Anderson Bates

Project 1655

W. W. Dixon

Winnsboro, S. C.



Anderson Bates lives with his son-in-law and daughter, Ed and Dora

Owens, in a three-room frame house, on lands of Mr. Dan Heyward, near

the Winnsboro Granite Company, Winnsboro, S. C. Anderson and his wife

occupy one of the rooms and his rent is free. His son-in-law has regular

employment at the Winnsboro Cotton Mills. His wife, Carrie, looks after

the house. Anderson and his daughter, Dora, are day laborers on the

neighborhood farms, but he is able to do very little work.

"I was born on de old Dr. Furman place, near Jenkinsville, S. C., in de

year, 1850. My pappy was name Nat and mammy name Winnie. They was slaves

of old Dr. Furman, dat have a big plantation, one hundred slaves, and a

whole lot of little slave chillun, dat him wouldn't let work. They run

'round in de plum thickets, blackberry bushes, hunt wild strawberries,

blow cane whistles, and have a good time.

"De old Dr. Furman house is ramshackle but it is still standin' out dere

and is used as a shelter for sawmill hands dat is cuttin' down de big

pines and sawin' them on de place.

"Where did my pappy and mammy come from? Mammy was born a slave in de

Furman family in Charleston, but pappy was bought out of a drove dat a

Baltimore speculator fetch from Maryland long befo' de war. Doctor

practice all 'round and 'bout Monticello, happen 'long one day, see my

pappy and give a thousand dollars for him, to dat speculator. I thank

God for dat!

"Dr. Furman, my old marster, have a brudder called Jim, dat run de

Furman School, fust near Winnsboro, then it move to Greenville, S. C.

"My mistress name Nancy. Her was of de quality. Her voice was soft and

quiet to de slaves. Her teach us to sing:

'Dere is a happy land, far, far 'way,

Where bright angels stand, far, far 'way,

Oh! How them angels sing!

Oh! How them bells ring!

In dat happy land, far, far 'way!'

"Dere was over a thousand acres, maybe two thousand in dat old Furman

place. Them sawmill folks give $30,000.00 for it, last year.

"My pappy and mammy was field hands. My brudders and sisters was:

Liddie, Millie, Ria, Ella, Harriet, Thomas, Smith, and Marshall. All

dead but me and Marshall.

"I was fifteen when de Yankees come thru. They took off everything,

hosses, mules, cows, sheep, goats, turkeys, geese, and chickens. Hogs?

Yes sah, they kill hogs and take off what parts they want and leave

other parts bleedin' on de yard. When they left, old marster have to go

up into Union County for rations.

"Dat's funny, you wants to set down dere 'bout my courtship and weddin'?

Well, sir, I stay on de old plantation, work for my old marster, de

doctor, and fell head over heels in love wid Carrie. Dere was seven more

niggers a flyin' 'round dat sugar lump of a gal in de night time when I

breezes in and takes charge of de fireside cheer. I knocks one down one

night, kick another out de nex' night, and choke de stuffin' out of one

de nex' night. I landed de three-leg stool on de head of de fourth one,

de last time. Then de others carry deir 'fections to some other place

than Carrie's house. Us have some hard words 'bout my bad manners, but I

told her dat I couldn't 'trol my feelin's wid them fools a settin'

'round dere gigglin' wid her. I go clean crazy!

"Then us git married and go to de ten-acre quarry wid Mr. Anderson. I

work dere a while and then go to Captain Macfie, then to his son, Wade,

and then to Marse Rice Macfie. Then I go back to de quarry, drill and

git out stone. They pay me $3.50 a day 'til de Parr Shoals Power come in

wid 'lectric power drills and I was cut down to eighty cents a day. Then

I say: 'Old grey hoss! Damn 'lectric toolin', I's gwine to leave.' I

went to Hopewell, Virginia, and work wid de DuPonts for five years. War

come on and they ask me to work on de acid area. De atmosphere dere tear

all de skin off my face and arms, but I stuck it out to de end of de big

war, for $7.20 a day. I drunk a good deal of liquor then, but I sent

money to Carrie all de time and fetch her a roll every fourth of July

and on Christmas. After de war they dismantle de plant and I come back

to work for Mr. Eleazer, on de Saluda River for $2.00 a day, for five


"Carrie have chillun by me. Dere was Anderson, my son, ain't see him in

forty years. Essie, my daughter, marry Herbert Perrin. Dora, another

daughter, marry Ed Owens. Ed makes good money workin' at de factory in

Winnsboro. They have seven chillun. Us tries to keep them chillun in

school but they don't have de good times I had when a child, a eatin'

cracklin' bread and buttermilk, liver, pig-tails, hog-ears and turnip


"Does I 'member anything 'bout de Klu Kluxes? Jesus, yes! My old

marster, de doctor, in goin' 'round, say out loud to people dat Klu

Kluxes was doin' some things they ought not to do, by 'stortin' money

out of niggers just 'cause they could.

"When he was gone to Union one day, a low-down pair of white men come,

wid false faces, to de house and ask where Dick Bell was. Miss Nancy say

her don't know. They go hunt for him. Dick made a bee-line for de

house. They pull out hoss pistols, fust time, 'pow'. Dick run on, secon'

time, 'pow'. Dick run on, third time, 'pow' and as Dick reach de front

yard de ball from de third shot keel him over lak a hit rabbit. Old miss

run out but they git him. Her say: 'I give you five dollars to let him

'lone.' They say: 'Not 'nough.' Her say: 'I give you ten dollars.' They

say: 'Not 'nough.' Her say: 'I give you fifteen dollars.' They say: 'Not

'nough.' Her say: 'I give you twenty-five dollars.' They take de money

and say: 'Us'll be back tomorrow for de other Dick.' They mean Dick


"Nex' day, us see them a comin' again. Dick James done load up de

shotgun wid buckshot. When they was comin' up de front steps, Uncle Dick

say to us all in de big house: 'Git out de way!' De names of de men us

find out afterwards was Bishop and Fitzgerald. They come up de steps,

wid Bishop in de front. Uncle Dick open de door, slap dat gun to his

shoulder, and pull de trigger. Dat man Bishop hollers: 'Oh Lordy.' He

drop dead and lay dere 'til de coroner come. Fitzgerald leap 'way. They

bring Dick to jail, try him right in dat court house over yonder. What

did they do wid him? Well, when Marse Bill Stanton, Marse Elisha

Ragsdale and Miss Nancy tell 'bout it all from de beginnin' to de end,

de judge tell de jury men dat Dick had a right to protect his home, and

hisself, and to kill dat white man and to turn him loose. Dat was de end

of de Klu Kluxes in Fairfield."

Anderson And Minerva Edwards Anderson Furr facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail