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Mary Williams

From: South Carolina

=Code: Folk-Lore=
=Project 1885 -1-=
=District #4=
=Spartanburg, S.C.=
=May 26, 1937=


Aunt Mary Williams stated she remembered slavery times, for she was a
girl large enough to walk four miles to go to work "while slavery was
on". She said Mr. Alfred Brown used to own her mother, but she was
raised by Mrs. Margaret Taylor who used to live where the oil mill is
now, below Arkwright Mills. Her father was owned by Mr. Simpson Bobo and
drove his horse for him. She stated she was a good hoe-hand, but didn't
pick cotton, as Mr. Brown didn't raise any cotton, just raised something
to eat.

She said her master was a kind man, didn't allow any "paterollers" on
his place, yet she had seen other slaves on other plantations with
bloody backs and arms from the whippings they got. When asked why they
were whipped, she replied, "Just because their masters could whip them;
they owned them and could do what they wanted to them". Her master
didn't allow any whipping on his place. One time he kept a slave from
another plantation who was fleeing the "paterollers" on his place and in
his own house until he was set free.

"I'se got the looking glasses and the thimble my great-grandmother used
to use when she worked. She was a good weaver and a good sewer. She made
a man an overcoat once, but didn't get but $1.25 for it; she made a pair
of men's breeches and got fifty cents for making them. They didn't get
nothing for making clothes in those days".

She remembered when the Yankee soldiers came into Spartanburg. She said
they took all they could get, stole something to eat, just went into the
stores and took liquor and handed it out drink by drink to the other
soldiers. Aunt Mary stated she saw Abe Lincoln when he came through
Spartanburg; said he was armed himself and had soldiers all around him.
He told the colored folks who seemed scared of him that he wasn't going
to hurt anybody, not to be scared of him. (Here she must have confused
Lincoln with some one else, probably Colonel Palmer, who commanded a
detachment in pursuit of Jefferson Davis, which stopped over-night in
Spartanburg in April, 1865. FK.)

SOURCE: Aunt Mary Williams, 391 Cudd St., Spartanburg, S.C.
Interviewer: F.S. DuPre, Spartanburg, S.C.

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