Title: Mississippi Slave Narratives from the WPA Records
Submitter: MSGenWeb Slave Narrative Project
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From the WPA Slave Narratives:
Lewis Wallace Age 87
My name is Lewis Wallace an I lives on the Ben Magruder place 'bout two miles from Pattison. I is 87 years old and even if I do carry a staff I kin walk a fur ways. I kin hoe a row of cotton, too, when hits nice an' cool in de early mornin'. I was born in Jefferson county an' ain' never lived no where but 'round in dese parts.
In slavery days I b'longed to Mr. Armstrong Flowers. I was a yard boy an' de Flowers was rich an' had a heap o' slaves. But Marse Flowers died wid de whiskey fits. He was a powerful fine man till one of dem fits come on. Den he was turrible. He'd jus' run us niggers nearly to death, an' he'd grab old Missus by de hair of her head an' drag her up an' down de long front gal'y. Us niggers was so scared we didn' have good sense. Sometimes he'd think he seen de debble an' he'd make us try to ketch him. He'd holler: "Dig a deep hole for de debble!" When us seen old Marse wasn' lookin' us niggers would yell: "Yon' he go, Marse, Yon' he go! De debble done jump out an' jus' a-runnin'. An' we'd pint 'way off so as he would turn loose of pore Mistus hair an' jump off de gal'y. Den he'd say, skeered like: "He'p me ketch him boys, he'p me ketch him!" Den we'd all start a runnin after a debble what warnt dere, an' 'round an' 'round de place we'd go. Sometimes he'd fall out like he clean wore out, an' one day he died in one of dem whiskey fits.
After dat our Mistus marry Judge Millsaps an he was a good marster. When de war was over I stayed on wid my white folks. Dey was good to me an I didn' have no where special to go. I nevah was much on travelling 'round.
I'se got chillen an' gran'-chillen what is good to me an' I likes dis part of de world jus fine.
Transcribed by Ann Allen Geoghegan
The Federal Writer’s Project of
The Works Progress Administration
For the State of Mississippi
"If you teach them where they come from, they won't need as much help finding where they are going!"
Cordelia Carothers " Aunt Dee" Geoghegan (1894-1987)
Project Manager: Ann Allen Geoghegan
Assistant State Coordinators and
Transcriptionists: Ann Allen Geoghegan, Debbie Leftwich, and
Rose Diamond and Linda Durr Rudd
Banner designed by: Melissa McCoy-Bell
Unknown worker photograph provided by L. Stephen Bell Photography, and family photo albums of Karen Schweikle, Lucy Gray and Jens Burkhart.
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