I have heard that patrollers were on Kent Island and the colored people would go out in the country on the roads, create disturbance to attract the patrollers’ attention. They would tie ropes and grape vines across the roads, so when the patrollers would come to the scene of the disturbance on horseback at full tilt, they would be caught, throwing those who would come in contact with the rope or vine off the horse, sometimes badly injuring the riders. This would create hatred between the slaves, the free people, the patrollers and other white people who were concerned. . . . I do not remember being sick but I have heard mother say, when she or her children were sick, the white doctor who attended the Tolsons treated us and the only herbs I can recall were life-everlasting boneset and woodditney, from each of which a tea could be made. This is about all I can recall.
STANFORD HISTORY EDUCATION GROUP sheg.stanford.edu Guiding Questions How does the account portray slavery? (Be sure to cite specific information from the interview.) How does the account compare to the other two documents? Document A Document B Document C
STANFORD HISTORY EDUCATION GROUP sheg.stanford.edu 1. When evaluating historical interviews, historians ask questions about the documents to help them think about whether they are useful for learning about the past. Some of the questions historians might ask about interviews are: •Is it reasonable to think that the person interviewed knows about the events they are discussing? •Are there any reasons why the interviewee might not be telling the truth or telling whole story, either on purpose or unintentionally? •Are there reasons that the interviewer might not be recording the interview accurately or completely, either on purpose or unintentionally? •How relevant is the information to the issues or topics that I am interested in learning about? Use these questions to think about the strengths and limitations of the interviews for learning about slavery. Strengths Limitations
STANFORD HISTORY EDUCATION GROUP sheg.stanford.edu Going Deeper 2. When were the interviews conducted? How might that make the accounts less reliable? Are there ways this could make the accounts more reliable? 3. The interviewer in Document B was white. The interviewer in Document C was black. How do the two accounts differ? How might the race of the interviewer have affected the accounts provided? 4. The interviewers in Document A and Document B likely believed they were accurately recording the regional dialects and speech patterns of those they interviewed when they altered the spelling of words. (For example, the interviewer in Document A wrote “I’se fum Jawja” instead of “I’m from Georgia”.) Why might someone argue that recording a local dialect could make a document more reliable? Why might others argue that this makes the document less reliable?