Knox College Struggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
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George Cason interview
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TitleGeorge Cason interview
DescriptionNotes taken by Knox College Professor of Sociology, J. Howell Atwood, from an interview with George Cason. Atwood questioned Cason about his life and how he came to reside in Galesburg, Illinois, and also about his experiences in Galesburg as a member of the African American community.
Race relations
Named PersonCason, George;
CreatorAtwood, Jesse Howell;
Time Period1930s
IdentifierJ. Howell Atwood Manuscript Collection (box 9)
CollectionStruggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
TranscriptGeorge Cason
on First St. at Abingdon

1. Don't Know; 30 yrs or
more -- (came when Will Skinner
was a little boy; W.S. is now 54).
Safe to say Cason was here in the
Late 80's or early 90's.
Doesn't know yr of birth. Was a
big boy during C.W.

[p. 2]

2. --
3. here
4. --
5. never knew father.
Mother brought him in her
arms from Va. to Miss. She
& her children were sold to
a "trader."

[p. 3]


6. John Johnson - the owner
of the bus line
Brown - had a barber
shop on main at the Square.
7. Roman Catholic (?)

[p. 4]


8 --
9 --
10 --
11 - Yes. Was a Cook
for R R. construct[io]n camps;
worked for yrs. after the C.W. [Civil War]
in Miss & Ala. Contractor's
son has a contract for R.R.

[p. 5]


11. bldg up here -- Santa
Fe. Wife & I ran the kitchen.
My mother had taught me;
had no recipes except in
my head. Wife got tired of
moving around. I was tired
of the steam & heat. We
stayed in Galesburg. Bought
this place. Worked a street

[p. 6]

11. paving; sewers. John
McAulay right along
with us. Fine man. He
takes care of me now. Five
Children - all dead; wife
dead. Have a housekeeper.
Can't see very well. Haven't
worked for several years.

[p. 7]


12 Colored were glad
to get away from farm-
ing. Didn't seem to know
of any N. [Negro] farmers here.

[p. 8]


13 Fine - gave us work
14. -- 20 --
15 -- 21 --
16. -- 22 --
17 -- 23 --
18 -- 24 --
19 -- 25 --

[p. 9]

9. Miscellaneous Geo Cason

Doesn't know year of birth.
"We had to pick up chips or pull
burrs out of the wool as soon as
we were that high" -- pointing
with his cane to a height of
a 6 or 7 year old. "When we were
bigger we drove a mule &
plow." The horn would blow about
3 in the morning; lots of work after
we came in from the fields -- stock.

[p. 10]

9. misc. G. Carson recalls
the lashings if they didn't get
their amt. of work done; tied to
a tree. He never wanted to
go back south or back to
slavery. Lived near fighting
during war. Heard the guns &
saw the dead piled up on the
porch. Some "hands" would run away
& stay in the woods for several
months. After the war we went

[p. 11]

9. Misc. to town but they
told us they was going to get ano-
ther race in to work; they did-
n't need us no longer. They did
get in some white folks, but
they didn't stay long.
Physical Descriptionhandwritten notes on 11 paper scraps 5.5 x 4.25 in.
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