From: South Carolina
W. W. Dixon
Winnsboro, S. C.
EX-SLAVE 75 YEARS OLD.
Tom Dixon, a mulatto, is a superannuated minister of the Gospel. He
lives in Winnsboro, S. C., at the corner of Moultrie and Crawford
Streets. He is duly certified and registered as an old age pensioner and
draws a pension of $8.00 per month from the Welfare Board of South
Carolina. He is incapable of laborious exercise.
"I was born in 1862, thirteen miles northeast of Columbia, S. C., on the
border line of Kershaw and Fairfield Counties. My mother was a slave of
Captain Moultrie Gibbes. My father was white, as you can see. My mother
was the cook for my white folks; her name was Malinda. She was born a
slave of Mr. Tillman Lee Dixon of Liberty Hill. After she learned to
cook, my marster bought her from her master and paid $1,200.00 for her.
After freedom, us took the name of Dixon.
"My mistress in slavery time was Miss Mary. She was a Clark before she
married Marse Moultrie. I was nothing but a baby when the war ended and
freedom come to our race. I lived on my marster's Wateree River
plantation, with mother, until he sold it and went into the hotel
business at Union, S. C.
"My mother then went to Columbia, S. C., and I attended Benedict
College. I became a preacher in 1886, the year of the earthquake. That
earthquake drove many sinners to their knees, me amongst them; and, when
I got up, I resolved to be a soldier of the cross, and every since I
have carried the shield of faith in my left hand and the sword of the
Word in my right hand.
"The night I was converted, the moon was shining brightly. We was all at
a revival meeting out from Blythewood, then called Dako, S. C. First, we
heard a low murmur or rolling sound like distant thunder, immediately
followed by the swaying of the church and a cracking sound from the
joists and rafters of the building. The women folks set up a screaming.
The men folks set up a hollering: 'Oh Lordy! Jesus save me! We believe!
Come Almighty King!' The preacher tried to quiet us, but we run out the
church in the moonlight, men and women crying and praying. The preacher,
Rev. Charlie Moore, continued the services outside and opened the doors
of the church, and every blessed soul come forward and joined the
"I married Fannie Irwin, and God blessed us all the days of her life. My
daughter, Maggie, married a Collins and lives in the Harlem section of
New York City. My daughter, Sallie, lives also in Harlem, Greenville
Village. Malinda, named for my mother, lives and works in Columbia, S.
"On the death of my wife, Fannie, I courted and married the widow Lizzie
Williams. The house we live in is her own property. She had two children
when we married, a boy and a girl. The boy got killed at the schoolhouse
two years ago. The girl is working in Columbia, S. C. I am a
superannuated minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and
receive a small sum of money from the denomination, yearly. The amount
varies in different years. At no time is it sufficient to keep me in
food and clothing and support.
"I have taken nothing to do with politics all my life, but my race has
been completely transformed, in that regard, since Mr. Roosevelt has
been President. Left to a popular vote of the race, Mr. Roosevelt would
get the solid South, against any other man on any ticket he might run
on. He is God Almighty's gentleman. By that, I mean he is brave in the
presence of the blue-bloods, kind in the presence of the common people,
and gentle to the lowly and despised Negro."
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