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Eric Gardner

slave narrative author, was born in Wake County, North Carolina, to Barney and Cherry, two slaves of the High family. Jones's 1883 slave narrative lists his first owner as “Olser Hye,” asserts that his father was “a desperate wicked man” and an alcoholic who died about 1820, and tells of how his “poor dear mother” who taught him to pray was “traded for a tract of land and sent to Alabama.” (1). Jones and three of his eleven siblings were raised in the large High household; he says little about his childhood other than noting that “I had hard struggling to get bread and clothes” and “after I was ten years old I knew nothing about going to church.” (6). When his master's daughter Emily High married planter Tignall Jones on 25 January 1825, Friday Jones seems to have been given to the new couple.

In about ...