Sarah Harris





N. C. District: No. 2 [320183]

Worker: Mary A. Hicks

No. Words: 660

Subject: AN EX-SLAVE STORY

Story Teller: Sarah Harris

Editor: Daisy Bailey Waitt



[HW: Good points]



[TR: Date Stamp "JUN 11 1937"]



SARAH HARRIS



Interviewed May 19, 1937.





Sarah Harris is my name. I wuz borned April 1861, on the plantation of

Master John William Walton. My father wuz name Frank Walton and my

mother wuz name Flora Walton. My brothers wuz name Lang and Johnny. My

sisters: Hannah, Mary, Ellen, Violet and Annie. My grandmother wuz name

Ellen Walton. She wuz 104 years old when she died. My mother wuz 103

years old when she died; she has been dead 3 years. She died in October,

3 years this pas' October.



I 'member seeing the Yankees. I wuz not afraid of 'em, I thought dey

were the prettiest blue mens I had ever seed. I can see how de chickens

and guineas flew and run from 'em. De Yankees killed 'em and give part

of 'em to the colored folks. Most of de white folks had run off and hid.



I can't read and write. I nebber had no chance.



De Yankees had their camps along the Fayetteville road.



Dey called us Dinah, Sam, and other names.



Dey later had de place dey call de bureau. When we left de white folks

we had nothing to eat. De niggers wait there at de bureau and they give

'em hard tack, white potatoes, and saltpeter meat. Our white folks give

us good things to eat, and I cried every day at 12 o'clock to go home.

Yes, I wanted to go back to my white folks; they were good to us. I

would say, 'papa le's go home, I want to go home. I don't like this

sumptin' to eat.' He would say, 'Don't cry, honey, le's stay here, dey

will sen' you to school.'



We had nothing to eat 'cept what de Yankees give us. But Mr. Bill

Crawford give my father and mother work. Yes, he wuz a Southern man, one

o' our white folks. Daddy wuz his butcher. My mother wuz his cook. We

were turned out when dey freed us with no homes and nuthin'. Master said

he wuz sorry he didn't give us niggers part of his lan'.



While I wuz big enough to work I worked for Porter Steadman. I got 25

cent a week and board. We had a good home then. I just shouted when I

got dat 25 cent, and I just run. I couldn't run fas' anuff to git to my

mother to give dat money to her. My father died, and my mother bought a

home. She got her first money to buy de home by working for de man who

give her work after de surrender. The first money she saved to put on de

home wuz a dime. Some weeks she only saved 5 cents. Lan' sold fur $10 a

acre den.



Just after de war de white and colored children played together. Dey had

a tent in our neighborhood. I wuz de cook for de white chilluns parties.

We played together fer a long time after de war.



I married Silas Cooper of Norfolk Va. He worked in the Navy yard. I wuz

married in Raleigh. I had a church wedding.



I think Abraham Lincoln wuz a great man. He would cure or kill. But I

like my ole master. The Lord put it into Abraham Lincoln to do as he

done. The Lord knowed he would be killed.



I think slavery wuz wrong. I have a horror of being a slave. You see all

dis lan' aroun' here. It belongs to colored folks. Dey were cut off wid

nothin', but dey is strugglin' an' dey are comin' on fast. De Bible say

dat de bottom rail will be on top, and it is comin' to pass. Sometime de

colored race will git up. De Bible say so.



I think Mr. Roosevelt is one of the greatest mans in de world. He wants

to help everybody.



I doan think much of Mr. Jeff Davis. Dey used to sing songs uv hanging

him to a apple tree. Dey say he libed a long time atter de war dressed

like a 'oman, he wuz so skeered.



TPM:EH





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