Slave Narratives

Federal Writers’ Project. WPA Slave Narratives. Web. 2007.

WPA Slave Narratives

Slave narratives are stories of surviving slaves told in their own words and ways. Unique, colorful, and authentic, these slave narratives provide a look at the culture of the South during slavery which heretofore had not been told.

The Missing Man

The Missing Man: “In 1860 Mr. Jess Stevens owned a negro slave, and his wife. Jess Williams, who lived in the north end of the county, bought the old slave, but did not buy his wife. “One day one of Jess William’s boys went to Edward Stevens and an argument followed, causing Mr. Stevens to …

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Slave Narratives – Supplementary Instructions

Works Progress Administration Federal Writers’ Project 1500 Eye St. N.W. Washington, D.C. Supplementary Instructions #9-E To The American Guide Manual Folklore Stories From Ex-Slaves Note: In some states it may be possible to locate only a very few ex-slaves, but an attempt should be made in every state. Interesting ex-slave data has recently been reported …

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Slave Narratives – Negro Dialect Suggestions

Sent to: North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma. April 14, 1937 Mr. Edwin Bjorkman State Director, Federal Writers’ Project Works Progress Administration City Hall, Fifth Floor Asheville, North Carolina Dear Mr. Bjorkman: We have received more stories of ex-slaves and are gratified by the quality and interest …

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Slave Narratives – Modification of Instructions

Memorandum July 30, 1937. To: State Directors Of The Federal Writers’ Project From: Henry G. Alsberg, Director The following general suggestions are being sent to all the States where there are ex-slaves still living. They will not apply in to your State as they represent general conclusions reached after reading the mass of ex-slave material …

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Slave Narrative of Young Winston Davis

Interviewer: Rachel Davis Person Interviewed: Young Winston Davis Location: Jacksonville, Florida Age: 62 Occupation: Preacher Young Winston Davis states that he was born in Ozark, Alabama, June 28, 1855 on the plantation of Charles Davis who owned about seven hundred slaves and was considered very wealthy. Kindness and consideration for his slaves, made them love …

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Slave Narrative of Willis Williams

Interviewer: Viola B. Muse Person Interviewed: Willis Williams Location: Jacksonville, Florida Occupation: Carpenter, Mail Clerk Willis Williams of 1025 Iverson Street, Jacksonville, Florida, was born at Tallahassee, Florida, September 15, 1856. He was the son of Ransom and Wilhemina Williams, who belonged during the period of slavery to Thomas Heyward, a rich merchant of Tallahassee. …

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Slave Narrative of William Williams

Interviewer: Chas. McCulloughPerson Interviewed: William WilliamsLocation: Canton, OhioPlace of Birth: Caswell County, North CarolinaDate of Birth: April 14, 1857Place of ResidenceL 1227 Rex Ave. S.E. Canton, Ohio Ex-Slaves Stark County, District 5 Aug 13, 1937 WILLIAM WILLIAMS, Ex-Slave Interview with William Williams, 1227 Rex Ave. S.E. Canton, O. “I was born a slave in Caswell …

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Slave Narrative of William Sherman

Interviewer: J. M. Johnson Person Interviewed: William Sherman Location: Chaseville, Florida In Chaseville, Florida, about twelve miles from Jacksonville on the south side of the Saint Johns River lives William Sherman (locally pronounced Schumann,) a former slave of Jack Davis, nephew of President Jefferson Davis of the Confederacy. William Sherman was born on the plantation …

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