livin’ out here if I could git enough to eat. Well de big show is coming to town. It’s de Devil’s wurk. Yes sir, it’s...Read More
Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Jerry Hinton Location: North Carolina Date of Birth: February, 1855 Place of Birth: Wake County, NC My full name is Jerry Hinton. I wus borned in February, 1855. I am not able ter work. I work all I can. I am trying ter do de best I can ter help myself. Yes, just tryin’ ter do sumpin, ain’t able ter work much. I am ruptured, an’ old. My old house looks ’bout old as I do, it’s ’bout to fall down, ain’t able ter fix it up. It needs repairing. I ain’t able ter make no repairs. I wus born on a plantation in Wake County. My master wus Richard Seawell, an’ Missus wus named Adelaide. His plantation wus on Neuse River. He had two plantations, but I wus a little boy, an’ don’t remember how many acres in de plantation or how many slaves. There wus a lot of ’em tho’. I would follow master ’round an’ look up in his face so he would give me biscuit an’ good things ter eat. My mother, before marriage, wus named Silvia Seawell, an’ father wus named Andrew Hinton. Atter they wus married mother went by the name of Hinton, my father’s family name. I had–I don’t know–mos’ anything wus good ter me. Master brought me biscuit an’ I thought that wus the greatest...Read More
Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Rev. Squire Dowd Location: 202 Battle Street, Raleigh, North Carolina Date of Birth: April 3, 1855 [HW: language not negro, very senternous & interesting.] [TR: The above comment is crossed out.] Reverend Squire Dowd 202 Battle Street Raleigh, N. C. My name is Squire Dowd, and I was born April 3, 1855. My mother’s name was Jennie Dowd. My father’s name was Elias Kennedy. My mother died in Georgia at the age of 70, and my father died in Moore County at the age of 82. I attended his funeral. My sister and her husband had carried my mother to Georgia, when my sister’s husband went there to work in turpentine. My mother’s husband was dead. She had married a man named Stewart. You could hardly keep up with your father during slavery time. It was a hard thing to do. There were few legal marriages. When a young man from one plantation courted a young girl on the plantation, the master married them, sometimes hardly knowing what he was saying. My master was General W. D. Dowd. He lived three miles from Carthage, in Moore County, North Carolina. He owned fifty slaves. The conditions were good. I had only ten years’ experience, but it was a good experience. No man is fool enough to buy slaves to kill. I have never known...Read More
Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Margaret E. Dickens Location: Raleigh, North Carolina (1115 E. Lenoir St.) Date of Birth: June 5th, 1861 My name is Margaret E. Dickens and I was born on the 5th of June 1861. My mother wuz free born; her name wuz Mary Ann Hews, but my mother wuz colored. I don’t remember anything about Marster and Missus. My father was named Henry Byrd. Here is some of father’s writing. My mother’s father was dark. He had no protection. If he did any work for a white man and the white man didn’t like it, he could take him up and whup him. My father was like a stray dog. My name was Margaret E. Byrd before I got married. Here is some of father’s writing–“Margaret Elvira Byrd the daughter of Henry and Mary Ann Byrd was born on the 5th June 1861.” My grandfather, my mother’s father was a cabinet maker. He made coffins and tables and furniture. If he made one, and it didn’t suit the man he would beat him and kick him around and let him go. Dis was told to me. My father was a carpenter. He built houses. I can read and write. My father could read and write. My mother could read, but couldn’t write very much. I have heerd my mother say when she heerd the...Read More
Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Joe High Location: Raleigh, North Carolina Age: 80 Occupation: Gardner Joe High interviewed May 18, 1937 has long been one of the best independent gardners in Raleigh, working variously by the hour or day. My name is Joe High. I lives at 527 So. Haywood. St. Raleigh, N. C. Now dere is one thing I want to know, is dis thing goin’ to cost me anything. Hold on a minute, and le’ me see. I want to be square, and I must be square. Now le’ me see, le’ me see sumpin’. Sometimes folks come here and dey writes and writes; den dey asts me, is you goin’ to pay dis now? What will it cost? Well, if it costs nothin’ I’ll gib you what I knows. Let me git my Bible. I wants to be on de square, because I got to leave here some of dese days. Dis is a record from de slave books. I’ve been tryin’ to git my direct age for 35 years. My cousin got my age. I wuz born April 10, 1857. My mother’s name wuz Sarah High. Put down when she wuz born, Oct. 24, 1824. This is from the old slave books. We both belonged to Green High, the young master. The old master, I nebber seed him; but I saw old missus, Mis’...Read More
Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Charles W. Dickens Location: Raleigh, North Carolina (1115 East Lenoir Street) My name is Charles W. Dickens. I lives at 1115 East Lenoir Street, Raleigh, North Carolina, Wake County. I wuz born August 16, 1861, de year de war started. My mother wuz named Ferebee Dickens. My father wuz named John Dickens. I had nine sisters and brothers. My brothers were named Allen, Douglas, my name [HW: question mark above “my name”], Jake, Johnnie and Jonas. The girls Katie, Matilda Francis, and Emily Dickens. My grandmother wuz named Charity Dickens. My grandfather wuz Dudley T. Dickens. I do not know where dey came from. No, I don’t think I do. My mother belonged to Washington Scarborough, and so did we chilluns. My father he belonged to Obediah Dickens and missus wuz named Silvia Dickens. Dey lowed mother to go by the name of my father after dey wuz married. We lived in log houses and we had bunks in ’em. Master died, but I ‘member missus wuz mighty good to us. We had tolerable fair food, and as fur as I know she wuz good to us in every way. We had good clothing made in a loom, that is de cloth wuz made in de loom. My father lived in Franklin County. My mother lived in Wake County. I ‘member hearin’ father...Read More
Entered the service June 3, 1918, at Raleigh, N.C. Was sent to St. Helena, Va. Transferred to Hampton Roads, Va., and from there to Baltimore, Md. Sailed for Bordeaux, France, Aug. 15, 1918. Seaman on U. S. S. Hattas. Made three round trips. Made two round trips on U. S. S. Cappinisleau. Transferred to receiving ship Bayridge, from there to Hampton Roads, Va., and discharged Sept. 30,...Read More
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