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John I. Young, Ex-Slave Narrative

                I'd rather be a Rebel.
                To pull de Rebel triggah
                Dan be a dirty Yankee
                And fight to free de niggah.
           Off for Richmond so early in de mornin',
           Off for Richmond I hear de Yankee say."
     "After de war I stays awhile on de Young plantashun, and I
clearly members dat de former slaves got nothin' at all from
Major Young nor from his sons after his death.  When dey worked
in de days followin' de war, dey wuz paid about three pounds of
meat a week and about six dollars a month.
     "I also recall dat all of us hands used to go on Sunday to
the Upper Duncan Creek church and sit in de gallery. After de
regular service, de preacher would always say somethin' to us
dat went like dis:  'Niggahs and wenches, de only way to get to
heaven is to serve your old master and mistress and your young
master and mistress.  Act toward them just as you did before
you wuz free.  Otherwise yo'll goin' to regret it all de days
of your life after death."

     "But pshaw, I warn't a bit skairt by de preacher man.  I
knew I wuz free and I wuz bound to get ahead.  So I left de
Young plantashun as soon as I wuz old enough, and I worked for
Dr. Herndon in Cromer County, and for a lot of other farmers,
before I wuz of age.  At one time I wuz rentin' 100 acres and

farmin' it on shares.  I wuz de owner of several mules. I
thought I wuz gettin' ahead, but de farmers allus outsmarted me.



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Works Progress Administration (WPA) Ex-Slave Narratives

John I. Young, Ex-Slave Narrative


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