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AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum

Re: Slave Narratives - Dr. Bluford GAINES - SC>AR

State: Arkansas Interviewee: Dr. D. B. Gaines
"I was born in 1863 and am now seventy-five years old. You see, therefore, that I know nothing experimentally* and practically about slavery.

(*there are numerous typos in these narratives - I believe the doctor probably said experientially)

I was born in South Carolina in Lawrence County (my note: this is Laurens county), and my father moved away from the old place before I had any recollection. I remember nothing about it. My father said his master's name was Matthew Hunter."

I found an MM Hunter in slave schedules and two Matthew Hunters in Laurens - one perhaps the son of the other, the younger a physician.

1850 slave schedules MM Hunter - 14 slaves
1860 Slave schedules :
M M Hunter Not Stated, Laurens, South Carolina
Listed with 74 slaves

Name: Mathew Hunter
Age in 1870: 80
Estimated Birth Year: 1789

Birthplace: South Carolina
Home in 1870: Laurens, Laurens, South Carolina
Race: White

Name: Mathew A Hunter
Age in 1870: 45
Estimated Birth Year: 1824
Birthplace: South Carolina
Home in 1870: Youngs, Laurens, South Carolina
Race: White
Post Office: Laurens
Roll: M593_1501
Page: 284
Image: 570
Year: Occupation 1870

Name: M M Hunter
Age in 1860: 35
Birthplace: South Carolina
Home in 1860: Not Stated, Laurens, South Carolina
Gender: Male
Post Office: Youngs Store
Roll: M653_1222
Page: 315
Year: 1860
Head of Household:M M Hunter Occupation Physician

"My mother's people, however, were sold from her in very early life and sent to Alabama. My mother's maiden name was Harriet Smith. She came from South Carolina too. Her old master was a Smith. My mother and father lived on adjoining plantations and by permission of both overseers, my father was permitted to visit her and to marry her even before freedom. Out of regard for my father, his master bought my mother from her master."

There were too many Smith slaveholders in Laurens to determine which one owned Harriet. I do not see Smith neighbors for either Mathew the elder in 1850 (listed as a miller) or Mathew the younger (age 25) listed as physician. A map of the area plantations and farms would probably be better than census records.

"I think my father told me that the old master called them all together and announced that they were free at the close of the War. Right after freedom, the first year, he remained on the farm with the old master. After that he moved away to Greenville County, South Carolina, and settled on a farm, with the brother-in-law of his old master, a man named Squire Bennett. He didn't go to war. "

His parents:
Name: Westley GAINES
Age: 47
Estimated birth year:
Birthplace:South Carolina
Home in 1880:Austin, Greenville, South Carolina
Marital status: Married
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Head of household:Westley GAINES
Father's birthplace:SC
Mother's birthplace:SC

Name:Harriet GAINES
Age: 38
Estimated birth year:
Birthplace:South Carolina
Occupation:Keeping House
Children: son Young 20 minister

son Blueford 18

son Budd 14

son Charley 12

daughter Hattie 10

son John 8

son William 6

son Edward 3

son Jay 1

"There was an exodus of colored people from South Carolina beginning about 1880, largely due to the Ku Klux or Red Shirts. They created a reign of terror for colored people in that state. He joined the exodus in 1882 and came to Arkansas where from reports, the outlook seemed better for him and his family. He had no trouble with the Ku Klux in Arkansas. He maintained himself here by farming."

His father in 1900:

GAINES, WESLEY (1900 U.S. Census)
Age: 60, Male, Race: BLACK, Born: SC
Series: T623 Roll: 63 Page: 263

"I was named for my father's master's brother, Dr. Bluford Gaines. My name is Doctor Bluford Gaines. Of course, I am a doctor but my name is Doctor.

"My father's family moved to Arkansas, in 1882. Settled near Morrilton, Arkansas, I myself came to Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1885, October eighth. Worked in the homes of white families for my board and entered Philander Smith College October 8, 1885. Continued to work with Judge Smith of the Arkansas Supreme Court until I graduated from Philander Smith College. After graduating I taught school and was elected Assistant Principal of the Little Rock Negro High School in 1891. Served three years. Accumulated sufficient money and went to Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee. Graduated there in 1896. Practiced for five years in the city of Little Rock. Entered permanently upon the ministry in 1900. Was called to the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church where I have been pastoring for thirty-nine years the first Sunday in next May.

GAINES, B DR (1900 U.S. Census)
Age: 37, Male, Race: BLACK, Born: SC
Series: T623 Roll: 73 Page: 222
Wife Mattie 32 married 9 years - no children - school teacher
Also in household niece Victoria Holloway 17 born AR

GAINES, BLUFORD (1910 U.S. Census)
Age: 46, Male, Race: BLACK, Born: SC
Series: T624 Roll: 62 Page: 234

Mis-spelled in 1920:
GAINES, DAN B (1920 U.S. Census)
Age: 56, Male, Race: BLACK, Born: SC
Series: T625 Roll: 79 Page: 139
Wife Mattie 50

Of interest to me were the two nieces I found in the household;
Viola (23) and Lida (20) SCIPIO - this is a surname I research and it is rather rare so I will now be looking at this family not simply as an exercise.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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