Surname: Williams

Slave Narrative of William Nelson

Interviewer: Sarah Probst Person Interviewed: William Nelson Location: Ohio Place of Birth: Belmont, Missouri Date of Birth: 1848 Age: 88 Sarah Probst, Reporter Audrey Meighen, Author-Editor Folklore: Ex-Slaves Meigs County, District Three MR. WILLIAM NELSON Aged 88 “Whar’s I bawned? ‘Way down Belmont Missouri, jes’ cross frum C’lumbus Kentucky on de Mississippi. Oh, I ‘lows ‘twuz about 1848, caise I wuz fo’teen when Marse Ben done brung me up to de North home with him in 1862.” “My Pappy, he wuz ‘Kaintuck’, John Nelson an’ my mammy wuz Junis Nelson. No suh, I don’t know whar dey wuz bawned, first I member ’bout wuz my pappy buildin’ railroad in Belmont. Yes suh, I had five sistahs and bruthahs. Der names-lets see-Oh yes-der wuz, John, Jim, George, Suzan and Ida. No, I don’t member nothin’ ’bout my gran’parents.” “My mammy had her own cabin for hur and us chilluns. De wuz rails stuck through de cracks in de logs fo’ beds with straw on top fo’ to sleep on.” “What’d I do, down dar on plantashun? I hoed corn, tatahs, garden onions, and hepped take cair de hosses, mules an oxen. Say-I could hoe onions goin’ backwards. Yessuh, I cud.” “De first money I see wuz what I got frum sum soljers fo’ sellin’ dem a bucket of turtl’ eggs. Dat wuz de day I run away to see sum...

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Slave Narrative of William Williams

Interviewer: Chas. McCullough Person Interviewed: William Williams Location: Canton, Ohio Place of Birth: Caswell County, North Carolina Date of Birth: April 14, 1857 Place of ResidenceL 1227 Rex Ave. S.E. Canton, Ohio Ex-Slaves Stark County, District 5 Aug 13, 1937 WILLIAM WILLIAMS, Ex-Slave Interview with William Williams, 1227 Rex Ave. S.E. Canton, O. “I was born a slave in Caswell County, North Carolina, April 14, 1857. My mother’s name was Sarah Hunt and her master’s name was Taz Hunt. I did not know who my father was until after the war. When I was about 11 years old I went to work on a farm for Thomas Williams and he told me he was my father. When I was born he was a slave on the plantation next to Hunt’s place and was owned by John Jefferson. Jefferson sold my father after I was born but I do not know his last master’s name. My father and mother were never married. They just had the permission of the two slave owners to live together and I became the property of my father’s master, John Jefferson until I was sold. After the war my mother joined my father on his little farm and it was then I first learned he was my father. I was sold when I was 3 years old but I don’t remember the name of the...

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Slave Narrative of Reverend Williams

Interviewer: Miriam Logan Person Interviewed: Rev. Williams Location: Lebanon, Ohio Place of Birth: Greenbriar County, West Virginia Date of Birth: 1859 Age: 76 Occupation: Methodist minister Miriam Logan Lebanon, Ohio July 8th Warren County, District 2 Story of REVEREND WILLIAMS, Aged 76, Colored Methodist Minister, Born Greenbriar County, West Virginia (Born 1859) “I was born on the estate of Miss Frances Cree, my mother’s mistress. She had set my grandmother Delilah free with her sixteen children, so my mother was free when I was born, but my father was not. “My father was butler to General Davis, nephew of Jefferson Davis. General Davis was wounded in the Civil War and came home to die. My father, Allen Williams was not free until the Emancipation.” “Grandmother Delilah belonged to Dr. Cree. Upon his death and the division of his estate, his maiden daughter came into possession of my grandmother, you understand. Miss Frances nor her brother Mr. Cam. ever married. Miss Frances was very religious, a Methodist, and she believed Grandmother Delilah should be free, and that we colored children should have schooling.” “Yes ma’m, we colored people had a church down there in West Virginia, and grandmother Delilah had a family Bible of her own. She had fourteen boys and two girls. My mother had sixteen children, two boys, fourteen girls. Of them-mother’s children, you understand, there were seven...

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Slave Narrative of Uncle Willis Williams

Interviewer: Genevieve W. Chandler Person Interviewed: Willis Williams Location: Conway, South Carolina “When wuz I born? Born in August. When I wuz born been August. I wuz a man grown pulling boxes, (turpentine boxes) when the shake wuz. I know the very night the shake come——on a Wednesday night. I wuz on door step loosing my shoe string. There wuz more religion then than they is now. Praying and prayer meeting for a month. Everybody tend meeting. “I been with the Yankee. I kin tell you bout the Yankee. They come home there to Rock Creek when the war wuz breaking up and carried me to Fayetteville. (N.C.) Kept me with ’em till Johnson surrendered in Raleigh,——then they kept me in Goldsboro and took me on to Petersburg. After everything over they give me free transportation back home. Free on train back to Fayetteville. They had put all the Yankee clothes on me,——all the blue shirt, blue coat and bumps on the shoulder,—and when they start me home took all the Yankee clothes way from me. Put gray clothes on me and sent me back. I member they took me up in a way-up-yonder building—to Richmond. Couldn’t tell you the depth of it. Man on the ground looked like boy. “The man I belonged to been Mass John A. Williams. (Born on the Cape Fear.) I goes by Mass...

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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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Will of John Williams, – 1672

JOHN WILLIAMS, New York. Leaves to Anthony Jansen Turk, “all my tools in the house of Henry Morris in New Jersey, as also whatever I have in the house of Anthony Jansen, or elsewhere.” And all my land in New Jersey according to the records of Elizabethtown, and he is to pay to Henry Morris a debt of 40 shillings and the funeral charges. Makes Henry Morris executor. Dated October 10, 1672. Witnesses, Otto Gerritse, John Sharpe. Letters of administration granted to Anthony Jansen Turk, October 15, 1672. LIBER 1-2, page...

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Slave Narrative of Dan Smith

Interviewer: W. W. Dixon Person Interviewed: Dan Smith Location: Winnsboro, South Carolina Place of Birth: Richland County SC Date of Birth: January 11, 1862 Age: 75 Occupation: Construction Dan Smith lives in one room, rent free, of a three-room frame house, the property of his son-in-law, Jim Cason. It is situated on the southeast corner of Garden and Palmer streets in the town of Winnsboro, S.C. He is tall, thin and toothless, with watery eyes and a pained expression of weariness on his face. He is slow and deliberate in movements. He still works, and has just finished a day’s work mixing mortar in the construction of a brick store building for Mr. Lauderdale. His boss says: ‘The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.’ There is nothing organically wrong with Dan but he appears, in human anatomy, as Doctor Holmes’s One Horse Shay must have looked the day before its final collapse. “You been here once befo’ and now here you is again. You say you wanna git additions? Well, I’s told you dat I was born in Richland County, a slave of Marse John Lever and on his plantation, January de 11th day, 1862, when de war was gwine on. How I know? ‘Cause my mammy and pappy told me so. They call my pappy Bob and my mammy Mary. Strange as it seem, my mistress...

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Slave Narrative of Bill Williams

Interviewer: W. W. Dixon Person Interviewed: Bill Williams Location: Winnsboro, South Carolina Age: 82 Bill Williams lives on the Durham place, nine miles east of Winnsboro, S.C., on the warm charity of Mr. Arthur M. Owens, the present owner. He is decrepit and unable to work. “I was born a slave of old Marster John Durham, on a plantation ’bout five miles east of Blackstock, S.C. My mistress name Margaret. Deir chillun was Miss Cynthia, Marse Johnnie, Marse Willie and Marse Charnel. I forgits de others. Then, when young Marse Johnnie marry Miss Minnie Mobley, my mammy, Kizzie, my daddy, Eph, and me was give to them. Daddy and mammy had four other chillun. They was Eph, Reuben, Winnie and Jordan. Us live in rows of log houses, a path ‘twixt de two rows. Us was close to de spring, where us got water and mammy did de white folks washin’ every week. I kep’ de fires burnin’ ’round de pots, so de water would keep boilin’. Dat’s ’bout all de work I ‘members doin’ in slavery time. Daddy was a field hand and ploughed a big red mule, name Esau. How many slaves was dere? More than I could count. In them days I couldn’t count up to a hundred. How, then, I gonna kno’ how many dere was? You have to ask somebody else. I’ll just risk...

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Slave Narrative of Tena White

Interviewer: Martha S. Pickney Person Interviewed: Tena White Location: Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina Everybody in the town of Mt. Pleasant, Christ Church Parish (across the Bay from Charleston) knows “Tena White, the washer,” “Tena, the cook,” “Maum Tena” or “Da Tena, the nurse”—the same individual, accomplished in each art, but best as a nurse. The house where Tena lives is the second in a row of Negro houses. The writer, calling from the gate, was answered by Tena, a middle-sized woman of neat figure. As the writer ascended the steps a friendly cur wagged itself forward and was promptly reproved by Tena, who placed a chair, the seat of which she wiped carefully with her dress. The piazza was clean and on the floor a black baby slept on a folded cloth, with a pillow under its head. The writer was soon on friendly terms with Maum Tena, and was told: “As soon as my eye set on you, I see you favor the people I know. My people belonged to Mr. William Venning. The plantation was Remley Point. I couldn’t zactly member my pa’s name. I member when de war come though. Oh dem drum; I nebber hear such a drum in my life! De people like music; dey didn’t care nothing bout de Yankees, but dem bands of music! My mother name Molly Williams. My pa dead...

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Slave Narrative of Jesse Williams

Interviewer: W. W. Dixon Person Interviewed: Jesse Williams Location: South Carolina Age: 83 At the end of one of the silent streets of west Chester, S.C., that prolongs itself into a road leading to the Potter’s Field and on to the County Poorhouse, sets a whitewashed frame cottage. It has two rooms, the chimney in the center providing each with a fireplace. A porch, supported by red cedar posts, fronts the road side. In this abode lives Jesse Williams with his daughter, Edna, and her six children. Edna pays the rent, and is a grenadier in the warfare of keeping the wolf from the door. “You say I looks pretty old? Well, you’s right ’bout de old part but I’s far ‘way from de pretty part. I got a hand glass in my house and when I shaves on Sunday mornin’s, I often wonders who I is. I doesn’t look lak me. My best friend couldn’t say I got much on looks, but my old dog rap his tail on de floor lak he might say so, if him could speak. “I’s been off and on dese streets of Chester for eighty-three years. I was born a slave of Marse Adam C. Walker and my old miss was Mistress Eliza, dat’s his wife. “My pappy name Henry and mammy name Maria. I can see them plowin’ in de field...

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