Lizzie Baker

N. C. District: No. 2 [320244]

Worker: T. Pat Matthews

No. Words: 745


Person Interviewed: Lizzie Baker

Editor: Daisy Bailey Waitt

[TR: No Date Stamp]


424 Smith Street

I was born de las' year o' de surrender an'course I don't remember

seein' any Yankee soldiers, but I knows a plenty my mother and father

tole me. I have neuritis, an' have been unable to work any fer a year

and fer seven years I couldn't do much.

My mother wus named Teeny McIntire and my father William McIntire.

Mammy belonged to Bryant Newkirk in Duplin County. Pap belonged to

someone else, I don't know who.

Dey said dey worked from light till dark, and pap said dey beat him so

bad he run away a lot o' times. Dey said de paterollers come to whare

dey wus havin' prayer meetin' and beat 'em.

Mammy said sometimes dey were fed well and others dey almost starved.

Dey got biscuit once a week on Sunday. Dey said dey went to de white

folks's church. Dey said de preachers tole 'em dey had to obey dere

missus and marster. My mammy said she didn't go to no dances 'cause she

wus crippled. Some o' de help, a colored woman, stole something when she

wus hongry. She put it off on mother and missus made mother wear

trousers for a year to punish her.

Mammy said dey gave de slaves on de plantation one day Christmas and

dat New Years wus when dey sold 'em an' hired 'em out. All de slaves wus

scared 'cause dey didn't know who would have to go off to be sold or to

work in a strange place. Pap tole me 'bout livin' in de woods and 'bout

dey ketchin' him. I 'member his owner's name den, it wus Stanley. He run

away so bad dey sold him several times. Pap said one time dey caught him

and nearly beat him to death, and jest as soon as he got well and got a

good chance he ran away again.

Mammy said when de Yankees come through she wus 'fraid of 'em. De

Yankees tole her not to be 'fraid of 'em. Dey say to her, 'Do dey treat

you right', Mammy said 'Yes sir', 'cause ole missus wus standin' dere,

an' she wus 'fraid not to say yes. Atter de war, de fust year atter de

surrender dey moved to James Alderman's place in Duplin County and

stayed dere till I wus a grown gal.

Den we moved to Goldsboro. Father wus a carpenter and he got a lot of

dat work. Dat's what he done in Goldsboro. We come from Goldsboro to

Raleigh and we have lived here every since. We moved here about de year

o' de shake and my mother died right here in Raleigh de year o' de

shake. Some of de things mother tole me 'bout slavery, has gone right

out of my min'. Jes comes and goes.

I remember pap tellin' me' bout stretchin' vines acrost roads and paths

to knock de patterollers off deir horses when dey were tryin' to ketch

slaves. Pap and mammy tole me marster and missus did not 'low any of de

slaves to have a book in deir house. Dat if dey caught a slave wid a

book in deir house dey whupped 'em. Dey were keerful not to let 'em

learn readin' and writin'.

Dey sold my sister Lucy and my brother Fred in slavery time, an' I have

never seen 'em in my life. Mother would cry when she was tellin' me

'bout it. She never seen 'em anymore. I jes' couldn't bear to hear her

tell it widout cryin'. Dey were carried to Richmond, an' sold by old

marster when dey were chillun.

We tried to get some news of brother and sister. Mother kept 'quiring

'bout 'em as long as she lived and I have hoped dat I could hear from

'em. Dey are dead long ago I recons, and I guess dare aint no use ever

expectin' to see 'em. Slavery wus bad and Mr. Lincoln did a good thing

when he freed de niggers. I caint express my love for Roosevelt. He has

saved so many lives. I think he has saved mine. I want to see him face

to face. I purely love him and I feel I could do better to see him and

tell him so face to face.


Liza Stiggers Lizzie Barnett facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail