Slavery_Narratives_Student_Materials_-_Hunter_McMahon -...

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Document A (Original Spelling) This is an interview with William Colbert, a 93-year-old former slave from Alabama. The interview was conducted by John Morgan Smith in 1937. [Interviewer]: “Well, Uncle Will, tell me something about the slave days. Was your master good to you?” [William Colbert]: “Nawsuh, he warn’t good to none of us niggers. All de niggers ‘roun’ hate to be bought by him kaze he wuz so mean. . . . One day I remember my brother, January wuz cotched over seeing a gal in the next plantation. . . . Well suh, when da massa found out that he wuz a hour late, he got mad as a hive of bees. So when brother J anuary came home, de massa took down his long mule skinner and tied him with a rope to a pine tree. He strip’ his shirt off and said: “Now, nigger, I’m goin’ to teach you some sense.” “Wid dat he started laying on the lashes . January was a big, fine lookin’ nigger, de finest I ever seed. He wuz just four years older than me, and when de massa began a beatin’ him, January never said a word. De massa got madder kaze he couldn’t make January holla. “What’s de matter wid you, nigger!” ‘he says . “Don’t it hurt?” “January, he never said nothing ’, and de massa kept a beatin’ till little streams of blood started flowing ’ down January’s chest, but he never holler. His lips wuz a quivering ’ and his body was a shakin’, but his mouth never opened ; and all the while I sat on my mammy and pappy’s steps a cryin’. De niggers wuz all gathered about and some uv ‘em couldn’t stand it; dey hadda go inside dere cabins.” Vocabulary long mule skinner : large whip STANFORD HISTORY EDUCATION GROUP sheg.stanford.edu Document B (Original Spelling) This interview was with Tempie Herndon Durham in North Carolina. The interview was conducted by a white interviewer named Travis Jordan in 1937. Durham reported that she was 103 years old at the
time of the interview. My white folks lived in Chatham County. Dey was Marse George an’ Mis’ Betsy Herndon. . . . Dey had a big plantation an’ raised cawn, wheat, cotton an’ ‘bacca. I don’t know how many field niggers Marse George had, but he had a mess of dem, an’ he had hosses to, an’ cows, hogs an’ sheeps. . . .

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