Disquisitive Orange

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Aug 6

Government project: By the 1930s, surviving former slaves were old men and women; the time in which to capture their testimonies was running out, thus putting a sense of urgency to the project… One slave said in 1855: ‘Tisn’t he who has stood and looked on, that can tell you what slavery is – ‘tis he who has endured.’

Another man, John W. Fields, 89, said: ‘We were never allowed to go to town and it was not until after I ran away that I knew that they sold anything but slaves, tobacco, and whiskey. Our ignorance was the greatest hold the South had on us. We knew we could run away, but what then? An offender guilty of this crime was subjected to very harsh punishment.’