George Morrison

The interviewer uses quotation marks to indicate the first person recollections of George Morrison.  It is important to note that the first person narrative is still written by the interviewer, not by George Morrison himself.  In this excerpt, George Morrison describes his life as an enslaved person, his relationship with his master, and how some enslaved people escaped. 
*Historically-used terms that are offensive, marginalizing and/or disparaging have been removed from the transcripts and replaced with [redacted].  See more information.
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“I [George Morrison] was born in Union County, Kentucky, near Morganfield. My master was Mr. Ray, he made me call him Mr. Ray, wouldn’t let me call him Master. He said I was his little free [redacted].”

When asked if there were many slaves on Mr. Ray’s farm, he [George Morrison] said, “Yes ma’am, there were seven cabins of us. I was the oldest child in our family. Mr. Ray said he didn’t want me in the tobacco, so I stayed at the house and waited on the women folk and went after the cows when I was big enough. I carried my stick over my shoulder, for I was afraid of snakes.

Mr. Ray was always very good to me, he liked to play with me, cause I was so full of tricks and so mischievous. He gave me a pair of boots with brass toes. I shined them up every day, til you could see your face in them…

…Yes Ma’am. I remember when people used to take wagon loads of corn to the market in Louisville, and they would bring back home lots of groceries and things. A [redacted] man told me he had come north to the market in Louisville with his master, and was working hard unloading the corn when a white man walks up to him, shows him some money and asks him if he wanted to be free? He said he stopped right then and went with the man, who hid him in his wagon under the provisions and they crossed the Ohio River right on the ferry. That’s the way lots of them got across here…”

Formerly enslaved person
Birth Year (Age)Interviewer
WPA Volunteer
Enslaver’s Name
George MorrisonUnknown (Unknown)Iris CookRay
Interview LocationResidence StateBirth Location
New Albany, ININMorganfield, KY
Themes & KeywordsAdditional Tags:
EscapeUnion County, First Person