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Full text of "The life of Micajah Anderson of Edgecombe County"





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THE LIFE 



OF 



MICAJAH ANDERSON 



OF EDGECOMBE COUNTY. 




■^-■^^•^ 



BY HIIVISELF 



-♦-•^^-♦- 



IJ'ritteji from Dictation, 

BY BENJAJIIN JOHNSON,' COLORED. 



Ilk 



OF LOGS BO RO TOWNSHIP 



"\ Tarboro. N. C.: 

J'ro/i/ )\'ni, <^l . JfeartKr"*- "Prinihif/ and 'PtihiishtHfy Moufc, Jfahi -sfveef. 

1870. . 



.f 



4 



THE LIFE 



OF 



MicAJAH Anderson 



OF EDGECOMBE COUNTY. 



4 tm ¥ 



BY HIMSELF 



-^ am ¥ 



Written from Dictation^ 

BY BENJAMIN JOHNSON, COLORED, 

Of LOGSBORO TOWNSHIP. 



-♦■«^♦- 



Tarboro, N. C.: 

JTrom )f'M, i^i, mat'ne't IPt'inihif/ ami ihibUehing Mouse, Main 6tt'eei, . 

1870. '^ 



INTRODUCTION. 



-4--^^-*- 



This book is written and published in the sixty-seventh year of my 
age. 

In giving the main facts and incidents relative to my last wife, I do 
so in a spirit of regret, rather than with a feeling of malice; and while 
I cannot hope to remove or lessen the great sorrow which has overtaken 
me in my old age, I trust that what I say in this book is enough to 
vindicate me in the eyes of the world, and justify my conduct before 
men. 

The Lord has spared me to this time of life, and for his goodness and 
mercy to me, I feel that it is my duty to give to the world some record 
of a life that has not been without incident, as it has also been full of 
trial and tribulation, but not without the great blessing of much 
pleasure, and a share of worldly prosperity to reward my many days of 
honest toil. Affection has been mine too, for I have known the love of 
two faithful wives and twelve children. 

I have long felt that I was called to come out from the world and 

believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and I now feel that I am commanded 

to do this work, and I should never be content to live, or die satisfied if 

I did not perform it to the best of my ability. 

L So in a spirit of Christian love I enter upon this task, dedicating my 

^work to all such as fear the Lord and love one another. 

V MICAJAH ANDERSON. 

n3 



Edgecombe County, N. C, June, 1870. 



• THLE T^IFE 

OF 

MICAJAH ANDERSON. 



-^ WAS born in Edfi;e combe county, 
October, 1803, of very poor and 
->)-• humble parents. Indeed, I sup- 
pose I came into the world as poor as 
any one who ever lived in it. My 
first recollection of my mother (my 
father died when I was quite young) 
was that she was toiling day and night 
for the support of myself and broth- 
ers and sisters, of which there were 
two girls older, and two boys and a 
girl younger than myself ; and the 
first work I ever did was on the spin- 
ning-wheel, assisting my mother, 
"when I could not have been more than 
five or six years old. 

One day, when I was about six 

or seven years old, my mother went 

out to carry home some work she 

had done for a neighbor, leaving me 

at home with my baby brother, who 

was just able to sit alone. We were 

k living in a log house with a dirt floor, 

^and a few boards across the joists 

^■diich was called a loft. We were 

^Both crying of hunger, as we had 

I often cried before, when I heard a 

voice, which seemed to come throuo^h 

the opening of the loft, saying : — 

*'Watch the world and strive, and 

you shall live !" Startled by this 

unexpected voice in so strange a 

place, I looked up to see if there was 



not somebody in the loft, but finding 
no one, my young heart became filled 
with wonder, and as young as I was 
I thought it must be the voice of the 
Lord God, and I hushed my baby 
brother — and from that day I bore 
my lot uncomplainingly, and became 
a dutiful child, working faithfully 
for my mother until I was twenty- 
one years old, a period of unceasing 
toil with me, but not remarkable for 
any incident worthy of mention 
here. 

On the twenty-first day of Octo- 
ber, one thousand eight hundred and 
twenty-four, I became twenty- one 
years of age, and on the night of the 
twenty- fifth, following, I was mar- 
ried to my first wife, Nancy Newsom. 

At this time I had not so much as 
a bed of my own, nor anything to live 
on only as I earned it, but we both 
want to vfork, and we lived in love, 
peace and prosperity seventeen 
years, three months and ten days, 
when it was God's will to part us. 
My earthly substance at her death 
was, I suppose, about two thousand 
five hundred dollars, that we had 
together accumulated. 

About two years before the death 
of my wife, I was brought to see my 
lost condition, and to know that 



6 



THE LIFE OF MICAJAII AXBERSOK 



where God and Christ was, I could 
notgo. This disturbed me so I could 
take no rest, and I thought I would 
try and pray, but it appeared to me 
that the more I tried to pray the 
worse I got, and in September that 
mv wife died in January, following, 
I lay down one night but could 
not close my eyes in sleep for fear 
that I should never wake again. I 
was living at the Avington place on 
Fishing Creek, and on the occasion 
here alluded to, my wife was sitting 
up before the fire. Pretty soon after 
laying down I heard music like a 
fiddle playing up stairs, and I 
thou'^ht some one asked me who 
is that playing the fiddle, and I re- 
plied that it was James Avington, 
and immediately I saw a flame of fire 
in the east, and as I saw it I jumped 
up out of bed and ran to shut the 
door to keep the fire out of the house. 
As I was going I saw four men com- 
ing down stairs but I did not know 
any of them except James Avington, 
and I had never had any ac- 
quaintance with him. xis I reached 
the door my wife rose from the fire 
place, and laying hold of me, asked 
what was the matter with me, I re- 
plied nothing. She answered : "Yes 
there is, and has been for some 
time, and I want you to tell me what 
it is." But I insisted that there vras 
nothing:, and went and laid down 
a<yain. I never did tell her what I 
saw and felt that night, and she 
died and left me here in that way, 
and it seemed to me that after her 
death I was worse, for I was as 



much concerned about her poor soul 
as my own, and as anxious to know 
what had become of her, as I was to 
know what would become of me. 

About ten days after her death I 
was taken down sick, and it was 
thought that I would die also, and I 
felt that if I did, my soul would be 
forever lost, and it appeared to me 
that I could not live but for the 
beautiful hymns I heard, the sweet- 
est sounds I had ever listened to, 
and which gave me hope that there 
was still some promise for me some 
time or other, and so I recovered 

from mv sickness. 
1/ 

About the middle of Julv of the 
same year I retired one night pray- 
ing to Almighty God to show me 
whether my wife was saved or not, 
and I was carried into a place about 
a half acre in size and as round as a 
drum, and 1 appeared to be shut up 
in this dark place with no chance of 
escape, and I looked and beheld my 
wife in a beautiful place, seeming 
to me the most happy state of exis- 
tence that I ever saw with my eyes, 
and I struggled hard to make my 
way to her, and I thought I got 
near enough to speak to her, and I 
said "Nancy, I want to lay my hand 
on your pretty head ;" but she an- 
swered, "you can't do that, 'Cajah,' 
and in reply to my question why" 
not, she said it was because of some 
of my misconduct to her when living. 
Immediately a door leading into 
this beautiful place was opened and 
I was taken in, and turning to my 
ricfht 1 went straight to her, and 



THE LIFE OF MICAJAn ANDERSON. 



laid my hand on her head, and this 
was the happiest moment I ever ex- 
perienced in my life, and I thought 
and hoped that it would last me al- 
ways. But since that time it has 
been shown to me that I was not to 
live that life while in this sinful and 
wicked world, and I became so de- 
sirous of living that life, I prayed 
to the Lord both night and day that 
I micjht so live here as to live that 
life hereafter. 

One day I was going from where 
I live to the plantation, and there 
came a voice to me saying that I 
had never done the first good deed 
in my life. This was a most dis- 
tressing time to me, and I begged 
and prayed Almighty God, there, to 
show me the right way and to help 
me do what was right. I was going 
on from my house about a month 
and a half aftervrards, and another 
voice seemed to come to me that 
what had been done for me I did 
not do myself, and that I need not 
expect to live in this world as though 
I was in the world above, for I could 
not ; and I then felt, that I was and 
profess now to be, an old hard-shell 
Baptist at heart ; but as St. Paul 
says : ''The things that I would do, I 
not, and the things that 1 would 
't do, that I do, then it is no more I 
tffat do it, but sin that is in the 
flesh." 

I do not want any one to think or 
say that I write this to hurt the 
feelings of the church, or the feelings 
of anyone, but I do this to shov/ the 
world the life that I have spent,. 




how I lived two years, five months 
and seventeen days, up to the time 
I married Harriet Faithful, my se- 
cond wife. 

When I was married the second 
time, I carried my wife home, and 
she took hold of the same end of 
the rope that my first wife had 
turned loose by death, and we lived 
together twenty years, five months 
and seventeen days, and we throve 
as fast as two house pigs put up to 
fatten. 

In her lifetime we often talked 
together about our future state, and 
I would ask her if she was willing 
for me to ofi'er to the church, and 
she always said she was, and she 
would be glad if it was the will of 
God that she might go with me, 
and that was the reason that I never 
offered in her lifetime, for I lived in 
hopes that she would come sometime, 
but she died and never did. 

At the death of my second wife I 
suppose I was worth twenty thou- 
sand dollars in money and other 
property. I make this statement to 
show what she and I did in her life- 
time, and in the time of her life we 
were, including ourselves, twenty- 
seven in family. She was the 
mother of nine children, seven boys 
and two girls, and eight of them 
were living at her death, which 
with four left by my first wife, made 
twelve living children to me — eight 
sons and four daughters. Now I 
have five livino; sons and four daugh- 
tors, but am only four in family. I 



8 



TEE LIFE OF MICAJAU ANDEESOK 



they are gone out from mc to fill 
their places in the world. I tried 
to raise them to knovr' how to get 
their living hj the "sweat of their 
brow," according to the laws of 
their maker, for this is the way I 
got my living, for no man or woman 
has ever left me a cent, and I feel 
quite certain none never will. I 
have enough to last me as long as I 
shall live, and I can truly say that 
all I have or ever had given to me 
was a gift from Almighty God, 
*'from whom all blessings flow." 

Four months after the death of 
v>my second wife, I married her own 
cousin, widow of Edward Fountain 
— maiden name Mary Eliza Pittman. 
She had one child, a girl, named 
Mary Williford Fountain. It is now 
six years since I last married, and 
althou2:h I have been married three 
times, I have had but two wives, for 
the last woman I married' never has 
been any wife to me at all. She 
was the worst enemy, and most bit- 
ter foe to me I have ever had in all 
the days of my life. She is a mem- 
ber of the Old School Baptist 
Church, and belongs to the church 
at Williams' meeting house. 

I had been acquainted with her 
for several years, knew her as a 
member of the church and regarded 
her as a christian woman, so I went 
to see her. thinkinn; that she would 
make a good wife to me, and I told 
her that I had loved her as a chris- 
tian and felt that I vrould love her 
as a wife. We were married, and 
on our way home she said there was 



j one request she had to make, that I 
never would prevent her from going 

' to preaching. I assured her that I 

I never would, and that it was the 
very last thing I could think of do- 
ing ; further told her that I hoped 
it would not be long before I should 
go into the church with her. She 
Seemed satisfied, and expressed the 

I hope that I might soon become a 

[ member. 

I On the morning of the sixth day 
I after we were married, I went into 
! the garden to prepare a place for 
; bedding potatoes, which I selected, 
I and by the time we had got it ready 
breakfast was announced, after fin- 
ishing which I remarked to her that 
i I had put some eating potatoes in 
{ the hill with the plantings, and 
wanted her and the children to come 
i into the garden and pick them out 
; and take care of them. With her 
little girl and my two little daugh- 
ters she came after a w^hile, but had 
not been there long before I had 
occasion to scold the boj's at work, 
both white and black, for playing 
around the bed and idling their 
time; when she flew into a nassion 
i and said if there was to be a fuss on 

['the plantation about work, she would 
I leave, but I paid no attention to whj 
I she said, and went on to comph 
my work. 

When she first came to my houso^ 

she told my two little girls that si 

vras going to learn them to card and 

spin. But she had no time to do 

1 so, and I did not expect her to do 

! it, but her daughter was old enough 



THE LIFE OF MICAJAU ANDERSON. 



and larire cnou^li to learn them ; 
but she would neither work herself 
or show the others how, nor her 
mother never tried to make her do 
anything. One day I reminded my 
wife that she had promised to teach 
my girls how to work, and she re- 
plied in a violent fit of anger that 
she would when she got a chance ; 
and so for a month, and better,things 
went on, and I named to her again 
that I thought she was going to put 
the children to work, and that I 
could not stand their idleness any 
longer. She then affirmed that the 
children should not have her cards 
to abuse and wear out, and I told 
her there were some cards in the 
press, I thought, and if there was 
not, why 1 would get some, and then 
she took the cards and set my oldg 
esu daughter to spinning and her's 
to cardinn;. When she first becran 
I suppose she carded about one 
ounce a day, and from that she got 
down to a quill a day, and from that 
to nothing. 

Finding that my wife would do 
nothing for the instruction of my 
little girls, but en the contrary en- 
couraged her daughter to idleness, 
thereby laying a bad example 
for my children whom I was anxious 
should be raised to habits of. indus- 
try I one evenino;, weisrhed me 
out two ounces of cotton and that 
night carded it myself. The next 



\ 



morning I took the rolls to the 
wheel, fixed one on, and called my 
little girl to come and let me learn 
her how to spin. She began to cry, 



but I hushed her, and then her step- 
mother fell into one of her violent 
fits of anger, and said that the child 
would not be put on in this way if her 
mother had lived, that putting her 
to work this way would not have 
been thought of in her life time. I 
' reasoned with her calmly that she 
ought not to set such examples be- 
: fore the children, that she knew 
^ they ought to be at work, and that 
I their mother had several months ago 
I spoken to William Weeks for a lit- 
I t]e wheel for them, which was done 
at her death. But she would not 
hear to reason, became more vio- 
lent and declared that I was only 
pursuing this course to make little 
of her before the children and the 
servants on the place. I told her I 
did it that mv children mi^ht be 
taught to work, and that as no one 
else would I must teach them my- 
self. With that her dauorhter de- 

o 

clared she would not work, that 
there were negroob enough on the 
plantation to do all the work ; 
and her mother ripped out that 
she should not work, that she did 
not come there to work but to live 
a fine lady, and she intended that 
she should be raised one. 

From anything I may say in this 

book of another, the reader must 

I not infer that I claim perfection for 

I myself. On the contrary, it must 

i be remembered that I have been a. 

bad man — as far from perfection as 

it was possible for most men to be, 

and I could not consent to speak of 

I the faults of another, without mak- 



10 



THE LIFE OF 21LCAJAU AXBEllHON. 



ing full acknowledgments of my 
own short-comings. And I also 
make the further acknowledgement, 
that in the differences and difficul- 
ties between my last wife and my- 
self, I was often as much in fault as 
she was, but I desired to do right, 
and tried to live in peace and har- 
mony Avith her, and would have 
done so, had she been as ready to 
overlook my faults as I was to ac- 
knowledge them ; as ready to own 
herself in the wrong, as I was to for- 
give her. 

And I owe it to the sacred mem- 
ory of my two first companions to 
say here that, my conduct, often in 
their life-time, was enough to have 
tried a saint, and but for their kind 
and forgiving natures, under the 
severest trials and provocations, I 
must have fallen, long ago, beneath 
the weight of wrongs wrought by 
my own hands ; and in recognizing 
the sorrow that has overtaken 
me in my old age, the hand of God 
laid upon me for the offences of my 
earlier years, wdth an humble and 
contrite spirit, I acknowledge His 
great goodness. His perfect justice 
and loving kindness to the way- 
ward sinner, among whom, as St. 
Paul says, " I am chief. " 

God grant the tears of grief that 
water eyes already dimmed by years, 
that flow from a heart withered by 
time and bowed beneath a load of 
sorrow, may atone for misspent 
years ; and may my afflictions final- 
ly prove my salvation ; for the Lord 
is good, and " hath no pleasure in 



the death of him that dies. " And 
when our pilgrimage on earth is 
ended, may we, who have been so 
rudely separated on earth, so un- 
happily mated in this life, meet in 
Heaven to share the joys of eternal 
life; and may they who have been 
so ready to magnify the differences, 
and widen the breach between my- 
self and her whom I solemnly vowed 
to love, honor and protect, find that 
forgiveness in Heaven which I shall 
leave them here. For, " with malice 
for none and charity for all, " I 
shall leave this world, cherishing 
for mankind feelings of the most 
perfect love and friendship. 

The next night I weighed me out 
some more cotton, and went in one 
of the rooms of the house to card it, 
leavincr her in the other room. Pat- 

o 

rick Lawrence was there that night, 
and heard everything that passed 
between us. Eliza began to talk in 
great wrath, and said, among other 
things, that she did not intend to re- 
main with me any longer, for what I 
was then doing w^as only to make 
little of her ; that the work I was 
about would not pay for the wear- 
ing out of my breeches. I told her 
that if I wore out my breeches, they^ 
cost her nothing; and I kept oi 
until I had carded upwards of five^ 
pounds of cotton, and by this time 
the oldest of the tv>-o girls had 
learned how, and I then told her 
she must learn her sister to card and 
spin, which she did, keeping their 
woric separate, which I locked up to 
show how much each one did. In 



THE LIFE OF MIC AJAR ANDERSON. 



11 



the meantime, Eliza's daughter was | and when he was killed in the war, 
doing nothing but idling about, | he had by both of his wives seven 
studying to make mischief between ' children, and five of these, with 
her mother, myself and the rest of their grandmother, Mrs. Pittman, I 



the family. I have known this 
daughter to misplace some article of 



settled on my premises to take care 
of. The house in which Mrs. Pitt- 



her own or her mother's, thimble or i man and her and my grandchildren 
scissors, for instance, and declare, in I lived, was about one hundred and 
the most innocent yet earnest manner fifty yards from my residence, and 
that they were lost, or that some , there Eliza spent most of her time, 
mem^ber of the family had had them, : preferring the company of her step- 
and after pretending to look every- ; mother to mine. If anyone came to 
where in the most anxious manner ■ visit at my house, Eliza would take 
imaginable, and after making all the | them to Mrs. Pittman's, hardly al- 
disturbance she could in this way, I lowing them to spend any time at 
she would find the missing article, all with me, and if she did not re- 
when she and her mother would ' main away all night, she would re- 
both declare that some one about [ turn home at a late hour, going to 
the house was always interfering ■ bed as softly as she could ; never 
with their work, hiding their things j speaking to me if she could help it. 
and trying to tease the life out of | On the morninc; succeedino; these 
^^^^'^' I visits, she would rise early, with 

When I would be called off from one of her fits of passion on her, 
home, to town for instance, this girl and you might hear her tongue all 
was busy the live long day to invent I over the plantation. She has been 
some story to tell her mother ! heard in one of these outbreaks of 
against my return, and the moment anger at Mrs. Lane's which is more 
she would see me coming home, she than a quarter of a mile from my 
would run to her mother saying, j house, and she scandalized the 
" mother, papa is drunk ; papa is ! neighborhood, and alarmed every 



drunk. 



moth 



er. 



body with the tormenting noise of 



^ They would then take themselves I her fiery tongue. 

Both off to old aunt Polly Pittman's, \ \ have tried to talk to her, and 

^ho was Eliza's step-mother, widow j prevail on her to control her tem- 



of her father, and there they would 
generally remain all night, telling 
everybody they saw, that I was at 
home dead drunk. 

My son, Micajah, first married a 
daughter of this Mrs. Pittman, but 
she died, and he was married again, 



per; that my feelings were hurt to 
the shedding of tears by such con- 
duct, and that I could not stand it; 
and when I would attempt to rea- 
son with her thus, she would place 
her hands on her hips and walk ofi', 
uttering no word but " pshaw, 



12 



TEi: LIFE OF MICAJAJI AXDEBSOX. 



pshaw; " and instead of trying to 
improve, she seemed to get many 
times worse. 

At my meals I had no peace, she 
was forever flinging out some sharp 
words at meal time, to wound mv 
feelings, make me mad, and keep 
me away from the table. When, 
on occasions of this kind I reproved 
her, the best I knew how, and vrith 
as little show of anger as possible, 
she would turn her back on me, 
lean her head on her arms up 
against the mantel piece, and speak 
not a word as long as I remained in 
the house, but the moment I was 
gone, she would begin to scold and 
quarrel after me. 

One day after dinner, I took a 
seat near the kitchen door, and her 
daughter came and sprung on the 
kitchen door and slammed the milk 
house door four times. One of my 
grand-daughters came and did the 
same thing, when I remarked to 
them, it was a pity they could not 
break it down, and then the door 
would be already open, for I had 
never seen a door opened and shut 
so much in my life. Eliza hearing 
me, came to the door and said she 
could never send to look for any- 
thing without a fuss ; and I repb'ed 
that she did not stay at home long 
enough to look for anything. — 
Whereupon, she flew up and said 
if she had ever eaten any stolen 
meat, she had eaten it at my house. 
I jumped up, angry myself now, 
and went into the kitchen, and 
asked her if she had ever eaten any 



stolen meat, or anvthinc: else stolen 
at my house. She said she had 
not, and the reason she spoke as 
she did, was because some one had 
said that two very larse hojrs I had 
were stolen. Had she intimated 
again that I had stolen anything, I 
will confess here, that I should have 
struck her, though I did not tlireaten 
anything of the kind on the occasion. 
After this, it was four weeks that we 
never spoke to each other, and I 
never intended to speak again un- 
less she asked my pardon. 

This was about the second week 
in iSTovember, and she and her 
daufjhter be^ran to carrv her thini^s 
to Betsey Pittman's, unknown to 
me, but I found out what they were 
doing, but did not let them know 
that I suspected anything of the 
kind. One morning early, after a 
cold rain the niofht before, she 
started off with a turn, barefooted. 
After going about a quarter of a 
mile, she came back, and went into 
the kitchen, shivering with cold and 
took a seat before the fire. The 
cook told her that she would kill 
herself; and she replied she did not 
care if she did. In about five min- 
utes r>fter she had thus spoken, they 
had to take her up and put her to 
bed. I was sent for to come to the 
house, that Eliza was dying, and I 
opened my mouth to tell the boy 
not to go for the doctor, but let her 
die, but my conscience rebuked me, 
and I felt that I ought to return 
good for evil, and I sent for the 
doctor in great haste. In the mean- 



i 



THi: Life of micajaji axijFIison'. 



13 



time, I went to her and found that 
she was as cold as ice, and the only 
way I could discover she had any 
life in her, was bj placing my hand 
on her heart. I had some hot 



As soon MS she got up again, 
Charlotte Pittman asked her if she 
was going to leave. She said she 
was not ; that I had asked her to 
forgive me, and she had done so, 



bricks placed around her, and get- and I had forgiven her. But this 

ting some brandy, opened her mouth did not last long. The first out- 

and gave her about half of a large | break after our reconciliation was 

glass full. She remained speech- j about «oap. 

less and insensible for some time 

longer, when I gave her some more 

of the brandy, and in a little while 

she began to revive, and by the 

time the doctor got there she could 

talk. 



o 



The doctor advised me to con- 



When I first carried her home, I 
had a barrel, holding some thirty- 
two or three gallons, that had been, 
as was my custom once a year, 
filled with soap made at home. — 
But by lending and giving as she 
did, the soap was out before it should 



tinue giving her stimulants, and \ have been half gone, and then she 
left some medicine for her. I was \ informed me of the fact by telling 
just as attentive as I knew how to j me that I must get some concen- 
be, and she felt it, for in helping , trated lye. I told her that I never 
her to turn over one day, she threw i had bought any soap or concen- 



her arms around my neck, and 
begged m^e to forgive her. I told 
her I should forgive her, but I could 



trated lye, and never should ; and 
if the soap had been properly taken 
care of, there would be plenty still 



\ 



not forget her; and I asked hereon hand. She declared that our 
why she said what she did the last ; clothes might drop off us then, for 
time we had spoken, and she re- ! she would not wash any more until 
plied that she did not believe that I I got some soap or some concen- 
had stolen anything, but that she trated lye. But she managed to 
said so because she was angry at wash through the balance of the 
having heard that I accused her of year, when I had ashes prepared 
stealing from me. I assured her j for another year's supply of soap, 
that I never had thought of such a ■ Now, my wife began to worry me 



thing, for what was mine was hers, 
and it would be impossible for her 
to steal from herself. I then begged 
her not to let anything so unplea- 
sant take place between us again. 
She said it should not, but from 
that day we would live as a dutiful 
and loving man and wife should. 



by the mcinner in which she man- 
aged the table. When anything 
was cooked she would select the 
most choice pieces of whatever was 
prepared, and lock it up in the milk 
house, and neither I or my little 
girls could get anything out of there, 
but her daughter could go when 



14 



TEE LIFE OF MICAJAH AXDEBSOX, 



and as often as she pleased, but if i must never use any rails of mine 
mine came round they were driven j again that came on his land, even if 
off, and told that there was nothing the water should carry off every 



for them. Visitors were treated to 
the best from the milk house or 
dairy, but me and my children were 
refused everything but such as we 
could get. 

None of the negroes were fed 
from the kitchen but the cook, and 
she was given or took just what she 
wanted. She had a son living 
about a mile from my house, named 
Lewis Hines, the same that was 
hung in Tarboro last January for 
committing a rape on a young lady 
in the county. He came to my 



rail he had on his plantation. 

My wife, Eliza, was Kcdding 
Pittman's own aunt, and when I 
happened to mention that Redding 
had taken my rails and left me with- 
out any, and I thought it very 
mean in him, she bursted out that 
it would never have been done, had 
I been a man of my word ; and 
when I asked what she meant, she 
replied that I did not let Redding 
have that land as I promised.. I 
admitted that I did not let him have 
the land, because he did not come 



house almost every night with his ; up to his promise, and he did not 
tin bucket to be filled with provi- \ come to me about it afterwards as a 



sions, and when his mother did not 
have anything to give him, he would 
corae up to the yard fence, and 
Eliza would go out to him and tak- 
ing his bucket to the milk house, 
fill and return it to him. I after- 
wards learned that the year, before 
he lived so near me, lie used to come 



man should. He approached me on 
the streets of Tarboro, in company 
with his cousin Joseph Pittman, but 
I did not consider that he had com- 
plied with the contract, nor did I be- 
lieve he would, so I refused to have 
anything to do further in the mat- 
ter, for which he abused me very 
with his bucket from Mr. David i much. 

BuUuck's, but at the time all this | WhenEliza found that I would 
was going on I had no idea of such j not let Redding have the land, she 
a thing. I began to kick up a great dust. — 

During a heavy freshet in the ; She said her first husband was a i 
creek, considerable of my fence was | sm.art man, and a man of his word, " 
washed away, and the rails were and so was her father. She went 
carried on the land of Betsey Pitt- on in this way at great length, until 

I ordered her to shut up, and went 
and laid down, as it was getting late 
in the night, but she kept on in her 
usual style for sometime. After 
awhile she came to bed, but had 
scarcely laid down, before she 



man, and her son. Redding, took 
my rails out of his field, and used 
them on his own fence. I knew the 
rails when I saw them, for they 
were new ones. I saw him about 
the matter, and told him that he 



THE LIFE OF MICAJAIi A XI) ER 8 OX. 



15 



opened on me again bj saying she 
and hers, had never stole a pocket 
handkerchief, and I said to her, in 
great anger, I admit, that if she did 
not stop going on in that way, I 
should certainly punish her, and as 
I moved on the bed, she jumped 
out, declaring that I had struck her. 
I asked her then if she, ever knew 
me or mine to steal a handkerchief, 
and she replied it had been done ; 
and upon further questioning, she 
said that one of my little girls had 
stolen Betsey Pittman's handker- 
chief. 

Upon inquiry, I ascertained that 
my little girl had found a handker- 
chief belonging to some one, and 
put it in a pocket of one of her 
dresses that hung up in her room; 
that she told her step-mother about 
it, and Betsey Pittman afterwards 
claimed it. 

Some time before this, I discov- 
ered that some one had been going 
in my chest, and I could not account 
for it, as I had the keys in my 
pocket. I then counted my money, 
which I kept in there. One Satur- 
day morning, I returned from feed- 
ing my hcgs, and found Eliza and 
her daughter gone to preaching at 
William's meeting house, and going 
to my chest found it unlocked, and 
taking out my pocketbook, I found 
that one five dollar note was miss- 
ing. I could not think how this 
was, for I always carried the keys 
in my pocket, and it occurred tome 
that there were a great many small 
keys about the house, and that some 



of the children had got one that 
fitted to the lock, bui I could find 
no key anywhere that would open 
the chest. I remembered that Eliza 
had lately been to the store and got 
a new trunk, and I went to the 
trunk and with my chest key, un- 
locked it. I locked the trunk again, 
and said nothing about my discov- 
ery. I thought I vrould hold the 
knowled2;e I had o;ained over Eliza 
as a sort of check to her conduct, if 
I found it necessary to mention it, 
but I wished to keep the matter a, 
secret, never to go beyond us two. 
So when she began to accuse my 
child of stealing, I asked her who it 
was that went into my chest and 
took out five dollars of my money. 
She stoutly denied any knowledge , 
of the circumstance, and affirmed 
that it was neither she nor hers. I 
told her that I was not so sure about 
that, and here the matter ended for 
that night ; and I indulged the hope 
that I should have peace and quiet 
at home thereafter. 

But the next day, as I was box- 
ing up some meat I had promised 
Eider Robert Hart, Betsey Pitt- 
man with Joe Pittman's wife, I 
think, came to my house, and walked 
into the kitchen where Eliza was. 
I could not understand what Eliza 
was saying in the conversation they 
carried on, but I distinctly heard 
Betsey say, " Lord, aunt Eliza, how 
do you stand it ? " 

Dinner was pretty soon an- 
nounced, and I was called to go in, 
but I did not go, for my heart and 



16 



THE LIFE OF MICAJAJI AXLEESOK 



stomach was full enough without line about the size of a man's fin- 
eating dinner. ger, and she looked rather frighten- 
After a little, Betsey and Joe's i ed, but I told her not to be scared, 
wife came out in the yard where I ^oi" I ^^^ not mean to hurt a hair on 
was, and asked me how I did. I j lier head. There was a pole resting 
told them I did not do welL That 1 in some forks in the yard, and over 
I was not so well in body, and my | this 1 threw the rope telling her to 
mind was terribly upset, for her come where I wa?, but she would 
aunt Eliza's conduct was such that | not, and I went to her, and holding 
I should never bo able to live with 1 one end of the rope in my hands, 
her ; that we should be bound to \ the other I dropped on the ground, 
part. They both went back into j asking her as I did so to pick it up, 
the kitchen where Elisa was, and \ ^vhich she did. Then 1 told her to 
having finished my work, I took a pull, saying : *' You know, Eliza, 
seat at the foot of an oak in the \ that if we put this rope over any- 
yard. Soon after Betsey and her , thing and pull upon it, after awhile, 
aunt Eliza came out to where I was, | it vriU wear in two and drop us 



and Betsey said, '^ Mr. Anderson, 



down. The end I have is the part 



what are you going to do with aunt you ought to have hold of and pull 

Eliza ? " I replied that I should ! ^ith me. " 

try to live with her the balance of i She then told me she was coming 

the year if I could, after which I ; for her things in the morning, and 

should put her into a house off to j I promised her I would carry them 

herself, or I proposed to do so. — ; for her, and the next morning she 

Eliza spoke up and said she could came sure enough. 

get her a place, and asked me if 1 1 ^^^^^,^ beginning to move, I said 



would move her things. I answered 
her that I would. Betsey Pittman 
and Joe's wife, or whoever it was, 
then went off home, and Eliza went 
witb them. 



to her that I wanted her trunk key 
a moment, and she gave it to me. — - 
I took it, and going with her to my 
chest, I put the trunk key into my 



lock, and unlocked it, the same a& 
She remained away twelve or ! ^y own key, but it would not lock 
thirteen days, when she returned again. I said, you see that, don't 
and sent for me down in the plan- you. She said she knew it was not 
tation. When I got to the house, | her child, for she never let her have 
I found her sitting down between \ the key, which was not the truth, as 
the two houses, and when I spoke , i knew, and she was well aware 
to her she snapped me up, and ap- ! that I knew it too, for ever since 



peared to be very mad, but said she 
had got her a place. 

I then went and got me a small 



she had been at my house, the 
daughter had keys and everything 
else she wanted, and did as she 



THE LIFE OF MICAJAII AXDEF.SOJ'r, 



17 



pleased with everything, and went 
when and where she pleased. For, 



It seemed sinful to me then, to 
bear malice, and I felt that I never 



although not more than nine years could come to strike a woman, so I 
old when I married Eliza, the made up my mind to go and see her 



daun;hter had always been ahead of 
the mother and had to be mistress 



brother, for I could take no rest of 
m}- life, under such a load of trouble. 



she said so, and whatever she said 
she must have, she had,- 



and master of the plantation when I got ud to the door without beino- 

seen hj anyone; and I thought they 
all appeared frightened Avhen they 

The morning I moved her to her ' saw me so suddenly at the door. 

brother's, Wesley Pittnian, I sent I spoke to Mrs. Pittman, and asked 
some support for her, »nd thought her to come out to me a moment, 



I would continue to feed her, but a 
second thought took me, that I 
would be doing wrong to make my 



motherless children work for another ! Elira 



and not be afraid, for I did not 
come there to hurt anyone, but to- 
talk quietly and peacefully with 



and she doing neither they or my- 
self any good, and after she found 
thai I y»'ould do nothins: more for 
her, she boasted that she would 



Vv'hen I looked in at the door 
again, Elisa y,'as gone. I asked the 
girls where she was, and they said 
they did not know — that she had 



make me do it, and she actually be- ! j'JSt that minute stepped out. Going 
lieved she could compel me by law I to the other door, I saw Eliza going 



to support her. I wrote her that I 
should not give her any further sup- 
plies so long as she remained away 
from me ; that when she had eaten 
what I had given her, she would 
have eaten the last provisions of 
mine she ever would, unless she 
came home to live. 

In the letter of reply, she stated 
that she was entitled to a support 
from me, and she w^ould make me 
support her. This made me so mad 
that I determined to go over to her 
brothers and whip her, and I got as 



down a lane, towards the woods. I 
called after her to come back ; that 
I did not v/ant to hurt a hair of her 
head, but I had eome to talk with 
her. She turned 'round and came- 
back, and as she walked up to the 
door, I called her hj name, and told 
hei; never to turn her back on me 
again; that when she did, she turned 
her b:ick on the best friend she ever 
had, except her poor old father. I 
told her if she was what she pro- 
fessed to be, and I what I had hope 
to believe I was, I knew we could 



far as my daughter's, Lucy Pitt- '^ive together, and I wanted her to- 
man, who married another brother g^ »3fick home with me, and let u& 



of Eliza's. Lucy persuaded me not 
to go about her — to let her alone ; 
and she knew quite as much about 
Eliza and her child as I did. 



try to live the way we ought to live 
the fe\^ days we had on ecrth, in 
peace and happiness, as man and 
wife should. 



18 



THE LIFE OF^ICAJAU AXLERSOX. 



She answered that if she went ' had no time for such work, there 
back, it would be the same case over \ ^vere children enough on the place 

f +1.^ .i^,,-i 1. ,.1 r>,,^,,^v.f „o i to do it ; and you know I have often 
asain, tor the devil had broujzht us ' ^ j 



together ; and I said, on my part he 
did not. Then she went on to say 



told you if 3"ou could not churn, to 

pour the milk in a trough for the 

^, ^ • ,1 11^. AA ' do^irs and thereby save bread, 

that no woman in the world coind ° -^ 

Buit me ; that I was always going I ^ S'-^i^ to her then let bygones be 
on about her wastefalness. Then I ^Jgo^es, and now I want you to go 
told her that if she would hear to ; ^^o^^ig ^^^ ^^T to listen to me, and 
me, I would go to the smoke house j ^^^^^ things I tell you to go by, go 
and barn myself, and then there ' ^7 ^^^^^' ^^'^ ^^^'s both see if we 
would be no\vastefulness, and no : can't both do better hereafter, 
room for any dissatisfaction on that i then left for home, saying what 



score. She then charged that I had 
ruined the character of her child. — 
I reasoned that I had not — that if 



day I would be there again, and I 
wanted her brother to be at home. 
I went at the appointed time, and 



ruined at all, it had teen done be- j going with her brother and his wife 
fore I had anything to do with her, j into the house where Eliza was I 
for, assheknew, I daresn't speakto ' told her howd'ye, and asked her 
or correct her in anything from the ! bow^ she came on. I told them all 
day she came to my house; that if I I wanted to give them a history of 
reproached her, she would fly into a \ my life, and what I had experienced, 
passion, and thus she had always \ I hoped the Lord had done for my 
upheld the child in everything, poor soul ; and I said pray for me 
whether right or wrong. all of you ; and if you see any wrong 

I said to her you have not treated | in what I have done, please let me 
me with proper respect — not with i know it. I then gave in my experi- 
the respect you have shown the ne- ence to them ; and after getting 



groes on the plantation ; for you 
know I don't drink sweet milk,*but 



through, I asked them for the Lord's 
sake, if you see any wrong in it, let 



I love butter milk just as well as me knoAV it, and straighten me if I 



anything I can get hold of, and I 
have not had any this whole year 



am wron-g. AYesley and his wife 
both said they saw no wrong; and I 



but twice, for instead of your churn- | said to Eliza, if you are what you 
ing the milk, you gave it to Betty, profess to be, and I am what I pro- 
and it was carried down among the fess to be, I know we can live to- 
negroes, and what they could not ' gether, because we are both one, 
drink was given to the hogs. She just like Christ Jesas ; and she 
said she had no time to churn, was agreed to go back home again ; and 
the reason she had never done any it seemed to me that I loved her ten 
more of it. I said if you found you i times better than I ever had loved 



THE LIFE OF MICAJAII AXBEBSOy'. 



19 



her in my life. IVIj love fcr her 
was so great I could not help kiss- 
ing her on the spot. 

I sent for her, and she came back 
home, and I says to her, now, 
Eliza, I want you to take my ad- 
vice and not 2:0 to flvinor into those 
pets, when I go to say anything to 
}'0u or I speak to your child to cor- 
rect her, for I don't do it out of any 
harm to the child, but for her own 
good, and your benefit, as well as 
mine. 

She spoke and said she would not, 
and she knew she had done wrono-, 
for she never suffered so much trou- 
ble before in her life as she had 
since she had left me. I told her 
she had not suffered a grain more 
than I, for I had been suffering a 
long time before she left me. 

And I said, now, Eliza, I'll tell 
you what I wish you to do. I have 
got a cook hired here for you. Let 
her do your cooking, washing and 
scouring, and you have nothing to 
do but give out provisions and at- 
tend to things about the house, for 
cooking and washing is something 
you never done for yourself or the 
rest of the family, and I want you 
to take your sewing and come and 
sit with me under the oaks, where I 
can see you and talk with you ; and 
she said she would. I said to ber, I 
hoped and trusted in the Almighty ! 
God that it would never be the case 
again that she would turn her back 
on me, for to me it always seemed 
the most sinful thing in the world \ 
for a man and his wife to come to- 



gether and then have to part, be- 
cause they are then not only apart 
in this Avorld but in the world to 
come, for in the world to come, 
where God and Christ is, they can- 
not meet to dwell together. She 
said to me it should never be the 
case again ; and she took her chair 
and went and sat under the oaks 
with me every chance she could get. 
And poor old aunt Polly Pittman, 
she would come down there and sit 
witii us and talk with us and hear 
us talk, and she seemed to be just 
as glad of our being together again, 
and as happy with us as she could 
be, for it seemed to me she loved to 
hear us talk, I believe the poor 
old woman was a christian woman, 
and is, I hope, this day in Heaven 
at rest. Just before she died, she 
desired to hear preaching, and Jor- 
dan Johnson, he came to my house 
and preached, and that day she gave 
in her experience to him and some 
other members of the church who 
were present. 

Just before that time Eliza had 
got into one of her tantrums, and the 
old lady must have died very much 
dissatisfied about it, from the con- 
versation she had with me, for she 
had heard the promises Eliza made 
me, some of which I will repeat. 

I told her that I would give her 
the same chance that I had given 
my two poor wives before her ; that 
she might have all the butter she 
made ; all the chickens she raised, 
and all the tallow that came out of 
the cattle we killed, except so much 



20 



TRE LIFE OF MICAJJJI AXDEFSOX. 



of each as was necessary for our own 
family purposes. At the same time 
I observed to her that, being a wo- 
man, I supposed she had feeling 
enough to give a portion of these 
things to mj poor little children, 
and she remarked that she would do 
so, but that my grand-daughter being 
older than they, she must be given 
thus and so. But she couldn't 
think for a moment that I had any 
faith in her statement, for she was 
perfectly aware that I knew my 
grand-daughter would never get it, 
for she had already given every- 
thing to her own daughter. How- 
ever, I told her that it was mj de- 
sire to divide those things among all 
the children equally, and not that 
one should have all and the remain- 
der get none ; and she faithfully 
promised me that my wishes should 
be carried out — that she was really 
■willing to do so, and that her own 
views upon the point fully accoided 
with my own. 

But the sequel proved that she 
falsified every promise she ever 
made me, and for cause that will ex- 
plain itself to the reader, I will now 
refer to her • conduct immediately 
after our marriage. Scon after 
that event we commenced attending 
church together. I went with her 
four times, but she behaved so out- 
rageously on these occasions that it 
■was no pleasure to me to accompany 
her. It was no satisfaction to leave 
home quarreling and return in the 
same manner — I couldn't bear it — 
so after awhile I quit going to 



church with her. Some time after 
this, I asked her which she had 
rather do, " Take a cart and go to 
meetin', or ride horseback ? " She 
snapped me up and replied, that 
she'd rather ride horseback ; so she 
went in that manner twice, and then 
took to ;2;oin;^ afoot with her dau<ih- 
ter. On Friday nights she would 
wash, arrange her clothes, &:c., and 
on the following mornings, before I 
could feed my ^rock and get back to 
the house, she would be ofif and 
gone. 

Sometimes she would go off tear- 
ing mad just after twelve o'clock on 
Friday, and at these times she 
would really appear as if she "was 
crazy. Generally at such times no 
one Avould say a word to her, but on 
one occasion the cook asked her 
what in the world she went off mad 
in that way for, and came back 
home so angry, and she replied to 
the cook, that she belonged to the 
church, and was obliged to do it. 

One Sunday, she and Betsey 
Pittman went to church together 
(they went in the cart, I suppose, 
for they caire back that way,) and 
in the evenincr after thev returned, 
I asked Betsey Pittman who 
preached that day, and sho told me, 
and then went on to tell me that 
folks had been talking of me that 
day. I enquired what they had 
been talking about me for, and she 
said it was because I gave Eliza no 
better chance than I did to go to 
church. I said, they may talk on, 
I didn't care, for Eliza had as good 



TEE LIFE OF MICAJAR ANDERSON. 



21 



a chance to go to meeting as she did 
tefore I married her. 

I had heard before that the peo- 
ple generally, as ^vell as her own 
relations, were talking this thing, 
■wherefore it does seem to me that 
cinyone not altogether blinded can 
fiee through the whole business. 

And now to the" great fortune 
«he made by marrying me : After 
tree's surrender, I was ordered to 
go forward and take the oath of al- 
Ipfriance, (I called it that day the 
insokent oath, and a great many 
found it such.) and I did so on ac- 
count of the colored people. After 
I had taken the oath, I went home 
and into the house where Eliza 
was and teld her that our negroes 
were free, and that we had agreed 
upon the price I should pay thera 
for their labor. I told her that I 
should like for mine to stay with 
me as I had my crop planted, but if 
they wanted lO leave they could do 
so, as I could make enough to eat 
without them. She then began to 
rave and rant, and declared that 
-when the negroes, and especially 
Betty, the cook, left, she would 
leave too. At this point I went 
<iown to the field where the negroes 
were, and told them they were all 
free, but that if they would remain 
with me, I would give them so much 
(naming the different sums) and 
they agreed to stay; and all did 
stay but one. I then went back to 
the house and hired the cook for 
Eliza. On the next day one of my 
white boys did something that he 



ought not to have done, and I began 
to chastise him for it, when Eliza 
walked up with her hands on her 
hips, and remarked that losing my 
property would drive me distracted, 
and that I had only brought her to 
my house to make her a negro for 
myself and my children. 

I replied that I hoped it would 
not drive her distracted before it 
did me ; that as for myself, my pro- 
perty was all paid for — paid for by 
my honest industry, and not ac- 
quired by cheating, stealing, robbing 
or marriasjo. She then went on to 
say that before she would remain at 
my house and cook, and wash and 
such, she would go to the poor 
house and stay there, and die. 

It was not long after I married 
her before she began to lament her 
fortune, and to express fears that 
her daughter would lose all of her 
thinscs that she brouojht with her, 
but I told her to put her daughter's 
things away — that I did not want 
them. 

All of Eliza's worldly goods, ex- 
cept a "bofat," I carried home in two 
carta, and could easily have carried 
the *' bofat, " but Eliza said there 
wasn't room for it in the -house. — 
She talked and fretted so much 
about the loss of her property, that 
I went to Tarboro, saw John Nor- 
ilee't, and got him to write me a 
will, in which I gave her 50 acres 
of land, with a house upon it (the 
same in which I now live), and the 
effects she had when I married her, 
and one year's provisions. When 



9v) 



THi: LIFE OF JIICAJAII ANDFLSON.. 



She returned home from Wesley 
Pittman's, her brother, I told her 
what I had done, and she seemed 
entirely satisfie(>^ and certainly 
ought to have been, for the rent of 
the land itself, would have been a 
plenty of support for herself and 
daughter — more than thcj had ever 
had before in their lives. 

When I married Eliza, her chi'd 
was a county charge, and its mother 
was receiving two dollars from the 
county for its support. Of course I 
meant to help her maintain her 
child, and our neighbors all around 
were contributing to its support, 
although at that very time her child 
was large enough to earn a liveli- 
hood for itself. 

When Eliza came back from her 
brother's and made me such fair 
promises, I began to go to meetin' 
with her again, and went alone with 
her four times. I never in all my 
life had so much confidence in 
Eliza as I did at this time, and it 
was all owing to the many fair 
promises she made me. I loved her 
greatly and felt like I could eat her 
up from affection, if I knew it 
wouldn't hurt her. For the four 
months following I had all the plea- 
sure I ever saw with her. In this 
time we went to hear Jordan Johnson 
preach once, and I never heard a 
sermon in my life before that did 
me so much good. It lifted up my 
faith and hope so much that I felt 
like I had been changed from na- 
ture to grace, and told Eliza so.- - 
While I was telling her of it, Jor- 



dan Johnson rode up, and coming 
to my right, I told him he had done 
me more good that day, than ever 
before in his life, and he said he was 
glad of it, and I told him 1 would 2!;o to 
see him before raanv davs. That 
was on Saturday. The following 
morning I arose from bed, dressed, 
went out and fed my stock, returned 
and ate mv breakfast. I intended to 
go to preaching that day, and see- 
ing no preparations that way on 
Eliza's part, I asked her if she 
wasn't goinn; to meetin'. She re- 
plied that she felt so sore and bad 
that she couldn't go. I said, " Oh, 
do go with me, Eliza ; after start- 
ing, you will feel better, I hope ; 
now you'd better come and go." — 
She replied that as long as I wanted 
her to go she would. So we both 
went to meetin' tosrether. 

On Monday morning she arose, 
went into the kitchen and began to 
fuss and rail. She said before she 
would stay in such a mess as was 
there (at my house) she would go 
into the woods, and remain there 
till she died, because I had only 
brought her there to make a wait-, 
ing-girl of her. 

This language filled my heart so 
full that I thought it would break. 
Breakfast was now ready and I 
went in to eat. As I sat down to 
the table she was leaning over the 
fire place, with her back to me. I 
drank a cup of tea, but ate not a 
mouthful. I then went out of the 
house, and her tongue streightway 
bec'an a^-ain. I now sot a chair 



THE LIFE OF mCAJAlI AXBFRSOX. 



Z6 



and went off in the yard about sixty 
feet from tin kitchen and sat down. 
While sitting there, I sai.l, "Lord, 
is it possible that Eliza has begun 
her old sinful wa^^s again. 0, Lord, 
stand by me, and b'e with me, and 
help me to stand the hard trials and 
persecutions in this unfriendly 
world. " Soon I went off to the 
plantation, and remamed there, I 
suppose, about two hours, when be- 
cominfr very ^veak and weary I re- 
turned to the house, took my chair 
and aiiain sat down near where I 
sat two hours before. [She was 
still rantins:.! Eliza had a rooster 
that she called "Pete," and the 
very moment I sat down, that 
rooster came to me, stared me in 
the face and crowed. I shoo-ed 
at him — he ran off a little wav, and 
for awhile I thought nothing of it. 
But soon he came back, stared at 
me asiain, and becjan to walk arcund 
me, and crowing all the time. — 
While Pete w^as crow-crowing, Eliza 
was ran-insr and rantins;. 

One day in the kitchen she began 
her railing, and said before she 
would stay there, and cook and do, , 
and do and cook for such a parcel 
of hound-dogs as we, she would go 
in the woods and live under a pine- 
bark shelter, for if she stayed there 
she knew she would die and go to 
hell. A few days after this as she 
was passing by me, I said to her, 
" Eliza, the way 3'ou are going on 
on this plantation surely will kill 
me, for my poor heart must break 
from trouble. " She made no re- 



ply, but simply turned her back on 

me, saying " pish, pish, " 

In January I went to Whitaker's 

turnout, leaving her at home in her 

tantrums, and being greatly dis- 

tiGssed in my mind, at the moment 

of starting I took a pretty good 

drink, and arriving at "Whitaker's I 

took a little more. I drank too 

much, I confess, but going back 

home that evening I pestered, no 

one, but after sitting up awhile, 

went to bed. I had no sooner 

struck the bed than Eliza said that 

I her first husband was a smart man, 

I and so, too, was her father, and that 

' she wouldn't stay there any longer. 

I tokl her to go then ; and she threw 

open the door and darted out. It 

made me so angry that I arose from 

the bed, put on my clothes, and put 

out after her. On the way to aunt 

Polly Pittman's, where I found her, 

^ I got me a cotton stalk, with which 

' I struck Eliza twice when I came 

I up with her. As soon as I struck 

I my wife she broke away, and I then 

told her- to go home, but instead of 

obeying my orders, what does she 

do but goes to Betsey Pittman's. — 

Now the folks over there had been 

threatening pretty heavily what 

they w^ere going to do if I didn't 

mind, so there was a piece of iron 

that we had for a fire-stick at our 

house, so I just took that along 

' with me as 1 went out to seek Eliza 

* 

over at Betsey Pittman's, with the 

determination that if anybody else 

interfered in this (strictly family) 

' matter between me and my wife, I 



24 



TUB LIFE OF MICAJAII AXLEnsOS 



•would wear 'em out to a frazzle. I ' ried mo, she never sa\Y the time 
didn't find her there, however, but when she didn't have shoes to put 
if I had, would have punished her i on — shoes good enough to keep her 
severely. She remained away sev- ! feet from the ground ; and what in 
eral days, and I advertised her. — | the world she meant by leaving 
The day after the advertisement ap- them off so much, I couldn't for 
peared she returned home. While | inj li^'-' tell. Sometimes when I 
she was absent, same mysterious | would tell Eliza she ought to put 
power seemed to say to me that it j lier shoes on, she would reply that 
was my duty to hold devotional ex- I she v/ould when cold weather came. 



ercises in the presence and hearing 
of my family every nip^ht, and upon 



and maybe at that very time the 
weather was as cold as it ever gets 



Eliza's return home, the same power i to be. 

told me that I should not only do I hired my daughter, Susan Den- 
her no harm, but sboull pray for \ ton, to weave two webs of cloth that 
her instead. I followed the advice ' ^1 little motherJess children had 
of the mysterious power. spun (I think she told me there 



One nio-ht as I sat before the fire 



were forty-eight yards in tie two 



she came in and sat down facing j pieces), and after she had finished it 
me, and said to me that I was al- ' Eliza cut off eleven yards. Where 
ways going down on my knees to the balance went, the reader can 
pray, but as fo-r herself, she never i guess (?) after awhile. Eliza's 
before heard anybody pray for any- } daughter then takes the cotton that 
one except the elect. I .did not re- 1 old aunt Polly Pittman and my little 



ply to her, and she jumped up and 
ran out of the house. After this I 
did not practice my devotions in her 
presence. 



motherless children had spun, and 
wave her a web of cloth of eleven 
yards. Next she takes ever so 
much butter — I can't begin to say 



My wife would go out barefooted i how much : over fifty pounds of tal- 
and barelegged (her fi'ock tucked | low, and my children's cloth, and 
away up above her knees) to milk | goes with them — the two lots of 
the cows, a quarter of a mile from j cloth, butter, tallow and all — to 
the house, and the neighbors seeinej Mr. Robert Austin's, to trade, 
her in this unseemly condition, 
would enquire why in the world she 
went without shoes, and she would | such things as she wanted, and she 
reply that she had no shoes— that | put oS" for some other store. She 
I neither would give her any shoes | came back soon, however, and I 
nor go to preaching with her. All asked her if she had done her busi 



But she pretended that she couldn't 
get there, for my little girls' cloth, 



of which mas just as arrant a 1 — fib 
as ever was told. After she mar- 



ness, and she said she had. I en- 

' 4 

quired how much she received for 



TEE LIFE OF MICAJAE ANDEBSOK 



25 



inv little girls' cloth, and she said 
she got thirty cents a yard. Very 
well. 

I had, sometime before this, dis- 
covered that my children and I were 
getting very bare as to shirts, and I 
told them that if they would spin 
the cotton, I would buy a bunch of 
warp, and we could all have shirts. 

This day I bought a bunch of 
cotton, and Eliza bought one, too. 
When we returned home, the finery 
Eliza's daughter had purchased had 
to be shown aU around, of course. 
Among the articles were two yards 
of calico at fifteen cents a yard, two 
Shaker bonnets at forty cents each, 
and two belts at ten cents each^ 
and these were the goods, wares 
and merchandise, all told, that she 
gave my little girls in exchange for 
their eleven yards of cloth ; keep- 
ing the entire proceeds of the other 
cloth, butter, tallow, &c., for her- 
self and her daughter. 

The bunch of cotton she bouo;ht 
that day she sent away, and where 
her's went there went mine, and I 
have not seen or heard of it to this 
day. Two or three days from that 
time, I asked Eliza if she supposed 
that I was such a fool that I couldn't 
see throuo;h her doinojs. I told her 
that she had been robbing my poor 
little children, and that she had 
never been the woman to give them 
even the wrappings of her finger in 
all her life. Lady of the plantation, 
and both master and mistress of the 
premises, as she was, she bought for 
herself a fine worsted dress, a very 



fine hoop skirt (the one she had was 
not big enough — it wouldn't spread 
out enough for her), a pair of fine 
shoes, and other gay riggin' to match 
her dress. 

Off the balance of the web of 
cloth remaining, she would slip a 
piece at a time, until she made way 
with all of it, except enough for 
three pairs of pants, and lining for 
a coat and waistcoat. One piece of 
it she took, she said, to make her 
daughter a jacket, but afterwards 
thought to make it for herself, but I 
don't believe she did it, for I never 
saw her have it on. 

A great (?) legacy fell to Eliza 
from her grandmother Pittman's es- 
tate, of which her brother Wesley 
was administrator. When Wesley 
paid over to Eliza her full share of 
the estate, he gave her the full sum 
of two dollars. Well, when the 
great legacy was received, Eliza 
and her'n had to go to the store to 
spend it. Among the things she 
bought was a fine dress and a right 
smart of other riggin', and all 
of it with those two dollars. [Of 
course she had been robbing Peter 
to pay Paul — and you may guess 
who Peter was.] 

The legacy having all gone, they 
took up another plan of operations. 
My little girls were spinning cotton 
for our shirts, as I have mentioned 
before, and just as fast as they could 
spin it, Eliza and her daughter 
would slip it ofi" and make way with 
it. In the meantime, my children 
and I were getting almost naked, 



26 



rUE LIFE' OF ?dICAJAU AXIJEESOX. 



so much so that Eliza had to turn 
in to mending our ragged garments. 
While so employed, she Avas ever- 
lastingly complaining that she had 
to be m.ending and patching old 
dirty rags all the time. Yes, she 
said, it's patch and do, and do and 
patch; cook and do, and do and 
cook ; patch and cook, cook and 
patch ; patch, cook — cook, patch — 
patch — pacch ; and, she added, I 
am not agoing to do it any longer, 
for he just brought me here anyhow 
to make a niircrer of me. 



"CO 



While my "svife was thus fuming, 
her lady daughter would strut 
around the house savino;, *' Me and 
mother are agoing away after this 
year ; after this here year, me and 
mother are agoing away ; and I 
don't know what in the world you 
Avill all do then — that I don't. 

"We will now enter upon the 
chicken question for the purpose of 
showing up her daughter's charac- 
ter in that line. Liza and her girl 
had their chicken coops three or 
four steps from my meal house, and 
jier j?irl she v/ould mix up vrater 
and meal and throw in the coops — 
and keep throwing in— until ihe 
whole yard would be just as sour. — 
And sometimes when the dough in 
the chicken coop would be fully an 
inch thick, she would go into the 
house and te:l her mother that she 
must go and feed the chickens for 
she knew they were hungry. And 
Liza would always tell her daugh- 
ter to go and feed the chickens. I 
ijtood this thin;:^ as lon^r as I could. 



so one day, in a very friendly sort 
of way, I told Liza there wasn't 
any use in throwin2!; thinn;s away in 
\ that sort of a style. I told lier 
just to go and look in the coop and 
see how much meal was wastinir. — 

t o 

■ I told her we couldn't sret alonfj; 

: and live, and things going on so. 

She replied very snappishly that 

I there was nothing in the coops but 

I meal bran, and that I couldn't ex- 

! pect little chickens to eat meal bran, 

\ for they couldn't stand it. I 

couldn't stand this wasting of meal 

in such a fashion, and I resolved 

that I wouldn't. 

But to the chicken question 

acrain. When Liza first; came to 

my house, she brought with her 

I three hens, one ot which they called 

j the ^' Old Blue Hen. " [Xow I 

candidly believe that I had two 

blue hens when Liza first came to 

my house.] W^ell, her daughter 

could set the old blue hen whenever 

she pleased — provided she could 

get eggs to put under her. ^Vhen the 

old blue was sittin^f the dau";hter 

would not let her come off her nest 

j to be fed, but she would pile up the 

' feed around htr — as much bread, 

: (fcc, as a man could eat. When she 

! would hatch, and come off her nest 

I with her little chicks, her brood 

would be^-in to increase in numbers 

every day, and it happened in this 

T^-ay. When any other hen on the 

place would hatch, this daughter 

would inform her mother of the 

fact, and declare that this ether hen 

was killing her chickens, and that 

they ought to be taken away from 



THi: LIFE OF 3IICAJAJI AXDFRSOX. 



Ti 



1 5 J 



her and put "with " old blue's 

chicks, and — it was done. And 

that's the -way Liza and her lady 

daughter got all the chickens. 

In the spring of '67, I asked mj 
Tvife not to try to raise many chick- 
ens, for corn was so high and scarce 
that the fowl business wouldn't pay. 
I was then paying seven and a half 
and eight dollars a barrel for all the 
corn consumed in my family, and of 
course I wanted to live as savincrlv 
as possible. But she continued to 
let" the hens set and hatch chickens, 
but not only that she trained them 
to go into the meal-house, where 
they would scratch and wallow in 
the meal until it was not really fit 
to be eaten. Besides the meal- 
house got to smelling so badly that 
it could be scented over the whole 
yard ; indeed it smelled as badly as 
carrion, from bad eggs and such. — 
But enough on this point until we 
reach '' Pete " again. I was so 
much upset in mind about these 
things that I went to Cotton's meet- 
ing house on the following Sunday 
to see William Bell, and get him to 
talk to Liza. I told him I wished 
him to come to my house on Friday 
before the third Sunday in April, 
but did not let him know what I 
wanted with him. He promised to 
come, and did so, but found my wife 
so sick that he did not stay with 
me that night ; and I did not see 
him again until after Liza left me. 
I saw him next at brother John's, 
where I spoke to him about her 
leaving me, and about her conduct 



generally, and told him that it was 
•on account of these matters that I 
had desired to see him when I in- 
vited him to my house. I wanted 
him to remonstrate with her upon 
j her behaviour, and thought that a 
I round lecture from him might do 
her fTOod. 

The Friday before the third Sun- 
day in April, my daughter had sent 
me a mess of fresh fish, and on Sat- 
urday morning, while my two little 
girls were in the kitchen helping to 
get breakfast, I saw Liza's ladv 
daughter in the house, and I .told 
her to go in the kitchen and assist 
the girls in preparing breakfast, so 
that they could get through quickly 
and go to their work. I was sitting 
on one side of the door at the time, 
and jumping up she passed by me, 
remarking as she passed that she 
wasn't going to run her legs ofi" for 
anybody. I quietly retorted that 
there wasn't the least danger of her 
losing her lower limbs in that way. 
But she went on to the kitchen, and 
placing some of the fish in the fry- 
ing pan she put the pan on the fire, 
and there let it remain until the fish 
were completely burned up, and she 
then threw them away. I told her 
to put away two of the fish until her 
mother was well enough to eat them. 

Divers times Eliza would set her 
lady daughter to mind what was 
cooking, but instead of attending to 
her business she would take her seat, 
and sit still until everythino- was 
burned up, and then whatever it 
was, Eliza would carry it ofi' to the 



1^ 



TEE LIFE OF JIICAJAH AXLEIiSOS 



gardcD, throw it away, and then get and leave vou here. Upon this her 
more. I frequently talked to them , daughter went oft', remained away 
about such wastefulness, but they about four days, and then came 
always replied that they didn't care ^ back. The morning after her re- 



— they didn't have to provide for 
our common wants. I never said 
more to them, because I knew if I 
did that it would only make matters 
worse. 

The following Sunday morning 
— the morning after the fish were 
burnt up — Eliza filled the dinner- 
pot with water, placed it on the fire, 
and then went out to milk the cows. 
"When she returned to the house. 



turn she came walking up to the 
kitchen where her mother was, and 
I asked her (I was sitting in the 
door of my dwellingj if she had 
come back t3 run her legs o^. She 
made no repl}'. I then remarked 
to her that it had been reported by 
her mother, and her relatives gen- 
erally, that I had not treated her 
as a member of the family. Such 
was the fact I said, but shall not be 



her daughter met her at the door | so in future, and now, says I, if you 
and informed her that some one had j don't go to work and behave your- 
been taking her water from the pot. I self, I will give you one of the 

. 1st whippings that ever a girl 



My wife grew wrathy then, and said d — 
sure enough somebody had taken wore. Her mother then began to 
her water. She further said that I rail terribly, but I said nothing to 
had just carried here there to make her — not a single word, 
a waitin^l-frirlof her. I said nothing But I told Mary Williford, her 
to this, but told her girl that she lady daughter, that if her mother 
ouo^ht to have gone after water for j was to die that she had not a single 
her poor old mother, instead of per- ! relative with whom she could find 
mitting her poor old mother to do | a home, for they all knew her too 
so. I told her that she had not only | well. That day, after our talk, she 
not done as she ouo^ht to have done, j took to work, and spun about four 
but that she was forever trying to \ ounces of cotton. She commenced 



make a disturbance en the planta- 
tion. 

I further remarked to her that I 



spinning again the next morning, 
but left ofi" at twelve o'clock, and 
went over to my son John's, who 



was firmly resolved to put a stop to i married her cousin, and there she 
such conduct. Hereupon Liza be- remained, I think, until the follow- 



gan to storm and said to her daugh- 
ter that she bad better go right off 
and find another home for herself ; 
that she knew she could do it, and 
she wanted her to do it, for said 
Liza, I should never die satisfied 



ing morning, when she came back. 
She brought with her a web of 
cloth of fourteen yards, which she 
was to weave for her cousin, and 
she did weave it in just fourteen 
days — I know for I took note of the 



Xni: LIFJE OF MICAJAII AXLERSOls 



29 



time. When she finished the web ' sheet she got for her own bed by 



of cloth, Eliza took down the loom, 
and removed it to a small house 



weaving. She Avould never put a 
mouthful of butter on the table un- 



about an hundred yards distant i til it was so rank that vou could 
from m}^ dwsHing. Upon getting | gcent it the moment you entered 
into their new quarters, they got in the house. 



fine humor, andbeirau to talk about 



About twelve months before she 



the lads and young men, and must i went away, she began to give me 



have been greatly pleased with 
their own remarks, for -I could hear 



an allowance of butter. She would 
pla?c a lump about the size of a 



them laugh clear to m}^ house. But hen's egg by my plate. This rather 
as soon as ever she went to the vexed m^e, and I asked her what in 
kitchen her afriZ^'avatino; tonofue \ the name of common sense went 
would begin. Once she said that I ' with all the butter, and she replied 
was watching her lest she might ' that it all went to pay for washing 
steal something, I replied that I the old dirty rags. But that wasn't 
was not watching her particularly, : so, for aicer she went away the 
at the same time reminded her that j same colored woman who had been 
no honest woman would use such i wasliino; for us all the time, and who 
lancruao-e to her husband, and that i used to belono; to me, told me that 
I had seen enough of her to know I Eliza had never given her a thing in 
that the charge of honesty was the ! the world for washing, except one 
ver}^ last one to which she was lia^ I old frock. 

ble. I will now endeavor to show ' Liza was forever annoying me by 
up another trait in her character : ' talking about our nakedness, and I 
Before the provisions were placed generally retorted that it was very 



on the table at meal times, she 



true that we were inclined that way, 



would cut up all the meat, pick out I but she must remember that she 
all the choice bits for herself and \ had never put anything on us. — 
daughter, and send the refuse to I The clothes that my little girls wore 
the tible for me and my little chil- i were made of cotton that they them- 
dren. From the time that I talked ^ selves had carded and spun, — no 
with Jordan Johnson until she went i thanks to Liza. As for her own 
away /or good^ I never saw a whole lady daughter, Mary Williford, she 
piece of meat on my table, and dur- never did a thing in the blessed 
ing that time she never spoke cne world but stuff her insides, lie abed, 



friendly word to me. 

Liza staid with me about tour 



lounge around and make fusses. 
One day I went to Whitaker's 



years and four months, and in that j turn-out, and coming back, I called 



whole time she never got a rag of 
bed clothes, if you except one little 



at "Wesley Fountain's (whose own 
aunt Eliza \ras, and her first bus- 



30 



THE LIFE OF MlCAJAIt AKLF^RSON: 



I 

band was Wesley's cousin), to see : 
hov,- he was &€.. and wliilc there he 
told me that he would have to buy 
meat for the next year, and tliat he 
would have to buv it on time, as he 
didn't have the cash to pay down 
for it. He said he thought it would 
be better to buy bacon as it "Was 
cheaper than pork, and asked what 
I thought o: it. I gave it as my 
opinion that if he could get old meat 
that was free of worms, he had bet- 
ter do so,becanse it was the cheapest. 
He didn't ask whether I had any to 
sell, although I had let him have 
seventy-five pounds the same year, 
so I went home. But knowinir that 
be had no one to help him, I felt 
for his condition, and sent him word 
by his sister Martha that I would 
let him have all I could spare. So 
the next day jNIartha and his sister 
came with a cart, and said that Wes- 
ley wanted me to send him all the 
meat I could spare, and to let him 
know my price for it. [I had al- 
ready told him the price.] The next 
morning, which was the last day of 
November, they drove the cart up 
^0 my smoke-house door, and took 
jon two hundred and fifty-four pounds 
of bacon. I then made a calcula- 
tion in my head, what the meat 
would come to, and told Martha to 
iell her brother to make me a note 
for the amount as quick as ever he 
could, and send it to me. In a few 
days Patrick Lawrence came to my 
house, and I got him to make a cal- 
culation about the bacon, and to 
enter the account in a book, in order 



that there mis^ht be no mistake 
about it. 

On the first day of January, 
Henry Fountain came to my house 

and paid me for some meat tliat he 
had bought of me, and paid me some 
money also from his brother Wes- 
ley for the seventy-five pounds that 
he had got some time before. Ire- 
quested Hezrj to say to Vv'esley 
that I wanted him to fix up that 
note and send it to me. About the 
middle of January, lleddin;z Pitt^ 
man came over to my house, and as 
he walked up to the fire-place (I 
was sitting on one siie of the room 
and Liza on the other), he said :-^ 
" Here, uncle Cnjah, is the note 
that Wesley has sent you. " I sup- 
pose he had the note in his hand, as 
I never saw him take it from his 
pocket ; at any rate, I did not take 
it but told him to read over to mCj 
and he did so. The note was for 
one hundred and fifty-four pounds 
of meat, only, and I told him I would 
not receive it, because it was not 
right. Then Liza, with her wicked, 
deceitful, untruthful tongue, spoke 
up and said, *' Lord, how I hate 
that. " From the manner in which 
she spoke, one who didn't know 
her, would have thought that butter 
wouldn't have melted in her mouth 
at the time. And she went on to 
say that it would kill poor Wesley, 
as bad ofi" as he was. I said I didn't 
know why it should kill him, as it 
was merely a mistake on his part, or 
that Martha misrht have made a mis- 
take, and told him I sent him one 



THE LIFE OF MICAJAII ANDEllSOX 



o 1 



liundrcil and fiftj-fonr pounds, 
Avlien it ou^lit to have hQentwo hun- 
drcd and fift\^-four pounds; or that 



and her ladv dau<]^hter were, and I 
did not see her any more. Thus 
the matter of the meat rested for 



she mii^ht not have been present about a month, or six weeks. One 

when the note Avas drawn. Liza re- I day I had to look up some old papers, 
plied that ^Martha was not at all fn- i and I had engaged Hias Dickson 
getful, but that I was mighty for- ! and my son Tom to assist me in 
getful. I told her that I was not , finding them. They had examined 
altogether so forgetful as she might all my papers, except some that 
suppose ; that I knew my business, I were in a band-box, which had been 



and knew, too, that there were two 
hundred and fifty-four pounds of the 



placed over the foot of the bed on 
which Martha lay the night she 



bacon. Here the bacon question ! staid with us, and taking that down 
was dropped, and nothing more was I they began to examine it, and 
said about it for a month. But one ; the first thing they found was' a 
Monday evening Martha came over i note. Ilias Dickson was the first 
to my house and brought it up again I to discover it, and as he did so he 
in this way : When she first came I exclaimed, "Here is a note against 
over she went to the kitchen, where j Wesley Fountain. " " A note 
Liza and her lady daughter were, I against Wesley Fountain?" said L 
and remaining in there awhile, all i Yes, he said it was against Wesley 
three came in the house where I ; Fountain. I then requested him to 
was. After the usual salutation, ' I'^a^ it over to me. He read it^and 
she says to me, "Uncle Cajah, ! -t saw at once that it was the same- 
aren't you mistaken about that mat- ; old note that had been presented to^ 
ter (of the meat) ? " I told her I ; nie for the one hundred and fifty- 
was not; that I remembered all i four pounds of bacon. And I re- 
about it, just as well as if it had ; marked that I would not submit to 
transpired only yesterday. Shede- j such injustice and rascality ; that I 
clared that I was, but did not think ; would have justice or die in the at- 
that I intended to do wron^. I . tempt to get it. I then took the 
then asked Martha if she weighed i note and tore it up. Ilias and my 
the meat when she reached home | son Tom soon left for their homes, 
with it, and she said she did, but | when I went over to Redding Pitt- 
had forgotten how many pounds man's to enquire of him how that 
there were. Ithen remarked to her j note had been carried to Wesley 
that I wished to be correct about it, Fountain's. He told me that he 
but,underthecircumstances,couldn't j gave it to Henry Fountain. I then 
see how I would be likely to realize I informed him how the note had been 
my wish. Here she jumped up and ■ found in my possession, and gave it 
ran out to the kitchen where Liza \ as my opinion that anybody who 



32 



TUE LIFE OF 2IICAJAU AXLERSOX. 



could be guilty of such a " trick *' 

-was capable of anything dishonest 

and villainous. I then started for 

home. AVhen I arrived there Liza's 

lying, deceitful tongue >vas wagging 
away as usual, and coming out to- 
wards me with her hands on her hips, 
she squalled out and wanted to 
know why I had not gone to her 
about the note. I couldn't see why 
1 ought to have gone to her about 
thj matter, and so expressed myself. 
She then said that Martha had given 
her the note, telling her to give it to 
me, and that she had put it in my 
band-box, and then forgotten to in- 
form me. I asked her if she wasn't 
ashamed to tell me such a falsehood. 
I then told her that the manner in 
which she had endeavored to put 
the note on me was worse than steal- 
inor. I observed that if I cculd not 
get what belonged to me I would ac- 
cept nothing ; but that it was the 
last time Wesley Fountain would 
get anything from me. I now de- 
termined to let the whole thing drop 
— say nothing about it — in the hope 
that Liza would do better, but in- 
stead of improving she went 
"beyan't" herself. She went around 
among her folks telling them that I 
was slanderino; her, and she charoied 
her own mean acts upon me. When 
she left me the last time, I resolved 
to keep her sinful acts from the 
world no lono-er. As soon as she 
left me, I warranted Weslev for that 
meat, and at the trial she appeared 
as witness against me. The case 
came up for trial at Tarboro, before 



squire James IL }iL Jackson, colored. 
After beinfij sworn, I bcfran to tell 
something about the matter, but had 
not proceeded far, when Liza dis- 
puted my word. I had not known 
before that she was present, but re- 
coirnizini!: her well-known voice, I 
said, " Liza, is this you; is it possi- 
ble this is you ? " She opened her 
mouth not at all. so I began to talk 
to her, and asked her several ques- 
tions pertinent to the case on trial. 
She denied everything — things that 
I knew to be facts — and losing all 
patience with the wicked woman, I 
called her, to her face, a dirty, lying 
strumpet. 

She said she could prove her 
character, and was going to do it. 
I said I thought she had already 
proved it. After the trial she went 
to Squire Jackson and desired to 
make oath as to the weight of the 
bacon, but the '' Squire " would not 
permit her to do so. The case was 
finally continued to Fountain's 
house. When the tr'al came oif at 
Fountain's, she was not present. — 
She knew that 1 was pretty wrathy 
on account of her course before 
Squire Jackson, and thought it best 
to leave before I arrived upon the 
irround. And I reckon she acted 
wisely in keeping out of my sight, 
for her course about the meat had 
made me so mad that I don't know 
that I would not have beaten her 
some. The fact was, she didn't 
know any more about that meat 
than one of my dogs, for when the 
meat was weighed ati the smoke- 



THE LIFE OF AlICAJAR AXBEBSOK 



33 



house, she was ia the kitchen, Y>'hich 
"ft-as twenty or tvrentj-five yards 
(list an ti 

Some time after this she had me 
hound over to keep the peace, and 
her reason for doing so v;a3, so she 
said, that she was afraid I wouhl 
kill her; that she had heard I said 
if ever I caught her bv herself I 
would beat her almost to death ; all 
of which was false, of course, be- 
cause if I had ever desired to take 
the life of the poor creature, I could 
very easily have done so on divers 
occasions, (and once vrhen I drench- 
ed her for some ailment,) for I kept 
strychnine in my house for eighteen 
years. 

When I laid my hand on Liza at 
the church, I did so with the reso- 
lution of taking her home and giv- 
ing her a genteel whipping at first, 
.hen locking her up every night 
and take her out by dav, and never 
once permitting her to go out of my 
sight until she got perfectly cool 
and learned how to behave herself. 
I killed three hogs that weighed 
one thousand and seventv-five 
pounds, and put all of them in 
pickle except one shoulder and 
the hams. I put them up in a 
hogshead and barrel ; the barrel 
was about the size of a brandy bar- 
rel. One day I vrent in the barrel 
to weigh out rations for my colored 
laborers, and discovered that two 
pieces had been removed from the 
top. Liza told me that they had 
been taken for the use cf the white 
family, and I suppose they had. 



,Another time I went into the ho^'s- 



I head to get out rations for my la- 
; borers, and weie;hed out seventr- 
\ five pounds. The next ration time 
I weighed out seventy-five pounds, 
, which makes in all one hundred and 
] fifty pounds that I had taken out. 
I When I wanted some of it the third 
' time, I sent a boy to get it, and he 
was so long about it that I asked 
why he didn't get it and bring it 
along, that I was tired of waiting. 
I He observed that there were only 
two pieces in the hogshead. I told 
him there was bound to be more 
meat than that in there, and that 
; he would find it under the brine. — 
' Still he was unable to find any, so 
i examined the honrshead mvself. 
To m.y utter surprise I found no 
meat, whereupon 1 exclaimed, 
" Lord have mercy upon me, who 
ever knew the likes of this ; it 
surely must have gone out of the 
door, for I have not heard of the 
smioke-house having been broken 
open. " Hearing this exclamation 
of surprise, Liza walked out, put 
her hands on her hips and screamed 
out, " I reckon I stole it. " Any^ 
hovY^, says I, it is not here. She 
then said it had been eaten. " Not 
here, " says I ; and it would have 
j taken some time to have eaten it 
I anywhere else. At th:it time I 
I thought maybe some of the negroes 
I had taken the key, entered the 
I smoke-house, and carred ofi* the 
I meat, and did not suspect Liza of 
i making way with it. But the mys- 
I tery of the thing caused me to watch^ 
I and I soon discovered that Liza had 
; two keys to the milk house. The 



b 



84r 



TIIE LIFE OF MICAJAII AXhERSON. 



way I found it out was that when 
she would be passing about, with- 
out having the right key, she 
would run her hand in her pocket 
and get another one out, with which 
she would unlock the door and go 
in. I could hardly think there was 
anything wrong, though it ail seemed 
a little strange to me. 

In a short time she went away 
one Saturday on a visit. Usually 
when she went off she left out 
■enough provisions to last until her 
return, and on this particular eve- 
ning, between sunset and dark, I 
went to see about it. I went to the 
place where the keys always hung, 
when she did not have them in her 
pocket, but they were not there. I 
enquired of my children about the 
smoke-house key, but they knew 
nothing about it, unless it was hang- 
ing up in the house, but finding it 
was nowhere in the house, she said 
that her mother sometimes put the 
smoke-house key in the milk house. 
I took a key and vrent and unlocked 
the milk-house, and there I found 
over behind abo wl of milk the smoke- 
house key, and it struck me right 
off where my meat went to. I got 
so mad I determined to let the key 
stay, and watch the door, and if 
anyone came to go in, I would kill 
them, and I went and took a seat to 
w^atch and study about it. After 
about an hour it came to me that I 
should be doing wrong, for Liza was 
the cause of it all. So I went and 

took the kcvs and carried them all 
in the house, thinking that when 
she found them moved, she would 



know that I had my suspicions, and 

that it would alter her. 

When she came home Sunday af- 
ternoon, I got near the milk-house, 
and after changing her clothes, she 
went to the milk-house door, and 
taking the little extra key ou': of 
her pocket, she opened the door, but 
not finding the smoke-house key, 
she turned and passed me, and as 
she did, I looked her straight in the 
face, and she turned as pale as a 
corpse. She went in the house, 
took the key, and went and got 
meat for supper, all the while as 
pale as she could be ; but she said 
not a word to me, or I to her about 
it, and I don't know how long it 
had been since she had spoke a 
pleasant word to me. 

I said nothing about the matter, 
but I never missed the keys from 
the usual place any more, .nor my 
meat never went away so fast after 
that. The winter before the time I 
am speaking about, I killed and put 
up fourteen thousand pounds of as 
fine pork as ever was raised in the 
county, and had several beeves in 
the fall. I never sold but little 
over twenty-five hundred pounds, 
and though I had only twenty-seven 
in family, I had but a few pieces in 
my smoke-house at the end of the 
year. 

I want anyone who has been in 
the habit of feeding families, to 
make a calculation of how much 
meat it required for mine of twenty- 
seven souls; seven thousand pounds 
of bacon with the beeves ought to 
have done me,leaving seven thousand 



t:iie life of MICAJAK axdfesox. 



85 



to sell, and bacon that year was 
worth twenty cents. 

One Sunday afternoon in July, to 

get out of a fuss, I went off to mv 

son Thomas Anderson's. Vv hen I 

got home it was getting darkish, and 

seeing some one sitting in the yard, 

I asked my son, who came to take 

my horse, who it was, and he told 

me Robert Ha,rt. It seemed that 

^•hen I heard that^ a great burden 

was lifted off from my heart, and 1 1 

hoped to the Lord that his coming! 

would cause Liza to do better than ' 

she had been doing for a lono- time. 



'just a little grain, and so she went 
en until dinner was over. 



AVhen we went in to eat supper, I 
found her barefooted and barelegged, 
with her dress tucked up to her 
knees, and that hurt my feelings, 
for she had shoes and stockings, 
and she ought to have had them on. 
That night old aunt Polly Pitt- 
man made out to get down to our 
house ; and Robert Hart sang and 
prayed for us that night. 

In the morning, Liza arose and 
went about getting breakfast, with- 
out a sign of anything on her feet, 
and her coat tucked up as high as 
she dared to raise it. She killed 
some chickens after breakfast, and 
had them at the well cleaning them, 
and in stooping about, you could 
see just as high up her clothes as 
you had a mind to, and there was 
Robert Hart, the preacher. It hurt 
my feelings. I was ashamed for 
her, and I passed by where she was, 
and said, Liza, do pray let your 
coat down a little lower. She said 
not a word, but did drop her dress 



' After eating dinner, Robert and 

' I went out and took some chairs 

I under the trees in the yard, and 

: afti3r getting her table cleared away, 

I Liza she came out to where we were, 

with old Satan in her, and says : 

" I'll come and set down with you 

all awhile now, if I am allowed to 

do it. " Robert Hart observed to 

her she could, if she would behave 

herself, with her silver slippers on. 

. She sat down a little while, when 

I irp she jumps and off she goes. 

I Mr. Hart then, pretty soon, went 
' off to John W. Johnson's. He had 
I not more than got out of sight be- 
fore she began her fuss again. 
In the course of the week, she got 
j so high that she moved off again, 
; going to her brother Wesley'^s.— ^ 
I While she was there, I sent her 
I two letters, stating in them as we 
I could not live together, I wanted to 
I be divorced, but she said she would 
j do no such thing, unless I would 
' build a nice house, give her fifty 
' acres of land, four barrels of corn, 
four hundred pounds of bacon, a 
barrel of flour, and a large amount 

j of sugar and €offee; a great quantity,! 

. thought, for one person to use, as I 
stated in one of my letters to her. 
She was always complaining that 
I never gave her anything, and 
made this an excuse for the way in 
which she neglected and mistreated 
my daughters, but it was no excuse 

j for allowing her child to go on all 

! sorts of nasty talk before them, as 



36 



TUH LIFE OF JUCAJAIf AXUFPcSOy. 



she did, -wiienever she got a chance. 
I^or did I think there was any use 
in my getting her anything, con- 
sidering tlie things she had from the 
plantation to buy with — butter, tal- 
low, eggs, cloth, kc. 

And I did not dress myself fine 
enough for her, and she came right 
out flat and said she had married 
two husbands, Dut both together did 
not have pride enough to make one 
decent man. I thought she knew 
me well enoueh before she married 
me to tell how much pride I had. 

As she was always a flinging it 
in my teeth that I got her nothing, 
I said to her one day, as I was going 
to Tarboro, that I meant to get her 
a dress, and I wanted to know what 
she thought of a vrorsted one ? And 
I got her as fine a dress as any lady 
need to wear, trimmings, and a 
shawl, for all of which I paid thirty- 
five dollars and some cents. I 
thought I would try her with these 
presents, and hoped that some good 
would come of them, but it did no 
good. I had not given her any- 
thing yet. 

In awhile after I got the fine 
dress, she said she wanted to get 
me a suit of yarn clothes, but had 
no wool. I said I had no money 
then, but should have in a few days, 
and I would get her some wool. In 
a few nights, however, she had some 
wool, and was engaged in picking 
it to pieces to card. She said she 
got it from Lawrence Lyons, and 
paid for it with cloth that had been 
grot to make me two pair of breeches. 



!• At that time she carried off cloth, 

I 

I rags, and eggs enough to get her a 

: dress and one for her daui^hter. — 

i The wool she put in my clothes, she 

I carded and spun at ni^ht?, and she 

j made warp of the bunch of cotton I 

got for my tv»'0 little girls. After 

getting these clothes, she took the 

; greatest pride in hitting me in the 

teeth about it, saying that vrhen she 

came there, I was naked; and she 

kept on in this vfay until I swore I 

never would put them on my back 

again, and as she vras going away, 

I told her to carry them with her. 

I She said she would not, and if I put 

I them on the cart, she would throw 

I them out. I declared they should 

I not stay in my house, and she said 

I give them to John. I said they 

were not mine, and I told my little 

girl to tell John to take them but he 

said he did not want them — that I 

had better wer.ir them myself; bat I 

said I'd be d d if I did, and if 

; he did not take them away I should 

! bury them in the branch, the woods, 

or in the ditch, for they should not 

stay about me ; and he took them 

and carried them off. Before I 

would have put them clothes on any 

. more, I would have wrapped myself 

f in a sheet and gone to Tarboro, and 

I bouf;ht clothes, after I had been 

made to swear about them as I had. 

She left me but one pair of breeches, 

and they were so tight that I called 

them skin-flints, and but one w^hole 

shirt to my back,' and that she got 

just before she left. That was one 
thread in the reed, and coarse 
enough for a meal-bag. And there 



THE LIFE OF MICAJAH AXBERSOX. 



37 



was enou!2;h of tha cloth when it 
was wove for another shirt for me 
and one apiece for mj boys, for 
they did not have a shirt that you 
couhl have told what they Vv'ere 
made of but one piece, and that 
was tacked on, not sewed — -nor a 
whole pair of breeches to their 
nam'es. 

Yf hen she was about to leave she 
put out the fine dress I had bought 
for her, and threw it on i\\e bed, 
and told Ann to take it, for she 
would never wear it ac^ain. I told 
her Ann should not have it, for 
when I gave anything to abody, I 
gave it to them, and they were wel- 
come to it, and I was not alwavs a 
talking about it ; she had to carry 
it away from there, and I took it and 
threw it in her trunk. She never 
said anything about the nine dollar 
shawl — as big as a bed-spread 
nearly — that I bought at the same 
time, and I said I thought she kept 
that back to wrap herself and rich 
loafers in when she went out niiihts 
"bushwhacking" of it. But she 
sold her dress and bought her an- 
other, so I was told, with what she 
got for the one I gave her; and 
had she got for it what I gave, it 
would have got a dress for her 
daughter and one for herself. 

She was a great housekeeper ; 
when she moved the loom out 
of the kitchen, she stood the table 
in the middle of the room, and left 
everything on it from one day's end 
to another, and the cats got on the 
table every night, and tore the ta- 
ble-cloth, and gnawed, and scratch- 



ed, and eat,and mousled the victuals, 
until nothing was fit to eat, as ray 
grandson declared when he found a 
piece of meat on the table that he 
had seen one of the cats draiijxiii"" 
round a good part of the morning. 
We had five cats, and Liza said she 
they were tearing up all the table- 
cloths, and she wished they would. 

I told her I did not know how 
she could expect anythinsr else, for 
the cats were not to blame fot eat- 
ing anything they could get. But I 
reckon she killed the cats, for all of 
them but one were found dead 
round about the garden. 

Not long before she left she went 
off to the store with two or three 
pair of pants and a web of cloth, 
with Vi'hich she bought her lady a 
dress and some more rigging, but 
she brought back one pair of the 
pants ; and the dress she got that 
day was not fine enough for her 
daughter, and she took it herself. — ■ 
But the dau2:hter had to have a 
finer one, so as I was going to town 
one day, Liza asked if she might go 
with me, and I told her she could. 
She took along with her a quantity 
of tallow, some butter and the pair 
of pants she had not sold, with 
which she boufrht another dress for 

o 

her fine lady, a pair of shoes, and a 
heap of fine rigging, but not the 
wrappings of a finger for my chil- 
dren, as I had hoped and thought 
she would, as she had never given 
them anything from the time she 
came there ; but I said nothing 
about it. 



38 



rEE LIFE OF 3110 AJAR ANDEJtSOX. 



When we got home, her brother 
and his wife were there and Liza 
got after Wesley's wife to send her 
some help to make up the fine dress 
for her daughter, and Wesley's wife 
sent her daua'hter, Liza. 

My boys wanted some jackets 

made by Sunday preaching, and in 

the room of making their jackets, 

she turns in on the drosses, and 

never touched a hand to the jackets, 

the time Liza Pittman v/as there 

helping to sew. Mary Vrilliford, 

the pet of our house, in all this 

time was lying and sitting about 

— never so much as turnini^ her 

hand to a thing, while her mother 

was in the kitchen. Liza would, 

after getting breakfast over, go in 

and make up her bed and clean up 

her room, and my girls would make 

up the balance of the beds and clean 

up the rest of the house; and there 

was that strapping Mary Williford 

doing nothing in the world ; and 

when Liza left, their jackets had not 

been touched. On Sunday morn- 

inor tliat this dress was made in the 

week, 1 went to the cow- pen where 

Liza was milking, and told her to 

turn the cows and calves together, 

for she had milked the last cow for 

me she ever should ; and she blazed 

out that she did not care, for it only 

took another trouble off of her. I 

told her she had had all the benefit, 

if she had all the trouble, for my 

children had had no benefit since 

there she had been. No more had 

she ever paid old aunt Polly Pitt- 
man for milking for her, for the old 
lady scid so just before she died. 



When she was milking, she and 
her dauf^hter would aiO and stand in 
the cow-pen while my chiklren had 
to go through the de\v and drive up 
the cows, and when they asked 
Mary Williford to go with them, 
she wouM not ; and when my daugh- 
ters got the chills, they said they 
believed it was because their step- 
mother drove them through the dew 
so much after the cows. One of 
them got so bad I had to send for 
the doctor ; and I told them if they 
ever got up ngain, never to go 
throur^h the jrrass and weeds after 
the cows again. 

Once when Wesley Pittman's 
daughter was sick, Liza went to 
stay there some, and as my girls 
were picking out cotton, Liza's 
daughter had to cook. And one 
night Liza came home in a pet, and 
my grandson, E-uffin, who was about 
as ready for a fuss as she was, said 
at the table, that the victuals tasted 
like they had turpentine in them. — 
Liza bursted out that she had staid 
there and done mighty nigh as long 
as she was ao-oinn; to. 

I was sitting in the shed door, and 

I told Ruflin if he did not shut his 

mouth, I would come in there and 

stamp him ; and I said to Liza that 

if I lived and she lived, I would rid 

her of the troubles she liad on my 

plantation, for I had stood it as long 

as I could and as long as I would. 

And she out with her old song that 

I had her tnere for a waiting girl 

for me and my children, and I told 
her she had waited on!me about as 
long as she ever would. I remind- 



TEE LIFE OF MICAJAU AXDEESOX. 



39 



ed her of the faithful promises she she was pursuing, and hovr I wished 
had made that she would divide ^ that she could see it as plain as I 
with my poor motherless children, | and others saw it. She said she did 
and be a mother to them as I could . nothing wrong to anyone or any- 
prove by old aunt Polly Pittman, thing; any of us could do wrong or 
and she need not deny it. And I let it alone, but she let all wrono- 
asked her what was anybody's word things alone. I told her she was by 
worth who falsified their promises, this as she was by saying that there 
She denied ever makin.s; me any \ was no appointed time to die, or ap- 



pointed time for anything else, and 
I says if you are right, Liza, you 



promises, and said she never had 

done anything in her life that she 

was ashamed of, and I declared to can live as long as you please, and 

her that she had spoken the truth, i die when you cret ready, and if your 

ft/ C5 •/ ' ft/ 

though it was seldom she ever did i doctrine is true, we have no use for 
speak it. She went on to say that | a Saviour, and you are no hard-shell 
she and her child had no more than ! Baptist, but a free-wilier. She said 
when she came here, though she had , I had boasted thati would not swap 
striven ever so hard. But she knew \ chances with her, and I re-affirmed 
better, and all the neighbors knew i that I would not ; nor would I with 
better, as I told her. She then hit | anybody else, for I have faith and 
ne in the teeth about writing to her i hope that I have been changed from 
ibout a divorce, and said now she ; nature to grace, and I might swap 
vas willing to a divorce, but I was j it away and get nothing, as I would 
aot. I says if you are willing now, | do if I swapped with you. 
it shall be done. Then she raged ' About a fortnight"' before this 
out that the devil was in me— that there came to my house a lousy 
the devil had fooled me mighty bad, | loafer, by the name of James Dor- 
but I told her she was the one the : man, and the very moment Liza 
devil had fooled ; that he had her on ! saw him, she fell in love with him, 
the back track then. She declared , and I never could tell which loved 
that she was not like other people ; \ him the best, she or her daughter, 
that she had never done anything ; He came about a couple of hours by 
that was wrong in her life, and I sun in the afternoon, and made out 
says you must have been born per- ; that he was agoing about at work on 
feet, and are a saint from Heaven, | clocks. I had one that had been 
and then you have none of old | stopped a long time. Some of the 
Adam's seed in you ; but 1 am de- j neighbors had told him about it, and 
ceived if you are not as much struciv [,. wanted to go to work on it. But 
with it as anybody I ever saw. j tokl him I did not want the clock 

I told her how deeply I regretted worked on, but he would take it 
her conduct ; how it grieved me to down ; took it all to pieces, and 
find her bent on the wicked course ruined it, as he had done all the- 



40 



THE LIFE OF 2IWAJA1L AXhEUSON. 



neifrbbor's clocks he had touched. 

o 

That r.ight, at f^npper, he told 
Liza v.'ho he was, and she said she 
had heard old aunt PoUv Pittman 
speak of the Dormans, and he began 
to tell that he was raised over there 
among the Mabrjs ; and right 
straight Liza claimed kin with him, 
and it was " cousin James," with her 
and i\Iary "Williford. So right after 
supper, the}^ cut out with him off to 
old aunt Polly Pittman's, to make 
lier acquainted with him, and let 
her know that one of her relations 
had come. Bat thej never came in 
the house where I was. The next 
day after dinner, the daughter took 
him over to make him acquainted 
with the rest of his kin. But he was a 
picture for anyone to look at, wa'n't 
he though ? His shirt was the color 
of Roanoke mud, as stiff as it could 
be, and rattled the same as if it had 
been paper ; his old shoes were the 
color of a fox skin, and all to pieces 
at that; his stockings were as black 
as they could be, out at the heel, 
and toes gone, and the man fairly 
stunk. Instead of cousin'ncr him, 
I called him, in my mind, " stink- 
ing Jeems. " Liza wanted him to 
pull off that old louse case of a shirt, 
and put on one of mine, but he 
would not, and it was well he did 
not, and let me know it. 

This newly found and dearly be- 
loved cousin of my wife's came again 
the following Saturday night, and 
atter supper they all cut out again 
to their old aunt Polly Pittman's. — 
Ke began to show his great exploits, 



dealing with the devil like Liza and 
her daughter. lie would take a 
stick, give cnc end to one to hold, 
and the other to somebody else, and 
be would put a ring on the stick, or 
take it off and they holding fast to 
both ends of the stick. He wouhl 
take a piece of money, (if he could 
get one) and putting it in a tumbler 
of water, make it dance, by sing- 
ing to it and patting his feet. He 
told them he could take a chicken 
rooster, cut his head off, clean him, 
pui him in a pot and boil him, and 
take him out, turn him loose and he 
would crow. 

Liza came home that Saturday 
nio-ht about midnisjht, easing herself 
down in the bed, as shough she was 
afraid of touching me, and lay down 
with her back to me, without saying 
a word. Cousin James he got up 
in the mornins: and took himself off 
down to old aunt Polly Pittman's, 
where the lady Mary Williford was. 

After breakfast awhile, Fred. 
Whitehead came in, my two little 
daughters and two grand-daughters 
were in the house, and the lady, 
^lary, sat down on the bed, and her 
cousin James beside her. Pretty 
soon she fell ricjht down on the bed 
flat of her back, and cousin James 
he fell down on top of her, with that 
miserable shirt ohj and I had just 
as lief had a dooj risht out of a dead 
horse on me as he, with that stink- 
ing shirt. 

On Monday, Mary Williford told 
one of my children that she and her 
cousin James Dorman were going 



THE LIFE OF ^dlCAJAR ANDERSON. 



41 



to marrj ; that she loved him so 
she could not sleep for thinking of 

him, and that he was coming again 
the next Saturday night and was 
going to sleep in her bed, for if no 
one else would lie with him, she 
would. 

In the meantime Liza had gone 
off to the store and got some stuff to 
make cousin James a shirt, and on 
Saturday evening he slipped up the 
back way, and went out under my 
gin-house and shedded his old lousy 
skin, and took the nasty thino; and 
carried it to old aunt Polly Pitt- 
man's. During the week, while 
Liza was making the shirt, one of 
my little girls asked who it was for, 
but she said that was best known to 
herself. 

On Thursday night following this 
w^e had our big fuss that made the 
separation : Insteai of sleeping 
with me, Liza, as I found out after- 
wards, had her a pallet under the 
bed where cousin James slept — right 
at the head of mine — in the next 
room. She thought that I would 
think she was staying at old aunt 
Polly Pittman's, but I knew she was 
up and in the kitchen too early 
to have slept there. I asked my 
daughters where their mother slept. 
They did not know, but asked her ; 
she said that was best known to her. 
She asked them if they knew, and 
they said they did not ; and she 
would not tell them. I asked the 
boys, but they said she did not 
sleep up stairs. Feeling certain 

that she did not go out of the house, 

6 



I looked under the bed, and I found 
her pallet under the bed where Dor- 
man lay. At first it struck me that 

she got under there to eavesdrop me ; 
then I became satisfied from her 
manner, that she got uiider there so 
she could creep out and go on tho 
bed to her James Dorman. I took 
the pallet and threw it under my 
bed, and said nothing cibout it. — • 
After dinner, I gave out provisions 
to last my children until Sunday 
night, telling them I was going 
away to be gone until Sunday eve- 
ning. Liza said she wished I would 
go awaj and never come back again. 
I said I knew that. I expected 
that when I went off that mornincr, 
that I might not come back before 
Sunday evening, but I returned 
about an hour in the night, Satur- 
day ; and when I got there, Liza 
had her cousin James in my room, 
and she and her daughter were 
keeping up such a whickering and 
whinnying over him, that I could 
make no one hear me until I had 
called four or five times. 

As I went in, who should jump 
out first but James Dorman, and 
then Liza and her daughter followed. 
She could stay in my room with 
James Dorman, but not with me. — 
They all put off to old aunt Polly 
Pittman's again. 

Next morning, which was Sun- 
day, she came home, leaving her 
daughter and ccusin James at old 
aunt Polly's. I went in to break- 
fast after awhile, saying as I went 
in, " after all the rest of the dogs, 



42 



TUB LIFE OF 211CAJAJI AXDFESOK 



in comes old Lubj. " Liza turned 
her back to mc as I went in and 
stood there in her old place until I 
■went out again. Iler daughter had 
come home, and was fixed up to go 
off among her kindred to show them i 
her cousin James Dorman, now \ 
that the lice were taken off of him. 
Liza had to fix up a lie to get my 
two little girls off with them ; and 
"when the largest of my children 
asked me if they might go to their 
sister Lucy's, I asked who was going 
to get dinner, and she said mother 
says she will get dinner, and I let 
them go. I said I thought her 
mother had quit doing anything,she 
said ^'no, she helps me cook. " 

So they went off, but never 
stopped at their sisters, but kept on 
to Wesley Pittman's instead. The 
lady Mary, in the room of going 
through the field, the usual foot 
way, Yrent round through the woods 
along the cut path. 

When they came back, I asked 

Ann why they did not stop at 

Lucy's ? Sbe said that her mother 

said they must go on with Mary 

Williford to Wesley's ; that if any 

body saw Mary and James Dorman 

going alone, they would talk about 

it. But my grand-daughter came 

back, and said that Liza tried to 

get her off to her uncle Wesley's, 

but they talked about me so bad she 

got mad and would not go with 

them ; that she despised them in 

her sight. I asked her what they 

said. She told me that x\[a,i'y "Willi- 

ford told James Dorman a great 
mess, how I had mistreated her and 



her mother, and James he said if he 
had a step-mother or a step-father 
like that, he would knock their 
heads off; and she said if I did not 
believe her, to go and ask her grand- 
mother. I asked her grand-mother, 
and she said that he did say it. — 
Then I said, I'll be d doireed if 



CO 



they ever come on my plantation 
again, if I don't kill James Dorman, 
sure ; and I'll whip Liza till she 
can't stand. I told old aunt Polly 
to tell her that if she was ixoinor [q 
sign that instrument of writing, as 
she promised, she might go off at 
once and find a home for herself, 
and be back to my house on Mon- 
day, as I would have the documents 
all ready for signing by Tuesday. 

!Now for a few words morCf sug- 
gested by that pallet. I first thought 
they would return that Sunday 
night, but somehow Liza had got 
wind of my expressed intention to 
kill Dorman, and " wear " her girl 
out, and they came not ; and it's 
well enough they didn't, for I took 
my double-barreled gun, loaded 
both barrels, and took a position 
where I knew they would pass in 
returning, resolved at the moment, 
that if Dorman put his foot over the 
fence, I would shoot him down; 
and as for Liza and her girl, I 
meant to whip them as long as they 
could stand the punishment. 

One night, about a week before 
she went away, Liza came into the 
room where I lay, undressed and 
got in bed. When she was fairly 
in, I raised my right arm and threw 
it over her ; and as I did so, she 



THE LIFE OF MICAJAK AKDERSOX. 



43 



suddenly jumped up in bed, and 
began to reel and catch her breath. 
I spoke to her and asked her what 
the matter was. As she made me 
no answer, I took hold of her, led 
her to the fire-place and put her 
down by the fire. I then spoke to 
her again, saying, " Liza, v/hat in \ 
the name of God is the matter with 
yon ? " She replied that she was 
dying, I begged her not to talk 
that way, as it hurt my feelings, 
but she still protested she was 
dying. I immediately caUed up 
one of my sons and bade him go for 
Dr. Strickland as fast as his horse j 
oould carry him. In the meantime 
I bathed her with camphor and pain- 
killer, and administered some of the 
latter internally. In a very short 
time the doctor came. He examin- 
ed her and prescribed something 
which he left in a vial. I think the i 
vial held about four table-spoonfuls. •. 
On the third day after this, the doc- ! 
tor again visited my house, this ; 
time to see my daughter, vrho wr.3 | 
very sick. The doctor and I were ; 
•sitting in the room with my daugh- ; 
ter, when Eliza came in and handed | 
the doctor the vial of medicine he 
had prescribed for herself three [ 
days before, and said, '■' Here, doc- ' 
tor, take this vial of stuff. " He ; 
asked her if she had taken any of 
it. She replied that she had once 
or twice. He enquired whether it 
did her any good, and she replied 
that she did not know, but anyway 
she wanted him to take it back, as 
it wouJd be to pay for. But the 
dector told her to keep it and take 



it,' and I suppose it did her good 
for she carried it with her when she 
left me. After that. Dr. Strickland 
told three or four persons that my 
wife was causing me to lead a very 
wretched life, and that he was very 
sorry for me, because I was " a fine 
old gentleman. " 

After advising Liza of the in- 
strument that I desired her to sign, 
she went ofi" and remained away 
from me seventeen days. In this 
time old aunt Polly Pittman died. — 
After old aunt Polly's death, there 
were found under her bed three or 
four armfuls of things that Liza 
and her daughter had toted over 
there from my house. And Ruffia 
said that the things fo'jnd under the 
bed were not all they had taken, 
for Liza had also carried off a bas- 
ket of blue cotton. L^pon this, I 
went right off to see Betsey Pitt- 
man about the blue cotton. She 
said the children told her that Liza 
had carried a basket of cotton there 
on Sunday evening,and put it under 
her bed, but as she was not there at 
the time, I ought not to blame her 
about it. I didn't tell her at the 
time whether I blamed her or not, 
but from what I am now going to 
say, I reckon she can guess my 
opinion of her : She had that cot- 
ton at her house ; she never told me 
it was there, she therefore concealed 
it from me as she had other rob- 
beries of Liza's. She was a con- 
cealer, and in my opinion, there's 
no difference between a concealer 
and a thief. As to Wesley Pitt- 
man and his family, I attach no 



44 



TEE lifj: of micajah AXDznsoy 



blame to them on account of Liza's 
conduct, for I believe they tried as 
hard as I did to check her in her 
villainous career. 

Now for what transpired during 
her seventeen days' absence. After 
she had been gone many days, I be- 
came so angry about her conduct 
generally, that I determined to lock 
my house against her, and that she 
should never enter it again, unless I 
was present to watch her. I did 
not intend to let her rob me and my 
poor motherless children any longer. 

On Saturday, when I went to 
Whitaker's turn-out, where I ad- 
vertised her, I stopped at the gate 
of Betsey Fountain, my wife's sis- 
ter, and called her to me. AVhen 
she came, I asked if she knew any-, 
thing of Liz 1 ; she replied in a very 
angry manner that she was there, 
and said she had heard that I had 
been talkins^ a sfreat deal about her. 
I told her I had said very much 
about her, but nothing that was not 
strictly true. I furcher told her 
that her sister was a thief and a 
robber, and said no more. 

The next day, Sunday, Liza went 
to Wesley Pittman's. Two of my 
grand-children were over there that 
day, and when they came home they 
told me who they had seen. I en- 
quired if they asked Liza when she 
was coming home. They said Liza 
told them that she was coming by 
home. I enquired who was with 
her, and they said Gus Parks. I 
took it for granted that she was 

coming by that evening, so taking a 
chair and my double-barreled gun 



I sought the shade of one of the 
oaks, about eight steps distant from 
ft'here I supposed they would drive 
up to, and waited events. My gun 
contained the very same charge I 
put in it to sho^t Dorman with, and 
I was r3Solved that when Parks 
drove up to forewarn him as to what 
the consequences would be, in the 
event he attempted to carry my 
wife from ray premises, and then if 
he did attempt to take her off, to 
kill him. I never was so angry in 
all my life. Thank the Lord they 
didn't come that night. But the 
next morning, Liza and Parks come 
walking up to the gate, which is. 
about three hundred yards from my 
house. Upon reaching the gate, 
Parks stopped, but she came on to- 
wards the house, and just before 
reaching it, halted and screamed out, 
*'I have come, ready to do whatever 
we are sjoinn; to do. " I then in- 
vited her into the house to the fire. 
She was bloated, and I told her 
that she looked like a stuffed frog, 
swollen up as she was with the devil 
in her. I then called for one of 
the boys and told him to go for La- 
fayette Legget to do the writing for 
us. Eliza here spoke up and said 
" that Gus Parks was out at the 
gate ; that he could write, and if he 
wasn't too big a loafer to be allowed 

in the house, he would do all the 
writing that was necessary." I told 
her that I didn't send for Gus 
Parks to do any business for me, 
and that so far as I was concerned, 
he might remain at the gate. 

She said the reason she had not 
come back home sooner, was be- 



THE LIFE OF MICAJAH AXDEESOy 



45 



cause when she got there, Gus 
Park's wife was dying, and after 
she was dead, her sister Betsey und 
Wesley Fountain were taken down 
sick, and she remained to wa't on i 
them. I then said to her, •' Sup- 
pose I had been down sick, who i 
was here to wait on me?" She! 
made no reply, and I observed to 
her that she had not half so much i 
respect for me as she had for my | 
old dog. I further remarked thiit I 
I had intended to give her a good 
whipping when she returned, but 
was out of that notion now. I \ 
rather thousjht she would ask what ; 
had put me out of this notion, but j 
she didn't. I told her there was 
one thing I wished her to do, name- 
ly : when she went to l]er church 
again to have my name taken from 
the church books, and substitute 
"whatever name she wanted. I didn't 
"want her to go there in my name 
any longer, for if she was right I 
was wrong, and vice vei^sa ; but I 
was just as sure that there was 
wrong in Liza as that there was a 
God in Heaven, and I prayed to 
the Lord, in her presence, that she 
might see the sin in her sinful self 
before it was too late. 

In a little while we separated, 
and now, before God, who knows ! 
the truth in our hearts, I would not 
have had the separation to occur 
for ten thousand worlds like this. 

Time and again, before she left 

me, I had determined to go to the 

church and narrate my troubles, but 
as often would my heart? fail me. — 
The last time she went to meetins: 



from my house, I was almost per- 
suaded to go with her, and acquaint 
the church wich her wicked con- 
duct, but somehow my resolution 
failed me, and I didn't go that time. 
However, I did go finally. When 
1 went, I informed the church that 
my wife had never treated me as a 
wife ousiht to have treated her bus- 
band. When I made this state- 
ment ill the church, my wife got up 
to leave, I suppose, but some one 
caught hold of her and kept her in 
the church. In a short time after 
this, I saw the old man Jack-y 
Stamps, and narrated to him some 
of the difficulties between Liza and 
myself, and he advised me to see 
her and have a talk with her. Fol- 
lowing his advice, I called at Wes- 
ley Fountain's, where she lived, to 
see her. I first saw Betsey Foun** 
tain and told ter to tell Liza that I 
had come to have a talk with her. 
In a few minutes she came to me. 
I spoke to her in the most friendly 
manner in the world, but she, on 
her part, barel}^ took hold ot my 
hand. Her coldness so much 
affected me that I could not, for my 
life, keep from crying, and as the 
tears coursed down my furrowed 
cheeks, 1 said to her, " Liza, Lord 
bless your poor soul, — Lord bless 
your poor soul, Liza. '' I then told 
her that I had called for a friendly 
chat and not for a quarrel. I told 
her also that the doors of my house 
were open to her whenever she 
choose to return. To this, she re- 
plied, in a loud angry manner, that 
she would never live with me anoth- 



46 



TIlJ^ LIFE OF 2IICAJAU AXDFBSOX. 



er day of her life, because I had 
been saying hard tilings about her. 
She said that I had accused her of 
following Jiin Dorman off. I re- 
plied that if she didn't follow Jim 
Dorman, she vfent off with him to 
the same place and by the same 
road. I then asked her hovv' many 
shirts she had ever washed for me. 
She replied that she had w^ashed 
many a one. I exclaimed, *' What 
a pity 'tis, Liza, that you will tell 

such 1 fibs. " I said to her that 

when she left me, she turned her 
back on the best friend she ever had 
in her life. She proudly retorted 
that I was not the richest man in 
the world; that she had a man to 
stand to her back who had more 
money than I ever had. I replied 
that if she couldn't talk to me in 
peace and friendship, just as a wife 
oufrht to talk to her husband, I 
frished her never to speak to me 
airain. Here our conversation ended. 
I will now relate somethins: about 
an interview I had with Mr. John 
Purvis, on the fourth Sunday in 
April, at Cotton's meeting-house. 
After a little joking and bantering 
between us, Purvis observed that 
some people he knew reminded him 
pf a certain gentleman's dog. The 
gentleman was fond of bathing, and 
frequently when going into the 
water, w'ould try to coax his dog in 
with him ; but instead of following 
his master, this perverse canine 
would generally remain on the banks 
of the water, barking and howling 
for some time, and maybe at last — 
go in. Ju-^ so with certain human 



canines in regard to the church. — 
They stand off for a long time, and 
at last, perhaps, go in. To this I 
replied that as for myself, I had 
been kept out of the still waters of 
the church the past six years by a 
snapping slut ; bat that the wicked 
creature had not deprived me of my 
faith in the Lord, who was the foun- 
tain of livinn; waters. 

Now I must say soraethin;: as to 
my treatment at the hands of the 
church. In the lifetime of my 
second wife, long before I married 
Liza, I had been deeply concerned 
about the salvation of my poor soul, 
and felt the same concern up to the 
time of my marriage with Liza. — 
When that event occurred, I verily 
believed that I had secured a help- 
meet both as to worldly andspiritual 
concerns, but the sequal proves that 
I was fearfallv mistaken. 

But to the church. Well, I went 
there and gave in my experience, 
but without avail, being rejected on 
account of that deceitful and des- 
perately wicked woman. To-day I 
stand precisely w*here I did when I 
was rejected by the church. Poor, 
wretched, sinful Liza is afloat in the 
world, and never thinks of attend- 
ing church ; and I am not permitted 
to attend, and all on her account. 
Maj the God of all grace, for 
Christ's sake, pardon and forgive us 
all for our many misdeeds, is my 
humble and heartfelt prayer. 

I will now make some observa- 
tions on Liza's conduct after she 
left me : When she left my house, 
she went first to the neighborhood 



THE LIFE OF MICAJAH AXBEESOX, 



47 



that she had frequently visited be- 
fore I married her, and lived there 
about twelve months. On the eve 
of her departure thence, she told 
some of her neighbors that she was ; 
going away in order to get out of i 
hearing of me. And here I must I 
remark, with much heartfelt reluc- i 
tance, that when she left there, she j 
took all ot her meanness with her. 
She has forsaken her church, or I I 
suppose she has, as I am informed I 
that she has not been there since | 
last August. She couldn't go to 
meeting, but could go up to Rocky 
Mount, join the Union League, and 
put herself in the keeping of Spen- 
cer Fountain, chief cook and botile- 
washer, head and tail of the league 
in that section. And, by the way. 
Fountain makes a good thing of his 
connection with the league. I hear 
that he gets fifty cents a month from 
each colored member of his league, 
which, he says, is necessary to de- 
fray the expenses of burying the 
poor, and so forth. I thank the 
Lord that some of the colored peo- 
ple are beginning to find out this old 
wolf in sheep's clothing. As for 
Liza, she has found a master and 
mistress in this man Fountain. — 
Now she can "cook and do, " and 
they do say she can even wash, too. 
Methinks she acquired the latter 

accomplishment during her manipu- 
lations of her cousin Jim Dorman's 
• lousy shirt. Most of Fountain's 
visitors are negroes ; wherefore 
Liza's social enjoyments must be pe- 
culiarly pleasing to herself, for she 
always had a hankering for colored 
folks. In the life-time of her first 



husband, who was brother to Spen- 
cer Fountain, Liza and her husband 
lived with Spencer for a season, 
and of course had the best oppor- 
tunities for finding out the charac- 
ter of this great leaguer ; and I have 
heard her say that he cheated his 
own brother out of a whole year's 
work and fifry dollars, too, which he 
had loaned him. Her statement 
may be true, or it may not be true ; 
the fact is there's no telling any- 
thing in the world about it, lor be- 
twixt Liza snd Spencer Fountain, 
there's precious little difference, and 
I should say it is pull Dick, pull 
devil with them, as to which is the 
meanest, for they both belong to 
the L'nion League, which evidently 
comes from the devil ; and what 
comes from his satanic majesty must 
at some time return to that indi- 
vidual. 

I have now done. In this book I 
have been compelled to make known 
many things I could have wished to 
keep within the sacred precincts of 
my family circle, but no. other 
course has been left me, and repeat-* 
ins; the assertion that I have not 

been moved to this by any other 
feeling than a deep sense of justice 
to myself and children, I give this 
much of my life's history to the pub- 
lic, praying the indulgence of men 
wherein I have overstepped the 
bounds of propriety ; and freely ac- 
knowledging the many errors and 
sins of my life, I rest my case with 



justice, and 



resign 



myself to my 



i God, -who must at last judge and re- 
ward me according to my deeds and 
' deserts. 

1 THE END. 






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