Sallie Phillips Smith Oral History Interview

June 12, 1973
Oral History #OH0011
Lennon, Donald R. (Interviewer); Smith, Sallie Phillips, 1877-1978 (Interviewee)
Physical description
0.005 Cubic Feet, 1 audiocasette, 1.5 hour, 27 pages
Preferred Citation
Sallie Phillips Smith Oral History Interview (#OH0011), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Biographical/historical information

Mrs. Sallie Amelia Phillips Smith taught in the rural schools of eastern North Carolina for more than forty-four years. She was born in Edgecombe County in 1877. Educated at Bricks School (named for Joseph Keasbey Brick) in Edgecombe Co., N.C., Mrs. Phillips taught in Nash, Pitt, and Martin County schools before retiring in 1954 (?).

Scope and arrangement

Mrs. Smith discusses her parents' lives as freed persons and as formerly enslaved persons. Particular topics of interest include the circumstances surrounding the sale of her mother from Hyde to Edgecombe County owners. Also two fables are recited, "The Lark and the Young Ones," and "One Simple John Proctor," originally told to her by her father.

Some material in the interview concerns Mrs. Smith's years as a student at Bricks School. She describes how the school was established and recalls student life and her own experiences there.

An educator for at least forty-four years, Mrs. Smith taught in several elementary schools, including a one-teacher schoolhouse. She describes her teaching methods, problems with attendance, tuberculosis among children and its treatment, student-teacher relationships, and general reminiscences of her career.

Mrs. Smith briefly discusses her retirement years. Accompanying the twenty-six page transcript is her newspaper obituary dated May 15, 1978.

Administrative information
Source of acquisition

Gift of Sallie Phillips Smith

Processing information

Processed by C. Carter, April 1984

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Descriptions updated by Ashlyn Racine, May 2023

Copyright notice

Repository does not own copyright to the oral history collection. Permission to cite, reproduce, or broadcast must be obtained from both the repository and the participants in the oral history, or their heirs.

General note


Key terms
Personal Names
Smith, Sallie Phillips, 1877-1978
African Americans--North Carolina--Personal narratives
Slavery--North Carolina--Edgecombe County
Slavery--North Carolina--Hyde County
Slaves--Emancipation--North Carolina
Teachers--North Carolina