Abner Jordan, interviewed by Daisy Whaley at his home in Durham County, North Carolina, WPA Slave Narrative Project, North Carolina Narratives, Volume 11 Part 2, Federal Writers' Project, United States Work Projects Administration (USWPA); Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Accessed via Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936–1938, American Memory, Library of Congress.
Abner Jordan, Ex-slave, 95 years.
"I wus bawn about 1832 an' I wus bawn at Staggsville, Marse paul Cameron's place. I belonged to Marse Paul. My pappy's name wus Obed an' my mammy wus Ella Jordan an' dey wus thirteen chillun on our family.
I wus de same age of Young Marse Benehan, I played wid him an' wus his body guard. Yes, suh, Where ever young Marse Benehan went I went too. I waited on himWhat does your textbook say about children and slavery? Does it describe this kind of relationship, where a child could be both a playmate and a servant to another child?. Young Mrse Benny run away an' 'listed in de war, but Marse Paul done went an' brung him back kaze he wus too young to go and fight de Yankees.
Marse Paul had heap if niggahs; he had five thousan'. When he meet dem in de road he wouldn' know dem an' when he ased dem who dey wus an' who dey belonged to, dey' tell him dey belonged to Marse Paul Cameron an' den he would say dat wus all right for dem to go right onWhat does your textbook say about the supervision of slaves? Based solely on the textbook account, would you expect slaves to be able to come and go in the way that this account suggests?.
My pappy wus de blacksmith an' foreman for Marse Paul, an' he blew de horn for de other niggahs to come in from de fiel' at nightWhat does your textbook say about overseers and foremen during slavery? Does it mention African American foremen at all? What does it say about artisans and blacksmiths? What information does this account present that is absent from your textbook?. Dey couldn' leave de plantation without Marse say dey could.
When de war come de Yankees come to de house an' axed my mammy whare de folks done hid de silver an' gol', an' dey say dey gwine to kill mammy if she didn' tell dem. But mammy say she didn' know whare dey put it, an' dey would jus' have to kill her for she didn' know an' wouldn' lie to keep dem from hurting herDoes your textbook say anything about Union soldiers on southern plantations during the War? What impression does it give of Union troops, overall? Do the soldiers described there sound as if they would threaten to kill a slave for not telling them where the white family had hidden their valuables? How can you account for the differences between the ways in which Union troops are presented here and the ways in which your textbook presents them?.
De sojers stole seven or eight of de ho'ses an' foun' de meat an' stole dat, but dey didn' burn none off de buildin's nor hurt any of us slaves.
My pappy an' his family stayed wid Marse Paul five years after de surrender den we moved to Hillsboro an' I's always lived 'roun' dese partsWhat does your textbook say about Reconstruction? What impression does it give of African Americans' choices after the war? Does the textbook account give you a sense of what the circumstances were for African Americans who continued to work for their former owners after the war?. I ain' never been out of North Carolina eighteen months in my life. North Carolina is good enough for me."