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Plantation memories of the Cape Fear river country

Date: 1944 | Identifier: F262.C2 W3
Plantation memories of the Cape Fear river country, by Fanny C. Watters. [Asheville, N. C. : Stephens Press, 1944] 45 p. illus. 20 cm. more...
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Plantation Memories
OF THE CAPE FEAR RIVER COUNTRY


[Illustration:


Woodcut of plantation house]

By FANNY C. WATTERS


























[Illustration:


Woodcut of plantation house]

Plantation
Memories
OF THE CAPE FEAR RIVER COUNTRY

By FANNY C. WATTERS





COPYRIGHT 1944 BY FANNY C. WATTERS

Blocks cut by Burnley Weaver

PRINTED BY THE STEPHENS PRESS, ASHEVILLE, N. C.





“When time who steals our years away Shall steal our pleasures, too, The memory of the past will stay And half our joys renew.”









CARPENTER


[Illustration:


Drawing of black man sitting down]

HE was in the loft of the barn doing some work with two other negroes helping him, when he lost his balance and fell through the floor. When his helpers reached him, they said, “Unker Abrum, is yu hurted? He ain say nuthin. We took im up, an drug im doun de fo stept tu de canal. He haid nock all de stept gwine doun, but e ent cum tu. E stil look lack e ded.

“We dip im in de water an dat foch im tu. E open e eye, an sot up, an look roun, an e say, ‘Way my hammer?’ ”





CHRISTMAS MORNING


[Illustration:


Illustration of two men]

THE NEGROES would come to the “Big House” to get their Christmas dram. Father took out to the porch the demijohn and a tumbler and poured for each one. Their remarks were killing: “Bres Gord. Dis sho do tech me close.” Father said, “I hope you will have a peaceful, happy Christmas and enjoy the day. This is fine whiskey, and old.” One of the older ones in the group said “Massa, cornsidderin de age, hits berry smawl.”





THE TIPSY HUMMINGBIRDS


[Illustration:


Illustration of hummingbird]

FROM the western porch at Clarendon we stepped into the flower garden that opened into the lane, where we took the carriage when we went to Wilmington by land, which was eight miles. Marsden drove Tom and Jerry. Now and then we went in a row boat by water, which was five miles.

On the east was an upper and lower porch. At one end of the lower porch was a yellow jasmine vine, and at the other end an English honeysuckle the humming birds loved. Dr. John Hill was a near neighbor and frequent visitor. He was sitting with us one day and noticed the birds. He asked Mother to give him a teaspoon of brandy or whiskey and a little sugar. He mixed it thoroughly and we went to the upper porch where the railing was covered with the two vines, and put the mixture in the honeysuckle blooms.

In a short time the humming birds were enjoying their treat and not long after they were too drunk to help themselves. Dr. Hill took one or two in his hand very carefully to let me see the exquisite little things near. They soon got over their treat and flew away unharmed.





BULLFROG HUNTING


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Illustration of woman]

I WAS the only daughter with three brothers, and it makes me shudder now (a lonely old woman) when I think of the frog hunts we enjoyed together, Each of us wore a leather belt with a sheath attached, a dagger (as we called the knife) and a frog stick, like a hockey stick.

We would walk the long ditches in the rice fields, see the frogs sunning themselves on the banks and creep up and hit them. While they were kicking and jerking, we would cut off their hind legs and throw the bodies back in the water, then skin the legs and tie them to our belts. Sometimes we would have ten or twelve pairs of legs. The cook would always cook them so nicely and Father and Mother enjoyed them, as we did.





MARSDEN


[Illustration:


Illustration of a bed]

MARSDEN was the carriage driver; we called him Mosby. He buried all of our pets, made the nicest little coffin boxes, carried to the grave he had dug under a large magnolia tree and buried them. Then always put up a head and foot stone.

There were several graves, all marked with stones, and for some time after the burial we would decorate the grave with fresh flowers every few days, different flowers as we could get them, black eyed Susans, sorrel, may-pop blooms, sweet Betsies (shrubs). Sometimes we found ripe may-pops and would eat them while decorating the graves.

Mother's greyhound Sprite is buried there. Father's black and tan terrier Trippit is there, Grimalkin, Grim as we called him, is there, a big tabby cat. We always had lovely burials and really enjoyed them.





ANIMAL NAMES


[Illustration:


Illustration of chicken with nametag]

SO MANY of the animals and chickens were named. The carriage horses were Tom and Jerry. Father's saddle horses, Jim and Ludy. A pair of mules, Kit and Sancho. A yoke of oxen, Buck and Brandy. Two of the cows, Buttercup and Daisy, and many of the chickens were named.

Mom Venus was poultry woman. When Mother wanted any killed she would go out in the poultry yard and say “Venus, kill that one and this.” Then say, “No, not those two, but these two,” pointing them out and starting off, then come back and say “Venus, don't kill that top knot pullet or that big brown hen. Well I don't want to say which to kill. Just kill two, but don't let me know which.”





GOING TO TOWN


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Illustration]

“PAA MIKE berry feble, but e wunt set still no time. Abel, an Jo, an Sam, wus gwine ter town Sadday in Abel batto, wut mus Paa Mike say but he gwine tu. Eberything wuck easy twel day start back home, wen a hi win riz up an tun de batto ober, an befo we no way we wus at, we wus in de ribber, holden tu de jettees.

“Jo he kotch de bote an tun it ober, an bale hit, den he tun roun an look tu see effen Paa Mike wus drounded, but Paa Mike wus holdin tu de jettees wid one han bobbin up an down in de water, an wid de udder han snachin at de bred, sto bred, as hit flote by.

“I say, ‘Paa Mike we is bout droundid, an heer yu is eatin.’ He say, ‘Boy ef I git droundid, please God, effin I git droundid, I gwinter droun wid my belly ful.’ ”





PAA MIKE

“YAS HUNNY, Paa Mike de oldes man roun hur. I ole mi sef, but wen I was a lil gal lak yu, he bin a ole man den. He tel me, he won hundud yare ole dis las pas Crismus.

“I say, ‘Paa Mike, effen yu was won hundud yare old dis las pas Crismus, effen yo lib twil dis nex cummin Crismus, an nuttin happin, an yu done ded, yu gwine be tu hundud yare old enty?’ He say yas hunny, ‘I gwine be tu hundud yare ole dis nex cummin Crismus.’ ”


[Illustration:


Illustration]

“PAA MIKE say he de oldis man, but I don tink he is, doh I deersen say so outside. I went to preechin las week an I heered de Preecher say he knowed a man in de Bible wat wus nine hundud yeer ole. He nebber say de man nam, but dat prove Paa Mike ent so ole as he tink.

“Sis Liza say, ‘Ebery sense dat Preecher tell bout de man he noed in de Bible, I bin tinkin, an axin mysef how kin he git roun eben on tu croches, bein nine hundred yeer ole, but den day doos sprisin tings in de Bible.’ ”





THE EAGLE


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Illustration]

AS WE WERE watching the ducks enter their house one evening, Mother said “another duck is missing.” A few days later one of the negroes told Father coming home from the fields that afternoon he saw an eagle light in the big cypress tree at the mouth of the canal, so he was told to go there next morning before day, with loaded gun, and wait.

As the ducks reached the mouth of the canal, the eagle flew down at them and was killed. The negro brought it to the house just as we had finished breakfast. Father took his measuring tape and found ’twas six feet from tip to tip.





COOTS


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Illustration]

COOTS would appear just before frost. We would get them when we returned to Clarendon, from Summerville. They were water birds and webfooted.

The negroes would pole bateaux through low water and find them perched in bushes and weeds above the water and thrash them off with sea myrtle bushes and put them in bags. Sometimes they would get a bushel of them. It is a delicious bird, better than partridge, in fact, the most delicious I have ever eaten.





TANYAS


[Illustration:


Illustration]

FATHER raised them as he did sweet and irish potatoes and banked them in winter as he did the sweet potatoes. We used them entirely as vegetables, but few people eat them, though many use the tanya as an ornamental plant, calling it elephant ear.

Mother made pudding of them, just as she did of sweet potatoes. When boiled and mashed they were pinkish-lilac in color and delicious as creamed potato.





MAMMY


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Illustration]

MOTHER was left an orphan when quite young and was raised by an uncle where Mammy lived and cared for her. When she married and went to Clarendon to live Mammy went with her. She was married when I knew her to a half Indian, Josh McFee, I think his name was. Her name was Annette.

They lived not far from us in their little home they called Scrub Hill. When we went to see her she would always give us potato pone. They had a dog named Dash. Not far from Scrub Hill was a wide branch with a log to cross going to Mammy's. Dash would hear us coming and greet us on our side of the branch and trot across that log better than we could. His tail was very short.

All the dogs we had ever seen had long tails and we kept wondering over Dash's short tail. While we were eating our pone, my brother said “Uncle Josh, what happened to Dash's tail?” He said, “I cut it off, because he could balance himself better when crossing the log.” We thought that was wonderful, because he did cross much better than we could. I was credulous then and believed it.





THE BUTTERNUT BOX


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Illustration]

FATHER made it for Mother before I could remember. It is made out of the hull of Brazil nuts. It is the size of a medium cocoanut and a half inch thick. It contained fourteen nuts. Father said he tried to fit them back into the hull after he had shaken them out, but couldn't; ’twas like a Chinese puzzle, the way they fitted in. It sits now on my mantel, dark brown and silent, thinking perhaps of these queer times, as I do.





YELLOW JASMINE


[Illustration:


Illustration]

WHEN Mom Venus opened the hen house door in the morning the poultry would make a bee line for the yellow jasmines. The ground under the vine would be yellow with blooms. The chickens would gobble them up like corn.

Toby, the duck, who was generally around, paid no attention to such light, frivolous things. He preferred more substantial food, such as dog bread, and young, tender chickens.





BLACK WALNUTS


[Illustration:


Illustration]

TWO big trees were in the yard. As the walnuts ripened and fell, they would be picked up and spread where the sun would shine and left until thoroughly dry. Then they would be hulled. Father had the carpenter make such a nice thing for hulling them: a board a yard and a half long and twelve inches wide; from the middle of the board an auger hole was bored on each side, four inches from center, just large enough for the nut to fall through. A negro man sat at each end of the board, placed a nut over the hole and knocked it through with a wooden mallet, leaving the hull above the board.

BLACK WALNUT BREAD

CREAM together half cup of sugar and one egg until light. Sift two cups of flour, three level teaspoons of baking powder and half teaspoon of salt together; then add one cup of milk, more or less, making a stiff batter. Add one cup of walnuts chopped, not fine. Let rise twenty minutes; bake as light bread.





THE SNAKE TREE


[Illustration:


Illustration]

WE WERE sitting on the porch late one afternoon when we saw a big snake come out of a hole at the root of a beautiful old oak just in front of us. Father said ’twas a rattlesnake, so next morning he had a big iron pot set close to the hole, filled with water, lightwood knots put around the pot, and a fire started. When the water was boiling, it was emptied in the hole. Next morning that beautiful old oak was cut down.

Father had a portion saved from the middle of the body, about four feet in length, and set up on end under a huge live oak. ’Twas just right; we each had our place to stand around it and crack walnuts. We used it so constantly that deep dimples were worn in three places in the block. Now and then we put the kernels in our birthday silver cups and carried them to Mother to fix for us. She would put sugar and scuppernong wine on them.





SPANISH MOSS


[Illustration:


Illustration]

The tree over us was draped with grey moss and hung down yards long. The little negroes would be sent up the trees to pull it down. The cows would be driven in to eat their fill of fresh moss, which they thoroughly enjoyed; then ’twas gathered up and taken to the canal and put in a big pile near the water. At low tide it would be put where the tide would rise and cover it. It was left in water for two or three weeks, until the fiber or outer covering rotted off, leaving the hair. Then it was taken out of the water and dried in the sun.

When perfectly dry it would be thrashed and shaken to get off the outside fiber and dust. Clean black hair would be left, which would be made into hair mattresses.





THE KEY BASKET

THE KEY BASKET is leather, made from a piece of the band used in running the machine that thrashed rice at Clarendon. Mother used it all the years she kept house. Father made it. It is the color of rose wood, or mahogany, and sits on my mantel, quiet and dignified.


[Illustration:


Illustration]

THE PANTRY

THE PANTRY had shelves and bins on two sides. The bins were for flour, meal, rice, hominy, sugar. The shelves were filled with canned goods, tumblers of jelly, jars of pickles and preserves, a bag of raw coffee in one corner.

Mother had her key basket. The keys were in it and the pantry was locked, after she had given out everything for the day. Two pounds of coffee were weighed and given out to be parched. Then when cool enough to be handled, the husk was fanned out and an egg was mixed in by hand and rubbed until dry and glossy, then ground fine and put in a tight canister. The iron spoon, size of a tablespoon, always kept beside the canister, and the coffee carefully measured when given out to be made.





DUCKS


[Illustration:


Illustration]

THEY WERE most interesting—English, Muscovy, and mongrel. They had their separate house, as they did not roost, but sat on the ground. When turned out in the morning, they would waddle down to the canal, which was a half mile long to the river, one behind the other, and stay all day.

In the afternoon they would come up the hill from the canal and quite often a wild duck would be with them. They would enter the duck house one behind the other, but the wild duck would never enter. He would go behind the others to the door, quack, quack, shoot straight up and away, then join them next morning and go through the same performance.





SOAP BOILING


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Illustration]

MOTHER loved to make “home made” soap, bar and soft. The soap pot was a big iron pot set up on three stones in the back yard. She used a long, wooden paddle to stir, and while it boiled, stirred constantly.

She was so interested and intent she did not notice that the wind had risen and blown her skirts too near the fire, until Mom Judy standing near, rushed up and put out the blaze saying “Yu sho gwine bun yo sef up bilin sope.”





THE LYE GUM


[Illustration:


Illustration]

I REMEMBER as a child the “lye gum” at home, where hickory ashes would be put in until two-thirds full. In the bottom of the gum a small opening was put, the gum set up on bricks, and a trough put under to contain the lye as it trickled through. For several days water was poured on the ashes until a certain amount of strong lye was obtained. There was always a grease jar by the kitchen door and all grease saved for soap making.





DE PUPPY


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Illustration]

“LORD, Lord Mossa sho du grebe ober dat puppy, effen Paa Mike haddenter pas jes den, dat puppy woodder bin ded, he holler fer me tu com fass, wen I git deer, what I see wus de puppy an de grease jar rollin ober togedder, an de mose ongordly soun commin outer dat jar. Paa Mike git tu dem fus, he holler at me tu kech holt ob de jar, awl dat time de offulles soun wus cummin out ob dat jar, I kotch hit an hilt tite.

“Paa Mike tuck holt ob de puppy hine laigs an he pull, an I pull. Wen dat puppy haid cum outer de jar, we tun luce, de puppy tun roun and roun lac a wheel and dash off. E stay off awl day. When e limp home late dat evenin, he wus wore out, hongry and cripple.”





ASPARAGUS AND Y. B'S.


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Illustration]

SOMETIMES Mother would send us to cut asparagus. It grew in abundance on the rice field banks. One day I caught a smooth shell terrapin on the bank. She came there from the water to dig a hole to lay her eggs. We had as much asparagus as we needed, so went back to the house, taking the terrapin. Going to the kitchen, we gave both to Mom Rina.

She said “Lord, wat dis yu fech hur; way yu git dis yaller belly? Hit sho du meck de bes supe.” When ’twas dressed she called us to see the eggs, thirty-one beautiful white eggs, as round as marbles. The bottom shell is yellow, so the negroes call them “yaller bellies.” We call them “y-b's.”





FOX HUNTING


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Illustration]

FATHER went fox hunting early one morning. Mother and I were in her room sewing. The windows were up and Peggy was stretched off on the floor near by, giving her four kittens their breakfast. When Father came in with a fox and laid it on the floor by Peggy, she jumped up, scattering her kittens in every direction and darted out of the window. They didn't know what ’twas all about and were terribly frightened, every hair puffed up and their eyes perfectly green.

They were jumping around and each time they bumped against each other they would turn and spit at It, lying on the floor near them. They kept jumping sideways and would bump against each other, turn, and spit. This was kept up until Father carried the fox out. Peggy stayed off all day. The poor little things were limp and exhausted, still jumping and spitting when they would touch each other.





FEEDING THE HOUNDS


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Illustration]

EACH DAY a large pone of corn bread was baked for the hounds. Father would feed them after our breakfast. They would gather and loll around until they saw him come out on the porch. Then they would form a circle in front, each in his own place, sitting straight up.

When things were quiet, “Toby,” a big Muscovy drake would waddle up and take his place between any two of the dogs and watch his chance. Father would call “Dash” and toss a piece of bread to him, “Clay” and toss his piece, “Toby” and toss his piece. They were all on the lookout and seldom missed catching, even “Toby.” When the pone was consumed, they were satisfied and went their different ways.





TOBY


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Illustration]

MOTHER took off a hen with twelve lovely little chicks, hatched the day before. She waited until ’twas warm and sunshiny before putting them in the yard, with hominy sprinkled around. A low, shallow trough was in the yard, not far from the well, filled with fresh water every morning. We watched the little chickens eating, sunning themselves, stretching their wings and legs, some huddled near their mother nodding in the sun.

We hadn't noticed Toby standing near, looking unconcerned and serious, probably thinking, for as soon as we left he trotted in a hurry to the chickens, picking up one in his bill and running parrot-toed to the trough, wabbling it up and down in the water and swallowing it, which he did before we could reach him.





MYRTLE WAX


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Illustration]

NEGROES would be sent to the woods to gather myrtle berries. They were tiny, grey-green, waxy and very fragrant. Mother made wax from them to polish the mahogany tables. The tables would be waxed, rubbed with a cork, then with a flannel cloth. Then they would shine like glass.





PATTY BEAN


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Illustration]

MY BROTHERS would get tired of my tagging after them so often, so would give me the slip. Then I fell back on my rag doll, Patty Bean, Mammy made for me. I recall exactly how she looked: head, front and back perfectly flat, arms long and blunt at the ends, no fingers, no feet, just long legs, round at the ends. When I last saw her she had on a red calico dress trimmed with rick-rack braid and a string of blue beads.





THE CATFISH


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Illustration]

THERE were two Marys on the place, one tall and slim, the other quite short and stout. She was called Mary Short, one of the cooks. We would set our lines in the canal late in the afternoon, get up early next morning (the three of us) and race down to see if we had caught anything.

On my line was a big catfish. Mom Mary made the most delicious catfish stew, which we all enjoyed. One of my brothers was a most persistent hunter and a fine shot. He would go off alone anytime, always bringing home something he had killed, and Mom Mary would always cook it for him. Everything she cooked was so good.

Once he came in, going straight to the kitchen and dumped a hawk and a crow on the table. She looked round and saw what he had brought and said “Yu orter no chile, bokra people done ete dese kine o tings. God nose I look fer yu ter fech in a buzud fer me tu kuck up fer yu mose enny time.”





THE CEDAR TREE


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Illustration]

THE CEDAR TREE was the largest I ever saw. The jackdaws built nests and raised their young among those fragrant, swaying limbs. They hung very low, almost touching the ground. We climbed up when we thought the squabs were almost ready to fly away and got as many as we wanted. They were as nice as pigeon squabs.

We each claimed a limb in the tree, high up, and when a very stormy blustery wind would blow, we would climb high up and sit near the end of the limb and ride up and down, swaying from side to side, holding on like monkeys.





JACKO


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Illustration]

JACKO was a raccoon. I don't know who owned him. He was just a family affair, as tame as a house cat. Father smoked a long stem Sally Michael clay pipe. The stems were various, cane, cane root, and fig. Wire for boring the stems hung on the side of the fireplace.

As Father would finish his smoke he would knock out his pipe on the hearth. Jacko would be curled up nearby sleeping. When he heard the knock he would wake, get up and walk gravely to the ashes, rub them with one paw, then rub his paw on his side, use the other paw and rub that one the same way.





TURKEYS


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Illustration]

UNDER two large mulberry trees, their limbs meeting overhead, the turkey pen was built of rails. ’Twas a big pen with wide cracks, so the young ones could get out any time to eat the berries. They are very delicate and hard to raise. The mother was kept in the pen until the grass was dry, so the young ones would not wander off.

A corn meal pone with onions and red pepper mixed in was baked for them daily. Mother went out the usual time to turn them out and found twelve or fourteen dead near the pen. They had gone through the cracks as usual, when a mink came by and killed them.





THE WELL


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Illustration]

DEEP and circular, bricked up from the bottom, with long sweep and “oaken bound bucket’ attached. A long deep trough was set in the lane, a short distance from the well, and the water taken there by a small wooden gutter, for the animals. A rope hung from the top of the well to attach the buttermilk jug when filled with freshly churned milk. Butter was kept in a bucket the same way. Father would go out just before dinner and pull up the jug with delicious cool milk.





FEDDER BRESH


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Illustration]

“CUM HYUR, Missie, and bunch dese tucky fedders fer me. I dun wo out de las dus bresh I got. Cum on chile, wat ail yu? I gwine hab fatty rice and sweet taters fur my dinner and I no a lettle gal wat sho du lak dese tasty tings wat I kin cuck up.” Missie was busy cutting paper dolls and paid no attention, so Mom Rina got busy and drifted into a mellow drone which blended into:

  • “Ole Sukey Blue Skin
  • She in lub wid me
  • She ax me roun tu Sandy Hook
  • Tu teck a glas ob tee
  • An wat yu tink
  • Old Sukey had fer supper
  • Chicken foot an sparrer gras
  • An homny an butter.”

“Lemme git up frum way I is at, an cuck dat rice. Hit sho am good, by this time.” Missie was close to Mom Rina ready to bunch feathers. “Yu jes part um hunny. Put de wing fedders to day seffs, an de tail fedders by day lone, kase day de bes. I gwine bunch an tie em ternite. Cum chile, de rice dun an glad I is yu gwine ete hit wid Mom Rina.”





NANNIE


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Illustration]

ONE of the negro men, coming from his work late one afternoon, brought Mother a tiny fawn he found in the woods. Mother raised it on the bottle, from a tiny spotted fawn to a grown deer. It was as gentle as one of the dogs. A big wooden bowl would be put in the yard with corn bread, “pot licker,” potatoes, dumplings, all cut up together. I have seen Nannie, one of the hounds, Toby, chickens and the cat, all eating together. Every now and then Nannie would butt them from the bowl.

Then one morning Nannie was missing. We heard the hounds in full cry (one who had eaten out of the bowl with her). In a few minutes we saw her bounding home with the hounds close behind. She cleared the fence, dashed in the house, into my room and jumped on my bed, muddy feet and all! ’Twas a frolic for her and the dogs, but if they had caught her in the woods so far from home I am sure they would have killed her.





FEEDING THE LITTLE CHICKS


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Illustration]

MOTHER would go in the yard with her trowel and I with her little bench to see the chickens enjoy their feast of earth worms and grub. When they saw her they would gather around and wait while she turned over the earth as far as she could reach, then move the bench and dig again.

Sometimes two little chicks would get the same long worm, pull and tug against each other and fall back, each with a piece, and run off. Mother had a keen sense of humor and laughed heartily over their antics.





HOG KILLING TIME


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Illustration]

HOG KILLING time was always exciting and interesting, with the making of sausage, hog's head cheese and liver pudding. Forty or fifty hogs were laid across a long line of boards, like a long bench, near the smoke house and by the door was a large chopping block where they were cut up and salted, then hung in the smokehouse and smoked.

Outside of the smoke house was a little covered brick fireplace, with a flue opening at the back into the smokhouse. A fire was built of corn cobs and hickory chips, the front was shut tight and the smoke would go through the flue into the smokehouse.

When sausage was being made, Mother directed. She would put in salt, red and black pepper, thyme, and a little sage. It was worked by hand like biscuit dough. A frying pan would be kept hot and little pats would be fried to taste. We hung around, for there were always many fryings and tastings, seasoning added until it suited. Sometimes Father would be called out to taste.





PLOUGHING THE RICE FIELDS


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Illustration]

FATHER decided to have the rice fields ploughed instead of hoed, as they had always been, so he had the carpenter on the place make mule boots. They were made of black gum, as that wood is light in weight. When they were ready, two of the mules, Kit and Sancho, were brought in the lane by two negro men.

They laid one mule down on the ground, with bit and bridle on, and put on the boots. On either side of bit was a rope. Each man held one of the ropes and stood aside, the mule reared up and tried to stand. The didos he cut were comical. He would jump up and down, kick off one leg, lie down, kick all legs in the air, roll over and squeal. All that time, the men held their line. After daily training, the mules ploughed the fields, then ploughed long rows to plant the rice.

Long handle gourds were used to sow the rice. The end of the handle was cut off, and in the side of the gourd was cut a small opening, large enough to pour in the rice and hold, then the women would sow the rice through the end of the handle.





MINDING RICE


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Illustration]

WHEN rice was maturing, ’twould be soft and milky. That condition was called “in the milk.” Then the rice birds would come in thousands.

The men would be given guns, powder and shot. Boys eight and ten years old would be given shingles to clap. As the birds descended to light on the rice the boys would clap, clap, clap, and as they rose above the rice, the men would shoot. In that way the rice was not shattered.





RICE THRASHING


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Illustration]

SEED RICE was thrashed with flails by hand. Boards were laid on the ground wide enough for four men to stand side by side, on each side, and use the flails, alternating their strokes.

The bundles of rice were untied and laid on the boards with the heads meeting in the middle and ends of straw towards thrashers. The flails were made of hickory: a long handle, about the length and size of a hoe handle, and a shorter length for thrashing, fastened together with raw hide.

RICE PLANTATIONS

ON THE east side of the Cape Fear river is Wilmington, North Carolina. On the west, bordering on the river, are the plantations. The fields are flooded from the river by canals, with flood gates, near the mouth of the river (which is thirty miles from Wilmington). The water is brackish and cannot be used for flooding the fields, so the planters use fresh water ponds.

They could not live in summer near tide water, so built summer homes sixteen miles from the river, in the pine woods, and called the village Summerville. They returned to their winter homes after frost.





GANDER HALL


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Illustration]

“THE TALE as to its name is Mr. McIlhenney decided to go into the business of raising geese for their feathers, which he was going to sell. He purchased a very large flock from up country and when the season, eggs hatching, etc. came, there were no eggs. Mr. McIlhenney called in a neighbor who informed him he had nothing but ganders. So for the balance of time, it was called “Gander Hall.”

PLANTATION NAMES

SAN SOUCIKENDALL
Mr. Arthur HillMr. Owen Holmes
ASPERNCLARENDON
Col. Maurice MooreMr. Joseph Watters
BUCHOIOLD TOWN
Judge Alfred MooreMr. Tom Cowan
BELVEDEREORTON
Mr. John WaddellMr. Roger Moore
BELFONTTHE OAKS
Mr. Hugh WaddellCol. John Taylor
HILTONGREENFIELD
Mr. Cornelius HarnuttMr. Tom McIlhenney
THE HERMITAGECOBHAM
Mr. BurgwynMr. June Davis
LILLIPUTGANDER HALL
Dr. John HillMr. James McIlhenney

























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