John Coggin

N. C. District: No. 2 [320188]

No. Words: 340

Worker: Mary A. Hicks

Subject: Ex-slave Story

Story Teller: John Coggin

Editor: Daisy Bailey Waitt

[TR: No Date Stamp]


Ex-Slave Story.

An interview with John Coggin 85, of Method, N. C.

When the interviewer first visited Uncle John he was busy cutting hay

for a white family nearby, swinging the scythe with the vigor of a young

man. In late afternoon he was found sitting on the doorsteps of his

granddaughter's house after a supper which certainly had onions on the

menu and was followed by something stronger than water.

"I was borned on March 1, 1852 in Orange County. My mammy wuz named

Phillis Fenn an' she wuz from Virginia. I ain't neber had no paw an' I

ain't wanted none, I ain't had no brothers nar sisters nother."

"We 'longed ter Doctor Jim Leathers, an' de only whuppin' I eber got wuz

'bout fightin' wid young Miss Agnes, who wuz sommers long' bout my age.

Hit wuz jist a little whuppin' but I' members hit all right."

"We wucked de fiel's, I totin' water fer de six or seben han's that

wucked dar. An' we jist wucked moderate like. We had plenty ter eat an'

plenty ter w'ar, do' we did go barefooted most of de year. De marster

shore wuz good ter us do'."

"I 'members dat de fust I hyard of de Yankees wuz when young marster

come in an' says, 'Lawd pa, de Yankees am in Raleigh.'"

"Dat ebenin' I wuz drawin' water when all of a sudden I looks up de

road, an' de air am dark wid Yankees. I neber seed so many mens, hosses

an' mules in my life. De band wuz playin' an' de soldiers wuz hollerin'

an' de hosses wuz prancin' high. I done what all of de rest o' de slaves

done, I run fer de woods."

"Atter de surrender we moved ter a place nigh Dix Hill hyar in Raleigh

an' my mammy married a Coggin, dar's whar I gits my name. All of us

slaves moved dar an' farmed."

"Way long time atter dat ole Marster Jim come ter visit his niggers, an'

we had a big supper in his honor. Dat night he died, an' 'fore he died

his min' sorta wanders an' he thinks dat hit am back in de slave days

an' dat atter a long journey he am comin' back home. Hit shore wuz

pitiful an' we shore did hate it."

"Yes 'um honey, we got 'long all right atter de war. You knows dat

niggers ain't had no sense den, now dey has. Look at dese hyar seben

chilluns, dey am my great gran'chillun an' dey got a heap mo' sense dan

I has right now."


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