Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

Download links will be available after you disable the ad blocker and reload the page.

Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves South Carolina Narratives, Part 1

Download options:

  • 295.23 KB
  • 960.13 KB
  • 421.92 KB




"Marse Glenn had 64 slaves. On Sat'day night, de darkies would have a little fun on de side. A way off from de big house, down in de pastur' dar wuz about de bigges' gully what I is ebber seed. Dat wuz de place whar us collected mos' ev'ry Sa'day night fer our lil' mite o' fun frum de white folks hearin'. Sometime it wuz so dark dat you could not see de fingers on yo' han' when you would raise it fo' your face. Dem wuz sho' schreechy nights; de schreechiest what I is ever witnessed, in all o' my born natu'al days. Den of cose, dar wuz de moonlight nights when a darky could see; den he see too much. De pastur' wuz big and de trees made dark spots in it on de brightest nights. All kind o' varmints tuck and hollered at ye as ye being gwine along to reach dat gully. Cose us would go in droves sometime, and den us would go alone to de gully sometime. When us started together, look like us would git parted 'fo we reach de gully all together. One of us see som'tin and take to runnin'. Maybe de other darkies in de drove, de wouldn't see nothin' jes den. Dats zactly how it is wid de spirits. De mout (might) sho de'self to you and not to me. De acts raal queer all de way round. Dey can take a notion to scare de daylights outtin you when you is wid a gang; or dey kin scare de whole gang; den, on de other hand, dey kin sho de'self off to jes two or three. It ain't never no knowin' as to how and when dem things is gwine to come in your path right fo your very eyes; specially when you is partakin' in some raal dark secret whar you is planned to act raal sof' and quiet like all de way through.

"Dem things bees light on dark nights; de shines de'self jes like dese 'lectric lights does out dar in dat street ever' night, 'cept dey is a scaird waary light dat dey shines wid. On light nights, I is seed dem look, furs dark like a tree shad'er; den dey gits raal scairy white. T'aint no use fer white folks to low dat it ain't no haints, an' grievements dat follows ye all around, kaise I is done had to many 'spriences wid dem. Den dare is dese young niggers what ain't fit to be called darkies, dat tries to ac' eddicated, and says dat it ain't any spe'rits dat walks de earth. When dey lows dat to me, I rolls my old eyes at dem an' axes dem how comes dey runs so fas' through de woods at night. Yes sirree, dem fool niggers sees dem jes as I does. Raaly de white folks doesn't have eyes fer sech as we darkies does; but dey bees dare jes de same.

"Never mindin' all o' dat, we n'used to steal our hog ever' sa'day night and take off to de gully whar us'd git him dressed and barbecued. Niggers has de mos'es fun at a barbecue dat dare is to be had. As none o' our gang didn't have no 'ligion, us never felt no scruples bout not gettin de 'cue' ready fo' Sunday. Us'd git back to de big house along in de evenin' o' Sunday. Den Marse, he come out in de yard an' low whar wuz you niggers dis mornin'. How come de chilluns had to do de work round here. Us would tell some lie bout gwine to a church 'siety meetin'....