E. W. Evans (Negro)
610 Parsons Street, S.W.
Brick Layer & Plasterer
by Geneva Tonsill

SOURCE: Library of Congress

“My parents were slaves on the plantation of John H. Hill, a slave owner in Madison, Georgia. I wuz born on May 21, 1855. I wuz owned and kept by J. H. Hill until just befo’ surrender. I wuz a small boy when Sherman left here at the fall of Atlanta. He come through Madison on his march to the sea and we chillun hung out on the front fence from early morning ’til late in the evening, watching the soldiers go by. It took most of the day.

“My master wuz a Senator from Georgia, ‘lected on the Whig ticket. He served two terms in Washington as Senator. His wife, our mistress, had charge of the slaves and plantation. She never seemed to like the idea of having slaves. Of course, I never heard her say she didn’t want them but she wuz the one to free the slaves on the place befo’ surrender. Since that I’ve felt she didn’t want them in the first place. “ The next week after Sherman passed through Madison, Miss Emily called the five wimmen women that wuz on the place and tole them to stay ‘round the house and attend to things as they had always done until their husbands come back. She said they were free and could go wherever they wanted to. See , she decided this befo surrender and tole them they could keep up just as befo’ until their husbands could look after a place for them to stay. She meant that they could rent from her if they wanted to. In that number of wimmen women wuz my mother, Ellen, who worked as a seamstress for Mrs. Hill. The other wimmen women wuz aunt Lizzie and aunt Dinah, the washer- wimmen women , aunt Liza , a seamstress to help my mother, and aunt Caroline , the nurse for Miss Emily’s chilluns.

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