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Mary Belle Dempsey




From: Ohio

Betty Lugabell, Reporter [TR: also reported as Lugabill]
Harold Pugh, Editor
R.S. Drum, Supervisor
Jun 9, 1937

Folklore: Ex-Slaves
Paulding Co., District 10

MARY BELLE DEMPSEY
Ex-Slave, 87 years


"I was only two years old when my family moved here, from Wilford
county, Kentucky. 'Course I don't remember anything of our slave days,
but my mother told me all about it."

"My mother and father were named Sidney Jane and William Booker. I had
one brother named George William Booker."

"The man who owned my father and mother was a good man." He was good to
them and never 'bused them. He had quite a large plantation and owned 26

slaves. Each slave family had a house of their own and the women of each
family prepared the meals, in their cabins. These cabins were warm and
in good shape."

"The master farmed his land and the men folks helped in the fields but
the women took care of their homes."

"We had our churches, too. Sometimes the white folks would try to cause
trouble when the negroes were holding their meetings, then a night the
men of the church would place chunks and matches on the white folks gate
post. In the morning the white folks would find them and know that it
was a warning if they din't quit causing trouble their buildings would
be burned."

"There was a farm that joined my parents' master's place and the owner
was about ready to sell the mother slave with her five small children.
The children carried on so much because they were to be separated that
the mistress bought them back although she had very little money to
spare."

"I don't know any more slave stories, but now I am getting old, and I
know that I do not have long to live, but I'm not sorry, I am, ready to
go. I have lived as the Lord wants us to live and I know that when I die
I shall join many of my friends and relatives in the Lord's place.
Religion is the finest thing on earth. It is the one and only thing that
matters."




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