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J.M. "Jerry" Moore in Marshall, Texas, in 1937. Jerry was an ex-slave and was involved in the "Slave Narratives" project in the 1930's.

He was born in Texas in 1848 and was a slave of Mrs. Isaac Van Zandt, a "pioneer civic leader of the county." He said that he never met her husband as Col Isaac Van Zandt died while running for Governor of the territory. He called Fanny (the wife) "one sweet soul."

His father was Henry Moore and he bought himself out of slavery in Alabama. His mother was Amy Van Zandt Moore from Tennessee.

He talked about the time just after the Civil War in Texas: "I rec'lect the time the cullud folks registered here after the war. They outnumbered the whites a long way. Davis was governor and all the white folks had to take the Iron Clad oath to vote. Carpetbaggers and Negroes run the government. In the early days they held the election four days. They didn't vote in precints but at the court house. The Democratic Party had no chance to 'timidate the darkies. The 'publican party had a 'Loyal League' for to protect the cullud folks. First the Negroes went to the league house to get 'structions and ballots and then marched to the court house, double file, to vote. My father was a member of the 11th and 12th legislature from this county. He was 'lected just after the Constitutional Convention, when Davis was elected governor. Two darkies, Mitch Kennel and Wiley Johnson, was 'lected from this county to be members of that Convention."

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, WPA
in Marshall, Texas USA


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