Mandy Coverson

N. C. District: No. 2 [320150]

Worker: Mary A. Hicks

No. Words: 433


Story Teller: Mandy Coverson

Editor: Daisy Bailey Waitt

[TR: Date Stamp "JUN 7 1937"]


Ex-Slave Story

An interview with Mandy Coverson, 78, of 103 South Wilmington Street,


I wuz borned in Union County to Sarah an' Henderson Tomberlin. My

mother belonged to Mr. Moses Coverson, an' my pappy belonged to Mr.

Jackie Tom Tomberlin. I stayed wid my mammy, of course, an' Marster

Moses wuz good ter me. Dey warn't so good ter my mammy, case dey makes

her wuck frum sunup till sundown in de hot summertime, an' she ain't had

no fun at all. She plowed two oxes, an' if'en yo' has eber been around a

steer yo' knows what aggravatin' things dey is.

De oberseer, whose name I'se plumb forget, wuz pore white trash an' he

wuz meaner dan de meanest nigger. Anyhow I wuz too little ter do much

wuck so I played a heap an' I had a big time.

My mammy, died 'fore I wuz very old an' missus kept me in de house. I

wuz petted by her, an' I reckon spoiled. Yo' knows dat den de niggers

ain't neber eat no biscuits but missus always gimmie one eber meal an'

in dat way she got me interested in waitin' on de table.

I wuzn't old enough ter know much, but I does 'member how de fambly hid

all de valuables 'fore de Yankees come, an' dat Marster Moses in

pickin' up de big brass andirons hurt his back an' dey said dat dat wuz

de cause of his death a little while atterwards. Anyhow de andirons wuz

saved an' dar warn't no trouble wid de Yankees who comed our way, an'

dey ain't hurt nobody dar.

Dey did kill all de things dat dey could eat an' dey stold de rest of

de feed stuff. Dey make one nigger boy draw water fer dere hosses fer a

day an' night. De Yankees wuz mean 'bout cussin', but de southern

soldiers wuz jist as bad. Wheeler's Cavalry wuz de meanest in de whole

bunch, I thinks.

De Ku Kluxes wuz pretty mean, but dey picked dere spite on de Free

Issues. I doan know why dey done dis 'cept dat dey ain't wantin' no

niggers a-favorin' dem nigh by, now dat slavery am ober. Dey done a heap

of beatin' an' chasin' folkses out'n de country but I 'specks dat de

Carpet Bagger's rule wuz mostly de cause of it.

I married Daniel Coverson, a slave on de same plantation I wuz on, an'

forty years ago we moved ter Raleigh. We had a hard time but I'se glad

dat he an' me am free an' doan belong ter two diff'ent famblies.


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