Surname: Marlow

Slave Narrative of Alice Alexander

Person Interviewed: Alice Alexander Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Place of Birth: Jackson Parish, Louisiana Date of Birth: 1849 Age: 88 I was 88 years old the 15th of March. I was born in 1849, at Jackson Parish, Louisiana. My mother’s name was Mary Marlow , and father’s Henry Marlow. I can’t remember very much ’bout slavery ’cause I was awful small, but I am remember that my mother’s master, Colonel Threff died, and my mother, her husband, and as three chillun was handed down to Colonel Threff’s ‘poor en folks. Colonel Threff owned about two or three hundred head of niggers. and all or ’em was tributed to his poor kin. Ooh wee! he sho’ had fact a lot of them too! Master Joe Threff, one of his poor kin, took my nether, her husband, and three of us chillun from Louisiana to the Mississippi Line. Down there we lived in a one room log hut, and slept on homemade rail bad steads with cotton, and sometimes straw, mostly straw summers and cotton winners. I worked round the house and locked after de smaller chillun, I mean my mother’s chillun. Mostly we ate yeller meal corn bread and sorghum molasses. I ate possums when we could get ’em, but jest couldn’t stand rabbit meat. Didn’t know there was any Christmas or holidays in dem days. I can’t ‘membuh nothing...

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Canton Asylum, 1910, List of Patients

In 1898, Congress passed a bill creating the only ‘Institution for Insane Indians’ in the United States. The Canton Indian Insane Asylum, South Dakota (sometimes called Hiawatha Insane Asylum) opened for the reception of patients in January, 1903. Many of the inmates were not mentally ill. Native Americans risked being confined in the asylum for alcoholism, opposing government or business interests, or for being culturally misunderstood. A 1927 investigation conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs determined that a large number of patients showed no signs of mental illness. The asylum was closed in 1934. While open, more than...

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