From: South Carolina
Spartanburg Dist 4
July 15, 1937
STORIES FROM EX-SLAVES
"I was born in Newberry County, South Carolina. Near Indian Creek above
Jalapa. My mammy and pa was Charlie and Frances Gilliam. We belonged to
Marse Pettus and Harriet Gilliam who had a big plantation. I married
George Glasgow in the yard of Reid place, by a nigger preacher. My
husband died about 15 years ago.
"I was a young child when de war stopped, and don't remember so much
about slavery times. Marse Pettus and Miss Harriet was good to us. I
never got a whipping, except Misses whipped me once wid just one lick.
Dey give us a small patch of 'bout half acre fer us to raise cotton or
anything we wanted to on it. De master had a big garden and give his
slaves plenty vegetables. We had plenty to eat all de time. My pa,
Charlie, was de foreman of a crowd of slaves, and dere was a white
"Master Gilliam had a boy dey called 'Bud'. He still lives in Arkansas.
Dey all moved to state of Arkansas sometime atter de war. My master was
a good man, a church man, and he was steward in Tranquil Methodist
Church. Around de place at home he was always singing and in good humor.
I 'member one song he sung dat was like dis:
"Lord, Lord, Heaven--Sweet Heaven,
Lord, Lord, Heaven--Sweet Heaven,
How long will it be?
(repeated three times)
"De first time I come to town was when I was a little child, and when we
got to College Hill, about ten miles from home, I started to run back
home because I heard de train whistle blow.
"Miss Harriet always give us chilluns 'mackaroot tea' fer worms. It's
made from roots of a plant dat grow in de woods. We had to drink it
before breakfast, and it shore had a bitter taste.
"Slavery wasn't good much, I reckon, but I had a good time ... didn't
nothing bother me. When freedom come, all of us stayed with de master
until he and his folks moved away.
"Old Dr. Clark was de best doctor in de state. He lived at Jalapa. He
used to give barbecues at his home in de yard under big trees. He had
niggers dere, too. Dey eat by demselves. Old Mrs. Sligh lived above
dere. I waited on her when she was sick. When she died, she made her son
promise not to hold against me what I owed her--just let it go--and told
him not to ever let me go hungry.
"Once when Master Gilliam took one of his slaves to church at old
Tranquil, he told him dat he mustn't shout dat day--said he would give
him a pair of new boots if he didn't shout. About de middle of services,
de old nigger couldn't stand it no longer. He jumped up and hollered:
'Boots or no boots, I gwine to shout today'.
"I jined de church atter I got married, 'cause I wanted to do right and
serve de Lord."
=Source:= Emoline Glasgow (78), Newberry, S.C.
Interviewer: G.L. Summer, Newberry, S.C. (7/8/37)
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