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.
What does your history 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'. What does your history 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, What 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 history textbook?. Dey couldn' leave de plantation without Marse say dey could.
Does your history 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 history 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.
What does your textbook say about Reconstruction? What impression does it give of African Americans' choices after the war? Does the history 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."