Photo Details

Mollie Williams at age 84, sitting on her porch. Doesn't she have the most beautiful face?

This photo of Mollie is from a collection of African American ex-slaves from the U.S. Works Progress Administration, Federal Writers' Project slave narratives collections. So, here is an excerpt from Mollie's narrative regarding her birth:

"Iffen I lives' til nex' September 15, I'll be eighty fo'! I was born 'bout three miles frum Utica on de Newsome place. Me an' brudder Hamp b'longed to Marse George Newsome. Marse George was named afte' George Washington up in Virginny whar he come frum. Miss Margurite was our mistiss. My mammy? Well, I'll have to tell you now 'bout her.

You see, Marse George come off down here frum Virginny lak young folks venturin' 'bout, an' mar'ied Mis' Margurite an' wanted to start up livin' right over thar near Utica whar I was born. But Marse George was po', an' he sho' foun' out ye can't make no crop wid'out'n a start of darkies, so he writ home to Virginny fer to git some darkies. All dey sont him was fo' mens an' old Aunt Harriet fer to cook.

One day Marse George an' his Uncle, Mr. John Davenport now thar was a rich man fer ye, why, he had two carri'ge drivers dey rid over to Grand Gulf whar dey was a sellin' slabes offen de block an' Mr. John tol' Marse George to pick hisself out a pair of darkies to mate so's he could git hisself a start of darkies fer to chop his cotton an' like. So Marse George pick out my pappy fust. My pappy come frum North Ca'lina. Den he seen my mammy an' she was big an' strengthy an' he wanted her pow'ful bad. But lak I tol' you, he didn' have 'nough money to buy 'em both, so his Uncle John say he'd buy mammy an' den he would loan her over to Marse George fer pappy. An' de fust chile would be Mr. John's, an' de secon' Marse George's, an' likewise. Mammy was a Missourian name Marylin Napier Davenpo't. An' pappy was name Martin Newsome."
in USA


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