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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Slave Narrative of Mack Mullen

Interviewer: J. M. Johnson Person Interviewed: Mack Mullen Location: Jacksonville, Florida Age: 79 Mack Mullen, a former slave who now lives at 521 W. First Street, Jacksonville, Florida, was born in Americus, Georgia in 1857, eight years before Emancipation, on a plantation which covered an area of approximately five miles. Upon this expansive plantation about …

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Slave Narrative of Luke Towns

Interviewer: Rachel A. Austin Person Interviewed: Luke Towns Location: Jacksonville, Florida Age: 100+(?) A Centenarian Luke Towns, a centenarian, now residing at 1335 West Eighth Street, Jacksonville, Florida, was the ninth child born to Maria and Like Towns, slaves, December 34, 1835, in a village in Tolberton County, Georgia. Mr. Town’s parents were owned by …

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Slave Narrative of Samuel Smalls

Interviewer: Martin D. Richardson Person Interviewed: Samuel Smalls Location: Jacksonville, Florida Age: 85 A voluntary slave for seven years. The story of a free Negro of Connecticut, who came south to observe conditions of slavery, found them very distasteful, then voluntarily entered that slavery for seven years is the interesting tale that Samuel Smalls, 84 …

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Slave Narrative of Shack Thomas

Interviewer: Martin Richardson Person Interviewed: Shack Thomas Location: South Jacksonville, Florida Age: 102 Shack Thomas, Centenarian Beady-eyed, grey-whiskered, black little Shack Thomas sits in the sun in front of his hut on the Old Saint Augustine Road about three miles south of Jacksonville, 102 years old and full of humorous reminiscences about most of those …

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Slave Narrative of Anna Scott

Interviewer: Viola B. Muse Person Interviewed: Anna Scott Location: Jacksonville, Florida Anna Scott, an ex-slave who now lives in Jacksonville near the intersection of Moncrief and Edgewood Avenues, was a member of one of the first colonization groups that went to the West coast of Africa following the emancipation of the slaves in this country. …

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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 Edward Lycurgas

Interviewer: Pearl Randolph Person Interviewed: Edward Lycurgas Location: Jacksonville, Florida “Pap tell us ‘nother story ’bout do war and ’bout de fust time you saw mamma.” It has been almost 60 years since a group of children gathered about their father’s knee, clamoring for another story. They listened round-eyed to stories they already knew because …

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Slave Narrative of Rev. Squires Jackson

Interviewer: Samuel Johnson Person Interviewed: Rev. Squires Jackson Location: Jacksonville, Florida Occupation: Bricklayer, Preacher Lying comfortably in a bed encased with white sheets, Rev. Squires Jackson, former slave and minister of the gospel living at 706 Third Street cheerfully related the story of his life. Born in a weather-beaten shanty in Madison, Fla. September 14, …

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Slave Narrative of Harriett Gresham

Interviewer: Pearl Randolph Person Interviewed: Harriett Gresham Location: Jacksonville, Florida Age: 98 Occupation: Field Worker Born on December 6, 1838, Harriett Gresham can recall quite clearly the major events of her life as a slave, also the Civil War as it affected the slaves of Charleston and Barnwell, South Carolina. She was one of a …

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Slave Narrative of Clayborn Gantling

Interviewer: Rachel Austin Person Interviewed: Clayborn Gantling Location: Jacksonville, Florida Age: 89 Clayborn Gantling was born in Dawson, Georgia, Terrell County, January 20, 1848 on the plantation of Judge Williams. Judge Williams owned 102 heads of slaves and was known to be “tolable nice to ’em in some way and pretty rough on ’em in …

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