Location: Jacksonville Florida

Where were Cape François and the May River?

Scholars have long assumed that Cape François was either present day Cape Canaveral They have also assumed that the May River was the St. Johns River.  However, the distances between these points and Beaufort, SC (Port Royal Sound) don’t seem to correlate with the time that French fleet spent to travel. De Laudonniére’s memoirs state that the fleet sailed directly from Cape François to the outlet of the May River in two weeks.  They spent two weeks more exploring a series of islands and rivers between the May River and Port Royal. They stopped to explore inlets and rivers. Late

Slave Narrative of Frank Berry

Interviewer: Pearl Randolph Person Interviewed: Frank Berry Location: Jacksonville, Florida Age: 78 Frank Berry, living at 1614 west Twenty-Second street, Jacksonville, Florida, claims to be a grandson of Osceola, last fighting chief of the Seminole tribe. Born in 1858 of a mother who was part of the human chattel belonging to one of the Hearnses of Alachua County in Florida, he served variously during his life as a State and Federal Government contractor, United States Marshal (1881), Registration Inspector (1879). Being only eight years of age when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, he remembers little of his life as a

Slave Narrative of Acie Thomas

Interviewer: Pearl Randolph Person Interviewed: Acie Thomas Location: Jacksonville, Florida Age: 79 Mr. Thomas was at home today. There are many days when one might pass and repass the shabby lean-to that is his home without seeing any signs of life. That is because he spends much of his time foraging about the streets of Jacksonville for whatever he can get in the way of food or old clothes, and perhaps a little money. He is a heavily bearded, bent old man and a familiar figure in the residential sections of the city, where he earns or begs a very

Slave Narrative of Samuel Simeon Andrews

Interviewer: Rachel A. Austin Person Interviewed: Samuel Simeon Andrews Location: Jacksonville, Florida Age: 86 For almost 30 years Edward Waters College, an African Methodist Episcopal School, located on the north side of Kings Road in the western section of Jacksonville, has employed as watchman, Samuel Simeon Andrews (affectionately called “Parson”), a former slave of A.J. Lane of Georgia, Lewis Ripley of Beaufort, South Carolina, Ed Tillman of Dallas, Texas, and John Troy of Union Springs, Alabama. “Parson” was born November 18, 1850 in Macon, Georgia, at a place called Tatum Square, where slaves were held, housed and sold. “Speculators” (persons

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 him. Reverend Davis was rather young during his years in slavery but when he was asked to tell something about the days of slavery, replied: “I remember many things about slavery, but know they will not come to me now; anyway, I’ll tell what I

Slave Narrative of Irene Coates

Interviewer: Viola B. Muse Person Interviewed: Irene Coates Location: Jacksonville, Florida Immediately after slavery in the United States, the southern white people found themselves without servants. Women who were accustomed to having a nurse, maid, cook and laundress found themselves without sufficient money to pay wages to all these. There was a great amount of work to be done and the great problem confronting married women who had not been taught to work and who thought it beneath their standing to soil their hands, found it very difficult. There were on the other hand many Negro women who needed work

Slave Narrative of Florida Clayton

Interviewer: Rachel A. Austin Person Interviewed: Florida Clayton Location: Jacksonville, Florida Age: 82 The life of Florida Clayton is interesting in that it illustrates the miscegenation prevalent during the days of slavery. Interesting also is the fact that Florida was not a slave even though she was a product of those turbulent days. Many years before her birth – March 1, 1854 – Florida’s great grandfather, a white man, came to Tallahassee, Florida from Washington, District of Columbia, with his children whom he had by his Negro slave. On coming to Florida, he set all of his children free except

Slave Narrative of Claude Augusta Wilson

Interviewer: James Johnson Person Interviewed: Claude Augusta Wilson Location: Sunbeam, Florida In 1857 on the plantation of Tom Dexter in Lake City, Columbia County, Florida, was born a Negro, Claude Augusta Wilson, of slave parents. His master Tom Dexter was very kind to his slaves, and was said to have been a Yankee. His wife Mary Ann Dexter, a southerner, was the direct opposite, she was very mean. Claude was eight years old when Emancipation came. The Dexter plantation was quite a large place, covering 100 or more acres. There were about 100 slaves, including children. They had regular one

Slave Narrative of “Father” Charles Coates

Interviewer: Viola B. Muse Person Interviewed: “Father” Charles Coates Location: Jacksonville, Florida Age: 108 “Father” Charles Coates, as he is called by all who know him, was born a slave, 108 years ago at Richmond, Virginia, on the plantation of a man named L’Angle. His early boyhood days was spent on the L’Angle place filled with duties such as minding hogs, cows, bringing in wood and such light work. His wearing apparel consisted of one garment, a shirt made to reach below the knees and with three-quarter sleeves. He wore no shoes until he was a man past 20 years

Slave Narrative of Margrett Nickerson

Interviewer: Rachel A. Austin Person Interviewed: Margrett Nickerson Location: Jacksonville, Florida Age: 89-90 In her own vernacular, Margrett Nickerson was “born to William A. Carr, on his plantation near Jackson, Leon County, many years ago.” When questioned concerning her life on this plantation, she continues: “Now honey, it’s been so long ago, I don’ ‘meber ev’ything, but I will tell you whut I kin as near right as possible; I kin ‘member five uf Marse Carr’s chillun; Florida, Susan, ‘Lijah, Willie and Tom; cose Carr never ‘lowed us to have a piece of paper in our hands.” “Mr. Kilgo was