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Mary Veals




From: South Carolina

=Project 1885-1=
=FOLKLORE=
=Spartanburg Dist. 4=
=May 25, 1937=

=Edited by:=
=Elmer Turnage=

=SLAVERY REMINISCENCES=


"I was born in the town of Newberry, S.C. I do not remember slavery
time, but I have heard my father and mother talk about it. They were
Washington and Polly Holloway, and belonged to Judge J.B. O'Neall. They
lived about 3 miles west of town, near Bush River. An old colored man
lived nearby. His name was Harry O'Neall, and everybody said he was a
miser and saved up his money and buried it near the O'Neall spring.
Somebody dug around there but never found any money. There were two
springs, one was called 'horse spring', but the one where the money was
supposed to be buried had a big tree by it.

"I married Sam Veals, in 'gravel town' of Newberry. I had a brother,
Riley, and some sisters.

"We would eat fish, rabbits, 'possums and squirrels which folks caught
or killed. We used to travel most by foot, going sometimes ten miles to
any place. We walked to school, three or four miles, every day when I
was teaching school after the war. I was taught mostly at home, by Miss
Sallie O'Neall, a daughter of Judge J.B. O'Neall.

"My father and mother used to go to the white folks' church, in slavery
time. After the war colored churches started. The first one in our
section was Brush Harbor. Simon Miller was a fine colored preacher who
preached in Brush Harbor on Vandalusah Spring Hill. Isaac Cook was a
good preacher. We used to sing, 'Gimme dat good ole-time religion'; 'I'm
going to serve God until I die' and 'I am glad salvation is free'.

"Saturday afternoons we had 'off' and could work for ourselves. At
marriages, we had frolics and big dinners. Some of the games were: rope
jumping; hide and seek, and, ring around the roses. Of course, there
were more games.

"Some of the old folks used to see ghosts, but I never did see any.

"Cures were made with herbs such as, peach tree leaves, boiled as a tea
and drunk for fevers. Rabbit tobacco (life everlasting) was used for
colds. Small boys would chew and smoke it, as did some of the old folks.

"I have seven children, all grown; fourteen grand-children, and several
great-grand-children.

"Judge O'Neall was one of the best men and best masters in the country
that I knew of. I think Abraham Lincoln was a good man, according to
what I have heard about him. Jeff Davis was the same. Booker Washington
was a great man to his country and served the colored race.

"I joined the church because I believe the bible is true, and according
to what it says, the righteous are the only people God is pleased with.
Without holiness no man shall see God."


Source: Mary Veals (72), Newberry, S.C. Interviewed by: G.L.
Summer, Newberry, S.C. May 20, 1937.





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