Slavery Narratives Worksheet(1).docx - Document A(Original...

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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 remembers my brother, January wuz cotched ober seein’ a gal in de next plantation ........ Well suh, when da massa found out dat he wuz a hour late, he got mad as a hive of bees. So when brother January come home, de massa took down his long mule skinner and tied him wid 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 layin’ on de lashes. January was a big, fine lookin’ nigger, de finest I ever seed. He wuz jus’ four years older dan me, an’ when de massa begin a beatin’ him, January neber said a word. De massa got madder kaze he couldn’t make January holla. “What’s de matter wid you, nigger!” ‘he say. “Don’t it hurt?” “January, he neber said nothin’, and de massa keep a beatin’ till little streams of blood started flowin’ down January’s chest, but he neber holler. His lips wuz a quiverin’ and his body wuz a shakin’, but his mouf it neber open; and all de while I sat on my mammy’s 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.” STANFORD HISTORY EDUCATION GROUP sheg.stanford.edu Vocabulary long mule skinner : large whip
Document A (Modified Spelling) This is the interview from William Colbert in Document A, but it has been changed to have more standard spelling. If there are parts of the original document that are confusing, use this document to help you understand what was written in the original interview. [Interviewer]: “Well, Uncle Will, tell me something about the slave days. Was your master good to you?” {William Colbert]: “No sir, he wasn’t good to none of us n----s. All of the n----s around hated to be bought by him because he was so mean ........ One day I remember my brother, January was caught over seeing a gal in the next plantation ........ Well sir, when the master found out that he was an hour late, he got mad as a hive of bees. So when brother January came home, the master took down his long mule skinner and tied him with a rope to the pine tree. He stripped off his shirt and said: “Now, n----, I’m going to teach you some sense.” “With that he started laying on the lashes. January was a big, fine looking n- - -, the finest I’ve ever seen. He was just four years older than me, and when the mater began beating him, January never said a word. The master got madder because he couldn’t make January holler.

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