Matthew Hume

The interviewer documents this interview in the third person.  In the excerpt below, the interviewer shared a story from Matthew Hume about an enslaved person who issued fake freedom papers to free other enslaved people before describing Matthew Hume’s emancipation.    

*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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…One way of exacting obedience was to threaten to send offenders South to work in the fields. The slaves around Lexington, Kentucky, came out ahead on one occasion. The collector was Shrader. He had the slaves handcuffed to a large leg chain and forced on a flatboat. There were so many that the boat was grounded, so some of the slaves were released to push the boat off. Among the “blacks” was one who could read and write. Before Shrader could chain them up again, he was seized and chained, taken to below Memphis Tennessee, and forced to work in the cotton fields until he was able to get word from Richmond identifying him. In the meantime, the educated [redacted] issued freedom papers to his companions. Many of them came back to Lexington, Kentucky where they were employed…

Mr. Hume thought the Emancipation Proclamation was the greatest work that Abraham Lincoln ever did. The [redacted] people on his plantation did not learn of it until the following August. Then Mr. Payne and his sons offered to let them live on their ground with conditions similar to our renting system, giving a share of the crop. They remained here until Jan. 1, 1865 when they crossed the Ohio River at Madison. They had a cow that had been given them before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued but this was taken away from them. So they came to Ind. homeless, friendless and penniless…

He could not understand the attitude of his race who preferred to remain in slavery receiving only food and shelter, rather than to be free citizens where they could have the right to develop their individualism

Formerly enslaved person
Birth Year (Age)Interviewer
WPA Volunteer
Enslaver’s Name
Matthew HumeUnknown (Unknown)Grace MonroeDaniel Payne
Interview LocationResidence StateBirth Location
Jefferson County, ININKY
Themes & KeywordsAdditional Tags:
Resistance, Emancipation, Abraham LincolnTrimble County, Third Person, Witnessed Extreme Cruelty, Notable,