Genevieve W Chandler
From: South Carolina
=Mrs. Genevieve W. Chandler=
=Murrells Inlet, S.C.=
=Uncle Sabe Rutledge=
(=Testimony given by old man born 1861, The Ark Plantation.
Horry County--owned by Mr. John Tillman=)
"Fust thing I realize to remember, I nuster cry to go to the old
boss--old Massa--for sugar. Massa say:
"'Martha, what Newman (he call me that) crying for?' Ma say, 'Wanter
come to you for sugar!'
"'Bring the boy here, Martha!'
"He gi'e me sugar.
"Boil salt? Pump! Pump! Pump it! Had a tank. Run from hill to sea. Had a
platform similar to wharf. And pump on platform. Fetch good high. Go out
there on platform. Force pump. My Grandmother boil salt way after
Freedom. We tote water. Tote in pidgin and keeler--make out of cedar and
cypress. No 'ting to crove 'em (groove 'em) compass. Dog-wood and oak
rim. Give it a lap. (This was his description, with pantomime, of the
way pidgin and keelers were made by plantation carpenters)
"My Grandmother had two pots going. Boil all day and all night. Biling.
Boil till he ticken (thicken) Cedar paddles stir with. Chillun eat with
wooden spoons. Clay pot? Just broken piece. Indian had big camping
ground on beach near the Ark. After big blow you can find big piece of
pot there. I see Indian. Didn't see wild one; see tame one.
"Indigo? Old man Lashie Tillman nuster plant indigo. Seed lak a flax.
Put myrtle seed in with indigo to boil. Gather and boil for the traffic.
All the big folkses plant that fore the rice. Rice come in circulation,
do way with indigo. Nuster (used to) farm indigo just like we work our
corn. Didn't have nothing but ox. And the colored folks--they came next
to the ox--Hill keep advancing out. Reckon you wouldn't blieve it, but I
ken cummember (Uncle Sabe stutters a bit) when all that beach been
cultivate field. Must be nature for sand hill to move. Time most got too
fast now for the people to live.
"Storm? Oh my Lord! Flagg Storm? Sea naturally climb right over that
hill like it wasn't nothing. Water come to King Road. Reckon it would a
come further if the wind didn't shift.
"Calls this 'The Ridge.' Why? I first man settle here. Oak Ridge. (It is
the highest land between the Waccamaw river and the ocean.) Just name it
"Member the shipwreck. Two men and lady come to the Ark. Stormy time.
Massa take them to town. Old anchor there now. Come a blow you kin see
it. Water rise over it high tide.
"Ma tell me bout they had the to-do. Blockade at Inlet. Had 'em out to
drill (The Yankees came to shore to drill.) Old man John Tillman lose
all he China-a-way! (chinaware.) Every bit of his china and paints
(panes of glass) out the window. Yankee gun boat sojer (soldier) to
Magnolia to drill. They tack 'em (attacked 'em) to cut 'em off. When
Rebs tack 'em, small boats gone back. She had to brace 'em. Shoot dem
shell to brace. (Gun boat fired to frighten Rebs who were cutting
Yankees off from escape) I hear old man Frank Norris--lived right beyond
Vettrill Deas--I hear him (nuster come home to the Ark and trap)--I hear
him say lot of 'em bog. (Ella, Agnes and Johnnie Johnson fadder been
there) Bomb shell hit the hill and bury them in the sand. Had to dig
"Old man John Tillman my boss. Sho treat his people good. Don't see why
his folks (slaves) went to blockade (tried to escape and join Yankee
gun-boats). Sho treat his colored folks good. My Grandfather, Rodrick
Rutledge, driver from a boy. Time he big nuff to handle it till Freedom.
"Couldn't marry widout consent of boss." (Remark from Uncle Sabe's
sister, Mom Jane, who is quite acid. All her information inherited--she
Freedom child) Mom Jane: "Been to devil and come back now!"
(Comparing slavery to the lower regions)
"Have sick house; have chillun house." (All in this section tell great
tales of the 'chillun house.' Sounds a lot like the nurse houses in
Russia today. All the babies were in this day nursery in care of the
older women, too old for field work.) "Corn. Meat--pig, beef,
fish--plenty milk." (Some cow 'coffee cow'--that is give just enough
milk for the coffee.)
Aunt Jane: (interrupting) "Pick you teet (teeth) to find the rice! Great
God! Now I can buy my rice!"
Uncle Sabe: "Could plant up-land rice to Ark. (This on coast away from
"Ash cake? Meal, salt, water. Not a grease! Not a grease! See Mudder
cook it many a hundred day!"
Mom Jane: "Put it in the stove today,--nothing! Rather have it any day!"
Sabe: "Wrap it in brown paper, mostly. Cows free in woods. Alligator
tail good. Snail built up just like a conch (whelk). They eat good.
Worms like a conch. Bile conch. Git it out shell. Grind it sausage
grinder. Little onion. Black pepper. Rather eat conch than any kind of
nourishment out of salt water."
Mom Jane: "Conjur? Wouldn't turn a hucks bread for 'em." (Give a
Sabe: "What God got lot out for a man he'll get it."
"Flat boat full up (with slaves trying to escape) gone down Waccamaw.
Uncle Andrew Aunt the one got he eye shoot out (by patrollers) took 'em
to camp on North Island. Never see so much a button and pin in my life!
Small-pox in camp. Had to leave 'em.
"Captain Ben and Captain Tom fadder--look how he die! Looker the blood!
Looker the people! Looker the blood! His boat call 'The Bull River.' Up
and down Pee Dee river. Meet flat! Bore hole in flat and women and
chillun go down! Take men off. He COME TO THIS COUNTRY. (Came down from
North before Civil War) Them darnish Yankee very percruel. (Peculiar?)
"My Great-grandmother Veenia, pirate captured and took all they money in
English war. (Revolution) Dem day Ladies wear bodkin fastened to long
gold chain on shoulder--needle in 'em and thimble and ting. Coming down
from New York to get away from English. My great grandmother little
chillun. Pirate come to her Missus. Take all they money--come cut bodkin
off her shoulder. Grandmother ma gone on the boat and twiss herself in
Missus' skirt. Pirate put 'em off to Wilmington. Come on down settle to
Pitch Landing near Socastee. Keep on till they get to Ark.
"My Great-Grandma Veenia didn't have a teet in her head--one hundred
ten years old and could eat hard a bread as any we."
Uncle Sabe Rutledge
Age 76 (Born 1861)
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