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Tom Wilcox

From: North Carolina

N.C. District: No. 2
Worker: Mary A. Hicks
No. Words: 614
Story teller: Tom Wilcox
Editor: Daisy Bailey Waitt

[TR: Date stamp: JUN 1 1937]

[HW: Has two songs
beaten because worked on Sun.]

EX-SLAVE STORY [HW: 81 years]

An Interview on May 19, 1937, with Tom Wilcox of Method.

"I wuz borned on March 18th, 1856 durin' de biggest snow dat eber hit
Eastern Carolina; dey says dat hit wuz up ter de roof. De place whar I
wuz borned wuz in Warren County; jist acrost de Halifax County line. My
mammy's marster wuz Mr. B. Osco Harris an' his wife wuz named Martha.

"My mammy's name wuz Alice an' my pappie's name wuz Camelin. I had
three brothers, Little Berry, Cornelius James, an' C.J. Dar wuz four
gals, Anne, Pattie, Pennie, an' Mary Frances.

"De white folks wuz good ter us an' we loved 'em, but we wanted ter be
free, case de Lawd done make us all free.

"My missus wuz a religious woman an' I can't tell yo' de number uv
times she has beat me case I done some kind uv wuck on a Sunday. We
went ter church ever Sunday an' we wusn't 'lowed ter cuss an' sich

"I wuz nine when de war commence. Durin' de war an' I wuz workin' in de
fiel', long wid de fifty or sixty other slaves. Dar wuzn't nary a
Yankee track made in our section, an' we ain't knowed much 'bout de

"As I done tell yo' onct we wuz fed an' clothed good an' we lived fer
each other, but my pappy belonged ter one man an' my mammy ter another
one an' so we wanted ter be all together. Atter de war we stayed on
till '69, den we come ter Raleigh. Most uv de wimmens an' chilluns wuz
sent by de train, but me an' pappy an' Berry, we walked all de way by
Louisburg, an' driv' pappy's thirteen heads of cattle.

"In 1871 we buyed ten acres uv lan' at Method fer three dollars a' acre
an' moved out hyar.

"No mam, we ain't liked Jeff Davis, but we did like Mr. Lincoln. I
'members a verse uv a song dat we sung durin' de first uv de war. It
goes dis way.

"'Jeff Davis is a rich man,
Lincoln is a fool,
Davis rides a big fat horse,
Lincoln rides a mule.
Knick knack dey say
Walk ole Georgia row.'

"Dar wuz another song I 'members but I can't think uv no games, case we
ain't neber played none. Yo' has hyard dat atter a dog gits so full uv
fleas he can't tote no mo'. Well, dat's de way I is. I peddles my
peanuts, but I barely makes a livin'.

"Hyar's de song do' de best I 'members it an' it wuz sung atter de war.

"'Ole Confederate has done played out,
Shrew ball, shrew ball,
Ole Confederate has done played out
Shrew ball say I,
An' ole Gen'l. Lee can't fight no mo';
We'll all drink stone blind
Johnnies go marchin' home.

"'I bought me a chicken fur fifty cents,
Shrew ball, Shrew ball,
I bought me a chicken fur fifty cents
Shrew ball say I,
I bought me a chicken fur fifty cents
An' de son uv a bitch done jump de fence,
We'll all drink stone blind
Johnnies go marchin' home.

"'Eighteen hundret an' sixty one
Shrew ball, shrew ball,
Eighteen hundret an' sixty one
Shrew ball say I,
Eighteen hundret an' sixty one
An' dat's de year de war begun
We'll all drink stone blind
Johnnies go marchin' home.

"'Eighteen hundret an' sixty-five
Shrew ball, Shrew ball,
Eighteen hundret an' sixty-five
Shrew ball say I,
Eighteen hundret an' sixty-five
De Yankees et ole Lee alive;
We'll all drink stone blind
Johnnies go marchin' home.'"

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