Dan Bogie

Garrard County. Ex-Slave Stories.

(Eliza Ison) [HW: Ky 9]

Interview with Dan Bogie:

Uncle Dan tells me "he was born May 5, 1858 at the Abe Wheeler place

near Spoonsville, now known as Nina, about nine miles due east from

Lancaster. Mother, whose name was Lucinda Wheeler, belonged to the

Wheeler family. My father was a slave of Dan Bogie's, at Kirksville, in

Madison County, and I was named for him. My mother's people were born in

Garrard County as far as I know. I had one sister, born in 1860, who is

now dead, and is buried not far from Lancaster. Marse Bogie owned about

200 acres of land in the eastern section of the county, and as far as I

can remember there were only four slaves on the place. We lived in a

one-room cabin, with a loft above, and this cabin was an old fashioned

one about hundred yards from the house. We lived in one room, with one

bed in the cabin. The one bed was an old fashioned, high post corded bed

where my father and mother slept. My sister and me slept in a trundle

bed, made like the big bed except the posts were made smaller and was on

rollers, so it could be rolled under the big bed. There was also a

cradle, made of a wooden box, with rockers nailed on, and my mother told

me that she rocked me in that cradle when I was a baby. She used to sit

and sing in the evening. She carded the wool and spun yarn on the old

spinning wheel. My grandfather was a slave of Talton Embry, whose farm

joined the Wheeler farm. He made shingles with a steel drawing knife,

that had a wooden handle. He made these shingles in Mr. Embry's yard. I

do not remember my grandmother, and I didn't have to work in slave days,

because my mother and father did all the work except the heavy farm

work. My Mistus used to give me my winter clothes. My shoes were called

brogans. My old master had shoes made. He would put my foot on the

floor and mark around it for the measure of my shoes.

Most of the cooking was in an oven in the yard, over the bed of coals.

Baked possum and ground hog in the oven, stewed rabbits, fried fish and

fired bacon called "streaked meat" all kinds of vegetables, boiled

cabbage, pone corn bread, and sorghum molasses. Old folks would drink

coffee, but chillun would drink milk, especially butter milk.

Old master would call us about 4 o'clock, and everybody had to get up

and go to "Starring"[TR:?]. Old Marse had about 30 or 40 sugar trees

which were tapped, in February. Elder spiles were stuck in the taps for

the water to drop out in the wooden troughs, under the spiles. These

troughs were hewed out of buckeye. This maple water was gathered up and

put in a big kettle, hung on racks, with a big fire under it. It was

then taken to the house and finished upon the stove. The skimmings after

it got to the syrup stage was builed down and made into maple sugar for

the children.

We wore tow linen clothes in summer and jeans in winter. Sister wore

linsey in winter of different colors, dyed from herbs, especially poke

berries; and wore unbleached cotton in summer, dyed with yellow mustard


My grandfather, Jim Embry mended shoes and made fairly good ones.

There were four slaves. My mother did cooking and the men did the work.

Bob Wheeler and Arch Bogie were our masters. Both were good and kind to

us. I never saw a slave shipped, for my boss did not believe in that

kind of punishment. My master had four boys, named Rube, Falton, Horace,

and Billie. Rube and me played together and when we acted bad old Marse

always licked Rube three or four times harder then he did me because

Rube was older. Their daughter was named American Wheeler, for her


White folks did not teach us to read and write. I learned that after I

left my white folks. There was no church for slaves, but we went to the

white folks church at Mr. Freedom. We sat in the gallery. The first

colored preacher I ever heard was old man Leroy Estill. He preached in

the Freedom meeting house (Baptist). I stood on the banks of Paint Lick

Creek and saw my mother baptized, but do not remember the preachers name

or any of the songs they sung.

We did not work on Saturday afternoon. The men would go fishing, and the

women would go to the neighbors and help each other piece quilts. We

used to have big times at the corn shuckings. The neighbors would come

and help. We would have camp fires and sing songs, and usually a big

dance at the barn when the corn was shucked. Some of the slaves from

other plantations would pick the banjo, then the dance. Miss Americe

married Sam Ward. I was too young to remember only that they had good

things to eat.

I can remember when my mothers brother died. He was buried at the

Wheeler, but I do not recall any of the songs, and they did not have a

preacher. My mother took his death so hard.

There was an old ash hopper, made of slats, put together at the bottom

and wide at the top. The ashes were dumped in this and water poured over

them. A drip was made and lye caught in wooden troughs. This was then

boiled down and made into soap. My mother let me help stir it many a

time. Then the big kettle would be lifted from the fire and left until

cold. My mother would then block it off, and put on a wooden plank to

dry out until ready for use."


Interview with Dan Bogie, Ex-Slave.

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