File 19/3/270 District #6
1-15-41 Racial Group
JULIA ANN JAMES
Ex-Slave, age 83 years.
"I cum fum Rickin'ham County, Nawth Cah'lina. 'Course I wuz'nt
very big when de war broke out, but I can member lots o'things."
"Mother wuz named Cah'lina, en father wuz Cain Smith. Dey both
belong ter de same fam'ly but dey live en diffu'nt places. Six us chillun
en mother stayed with ole Marse Drewry Smith. He had sech er big fam'ly
dat dey done live en all diffu'nt parts en tended things fer him on his
other plantations. Smith owned mos' all o' Stokes, Scurry, Forsyth, en
Rockin'ham Counties, en he had er thousand slaves. He had 20 chillun- 'leven
by his first wife en nine by de second wife.
"Marse Drewry had his own tan yard, right dere on de place, en five
stillhouses. Dey wuz shoemakers, harness makers, en weavers what wuk all
de time. He done hire sev'ral poor white 'omans what done weavin' fer twenty
five cents er day. Three cooks wuk in de kitchen all de time. Some de
'omens dey kep' busy makin' shirts, en dresses fer de girls.
"De Smith boys en girls had plenty o' dey own pusnal slaves.
Dey wuz er gang of em, en eight o'de boys wuz en de Rebel armies at
"Mother wuked en de field. I done lots o' knittin'- stockin's en
sech like. Many de time I used broom straws fer knitten needles. Us
dyed our own cloth fum walnut hulls en wood, brush blossoms, en sometimes copper
te help mek er diffu'ny colorin'. Course de color wuz'nt jes'. as pretty
as dey mek now, but dat dye it wash good en diden mek de goods fall ter
pieces, like some de stuff dey use now.