The “Mayor of Douglasville”

byu320-00527

Photo obtained via Ancestry.com

Last night I was doing a research and came across the Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves; Volume: I; State: Alabama (click here )Compiled by the Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, there are over 2300 individual accounts of slavery, and 500 photos of former slaves. Information may include surnames of interviewees, birthplaces, ages, parents names, former slave owners, and interview location.

I found Mr. Abe Whitess on page 423 he was born in Mississippi and worked on Colonel Rupert’s plantation in Butler County, Alabama after he was freed. Mr. Whitess moved down to Bay Minette, Alabama. I have a large portion of family down there so of course, I wanted to know a little bit more about him. Mr. Whites worked odd jobs and became the chairman of the republican party, according to his interview. Mr. Whitess even owned 14 acres of land, he donated part of his land to open a part Douglasville, the area of Bay Minette he resided in, for a public road. After doing that the people pf the community, mostly African American dubbed Mr. Whitess the “Mayor of Douglasville”. I plan to read more interviews, I find their stories really interesting and it gives me a glimpse into what life was like for an enslaved person.

Checkout Mr. Whitess’ interview below.

 

 

Source Citation

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves; Volume: I; State: Alabama

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