Milly Henry





N. C. District: No. 2 [320015]

Worker: Mary A. Hicks

Subject: Ex-Slave Story

Story Teller: Milly Henry

Editor: Daisy Bailey Waitt



[TR: Date Stamp "JUN 26 1937"]



EX-SLAVE STORY





An interview with Milly Henry 82 of 713 South East Street, Raleigh, N. C.



I wus borned a slave ter Mr. Buck Boylan in Yazoo City, Mississippi. I

doan know nothin' 'bout my family 'cept my gran'maw an' she died in

Mississippi durin' de war.



Marster Buck owned three plantations dar, de Mosley place, Middle place,

an' de Hill place. Me an' gran'maw lived at de Mosley place. One day

Marster Buck comes in, an' we sees dat he am worried stiff; atter awhile

he gangs us up, an' sez ter us:



De Yankees am a-comin' to take my slaves 'way from me an' I don't 'pose

dat dey am gwine ter do dat. Fer dem reasons we leaves fer No'th

Carolina day atter termorror an' I ain't gwine ter hyar no jaw 'bout

hit.'



Dat day he goes over de slaves an' picks out 'roun' five hundret ter go.

He picks me out, but my gran'maw he sez dat he will leave case she am so

old an' feeble. I hates dat, but I don't say nothin' at all.



We leaves home in kivered wagons, wid a heap walkin' an' in 'bout three

weeks, I reckon, we gits ter Raleigh. You should have been 'long on dat

trip, honey; When we camps side of de road an' sleeps on de groun' an'

cooks our rations at de camp fires. I think dat dat wus one spring 'fore

de surrender wus de nex'.



Marster Buck carries us ter Boylan Avenue dar whar de bridge am now an'

we camps fer a few days, but den he sen's us out ter de Crabtree

plantation. He also buys a place sommers east o' Raleigh an' sen's some

dar.



I misses my gran'maw fer awhile, but at last Uncle Green comes from

Mississippi an' he sez dat gran'maw am daid, so I pretty quick stops

worrin' over hit.



Marster' cides ter hire some o' us out, an' so I gits hired out ter Miss

Mary Lee, who I wucks fer till she got so pore she can't feed me, den I

is hired out ter Miss Sue Blake an' sent ter de Company Shop up above

Durham.



Miss Mary wus good, but Miss Sue she whup me, so I runs away. I went

barefooted an' bareheaded ter de train, an' I gits on. Atter awhile de

conductor comes fer a ticket an' I ain't got none. He axes me whar I'se

gwine an' I tells him home, so he brung me on ter Raleigh.



I went right home an' tol' Mr. Buck dat Miss Sue whupped me, an' dat I

runned away. He said dat hit wus all right, an' he hired me out ter Mis'

Lee Hamilton who lived dar on de Fayetteville Street.



She wus a widder an' run a boardin' house an' dar's whar I seed de

first drunk man dat eber I seed. He put de back o' his knife ginst my

neck an' said dat he wus gwine ter cut my throat. I tell you dat I is

knowed a drunk eber since dat time.



I wus drawin' water at de well at de end of Fayetteville Street when de

Yankees comed. I seed 'em ridin' up de street wid deir blue coats

shinin' an' deir hosses steppin' high. I knowed dat I ought ter be

skeered but I ain't, an' so I stands dar an' watches.



Suddenly as dey passes de bank out rides two mens frum Wheeler's calvary

an' dey gits in de middle o' de street one of de hosses wheels back an'

de man shot right at de Yankees, den he flewed frum dar.



Two of de Yankees retracts frum de army an' dey flies atter de Rebs.

When de Rebs git ter de Capitol one o' dem flies down Morgan Street an'

one goes out Hillsboro Street wid de Yankees hot in behin' him.



Dey ketched him out dar at de Hillsboro Bridge when his hoss what wus

already tired, stumbles an' he falls an' hurts his leg.



Durin' dat time de big man wid de red hair what dey calls Kilpatrick

brung his men up on de square an' sets under de trees an' a gang o'

people comes up.



When dey brung de young good lookin' Reb up ter de redheaded Gen'l he

sez 'What you name Reb?'



De boy sez, 'Robert Walsh, sir.



What for did you done go an' shoot at my army?



"Case I hates de Yankees an' I wush dat dey wus daid in a pile," de Reb

sez, an' laughs.



"De Gen'l done got his dander up now, an' he yells," 'Carry de Reb

sommers out'r sight o' de ladies an' hang him.'



De Reb laughs an' sez, 'kin' o' you sir,' an' he waves goodbye ter de

crowd an' dey carried him off a laughin' fit ter kill.



Dey hanged him on a ole oak tree in de Lovejoy grove, whar de Governor's

mansion am now standin' an' dey buried him under de tree.



Way atter de war dey moved his skileton ter Oakwood Cemetery an' put him

up a monument. His grave wus kivered wid flowers, an' de young ladies

cry.



He died brave do', an' he kep' laughin' till his neck broke. I wus dar

an' seed hit, furdermore dar wus a gang of white ladies dar, so dey

might as well a hanged him on de Capitol Square.



De Yankees wus good ter me, but hit shore wus hard ter git a job do',

an' so I ain't fared as good as I did' fore de war.



Mr. Buck wus good ter us. Sometimes he'd lose his temper an' cuss, den

he'd say right quick, 'God forgive me, I pray.' Dat man believed in

'ligion. When de oberseer, George Harris, 'ud start ter beat a slave dey

larned ter yell fer Mr. Buck an' make lak dey wus gittin' kilt.



Mr. Buck'd come stompin' an' yellin' 'stop beatin' dat nigger.



Course dis ruint de slaves, case dey could talk lak dey pleased ter Mr.

Harris, an' iffen dey could yell loud nuff dey ain't got no whuppin'.



Yessum, I'se glad slavery am over; we owns dis home an' some chickens,

but we shore does need de ole age pension. I'se got two fine gran'sons,

but let me tell you dey needs ter wuck harder, eat less, an' drink less.



On de count o' dem boys I wants de ABC Stores so's dey won't drink box

lye.



EH





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