Pick Gladdeny

Project 1885-1

Ex-slave--(Pick Gladdeny, Pomaria, Rt. 3, S.C.

Interviewer: Caldwell Sims, Union, S.C.


Typist: Louise Dawkins, Rt. 4, Union, S.C.

"Ah sees all through 'im now. Naw, sir, Ah doesn't know whar Ah wuz

bawn, maybe in Fairfield, maybe in the Dutch Fork, Ah doesn't know, Ah

won't dar. It wuz on May 15, 1856. Ah 'spec Ah could've been born on Mr.

Joe Hellar's place, you knows dat down on Hellar Creek.

"Ah'se old enough to go to de speechin' dat Dan White made on "Maybinton

Day" (emancipation speech at Maybinton, S.C.). You axes me more than I

can answer, Site of folks dar all day, settin' aroun. Us clam trees, so

us could see and hear. I sho did listen but I don't 'member nothin' what

de man say. I knows dis dat I still hears dat band music ringing in my

ears. At dat time I was so young dat all I cared about on dat day, was

the brass band what let out so much music. Niggers being free never

meant nothing to us chaps, cause we never had no mind fer all such as

that nohow. Dat de first band dat I ever seed, and to tell you de truf I

never seed no more till the World War fotch de soldiers all through

here. Bands charms me so much dat dey just plumb tickles the tips of my

toes on both feets.

"Squire William Hardy was de man dat I worked for when I had done turned

five. Dey teach me to bring in chips, kindling wood, fire wood and

water. I learnt to make Marse's fire ever morning. Dat won't no trouble,

cause all I had to do was rake back de ashes from the coals and throw on

some chips and lightwood and de fire come right up. Won't long 'fore I

was big enough to draw water and bring in big wood. You knows what big

fire places they got down dar cause Squire Hardy--Mr. Dick's Pa, and Pa

and Heyward and Frank's grandpa.

"Squire Hardy was a good man so was Mr. Dick. Mr. Dick was dat smart

till he just naturally never forgot nothing that was told to him. If he

was a-living, he could tell you way back before de Squire's time. I was

right dar at Squire Hardy's dat day Freedom come and de band come to


"Going farther back than this, droves of niggers used to come down the

road by Squire Hardy's front gate. Yes, sir, a overseer used to come

through here driving niggers; just like us drives cows and hogs up

around this big road these days and times. One day Squire Hardy went out

and stopped a drove coming down de road in the dust. He pick him out a

good natured looking darky and give the overseer one eye contrary

niggers, what nobody didn't like for the good-natured ones. Ain't got no

more to say. I does not remember but I has heared about the time when

my ma moved from Hellar's Plantation in the Dutch Fork to the Tom Lyles

quarter in Fairfield. My ma's name Sally Murphy. Her master was Dave

Murphy. He stayed at Tom Lyles. Mistus Betsy (Dave Murphy) cared for

her. Mr. Dave Murphy overseed for Capt. Tom Lyles who lived about two

miles from Lyles' Ford on Broad River.

"I don't know what things has gone to. So much diffence in everthing now

than it was back in dem days. Don't know nothing about no Booker T.

Washington. I sees much but hears little 'bout dat what I doesn't see,

Yes, siree boy, all such little 'muck' go in one ear and come out

tother'n wid me. Dat's de talk fer dese young niggers dats eddicated,

and I ain't dat bad off.

"Winnsboro fust town I ever seed, but it don't favor itself now.

"Maybinton the place I love best in all the world. Most my life is right

here. I'll be buried in Hardy graveyard, whar my white folks dat was so

good to me lie sleeping, and dat's whar my ma and pa and others that I

loves lies too.

"Post office at Maybinton is whar Miss Bessie Oxner stay. Bill Oxner,

her pa kept de post office from de time it started till they stopped it,

fur as I knows. It look better then than it does now. Mr. Bill Oxner

pretty good man.

"He was a settled man. His wife was a good-looking lady who before her

marriage was a Bethune.

"Dar was a big store at the end of Mr. W. B. Whitney's plantation. Dis

along to'd first of Freedom. Mr. Slattery lived twixt the Maybins and

the Whitney's house. The store upon the end was kept by Mr. Pettus Chick

and Mr. Bill Oxner. It was a good store. Didn't have to go to Newber'y

to git no candy and 'Bacco. And Dr. Jim Ruff was de doctor what tended

to folks in dem parts when dey got sick.

"De old Buck when I first knowed it was run fer a dwelling house by Mr.

Jeff Stewart. I been knowed Maybinton all my life. But when I come along

stages had done gone out but that's where dey stopped when they come

from Spring Hill. I'se heared dat de Buck had large stables and a lots

of folks stop there and rested overnight on their way to the Springs.

(Glenn's, Chick's, and West Springs.)

"Used to rather dance than to eat. Started out at sundown and git back

to the Whitney's at daybreak, den from dar run all de way to Squire

Hardy's to git dar by sunup. Pats our feets and knocks tin pans was the

music dat us niggers danced to all night long. Put on my clean clothes

dat was made right on the plantation and wear them to the dance. Gals

wore their homespun stockings. Wore the dresses so long dat they

kivered their shoes. My britches were copperus colored and I had on a

home wove shirt with a pleated bosom. It was dyed red and had

wristbands. I wore that shirt for five years.

"Didn't have no nigger churches down dar den. We went to Chapman's

stand. It had a brush top and log seats. The darkies from the Hardy

Plantation walked five miles to hear a nigger from Union preach. He driv

a one horse waggin and course he stayed around from place to place and

the folks take care of him and his mule. Big Jim Henderson owned

Chapman's stand which was in the Glymp quarter. The Glymp quarter still

got the best land in our settlement yet. All my 'quaintances done left

me, fac' is, most of them done crossed over de river. Folks meets me and

speaks familiar. I axes, "Who is that?" I used to deal with Mr. Bee

Thompson in Union.

"I'se got some business to tend to in Union soon and I spec I be up

there in short to see is it anything familiar dar."

Phyllis Petite Pierce Cody facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail