Charlie H Hunter

N. C. District: No. 2 [320124]

Worker: T. Pat Matthews

No. Words: 645


Story Teller: C. H. Hunter

Editor: Geo. L. Andrews

[TR: Date Stamp "AUG 4 1937"]

CHARLIE H. HUNTER, 80 years old,

2213 Barker Street

West Raleigh

My full name is Charlie H. Hunter. I wus borned an' reared in Wake

County, N. C., born May, 1857. My mother wus Rosa Hunter an' my father

wus named Jones. I never saw my father. We belonged to a family named

Jones first, an' then we wus sold to a slave owner seven miles Northwest

by the name Joe Hayes an' a terrible man he wus. He would get mad 'bout

most anything, take my mother, chain her down to a log and whup her

unmercifully while I, a little boy, could do nothing but stan' there an'

cry, an' see her whupped. We had fairly good food an' common clothing.

We had good sleeping places. My mother wus sold to a man named Smith. I

married first Annie Hayes who lived sixteen months.

No prayer meetings wus allowed on de plantations an' no books of any

kind. I can read an' write, learned in a school taught by Northern folks

after the surrender, Mr. an' Mrs. Graves who taught in Raleigh in the

rear of the African Methodist Episcopal church. The school house wus

owned by the church. We played no games in slavery times. I saw slaves

sold on the block once in Raleigh.

I wus to be sold but the surrender stopped it. When the Yankees come

they asked me where wus my marster. I told them I didn't know. Marster

told me not to tell where he wus. He had gone off into the woods to hide

his silver. In a few minutes the ground wus covered with Yankees. The

Yankees stole my pen knife. I thought a lot of it. Knives wus scarce and

hard to get. I cried about they taking it. They got my marster's

carriage horses, two fine gray horses. His wife had lost a brother, who

had been in the army but died at home. He wus buried in the yard. The

Yankees thought the grave wus a place where valuables wus buried and

they had to get a guard to keep them from diggin' him up. They would

shoot hogs, cut the hams and shoulders off, stick them on their

bayonetts, throw them over the'r shoulders an' go on.

We called our houses shanties in slavery time. I never saw any

patterollers. I don't remember how many slaves on the plantation wus

taken to Richmond an' sold. My mother looked after us when we wus sick.

I had four brothers an' no sisters. They are all dead. I did house work

an' errands in slavery time. I have seen one gang of Ku Klux. They wus

under arrest at Raleigh in Governor Holden's time. I don't remember the


We moved to Raleigh at the surrender. Marster give us a old mule when we

left him, an' I rode him into Raleigh. We rented a house on Wilmington

Street, an' lived on hard tack the Yankees give us 'til we could git


Mother went to cooking for the white folks, but I worked for Mr. Jeff

Fisher. I held a job thirty-five years driving a laundry truck for L. R.

Wyatt. The laundry wus on the corner of Jones an' Salisbury Street.

I married Cenoro Freeman. We lived together fifty-six years. She wus a

good devoted wife. We wus married Dec. 9, 1878. She died in May

1934. [HW: bracket] Booker T. Washington wus a good man. I have seen him.

Abraham Lincoln wus one of my best friends. He set me free. The Lawd is

my best friend. I don't know much 'bout Jefferson Davis. Jim Young an'

myself wus pals.

My object in joining the church wus to help myself an' others to live a

decent life, a life for good to humanity an' for God.

Charlie Grant Charlie Hinton facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail