Citation
Interview with Nancy Harris, April 1, 1974

Material Information

Title:
Interview with Nancy Harris, April 1, 1974
Creator:
Harris, Nancy ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Catawba Indians -- Florida
Kataba Indians -- Florida
Catawba Oral History Collection ( local )

Notes

Funding:
This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Catawba' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text

























UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM


INTERVIEWEE: Nancy Harris

INTERVIEWER: Frances Wade


April 1, 1974













W: This is Frances Wade. I'm in the home of Richard and Nancy Harris. They
live on a hill within seeing distance of the Catawba River. It's quiet
and peaceful dcwn here. Nancy, what is your full name?

H: Nancy Cornelia Harris.

W: When were you born, Nancy?

H: October 17. I can't think of the year.

W: Well, that's all right. Who were your parents?

H: Mary George Harris and Ben Harris.

W: Who were your grandparents?

H: Emily George, and Taylor George, and Max Harris.

W: How many brothers do you have?

H: Three.

W: Are any of them alive today?

H: No, they're all dead.

W: How many sisters do you have?

H: Five.

W: What are the names of your living sisters?

W: Sally Harris Wade, Ida Harris, Martha Johnson, and Mini Harris.

W: And your fifth sister is the one that's dead, Emiline.

H: Yes.

W: What kind of work did your father do?

H: Oh, he didn't do much work.

W: How did he make a living for you all?

H: Well, we drew money back then. Do you remember that?

W: I can remember.

H: I can, too.









2


W: I can remember when we drew money. I don't know how. I didn't know when
it started. When you talk about you drew money, did every member of the
family draw?

H: Yes, everyone.

W: Once a year?

H: Yes. My papa told us not....

W: And who paid that?

H: South Carolina.

W: The state of South Carolina?

H: Yes.

W: Did your mother do any work?

H: Just making pots.

W: Did she have a good place to sell her pottery?

H: Not all the time. Sometimes she'd take them to the college and we'd sell
them there.

W: You're talking about Winthrop College?

H: Yes.

W: Could she make small ones?

H: Make all sizes.

W: Make all sizes, and all kinds?

H: Yes, and all kinds of pipes, too.

W: At Christmastime what kind of celebrating did you all do?

H: None.

W: You didn't do any?

H: No.

W: Did you have a Christmas tree?

H: No, we never put up a Christmas tree.

W: Did you get any toys?









3


H: Well, the little ones did. The big ones didn't.

W: Did you get fruit?

H: Yes.

W: Who gave that?

H: Papa bought that.

W: Somebody told me that the state of South Carolina or somebody gave fruit
to you. Do you remember anything about that?

H: They might have, but I don't remember it.

W: When you were a child, what were your duties?

H: Well, getting water, help to get the wood, and things like that around the
house.

W: Where did you get the water fram?

H: Down at the bank of the branch at the spring.

W: How far away was your house from the spring?

H: Oh, I can't tell you just how far it was, but it was just a little piece
uphill, that was all.

W: Did you have to wash dishes?

H: Yes.

W: Did you have to wash clothes?

H: Oh, yes. We did all that. Mama was sick for a long time. We used to do
all those things.

W: I would like to ask you, when you got sick, did the Catawbas have a
doctor, or did somebody else come in and help take care of them?

H: Oh, they had a doctor.

W: The state paid for a doctor?

H: Yes. I guess it was the state, but I know they had a doctor.

W: Do you remember the first doctor that we had?

H: I don't believe I can recall his name.

W: It wasn't Dr. Hill.









4


H: No. There was another good doctor. Dr. Hill was a good doctor, also.

W: Well, maybe you can think of his name a little later. What kind of house
did you live in?

H: A block house. Oh, we lived in a log house first. Used to live in a
little old log house on the side of the road.

W: HCow any roams did it have?

H: It only had one room. It was just a small log house.

W: Your whole big family lived in that one roan?

H: Yes.

W: And then you moved into another house?

H: Yes, later on.

W: Did your daddy build the other house?

H: No, we got it from John Brown.

W: Is this the house that the storm turned over?

H: No, that isn't the one. It was just a small little house.

W: Wasn't that a terrible storm?

H: Oh yes, but it didn't turn over. It just turned it lopsided.

W: Did it fall off of its pillar? What kind of pillars were they? Were they
rocks?

H: No, they were wood, and he didn't even put them in the ground. It's right
funny what people will do, ain't it?

W: And the storm came and blew it off of the blocks?

H: Turned it over like that. It didn't turn it that bad, flat or nothing,
but it turned it out.

W: Could you live in it anymore?

H: Yes. We fixed it up and lived there. The church people helped straighten
it up.

W: Did church people help each other very much in those days?

H: Well, sometimes, but not all the time.









5


W: Did anybody get hurt when your house fell off of the block?

H: Mom had just delivered a baby; and the baby died, though he didn't die
right then.

W: Did your house have shutters on the windows, or did you have glass
windows?

H: No, we had shutters.

W: What do you remember about church? Did you go to church?

H: Yes, I went to church.

W: Were you a member of the church?

H: Yes.

W: What church did you belong to?

H: Mormon Church.

W: Where was the first church that you remember?

H: Down at Lula Becks.

W: You never went into Brusharber?

H: No, I don't believe I did. I might have, though. It was at a graveyard,
wasn't it?

W: Well, that's what everybody tells me.

H: Yes, I know I did go there, too.

W: Were you ever active in church? Did you take part in church?

H: No, I just go as a member.

W: Do you remember any of the people who attended church at the time that you
were growing up?

H: Uncle Sam's the only one I can remember.

W: Do you remember any of the mission presidents that came here?

H: I can't think of them now, but I knew them all for a while.

W: Do you remember Charles Callas?

H: Yes.









6


W: Did you remember Elder Richards?

H: Yes, I rember Richards.

W: Did you go to school?

H: A little bit. Not nuch.

W: Where did you go to school?

H: On the reservation.

W: And how big was that school?

H: Oh, I don't know how big it was, but I think it was pretty good sized.

W: Was it where the old school was standing, or was it down near where the
old church stood?

H: No, I believe it was at where the old school house was.

W: How big was it? Was it one rocm?

H: No, they built another room that was like for a kitchen.

W: How did you keep warm?

H: Well, we used a wood heater.

W: Who got the wood?

H: Oh, I don't know. I can't remember who got the wood.

W: Do you remember what you all did for water?

H: Yes. We got it from the spring.

W: Who went to the spring?

H: I don't remember.

W: Do you rmemeber any of your teachers?

H: Let's see. No, I can't remember them.

W: Do you know how far in school you went?

H: I guess I went to my ABC's. I went a little further than that.

W: Can you read?

H: Yes.









7


W: You can read?

H: I can read real good.

W: Can you write?

H: Uh huh.

W: And can you do arithmetic?

H: I don't know whether I can or not. I can't even write now because I can't
see good. My eyes are bad.

W: You've never worked, have you?

H: I used to go out to the cotton mill.

W: Oh you did. What kind of work did you do?

H: I fulled wool and cut linen.

W: And how did you get to and from work? Did you live off of the
reservation?

H: Well, I lived near the mill hill.

W: When you were young were there any sports that you liked to take part in?

H: No.

W: Was there anything that you particularly liked to do?

H: I liked to play with boys.

W: Did you ever make quilts?

H: Yes, but I'd rather make pots than quilts any day.

W: You'd rather make pots. That's something special that you like to do and
it's real hard. I realize that. Where were you married?

H: In York.

W: Do you know when you got married?

H: One of my friends said that's something she'd never forget, but I told
her I can never think of when I got married.

W: Who did you marry?

H: Richard Harris.









8


W: Do you have any children?

H: Well, we did not have children, but I got one.

W: What's his name?

H: Alfred Harris.

W: When you were growing up you didn't have a lot of opportunities. Do you
see opportunities that your son has today that you didn't have?

H: Yes.

W: What are same of the opportunities that you think that he's got?

H: He works in the mill. Well, I did work in the mill a little bit, too, but
not much. He worked in the mill all the time.

W: He's got a nice home, children, and he's got a good car. He's got a lot
of the almost luxuries that you never had.

H: No, I never did have.

W: I know that you don't go to church now. The reason you don't go is
because you're not well, and because of that, you don't really go
anywhere.

H: Anywhere.

W: Just right around your own house. Have you ever voted?

H: I did, but I haven't lately.

W: Did you think that it was a good thing to vote?

H: I guess I must have, at the time.

W: Do you have friends among the whites?

H: Yes, I've got sane friends among the whites.

W: I know that you have, because I know that they used to come down and see
you and still do. Do you have any friends among the blacks?

H: I used to.

W: What do you think about being an Indian?

H: Oh, I'm glad I'm an Indian.

W: I've been talking to Nancy Harris. She's not well, but she's able to get
around and do her own work, and just sort of piddle around her own house.









9


She's not quite sure how old she is, but we think she is in her seventies.
Nancy just told me that she was one of the young ladies who took piano
lessons. She said she took them from Miss Freddie Gryder, Roy Gryder's
sister.





Full Text

PAGE 1

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM INTERVIEWEE: Nancy Harris INTERVIEWER: Frances Wade April 1, 1974

PAGE 2

W: This is Frances Wade. I'm in the home of Richard and Nancy Harris. They live on a hill within seeing distance of the Catawba River. It's quiet and peaceful do.m here. Nancy, -what is your full name? H: Nancy Cornelia Harris. W: When were you born, Nancy? H: October 17. I can't think of the year. W: Well, that's all right. Who were your parents? H: Mary George Harris and Ben Harris. W: Who were your grandparents? H: Emily George, and Taylor George, and Max Harris. W: HON rrany brothers do you have? H: Three. W: Are any of them alive today? H: No, they're all dead. W: HON rcany sisters do you have? H: Five. W: What are the names of your living sisters? W: Sally Harris Wade, Ida Harris, Martha Johnson, and Mini Harris. W: And your fifth sister is the one that's dead, Emiline. H: Yes. W: What kind of work did your father do? H: Oh, he didn't do rruch work. W: HON did he make a living for you all? H: Well, we drew m:mey back then. Do you rerrember that? W: I can reroornber. H: I can, too.

PAGE 3

2 W: I can remember when we drew money. I don't know how. I didn't know when it started. When you talk about you drew money, did every member of the family draw? H: Yes, everyone. W: Once a year? H: Yes. My papa told us not W: And who paid that? H: South carolina. W: The state of South Carolina? H: Yes. W: Did your :rrother do any work? H: Just making pots. W: Did she have a good place to sell her pottery? H: Not all the time. Sometimes she'd take them to the college and we'd sell them there. W: You' re talking a'bout Winthrop College? H: Yes. W: Could she nake small ones? H: Make all sizes. W: Make all sizes, and all kinds? H: Yes, and all kinds of pipes, too. W: At Christirasti.Ire what kind of celebrating did you all do? H: None. W: You didn't do any? H: No. W: Did you have a Christiras tree? H: No, we never put up a Christiras tree. W: Did you get any toys?

PAGE 4

H: Well, the little ones did. The big ones didn't. W: Did you get fruit? H: Yes. W: Who gave that? H: Papa bought that. W: Somebody told me that the state of South carolina or somebody gave fruit to you. IX> you rem:miber anything about that? H: They might have, but I don't rerrernber it. W: When you were a child, what were your duties? 3 H: Well, getting water, help to get the wood, and things like that around the house. W: Where did you get the water fran? H: Do,..7n at the bank of the branch at the spring. W: HON far away was your house fran the spring? H: Oh, I can't tell you just how far it was, but it was just a little piece uphill, that was all. ' W: Did you have to wash dishes? H: Yes. W: Did you have to wash clothes? H: Oh, yes. We did all that. Mama was sick for a long time. We used to do all those things. W: I would like to ask you, when you got sick, did the catawbas have a doctor, or did somebody else come in and help take care of them? H: Oh, they had a doctor. W: The state paid for a doctor? H: Yes. I guess it was the state, but I knON they had a doctor. W: IX> you rerrernber the first doctor that we had? H: I don't believe I can recall his name. W: It wasn't Dr. Hill.

PAGE 5

4 H: No. There was another good doctor. Dr. Hill was a good doctor, also. W: Well, maybe you can think of his name a little later. What kind of house did you live in? H: A block house. Oh, we lived in a log house first. Used to live in a little old log house on the side of the road. W: Hc,,..r rrany roans did it have? H: It only had one room. It was just a snall log house. W: Your whole big family lived in that one roan? H: Yes. W: And then you noved into another house? H: Yes, later on. W: Did your daddy build the other house? H: No, we got it fran John Brc,,..rn. W: Is this the house that the stonn turned over? H: No, that isn't the one. It was just a snall little house. W: Wasn't that a terrible stonn? H: Oh yes, but it didn't turn over. It just turned it lopsided. W: Did it fall off of its pillar? What kind of pillars were they? Were they rocks? H: No, they were wood, and he didn't even put them in the ground. It's right funny what people will do, ain't it? W: And the stonn cane and blew it off of the blocks? H: Turned it over like that. It didn't turn it that bad, flat or nothing, but it turned it out. W: Could you live in it anyrrore? H: Yes. We fixed it up and lived there. The church people helped straighten it up. W: Did church people help each other very rrD.lch in those days? H: Well, sometimes, but not all the time.

PAGE 6

W: Did any1:x:xly get hurt when your house fell off of the block? H: Mom had just delivered a baby: and the baby died, though he didn 1 t die right then. W: Did your house have shutters on the windows, or did you have glass windcws? H: No, we had shutters. W: What do you rerreniber about church? Did you go to church? H: Yes, I went to church. W: Were you a merriber of the church? H: Yes. W: What church did you belong to? H: Momon Church. W: Where was the first church that you rerreniber? H: Do..m at Lula Becks. W: You never went into Brusharber? H: No, I don't believe I did. I might have, though. It was at a graveyard, wasn't it? W: Well, that• s what every1:x:xly tells roo. H: Yes, I knCM I did go there, too. W: Were you ever active in church? Did you take part in church? H: No, I just go as a merriber. 5 W: Ix> you remember any of the people who attended church at the time that you were gro. you remember Charles Callas? H: Yes.

PAGE 7

W: Did you rezrember Elder Richards? H: Yes, I remeiriber Richards. W: Did you go to school? H: A little bit. Not rruch. W: Where did you go to school? H: On the reservation. W: And h
PAGE 8

W: You can read? H: I can read real gcxxi. W: Can you write? H: Uh huh. W: And can you do ari thrretic? 7 H: I don't know whether I can or not. I can't even write now because I can't see gcxxi. My eyes are bad. W: You've never worked, have you? H: I used to go out to the cotton mill. W: Oh you did. What kind of work did you do? H: I fulled wcx::>l and cut linen. W: And how did you get to and from work? Did you live off of the reservation? H: Well, I lived near the mill hill. W: When you were young were there any sports that you liked to take part in? H: No. W: Was there anything that you particlarly liked to do? H: I liked to play with boys. W: Did you ever make quilts? H: Yes, but I'd rather rrake pots than quilts any day. W: You'd rather make pots. That's something special that you like to do and it's real hard. I realize that. Where were you roarried? H: In York. W: Do you kn
PAGE 9

W: Ix> you have any children? H: Well, we did not have children, but I got one. W: What's his name? H: Alfred Harris. W: When you were growing up you didn't have a lot of opportunities. Ix> you see opportunities that your son has today that you didn't have? H: Yes. W: What are sane of the opportunities that you think that he's got? 8 H: He works in the mill. Well, I did work in the mill a little bit, too, but not rruch. He -worked in the mill all the time. W: He's got a nice home, children, and he's got a good car. He's got a lot of the alrrost luxuries that you never had. H: No, I never did have. W: I know that you don't go to church now. The reason you don't go is because you're not well, and because of that, you don't really go anywhere. H: Anywhere. W: Just right around your o.vn house. Have you ever voted? H: I did, but I haven't lately. W: Did you think that it was a good thing to vote? H: I guess I rrust have, at the time. W: Ix> you have friends arrong the whites? H: Yes, I've got sane friends arrong the whites. W: I know that you have, because I know that they used to come down and see you and still do. Ix> you have any friends arrong the blacks? H: I used to. W: What do you think about being an Indian? H: Oh, I'm glad I'm an Indian. W: I've been talking to Nancy Harris. She's not well, but she's able to get around and do her own work, and just sort of piddle around her own house.

PAGE 10

9 She's not quite sure how old she is, but we think she is in her seventies. Nancy just told me that she was one of the young ladies who took piano lessons. She said she took them from Miss Freddie Gryder, Roy Gryder's sister.