Location: Wake County NC

Biography of Joseph Addison Pope

Joseph Addison Pope. He whose name heads this sketch has been familiar with farm life from his earliest boyhood, and as a follower of this the most useful of callings, he has at all times shown good judgment, and has been successful. He was born in Wake County, N. C., in 1820, in which State his parents, Simon and Martha (Cole) Pope, were also born, the birth of the father occurring in 1793. They made their home in the Old North State until about 1824, then removed to west Tennessee, and both parents died in Benton County in 1840. They were highly respected citizens, were honest and industrious, and became well to do as tillers of the soil. For a number of years the father taught school, and for some time he ably filled the office of justice of the peace. The paternal grandfather was for a short time a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He was of English origin and died in Wake County, N. C., as did also his wife. The maternal grandfather, Thomas Cole, was a farmer and was killed in a neighborhood difficulty when Mrs. Pope was a small child. His wife died in Tennessee. Simon Pope became the father of nineteen children, only four of whom lived to be grown: Harriet J., who died in Benton County, Tennessee, in 1891, the wife of Charles...

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Slave Narrative of Aleck Woodward

Interviewer: W. W. Dixon Person Interviewed: Aleck Woodward Location: South Carolina Age: 83 “You knows de Simonton place, Mr. Wood? Well, dats just where I was born back yonder befo’ de war, a slave of old Marster Johnnie Simonton. Five miles sorter south sunset side of Woodward Station where you was born, ain’t it so? My pappy was Ike Woodward, but him just call ‘Ike’ time of slavery, and my mammy was name Dinah. My brother Charlie up north, if he ain’t dead, Ike lives in Asheville, North Carolina. Two sisters: Ollie, her marry an Aiken, last counts, and she and her family in Charlotte, North Carolina; sister Mattie marry a Wilson nigger, but I don’t know where they is. “Us lived in a four-room log house, ’bout sixteen all told. Dere was pappy and mammy (now you count them) gran’pappy, Henry Davis, Gran’mammy Kisana, Aunt Anna, and her seven chillun, and me, and my two brothers and two sisters. How many make dat? Seventeen? Well, dat’s de number piled in dere at night in de beds and on de floors. They was scandlous beds; my God, just think of my grands, old as I is now, tryin’ to sleep on them hard beds and other folks piled ‘scriminately all over de log floors! My Gran’pappy Henry was de carpenter, and old marster tell him ‘if you make your...

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Slave Narrative of Betty Foreman Chessier

Person Interviewed: Betty Foreman Chessier Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Place of Birth: Raleigh, North Carolina Date of Birth: July 11, 1843 Age: 94 I was born July 11, 1843 in Raleigh, N. C. My mother was named Melinda Manley, the slave of Governor Manley of North Carolina, and my father was named Arnold Foreman, slave of Bob and John Foreman, two young masters. They come over from Arkansas to visit my master and my pappy and mammy met and got married, ‘though my pappy only seen my mammy in the summer when his masters come to visit our master and dey took him right back. I had three sisters and two brothers and none of dem was my whole brothers and sisters. I stayed in the Big House all the time, but my sisters and brothers was gived to the master’s sons and daughters whey dey got married and dey was told to send back for some more when dem died. I didn’t never stay with my mammy doing of slavery. I stayed in the Big House. I slept under the dining room table with three other darkies. The flo’ was well carpeted. Don’t remembah my grandmammy and grandpappy, but my master was they master. I waited on the table, kept flies off’n my mistress and went for the mail. Never made no money, but dey did give the...

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Slave Narrative of Willis Cozart

Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: Willis Cozart Date of Interview: May 12, 1937 Location: Zebulon, North Carolina Place of Birth: Pearson County NC Date of Birth: June 11, 1845 Age: 92 An Interview by Mary A. Hicks with Willis Cozart of Zebulon, (Wake Co. N. C.) Age 92. May 12, 1937. No mam, Mistress, I doan want ter ride in no automobile, thank you, I’se done walked these three miles frum Zebulon an’ walkin’ is what has kept me goin’ all dese years. Yes’m I’se a bachelor an’ I wuz borned on June 11, 1845 in Person County. My papa wuz named Ed an’ my maw wuz named Sally. Dar wuz ten of us youngins, Morris, Dallas, Stephen, Jerry, Florence, Polly, Lena, Phillis, Caroline, an’ me. Mr. Starling Oakley of Person County, near Roxboro wuz my master an’ as long as him an’ ole mistress lived I went back ter see dem. He wuz right good to de good niggers an’ kinder strick wid de bad ones. Pusonly he ain’t never have me whupped but two or three times. You’s hyard ’bout dese set down strikes lately, well dey ain’t de fust ones. Onct when I wuz four or five years old, too little to wuck in de fiel’s, my master sot me an’ some more little chilluns ter wuck pullin’ up weeds roun’ de house. Well, I...

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Slave Narrative of Martha Allen

Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: Martha Allen Location: 1318 South Person Street, Raleigh, North Carolina Place of Birth: Craven County NC Age: 78 Ex-Slave Story An interview with Martha Allen, 78, of 1318 South Person Street, Raleigh. I wuz borned in Craven County seventy eight years ago. My pappa wuz named Andrew Bryant an’ my mammy wuz named Harriet. My brothers wuz John Franklin, Alfred, an’ Andrew. I ain’t had no sisters. I reckon dat we is what yo’ call a general mixture case I am part Injun, part white, an’ part nigger. My mammy belonged ter Tom Edward Gaskin an’ she wuzn’t half fed. De cook nussed de babies while she cooked, so dat de mammies could wuck in de fiel’s, an’ all de mammies done wuz stick de babies in at de kitchen do’ on dere way ter de fiel’s. I’se hyard mammy say dat dey went ter wuck widout breakfast, an’ dat when she put her baby in de kitchen she’d go by de slop bucket an’ drink de slops from a long handled gourd. De slave driver wuz bad as he could be, an’ de slaves got awful beatin’s. De young marster sorta wanted my mammy, but she tells him no, so he chunks a lightwood knot an’ hits her on de haid wid it. Dese white mens what had babies by nigger wimmens...

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Slave Narrative of Aunt Laura Bell

Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: Laura Bell Location: 2 Bragg Street, Raleigh, North Carolina Age: 73 An interview with Laura Bell, 73 years old, of 2 Bragg Street, Raleigh, North Carolina. Being informed that Laura Bell was an old slavery Negro, I went immediately to the little two-room shack with its fallen roof and shaky steps. As I approached the shack I noticed that the storm had done great damage to the chaney-berry tree in her yard, fallen limbs litterin’ the ground, which was an inch deep in garbage and water. The porch was littered with old planks and huge tubs and barrels of stagnant water. There was only room for one chair and in that sat a tall Negro woman clad in burlap bags and in her lap she held a small white flea-bitten dog which growled meaningly. When I reached the gate, which swings on one rusty hinge, she bade me come in and the Carolina Power and Light Company men, who were at work nearby, laughed as I climbed over the limbs and garbage and finally found room for one foot on the porch and one on the ground. “I wus borned in Mount Airy de year ‘fore de Yankees come, bein’ de fourth of five chilluns. My mammy an’ daddy Minerva Jane an’ Wesley ‘longed ter Mr. Mack Strickland an’ we lived on his...

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Slave Narrative of Lizzie Baker

Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Lizzie Baker Location: 424 Smith Street, Raleigh, North Carolina I was born de las’ year o’ de surrender an’course I don’t remember seein’ any Yankee soldiers, but I knows a plenty my mother and father tole me. I have neuritis, an’ have been unable to work any fer a year and fer seven years I couldn’t do much. My mother wus named Teeny McIntire and my father William McIntire. Mammy belonged to Bryant Newkirk in Duplin County. Pap belonged to someone else, I don’t know who. Dey said dey worked from light till dark, and pap said dey beat him so bad he run away a lot o’ times. Dey said de paterollers come to whare dey wus havin’ prayer meetin’ and beat ’em. Mammy said sometimes dey were fed well and others dey almost starved. Dey got biscuit once a week on Sunday. Dey said dey went to de white folks’s church. Dey said de preachers tole ’em dey had to obey dere missus and marster. My mammy said she didn’t go to no dances ’cause she wus crippled. Some o’ de help, a colored woman, stole something when she wus hongry. She put it off on mother and missus made mother wear trousers for a year to punish her. Mammy said dey gave de slaves on de plantation one day Christmas...

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Slave Narrative of Charity Austin

Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Charity Austin Location: 507 South Bloodworth Street, Raleigh, North Carolina Date of Birth: July 27, 1852 Place of Birth: Granville County NC I wus borned in the year 1852, July 27. I wus born in Granville County, sold to a slave speculator at ten years old and carried to Southwest, Georgia. I belonged to Samuel Howard. His daughter took me to Kinston, North Carolina and I stayed there until I wus sold. She married a man named Bill Brown, and her name wus Julia Howard Brown. My father wus named Paul Howard and my mother wus named Chollie Howard. My old missus wus named Polly Howard. John Richard Keine from Danville, Virginia bought me and sent me to a plantation in Georgia. We only had a white overseer there. He and his wife and children lived on the plantation. We had slave quarters there. Slaves were bought up and sent there in chains. Some were chained to each other by the legs, some by the arms. They called the leg chains shackles. I have lived a hard life. I have seen mothers sold away from their babies and other children, and they cryin’ when she left. I have seen husbands sold from their wives, and wives sold from their husbands. Abraham Lincoln came through once, but none of us knew who he wus....

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Slave Narrative of Sarah Louise Augustus

Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Sarah Louise Augustus Location: 1424 Lane Street, Raleigh, North Carolina Age: 80 Age 80 years 1424 Lane Street Raleigh, North Carolina I wus born on a plantation near Fayetteville, N. C., and I belonged to J. B. Smith. His wife wus named Henrietta. He owned about thirty slaves. When a slave was no good he wus put on the auction block in Fayetteville and sold. My father wus named Romeo Harden and my mother wus named Alice Smith. The little cabin where I wus born is still standing. There wus seven children in marster’s family, four girls and two boys. The girls wus named Ellen, Ida, Mary and Elizabeth. The boys wus named Harry, Norman and Marse George. Marse George went to the war. Mother had a family of four girls. Their names wus: Mary, Kate, Hannah and myself, Sarah Louise. I am the only one living and I would not be living but I have spent most of my life in white folk’s houses and they have looked after me. I respected myself and they respected me. My first days of slavery wus hard. I slept on a pallet on the floor of the cabin and just as soon as I wus able to work any at all I wus put to milking cows. I have seen the paterollers hunting men and...

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Slave Narrative of Jane Arrington

Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Jane Arrington Location: 301 Fowle Street, Raleigh, North Carolina Date of Birth: December 18, 1852 Age: 84 I ort to be able to tell sumpin cause I wus twelve years old when dey had de surrender right up here in Raleigh. If I live to see dis coming December I will be eighty five years old. I was born on the 18th of December 1852. I belonged to Jackson May of Nash County. I wus born on de plantation near Tar River. Jackson May never married until I wus of a great big girl. He owned a lot of slaves; dere were eighty on de plantation before de surrender. He married Miss Becky Wilder, sister of Sam Wilder. De Wilders lived on a jining plantation to where I wus borned. Jackson May had so many niggers he let Billy Williams who had a plantation nearby have part of ’em. Marster Jackson he raised my father and bought my mother. My mother wus named Louisa May, and my father wus named Louis May. My mother had six chilluns, four boys and two girls. The boys were Richard, Farro, Caeser, and Fenner. De girls Rose and Jane. Jane, dats me. We lived in log houses with stick an’ dirt chimleys. They called ’em the slave houses. We had chicken feather beds to sleep on an’...

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Slave Narrative of Uncle David Blount

Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: David Blount Location: Raleigh, North Carolina Days On The Plantation As told by Uncle David Blount, formerly of Beaufort County, who did not know his age. “De Marster” he refers to was Major Wm. A. Blount, who owned plantations in several parts of North Carolina. Yes mam, de days on de plantation wuz de happy days. De marster made us wuck through de week but on Sadays we uster go swimmin’ in de riber an’ do a lot of other things dat we lak ter do. We didn’t mind de wuck so much case de ground wuz soft as ashes an’ de marster let us stop and rest when we got tired. We planted ‘taters in de uplan’s and co’n in de lowgroun’s nex’ de riber. It wuz on de Cape Fear an’ on hot days when we wuz a-pullin’ de fodder we’d all stop wuck ’bout three o’clock in de ebenin’ an’ go swimmin’. Atter we come out’n de water we would wuck harder dan eber an’ de marster wuz good to us, case we did wuck an’ we done what he ast us. I ‘members onct de marster had a oberseer dar dat wuz meaner dan a mean nigger. He always hired good oberseers an’ a whole lot of times he let some Negro slave obersee. Well, dis oberseer beat some...

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Slave Narrative of Mary Anngady

Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Mary Anngady Location: 1110 Oakwood Avenue, Raleigh, North Carolina Age: 80 (Princess Quango Hennadonah Perceriah) 1110 Oakwood Avenue, Raleigh, North Carolina. I was eighteen years old in 1875 but I wanted to get married so I gave my age as nineteen. I wish I could recall some of the ole days when I was with my missus in Orange County, playing with my brothers and other slave children. I was owned by Mr. Franklin Davis and my madam was Mrs. Bettie Davis. I and my brother used to scratch her feet and rub them for her; you know how old folks like to have their feet rubbed. My brother and I used to scrap over who should scratch and rub her feet. She would laugh and tell us not to do that way that she loved us both. Sometimes she let me sleep at her feet at night. She was plenty good to all of the slaves. Her daughter Sallie taught me my A B C’s in Webster’s Blue Back spelling Book. When I learned to Spell B-a-k-e-r, Baker, I thought that was something. The next word I felt proud to spell was s-h-a-d-y, shady, the next l-a-d-y, lady. I would spell them out loud as I picked up chips in the yard to build a fire with. My missus Bettie gave me...

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Slave Narrative of Emma Blalock

Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Emma Blalock Location: 529 Bannon Avenue, Raleigh, North Carolina Age: 88 I shore do ‘member de Yankees wid dere blue uniforms wid brass buttons on ’em. I wus too small to work any but I played in de yard wid my oldes’ sister, Katie. She is dead long ago. My mother belonged to ole man John Griffith an’ I belonged to him. His plantation wus down here at Auburn in Wake County. My father wus named Edmund Rand. He belonged to Mr. Nat Rand. He lived in Auburn. De plantations wus not fur apart. Dere wus about twenty-five slaves on de plantation whur mother an’ me stayed. Marse John used ter take me on his knee an’ sing, ‘Here is de hammer, Shing ding. Gimme de Hammer, shing ding.’ Marster loved de nigger chilluns on his plantation. When de war ended father come an’ lived with us at Marse John’s plantation. Marster John Griffith named me Emmy. My grandfather on my fathers side wus named Harden Rand, an’ grandmother wus named Mason Rand. My grandfather on my mother’s side wus named Antny Griffiths an’ grandmother wus named Nellie. Our food wus a plenty and well cooked. Marster fed his niggers good. We had plenty of homespun dresses and we got shoes once a year, at Christmas Eve. I ken ‘member it just as...

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Slave Narrative of John Beckwith

Interviewer: Mary A. Hicks Person Interviewed: John Beckwith Location: Cary, North Carolina Age: 83 When The Yankees Came An Interview with John Beckwith 83, of Cary. I reckon dat I wuz ’bout nine years old at de surrender, but we warn’t happy an’ we stayed on dar till my parents died. My pappy wuz named Green an’ my mammy wuz named Molly, an’ we belonged ter Mr. Joe Edwards, Mr. Marion Gully, an’ Mr. Hilliard Beckwith, as de missus married all of ’em. Dar wuz twenty-one other slaves, an’ we got beat ever’ onct in a while. When dey told us dat de Yankees wuz comin’ we wuz also told dat iffen we didn’t behave dat we’d be shot; an’ we believed it. We would’uv behaved anyhow, case we had good plank houses, good food, an’ shoes. We had Saturday an’ Sunday off an’ we wuz happy. De missus, she raised de nigger babies so’s de mammies could wuck. I ‘members de times when she rock me ter sleep an’ put me ter bed in her own bed. I wuz happy den as I thinks back of it, until dem Yankees come. Dey come on a Chuesday; an’ dey started by burnin’ de cotton house an’ killin’ most of de chickens an’ pigs. Way atter awhile dey fin’s de cellar an’ dey drinks brandy till dey gits wobbly in...

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Slave Narrative of Mary Anderson

Interviewer: T. Pat Matthews Person Interviewed: Mary Anderson Location: 17 Poole Road, R.F.D. #2, Raleigh, North Carolina Place of Birth: Wake County NC Date of Birth: May 10, 1851 Age: 86 My name is Mary Anderson. I was born on a plantation near Franklinton, Wake County, N. C. May 10, 1851. I was a slave belonging to Sam Brodie, who owned the plantation at this place. My missus’ name was Evaline. My father was Alfred Brodie and my mother was Bertha Brodie. We had good food, plenty of warm homemade clothes and comfortable houses. The slave houses were called the quarters and the house where marster lived was called the great house. Our houses had two rooms each and marster’s house had twelve rooms. Both the slave and white folks buildings were located in a large grove one-mile square covered with oak and hickory nut trees. Marster’s house was exactly one mile from the main Louisburg Road and there was a wide avenue leading through the plantation and grove to marster’s house. The house fronted the avenue east and in going down the avenue from the main road you traveled directly west. The plantation was very large and there were about two hundred acres of cleared land that was farmed each year. A pond was located on the place and in winter ice was gathered there for summer use...

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