Location: Spartanburg County SC

Slave Narrative of Aunt Mary Williams

Interviewer: F. S. DuPre Person Interviewed: Mary Williams Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina Aunt Mary Williams stated she remembered slavery times, for she was a girl large enough to walk four miles to go to work “while slavery was on”. She said Mr. Alfred Brown used to own her mother, but she was raised by Mrs. Margaret Taylor who used to live where the oil mill is now, below Arkwright Mills. Her father was owned by Mr. Simpson Bobo and drove his horse for him. She stated she was a good hoe-hand, but didn’t pick cotton, as Mr. Brown didn’t raise any cotton, just raised something to eat. She said her master was a kind man, didn’t allow any “paterollers” on his place, yet she had seen other slaves on other plantations with bloody backs and arms from the whippings they got. When asked why they were whipped, she replied, “Just because their masters could whip them; they owned them and could do what they wanted to them”. Her master didn’t allow any whipping on his place. One time he kept a slave from another plantation who was fleeing the “paterollers” on his place and in his own house until he was set free. “I’se got the looking glasses and the thimble my great-grandmother used to use when she worked. She was a good weaver and a good sewer. She...

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Slave Narrative of Alexander Scaife

Interviewer: Caldwell Sims Person Interviewed: Alexander Scaife Location: Pacolet, South Carolina “Marster Charner Scaife a-laying on his bed of death is ’bout de first thing dat stuck in my mind. I felt sorry fer everybody den. Miss Mary Rice Scaife, his wife, was mean. She died a year atter. Never felt sad nor glad den; never felt no ways out of de regular way, den. “Overseers I recollects was, Mr. Sam Hughes, Mr. Tom Baldwin, and Mr. Whitfield Davis. Mr. Baldwin was de best to me. He had a still-house out in a field whar liquor was made. I tote it fer him. We made good corn liquor. Once a week I brung a gallon to de big house to Marster. Once I got happy off’n it, and when I got dar lots of it was gone. He had me whipped. Dat de last time I ever got happy off’n Marster’s jug. “When I was a shaver I carried water to de rooms and polished shoes fer all de white folks in de house. Sot de freshly polished shoes at de door of de bed-room. Get a nickle fer dat and dance fer joy over it. Two big gals cleaned de rooms up and I helped carry out things and take up ashes and fetch wood and build fires early every day. Marster’s house had five bedrooms and a...

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Slave Narrative of “Aunt” Nina Scott

Interviewer: F. S. DuPre Person Interviewed: Nina Scott Date of Interview: May 17, 1937 Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina “Aunt” Nina Scot sat on her front porch. She was drinking some liquid from a bottle which she said would help her trouble. Being short of breath, she was not able to talk very much. She said that she was very small at the time she was set free. “My Marster and his folks did not treat me like a nigger,” she said, “they treated me like they did other white folks.” She said that she and her mother had belonged to Dr. Shipp, who taught at Wofford College, that they had come here from Chapel Hill, N.C. and that she was a tarheel negro. She said that white people in slavery days had two nurses, one for the small children and one for the older ones. “Yes sir, those were certainly fine people that lived on the Campus during those days. (Wofford Col. Campus) When the ‘raid’ came on, people were hiding things all about their places.” She referred to the Yankee soldiers who came to Spartanburg after the close of the Civil War. “My mother hid the turkeys and told me where she had hidden them.” Dr. Shipp came up to Nina one day and asked her where the turkeys were hidden. She told him they were hidden behind...

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Slave Narrative of Anne Rice

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...

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Slave Narrative of Jane Smith

Interviewer: F. S. DuPre Person Interviewed: Jane Smith Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina Age: 80 “Aunt” Jane Smith, 80 years old, says that she was only eight years old when the war ended, and that her recollections are very meagre as to conditions during slavery. Her mother belonged to John Snoddy, who owned a farm a few miles west of Spartanburg. Her father was owned by Dr. Miller of a nearby plantation. She stated that she was old enought to rock the cradle for the white babies during slavery. She stated that she could remember seeing some of the slaves being whipped on their bare backs with a plaited hickory stick, or thong. She never received any whippings. She said that a man once cut at her with his thong, but that she escaped the blow by dodging. She said she remembered seeing a small child with a piece of bread in its hand when a hog entered the house and in snatching at the bread, caught the child’s hand near the thumb with its tusks. When running off, the hog carried the child with it, dragging it along into the field. All the other children and some men ran after the hog and caught it. The other colored children were whipped, but by staying in the house and watching the babies, keeping them safe from other pigs which had...

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Slave Narrative of George Woods (Wood)

Interviewer: F. S. DuPre Person Interviewed: George Woods Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina Age: 78 While looking for an ex-slave in a certain part of Spartanburg this morning, I was directed across the street to “an old man who lives there”. I knocked at the door but received no answer. Then I noticed an old man walking around by the side of the house. He was tall and straight, standing about 6 feet 2 inches. He said that his name was George Wood and that he was 78 years of age. He stated that he was born during slavery, and lived on Peter Sepah’s place in York County. Peter Sepah’s farm, where he was born, was near the North Carolina line; it consisted of approximately 200 acres. His parents were named Dan and Sarah Wood. His mother was given to old man Sepah by his father as a wedding present, and his grandfather had been given to an older Sepah by his parent as a wedding present. He said it was the custom in slavery times that a slave be given to the son or daughter by the white people when they got married. He was too young to work, but about the time the war was over, he was allowed to drive the horses that pulled the thrasher of wheat. His master used to walk around and around while...

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Slave Narrative of “Uncle” Bill Young

Person Interviewed: Bill Young Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina Seated on the front steps of his house, holding a walking cane and talking to another old colored man from Georgia, who was visiting his children living there, the writer found “Uncle” Bill Young. He readily replied that he had lived in slavery days, that he was 83 years old, and he said that he and Sam were talking about old times. He was owned by Dave Jeter at Santuc, S.C.; though he was just a boy at the time his mother was a slave. He used to mind his “Missus” more than anybody else, as he stayed around the house more than anywhere else. His job, with the other boys, both white and black, was to round up the milk cows late every afternoon. The milk cows had to be brought up, milked and put up for the night; but the other cows and calves used to stay in the woods all night long. Some times they would be a mile away from the house, but the boys would not mind getting them home, for they played so much together as they slowly drove the cows in. When asked if he got plenty to eat in slavery days, he replied that he had plenty, “a heap more than I get today to eat”. As a slave, he said he ate...

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Slave Narrative of Herndon Bogan

Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: Herndon Bogan Location: State Prison, Raleigh, North Carolina Place of Birth: Union County, South Carolina Age: 76 (?) Occupation: Houseboy, Night Watch Railroad Tracks An interview with Herndon Bogan, 76 (?) of State Prison, Raleigh, N. C. I wus bawned in Union County, South Carolina on de plantation o’ Doctor Bogan, who owned both my mammy Issia, an’ my pap Edwin. Dar wus six o’ us chilluns; Clara, Lula, Joe, Tux, Mack an’ me. I doan’ member much ’bout slavery days ‘cept dat my white folkses wus good ter us. Dar wus a heap o’ slaves, maybe a hundert an’ fifty. I ‘members dat we wucked hard, but we had plenty ter eat an’ w’ar, eben iffen we did w’ar wood shoes. I kin barely recolleck ‘fore de war dat I’se seed a heap o’ cocks fightin’ in pits an’ a heap o’ horse racin’. When de marster winned he ‘ud give us niggers a big dinner or a dance, but if he lost, oh! My daddy wus gived ter de doctor when de doctor wus married an’ dey shore loved each other. One day marster, he comes in an’ he sez dat de Yankees am aimin’ ter try ter take his niggers way from him, but dat dey am gwine ter ketch hell while dey does hit. When he sez dat he...

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Slave Narrative of John Daniels

Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: John Daniels Location: North Carolina I’se named fer my pappy’s ole massa down in Spartanburg, South Carolina, course I doan know nothin’ ’bout no war, case I warn’t borned. I does ‘member seein’ de ole ‘big house’ do’, maybe you want me ter tell you how hit looked? It wuz a big white two-story house at de end uv a magnolia lane an’ a-settin’ in a big level fiel’. Back o’ de big house wuz de ole slave cabins whar my folks uster live. Dey said dat de massa wuz good ter ’em, but dat sometimes in de mo’nin’ dey jist has lasses an’ co’nbread fer breakfas’. I started ter tell you ’bout de Joe Moe do’. You mebbe doan know hit, but de prisoners hyar doan git de blues so bad if de company comes on visitin’ days, an’ de mail comes reg’lar. We’s always gittin’ up somepin’ ter have a little fun, so somebody gits up de Joe Moe. Yo’ sees dat when a new nigger comes in he am skeerd an’ has got de blues. Somebody goes ter cheer him up an’ dey axes him hadn’t he ruther be hyar dan daid. Yo’ see he am moughty blue den, so mebbe he says dat he’d ruther be daid; den dis feller what am tryin’ ter cheer him tells him dat...

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Biography of James Littlefield

JAMES LITTLEFIELD. The subject of this sketch was for a number of years one among the many successful farmers of Baxter County, Arkansas, and is as conspicuous for his outspoken views in sanctioning that which is just and right as in his denunciation of that which he considers unjust and wrong. He is an intelligent citizen, and he wields considerable influence in the affairs of his section. He was born in Spartanburg District, South Carolina, April 4, 1829, a son of Joseph Littlefield, who was also a native of the Palmetto State. He moved to Caldwell County, Kentucky, when his son James was a lad, and there he engaged in tilling the soil until his removal to Arkansas in 1859, his death occurring here in 1880, when nearly ninety years of age. He was first a Whig but afterward a Democrat in politics. His wife, Sarah Harris, was born in South Carolina, was married there, but died in Arkansas in 1862 when sixty-three years of age. They were members of the Primitive Baptist Church, and became the parents of six children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the fifth, and three of whom are now living: Ellen is the widow of David T. Colley, and resides in Lawrence County, Missouri; Sarah Ann is the widow of Madison L. Ford, and lives in Scottsburgh, Caldwell County, Kentucky, and...

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Biography of Nathaniel G. Tracy

It is a pleasure to chronicle the history of a man whose life has been one of honor and usefulness, and although he is considerably past the zenith of his career, Mr. Tracy has accumulated sufficient means to enable him to enjoy most thoroughly the comforts and conveniences of life and the society of his numerous friends. Although he has attained the age of sixty-six years he still keeps up the active and industrious life that brought him in such substantial rewards, and many men much younger than he display less activity, mentally and physically than does Mr. Tracy. He was born in Spartanburg District, S. C., in 1828, the son of Nathaniel H. and Polly (Henry) Tracy, who were also born there and were there reared and married, but they afterward moved to Georgia and from there to Arkansas in 1851, and located on the farm which is now owned by the subject of this sketch. It was at that time quite a heavily timbered tract of land, and a road had to be hewed out of the forest to the house. The father, a thrifty farmer, greatly improved his land by clearing and building, and in time became well to do. He held the rank of major in the State Militia, was for many years justice of the peace and was an exceptionally useful and substantial citizen....

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Biography of James Harvey Forney

A visit to the library of the gentleman whose name is above and a chat with him in his pleasant home at Moscow, are sufficient to dispel any idea that the new west is without culture or men of ability interested in its educational progress and development. Mr. Forney has given some of the best years of an active and useful life to the cause of education in Idaho, and has attained more than local distinction otherwise. James Harvey Forney, a prominent citizen of Moscow, Idaho, and ex-United States district attorney for the district of Idaho, was born in Rutherford County, North Carolina, forty-seven years ago, a son of James H. and Emily (Logan) Forney. The old homestead in North Carolina, where Mr. Forney was born, has been in the po-session of his family for four generations. The Forneys are of French-Huguenot descent and Mr. Forney’s great-great-grandfather, who was born in 1640, fled from his native land in 1685, after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and settled in Alsace, on the Rhine. His son, Mr. Forney’s great-grandfather, was born in 1721. In 1754 he married a Miss Maria Bergner, of Canton Berne, Switzerland, and thereafter settled in Lincoln County. North Carolina. The fact that they and their sons, Jacob, Peter and Abraham, were uncompromising Whigs, and that the family sustained the cause of American liberty by the...

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Biography of Thomas Jefferson Wood

Thomas Jefferson Wood is one of the earliest pioneers of Riverside and has been identified with Riverside city and colony since, and even before, the first soil was turned, or the first nail was driven in the building improvements. In 1870 Mr. Wood was living near San Bernardino, engaged in farming, and also at his trade as a carpenter and builder. In September of that year at the solicitation of Judge North and Dr. Greves he came to the lands now occupied by Riverside and erected the first building ever built upon the Riverside colony lands. This building was the office of the Southern California Colony Association and was occupied by Judge North, the president, and Dr. Greves, the secretary, of the association. Mr. Wood was made acquainted with the projects of the colony association, and early saw the possibilities of the future and became a warm supporter of the scheme. He purchased a block of land between Sixth and Vine and Mulberry streets. Upon this block, at the corner of Seventh and Vine streets, he built his residence. This was the first home established in Riverside. October 28, 1870, Mr. Wood installed his family in his new home. Mrs. Wood was the first white woman to reside in Riverside and her advent was not allowed to pass without a fitting reception. Welcoming speeches were made and a cordial...

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Spartanburg County, South Carolina Census Records

  1790 Spartanburg County, South Carolina Census Free 1790 Census Form for your Research Hosted at Ancestry.com – Ancestry Free Trial  1790 Spartanburg County, Census (images and index) $ Hosted at Census Guide 1790 U.S. Census Guide 1800 Spartanburg County, South Carolina Census Free 1800 Census Form for your Research Hosted at Ancestry.com – Ancestry Free Trial  1800 Spartanburg County, Census (images and index) $ Hosted at Census Guide 1800 U.S. Census Guide 1810 Spartanburg County, South Carolina Census Free 1810 Census Form for your Research Hosted at Ancestry.com – Ancestry Free Trial  1810 Spartanburg County, Census (images and index) $ 1810-1890 Accelerated Indexing Systems $ Hosted at Census Guide 1810 U.S. Census Guide 1820 Spartanburg County, South Carolina Census Free 1820 Census Form for your Research Hosted at Ancestry.com – Ancestry Free Trial  1820 Spartanburg County, Census (images and index) $ 1810-1890 Accelerated Indexing Systems $ Hosted at Census Guide 1820 U.S. Census Guide 1830 Spartanburg County, South Carolina Census Free 1830 Census Form for your Research Hosted at Ancestry.com – Ancestry Free Trial  1830 Spartanburg County, Census (images and index) $ 1810-1890 Accelerated Indexing Systems $ Hosted at Census Guide 1830 U.S. Census Guide 1840 Spartanburg County, South Carolina Census Free 1840 Census Form for your Research Hosted at Ancestry.com – Ancestry Free Trial  1840 Spartanburg County, Census (images and index) $ 1810-1890 Accelerated Indexing Systems $...

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