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Martha Organ

From: North Carolina

N.C. District: No. 2
Worker: Mary A. Hicks
No Words: 273
Person Interviewed: Martha Organ
Date of Interview: May 18, 1937
Editor: Daisy Bailey Waitt

[TR: Date stamp: JUN 1 1937]

[HW: Story about the girl being burnt in front of fire.
Good. But not remarkable.


As told by Martha Organ of Cary as she heard her mother tell it many
years ago.

"I doan know nothin' 'bout slavery 'cept what I hyard my mother tell,
an' dat ain't so much.

"I know dat my pappa's name wuz Handy Jones an' my mammy's name wuz
Melisa. She belonged to a Mr. Whitaker but atter she married my pappa
she belonged ter Mr. Rufus Jones, Mr. Rufus wuz Mr. Wesley Jones'
brother at de ole Fanning Jones place; an' he owned a sizable
plantation. Mr. Jones wuz good ter 'em. Dey ain't nebber give him no
trouble an' he ain't nebber whip none of 'em.

"I've hyarn her tell a whole heap 'bout de patterollers an' de Ku Klux
Klan but of course I wuz borned atter de surrender, I now bein' jist
sixty one.

"I 'members 'specially what mammy said 'bout when de Yankees come. She
said dat it wuz on a Thursday an' dat de ole master wuz sick in de bed
an' had sent some slaves ter de mill wid grain. When dese men started
back frum de mill de Yankees overtook 'em an' dey killed de oxes in de
harness, cut off de quarters an' rid [HW: ter] de house wid dat beef
hangin' all over de horses. Dey throwed what dey ain't wanted away, but
of course dey took de meal an' de grain.

"De ole master had hyard dat dem Yankees wuz comin' an' he had buried
de silverware in a san' bar, but Lawd dem Yankees foun' hit jist lak it
were on top o' de groun'. Dey stold eber'thing dat day git dere han's
on, 'specially de meat frum de smoke house. Dey went down inter de
cellar an' dey drunk up master's brandy an' dey got so drunk dat dey
ain't got no sense atall. When dey left dey carried my bruther off wid
'em, an' nobody ever hyard frum him ag'in. Dey said dat de president
was'nt thought much of dem days.

"Mr. Jones died a few days atter de surrender an' hit 'pears lak he
made a will what give all of his niggers a little piece o' land.
Somehow dis Mr. Whitaker, what my mammy uster belong to had somepin'
ter do wid it, so he went ter de co't house in Raleigh ter have de will
broke up; an' he draps daid. Mr. Jones an' Mr. Whitaker wuz buried de
same day.

"Speakin' 'bout ghosts, my mammy tol' me 'bout a ghost what she'd seed
an' when I wuz a chile, I seed it too.

"It wuz closter Ephues Church on de Durham highway, an' de ghosts wuz
three wimmen, dressed, in white an' widout heads. De rize an' flewed
ober de wagin an' went ter de churchyard, an' dat wuz de las' time I
seed 'em. I doan believe in ghosts much, but fo' de Lawd I seed dat
one an' my mammy an' pappy seed it 'fore I wuz borned.

"My mammy said dat she'd seed some slave sales but dat dey warn't so
bad. She nor my pappy ain't neber had no whippin's an' she said dat de
wust thing she eber seed wuz a gal burnt. Hit wuz dis way: Missus Jones
had sold a gal dat she raised named Alice ter a neighborhood 'oman.
Alice had been ust ter goin' to de Missus house an' warmin', so when
she went inter dis 'omans house ter warm de 'oman made her stand fore
de fire till her legs burned so bad dat de skin cracked up an' some of
it drapped off. Missus Jones found it out an' she give de 'oman back
her money an' took Alice home wid her."


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