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Oral History Interview with John W. Snipes, September 20, 1976. Interview H-0098-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    John Wesley Snipes was born near the town of Bynum in Chatham County, North Carolina, in 1901. His family is as old as the county and played a role in its history: his great-grandfather won a land grant from England, and one grandfather fought in the Civil War and owned a slave. In this interview, Snipes relates his family history, entwining it with the history of Chatham County. He remembers chasing geese on his grandparents' farm; Civil War veterans' tales of combat; rural recreations like corn shuckings, candy pulls, or rabbit hunts; home remedies administered by an African American woman; and more. Snipes provides a detailed portrait of an early twentieth-century farming community, self-reliant and religious, and shares his concerns that the values of his youth are fading.
    Excerpts
  • Chatham County's famous rabbits
  • Running a farm
  • Shearing sheep and plucking geese
  • Listening to Confederate veterans' Civil War stories
  • Community interdependence in rural Chatham County
  • A grandson shares his grandparents' tobacco habit
  • Playing baseball, hunting rabbits, and watching square dances
  • A farm life is free, but difficult and subject to the whims of nature
  • Memories of processing corn and cotton
  • A prayerful rural home
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.