Jerry Hinton

N. C. District: No. 2 [320218]

Worker: T. Pat Matthews

No. Words: 997


Person Interviewed: Jerry Hinton

Editor: Daisy Bailey Waitt

[TR: No Date Stamp]


My full name is Jerry Hinton. I wus borned in February, 1855. I am not

able ter work. I work all I can. I am trying ter do de best I can ter

help myself. Yes, just tryin' ter do sumpin, ain't able ter work much. I

am ruptured, an' old. My old house looks 'bout old as I do, it's 'bout

to fall down, ain't able ter fix it up. It needs repairing. I ain't able

ter make no repairs.

I wus born on a plantation in Wake County. My master wus Richard

Seawell, an' Missus wus named Adelaide. His plantation wus on Neuse

River. He had two plantations, but I wus a little boy, an' don't

remember how many acres in de plantation or how many slaves. There wus a

lot of 'em tho'. I would follow master 'round an' look up in his face so

he would give me biscuit an' good things ter eat.

My mother, before marriage, wus named Silvia Seawell, an' father wus

named Andrew Hinton. Atter they wus married mother went by the name of

Hinton, my father's family name. I had--I don't know--mos' anything wus

good ter me. Master brought me biscuit an' I thought that wus the

greatest thing at all. Yes, I got purty good food. Our clothes wus not

fine, but warm. I went barefooted mos' o' the time, an' in summer I went

in my shirt tail.

Dey called de slave houses 'quarters', de house where de overseer lived

wus de 'Overseer's House'. Master had a overseer to look atter his men;

De overseer wus named Bridgers. De house where Master lived wus de

'Great House'.

Dey would not allow us any books. I cannot read an' write. I have seen

de patterollers, but I neber saw' em whip nobody; but I saw' em lookin'

fer somebody ter whup. I've neber seen a slave sold. I've neber seen a

jail fer slaves or slaves in chains. I have seen master whup slaves

though. I wus neber whupped. Dey wrung my ears an' pulled my nose to

punish me.

Dere wus no churches on de plantation, but we had prayer meetin's in our

homes. We went to de white folks church. My father used to take me by de

hand an' carry me ter church. Daddy belonged ter de Iron Side Baptist

Church. We called our fathers 'daddy' in slavery time. Dey would not let

slaves call deir fathers 'father'. Dey called 'em 'daddy', an' white

children called deir father, 'Pa'. I didn't work any in slavery time,

'cept feed pigs, an' do things fer my master; waited on him. I went

'round wid him a lot, an' I had rather see him come on de plantation

any time dan to see my daddy. I do not remember any possums or other

game being eaten at our house. I do not remember eber goin' a-fishin

durin' slavery time.

Master had two boys ter go off ter de war. Dey carried 'em off ter de

war. I don't know how many children dey had, but I remember two of 'em

goin' off ter de war. Don't know what became of 'em.

I shore remember de Yankees. Yes sir, Ha! ha! I shore remember dem. Dem

Yankees tore down an' drug out ever'thing, dey come across. Dey killed

hogs, an' chickens. Dey took only part of a hog an' lef' de rest. Dey

shot cows, an' sometimes jest cut off de hind quarters an' lef de rest.

Dey knocked de heads out o' de barrels o' molasses. Dey took horses,

cows an' eber'thing, but they did not hurt any o' de children. Dey wus

folks dat would tear down things.

Atter de surrender my mother moved over on de plantation where my father

stayed. We stayed dere a long time, an' den we moved back to Richard

Seawell's, old master's plantation, stayin' dere a long time. Den we

moved to Jessie Taylor's place below Raleigh between Crabtree Creek an'

Neuse River. When we lef' Taylor's we moved ter Banner Dam northeast of

Raleigh near Boone's Pond. Mother an' father both died dere. Atter

leaving dere I come here. I have lived in Oberlin ebery since. Guess

I'll die here; if I can git de money to pay my taxes, I know I will die


I think slavery wus good because I wus treated all right. I think I am

'bout as much a slave now as ever.

I don't think any too much o' Abraham Lincoln, Jeff Davis or any o' dem

men. Don't know much 'bout 'em. Guess Mr. Roosevelt is all right. 'Bout

half the folks both black an' white is slaves an' don't know it. When I

wus a slave I had nothin' on me, no responsibility on any of us, only to

work. Didn't have no taxes to pay, neber had to think whur de next meal

wus comin' from.

Dis country is in a bad fix. Looks like sumptin got to be done someway

or people, a lot of 'em, are goin' to parish to death. Times are hard,

an' dey is gettin' worse. Don't know how I am goin' to make it, if I

don't git some help. We been prayin' fer rain. Crops are done injured,

but maybe de Lawd will help us. Yes, I trust in de Lawd.

I been married twice. I married Henritta Nunn first, an' den Henritta

Jones. I had three children by first marriage, an' none b [HW: y] second

marriage. My wife is over seventy years old. We have a hard time making

enough to git a little sumptin to eat. I wus mighty glad to see you

when you come up dis mornin', an' I hopes what I have told you will help

some one to know how bad we need help. I feels de Lawd will open up de

way. Yes sir, I do.


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