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Reminiscences of old Aunt Sarah, a former slave of Grandmother's

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Material Information

Title:
Reminiscences of old Aunt Sarah, a former slave of Grandmother's slave interview, Tampa
Physical Description:
1 online resource (5 p.) : ;
Language:
English
Creator:
Federal Writers' Project of the Work Projects Administration for the State of Florida
Publisher:
Federal Writers Project, American Guide, Negro Writers Unit
Place of Publication:
Jacksonville, Fla
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
African Americans -- Interviews -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Slavery -- Personal narratives -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre:
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
Federal Writers' Project interview with Aunt Sarah, focusing on her years spent as a slave in Ybor City. Interview possibly conducted by B.F. Borchardt.
General Note:
Title from caption on PDF of p.1 (viewed June 24, 2010).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002211596
oclc - 643296140
usfldc doi - F36-00036
usfldc handle - f36.36
System ID:
SFS0021885:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text
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Reminiscences of old Aunt Sarah, a former slave of Grandmother's
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[Jacksonville, Fla. :
Federal Writers Project, American Guide, Negro Writers Unit,
1937?]
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Title from caption on PDF of p.1 (viewed June 24, 2010).
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Federal Writers' Project interview with Aunt Sarah, focusing on her years spent as a slave in Ybor City. Interview possibly conducted by B.F. Borchardt.
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Forms part of the Florida slave narratives collection.
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Sarah,
Aunt.
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u http://digital.lib.usf.edu/?f36.36



PAGE 1

SLAVE' INTERVIEW TAMPA .; REMINISCENCES OF OLD AUNT SARAH, A FORMER SLAVE OF GRANDMOTHER'S Slaves of Major William T. Browns 1. Mother, name not known'. Her ohildren. 2. Liza, 3. Julia, 4. Charlotte, 5. George, 6. Diok, and 7, Sam. Also Martha and her two chi1dr.-en. . '. When the Browns lived on their plantation, what is now Ybor City, they owned a number of cows and operated what might be called the first dairy in Tampa. Mrs. Brown would have the slaves milk the cows and c.hurn the butter? and then send the produce in by one of them to sell it from door to door. Liza"the eldest child,' carried the great basket, in which were the cans of milk butter on her head, and would walk the 2 miles from where they lived to town in ankle deep sand. This heavy burden she carried on her head walking through this sand, every day until she went crazy. {Sarah remarks that her mother had been light minded.) After this happened the Browns were forced to keep her chained to a tree in the yard; later it was necessary to put her in a room and the windows and doors were nailed up. A man by the name of Aman came there one day and told IIr. Brown that he could cure her. So he was given permission to try. He took her home with him and, hitched her up to plow and made her pull it through the field whipping her as he would do horse or mule. But tortUnately the poor creature died trom her af-fliction and this horrib1e treatment. Uncle Jim Brown was in Havana. when he caught the 'dreadful' cold, \ which with the consumption he already suttered from, proved fatal and he died at the Hammock. Sarah said that when she was brought to Florida the Indians were still on the warpath. Soon after her arrival here a girl, JUlia Pippins, was oaught by the Indians, a ahort out from the town of Tampa, and soalped. Her wrists were broken and ona ot her legs. She was rescued by Baacomb Sparkman and She was related to that family', and later married a man named Allen. I Sarah remarked that of all the my grandfather Lesley and his wife were the kindest to their slaves. ,The ki tehen, li,ke,' all at that time, was a short distance from the house and joined to it by a covered passage. 'Here the tood for both the family and the servants was cooked, and here it was distributed after grace had been said. Lula Walker was the youngest of the Lesley's Sarah tells how great grandmother would have Lula's mother fix her up and bring SLAVE' INTERVIEW TAMPA .; REMINISCENCES OF OLD AUNT SARAH, A FORMER SLAVE OF GRANDMOTHER'S Slaves of Major William T. Browns 1. Mother, name not known'. Her ohildren. 2. Liza, 3. Julia, 4. Charlotte, 5. George, 6. Diok, and 7, Sam. Also Martha and her two chi1dr.-en. . '. When the Browns lived on their plantation, what is now Ybor City, they owned a number of cows and operated what might be called the first dairy in Tampa. Mrs. Brown would have the slaves milk the cows and c.hurn the butter? and then send the produce in by one of them to sell it from door to door. Liza"the eldest child,' carried the great basket, in which were the cans of milk butter on her head, and would walk the 2 miles from where they lived to town in ankle deep sand. This heavy burden she carried on her head walking through this sand, every day until she went crazy. {Sarah remarks that her mother had been light minded.) After this happened the Browns were forced to keep her chained to a tree in the yard; later it was necessary to put her in a room and the windows and doors were nailed up. A man by the name of Aman came there one day and told IIr. Brown that he could cure her. So he was given permission to try. He took her home with him and, hitched her up to plow and made her pull it through the field whipping her as he would do horse or mule. But tortUnately the poor creature died trom her af-fliction and this horrib1e treatment. Uncle Jim Brown was in Havana. when he caught the 'dreadful' cold, \ which with the consumption he already suttered from, proved fatal and he died at the Hammock. Sarah said that when she was brought to Florida the Indians were still on the warpath. Soon after her arrival here a girl, JUlia Pippins, was oaught by the Indians, a ahort out from the town of Tampa, and soalped. Her wrists were broken and ona ot her legs. She was rescued by Baacomb Sparkman and She was related to that family', and later married a man named Allen. I Sarah remarked that of all the my grandfather Lesley and his wife were the kindest to their slaves. ,The ki tehen, li,ke,' all at that time, was a short distance from the house and joined to it by a covered passage. 'Here the tood for both the family and the servants was cooked, and here it was distributed after grace had been said. Lula Walker was the youngest of the Lesley's Sarah tells how great grandmother would have Lula's mother fix her up and bring

PAGE 2

her to he r in the evening and she would rook and 8ing her to sleep. Even to this day Sarah oan sing the tollowing two songs, that she otten hears sung by great grandmother over seventy years ago, in a remarkably good and strong voioe. (She 1s 88 this year.) "Lula is my darling pride Lula bright, Lula Gay, Danoes by my side All the live-long "When I am gone weep not tor me When I am gone weep not tor me Plant me a tree that will wave over me And look up to heaven and see it I am Aunt belonged to the Hayes. -After great grandmother Brown died Major Brown sold allot the slave The Browns tor a short time during the wnr stayed at Dr. Branch's place near Six Mile oreek. When she oame to Tampa there were only two ohurches, the Methodist and the Baptist. The Browns went to the Methudist. The slaves would go to Sunday School on Sunday atternoon. The road that led town and passed the Brown's place'(Ybor) was oalled the County Road. The slaves called great ,grandmother Brown "Sukey", and grandmother they called "Sugom" much to grandfather's disgust, and tried in ever,y way to them tr9m it. Sarah said that when she came to Tampa there were all kind ot nationalitias re.presented here. There were Greeks, French, Germans, and Spanish. The Spanish lived in boats along the water front and sold sea tood. There were several Minoroans called Turnbull ne'groes, living here. Very handsome people, some were very light and others were dark. Channing's wite was one but did not know it until after her death. Worked for them 5 years. Old man Spencer lived on the Courthouse grounds when she came here in a little white house. It was between the courthouse and the ja.il. When they, built the new oourthouse he had to move. her to he r in the evening and she would rook and 8ing her to sleep. Even to this day Sarah oan sing the tollowing two songs, that she otten hears sung by great grandmother over seventy years ago, in a remarkably good and strong voioe. (She 1s 88 this year.) "Lula is my darling pride Lula bright, Lula Gay, Danoes by my side All the live-long "When I am gone weep not tor me When I am gone weep not tor me Plant me a tree that will wave over me And look up to heaven and see it I am Aunt belonged to the Hayes. -After great grandmother Brown died Major Brown sold allot the slave The Browns tor a short time during the wnr stayed at Dr. Branch's place near Six Mile oreek. When she oame to Tampa there were only two ohurches, the Methodist and the Baptist. The Browns went to the Methudist. The slaves would go to Sunday School on Sunday atternoon. The road that led town and passed the Brown's place'(Ybor) was oalled the County Road. The slaves called great ,grandmother Brown "Sukey", and grandmother they called "Sugom" much to grandfather's disgust, and tried in ever,y way to them tr9m it. Sarah said that when she came to Tampa there were all kind ot nationalitias re.presented here. There were Greeks, French, Germans, and Spanish. The Spanish lived in boats along the water front and sold sea tood. There were several Minoroans called Turnbull ne'groes, living here. Very handsome people, some were very light and others were dark. Channing's wite was one but did not know it until after her death. Worked for them 5 years. Old man Spencer lived on the Courthouse grounds when she came here in a little white house. It was between the courthouse and the ja.il. When they, built the new oourthouse he had to move.

PAGE 3

Uncle'Jim Brown was studying to be a dentist. / One day during the war Sarah went into the house ,and found grandmother rocking Aun.t India and both of them crying. She asked them why they were crying, and grandmother replied that her husband and father of her' child was away in the war and that he might be killed and they never would see him again etc. Sarah then asked her if she remembered when she was first brought to Tampa she would cry for her mother and they would spank her. And for her not to cry as it would not do her any good. The ground very low in Tampa and when would build they would haul sand from below Jackson Street to fill in. Often times when ,a house was completed the ground would sink under it and cause all the plaster to fall in the rooms. Sarah was one in a family of 14 children but only four lived to reach the age ot one year. The tollowing is copied from a Bible in her possession that her mother had filled out by tI one who cO.uld write". "Charlotte Calancy (Sarah called her last name Ancrum) born Jan. 1825. She married Robert Hayes, December 26, 1841. Of the 14 children only the following arerecordedl Virgin (Virgil) born the last week in August, 1842, and died Fep. 1844. Age one year and six months. Richard, born 9th 'day of' July, 1845. Sara, born 9th day of' November, 1847. Robert, the twin, horn 4th day of January, 1850. All tho children were born at Summerville, about twenty-tive miles from Charleston, on the plantation of' the Wearings, to whom the mother belonged. The father was owned by a Jew, named Montague. From the' family of Wearings, Sarah, her mother, ,and two brothers were sold to Charles F. Levy, of S. C. The mother had pleaded with her former owner that tpe not be broken uP. when sold and it was so done. They remained in Mr. Levy's possession, (Charlotte died Feb. 10, 1890, age 60 years,_ in Charleston.) until he became.bankrupt, when they were then sold at public auction in Charleston to a man named Morgan from Tennossee. He took the family back to his home but soon sold them to a man named Alexander. It seems at this time, when slaves were sold that the owner guaranteed them to be strong and healthy. But Sarah's mother was not. She was afflicted with fainting spells. So Mr. Alexander returned Uncle'Jim Brown was studying to be a dentist. / One day during the war Sarah went into the house ,and found grandmother rocking Aun.t India and both of them crying. She asked them why they were crying, and grandmother replied that her husband and father of her' child was away in the war and that he might be killed and they never would see him again etc. Sarah then asked her if she remembered when she was first brought to Tampa she would cry for her mother and they would spank her. And for her not to cry as it would not do her any good. The ground very low in Tampa and when would build they would haul sand from below Jackson Street to fill in. Often times when ,a house was completed the ground would sink under it and cause all the plaster to fall in the rooms. Sarah was one in a family of 14 children but only four lived to reach the age ot one year. The tollowing is copied from a Bible in her possession that her mother had filled out by tI one who cO.uld write". "Charlotte Calancy (Sarah called her last name Ancrum) born Jan. 1825. She married Robert Hayes, December 26, 1841. Of the 14 children only the following arerecordedl Virgin (Virgil) born the last week in August, 1842, and died Fep. 1844. Age one year and six months. Richard, born 9th 'day of' July, 1845. Sara, born 9th day of' November, 1847. Robert, the twin, horn 4th day of January, 1850. All tho children were born at Summerville, about twenty-tive miles from Charleston, on the plantation of' the Wearings, to whom the mother belonged. The father was owned by a Jew, named Montague. From the' family of Wearings, Sarah, her mother, ,and two brothers were sold to Charles F. Levy, of S. C. The mother had pleaded with her former owner that tpe not be broken uP. when sold and it was so done. They remained in Mr. Levy's possession, (Charlotte died Feb. 10, 1890, age 60 years,_ in Charleston.) until he became.bankrupt, when they were then sold at public auction in Charleston to a man named Morgan from Tennossee. He took the family back to his home but soon sold them to a man named Alexander. It seems at this time, when slaves were sold that the owner guaranteed them to be strong and healthy. But Sarah's mother was not. She was afflicted with fainting spells. So Mr. Alexander returned

PAGE 4

them to lIorgan and made him return his money. lIorgan then took the family back to Charleston where they passed into the hands of Dr. Rooth who lived on ling street, Where he operated either a boarding house or ahotol. Sarah's mother was the pastry cook. It was here that my great grandtather, Major Brown, boarded when he went to He had been by his daughter, III's. Margaret Tucker, to invest the money she received from her :tate husband's, William W. Tucker, estate in slaves, and he had gone to Charleston where was located the largest slave market in this part of the countr.y. While at Dr. Rooth's he saw Sarah and decided to purchase hor. He also bought another girl named Lucy. This was in 1856. The Major and his twa slaves went from Charleston to Fernandina by boat. There he bought a. horse and buggy in Which to compl,te the journey to tampa. In Jacksonville Major Brown bought three more slavea, a women named Martha and her two children. In Fernandina they had met a man named Fannings, from Alabama, who with his slaves was traveling towards Tampas so they made the trip together. Sarah said that in Brooksville they stopped and visited great grandaqnt, Sally Ellis,_ and that when they. left she tilled the back ot the buggy with his white turnips to bring home. In 1858 when Mrs Tucker married John T. Lesley all these slaves passed into his hand. / / .. Sarah was not one of the house servants, but was hired out to different in town who needed help. The first person she was hired to was Col. R. B. Thomas and his first wite, Sara McKay. They operated tpe "Florida House" in .the old Jim MO.Kay hqme,. Sarah was a chambermaid., She was next hired out to a man named Franklin, but as he.was poor she only stayed about three months helping him with his crop_ She was next, hired out to Charles Brown and his family, where she nursed. (I think she meant the Channing one of whom 111'. Brown married.). .. Sarah was next sent down on the Alatia River where grandfather, John T. Lesley, had his salt works. This was during the-war. She was under a.white man named Moore, who acted-as the overseer. Sarah would carry the water trom the mouth of the river and pour it into a long iron trough under which a tire was built. Then the water had to be stirred as it boiled to keep the salt from burning. When the overseer, Mr. Moore, was aWaf Sarah would have to sell the salt to the people who would aome trom allover the country to buy it. As she did not 'know how them to lIorgan and made him return his money. lIorgan then took the family back to Charleston where they passed into the hands of Dr. Rooth who lived on ling street, Where he operated either a boarding house or ahotol. Sarah's mother was the pastry cook. It was here that my great grandtather, Major Brown, boarded when he went to He had been by his daughter, III's. Margaret Tucker, to invest the money she received from her :tate husband's, William W. Tucker, estate in slaves, and he had gone to Charleston where was located the largest slave market in this part of the countr.y. While at Dr. Rooth's he saw Sarah and decided to purchase hor. He also bought another girl named Lucy. This was in 1856. The Major and his twa slaves went from Charleston to Fernandina by boat. There he bought a. horse and buggy in Which to compl,te the journey to tampa. In Jacksonville Major Brown bought three more slavea, a women named Martha and her two children. In Fernandina they had met a man named Fannings, from Alabama, who with his slaves was traveling towards Tampas so they made the trip together. Sarah said that in Brooksville they stopped and visited great grandaqnt, Sally Ellis,_ and that when they. left she tilled the back ot the buggy with his white turnips to bring home. In 1858 when Mrs Tucker married John T. Lesley all these slaves passed into his hand. / / .. Sarah was not one of the house servants, but was hired out to different in town who needed help. The first person she was hired to was Col. R. B. Thomas and his first wite, Sara McKay. They operated tpe "Florida House" in .the old Jim MO.Kay hqme,. Sarah was a chambermaid., She was next hired out to a man named Franklin, but as he.was poor she only stayed about three months helping him with his crop_ She was next, hired out to Charles Brown and his family, where she nursed. (I think she meant the Channing one of whom 111'. Brown married.). .. Sarah was next sent down on the Alatia River where grandfather, John T. Lesley, had his salt works. This was during the-war. She was under a.white man named Moore, who acted-as the overseer. Sarah would carry the water trom the mouth of the river and pour it into a long iron trough under which a tire was built. Then the water had to be stirred as it boiled to keep the salt from burning. When the overseer, Mr. Moore, was aWaf Sarah would have to sell the salt to the people who would aome trom allover the country to buy it. As she did not 'know how

PAGE 5

to count, grandfather had given her a peck measure, and as ,she sold a peck ot salt she would put a grain at corn in a little bag, so when )lr. Moore returned he would know how much salt had been sold by counting the grains. , There was another man by the name who with his slaves was also making salt on the other bank of the river. Sarah would tell how the slaves would wade out into the mouth of the river, when they heard the cannons tiring, and they could see the Union gunboats, across the bay, bombarding Tampa in 1865. ,After Saturday, when the work was finished for the week, said that she was allowed to boil the water and make salt and sell it herself, making money to 'do' w1thas she pleaaed. Grandfather Lesley exchanged Luoy for a negro named _________ e to count, grandfather had given her a peck measure, and as ,she sold a peck ot salt she would put a grain at corn in a little bag, so when )lr. Moore returned he would know how much salt had been sold by counting the grains. , There was another man by the name who with his slaves was also making salt on the other bank of the river. Sarah would tell how the slaves would wade out into the mouth of the river, when they heard the cannons tiring, and they could see the Union gunboats, across the bay, bombarding Tampa in 1865. ,After Saturday, when the work was finished for the week, said that she was allowed to boil the water and make salt and sell it herself, making money to 'do' w1thas she pleaaed. Grandfather Lesley exchanged Luoy for a negro named _________ e