Federal Writers' Project Papers

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CONTENT WARNING: Some of these texts contain offensive and racist language used by the creators of these documents.

W. T. Couch (1901), a white publisher and editor, was also a part-time official of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration, as assistant and associate director for North Carolina, 1936-1937, and as director for the southern region, 1938-1939. These papers include his correspondence relating to the project and narratives (called "life histories") of about 1,200 individuals, written by about 60 members of the project after one or more oral history interviews with the subjects. Persons interviewed, many of them African Americans, described life in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

03709_0039: A Woman's Like a Dumb Animal

03709_0039: A Woman's Like a Dumb Animal

George Carter, circa 1877, no place given, white, logger, Talledega Springs, 25 July 1939

25 pages: 100% corrected, 24% needs review
03709_0043: Isaac Johnson: Cajan [sic] Turpentiner

03709_0043: Isaac Johnson: Cajan [sic] Turpentiner

Isaac Johnson, no date given, Happy Hill Community near Chaton, Cajun, turpentiner, Happy Hill Community near Chatom, 29 November 1938

9 pages: 100% corrected, 100% needs review
03709_0044: Jim Lauderdale: River Wreck

03709_0044: Jim Lauderdale: River Wreck

Jim Lauderdale, 1880, no place given, white river rat, Talledega Springs, 22 September 1938

5 pages: 100% corrected, 80% needs review
03709_0046: "Uncle Bud" Ryland the Coosa Fisherman

03709_0046: "Uncle Bud" Ryland the Coosa Fisherman

Charley "Uncle Bud" Ryland, circa 1870, no place given, white fisherman, Talledega Springs, 21 September 1938

8 pages: 100% corrected, 50% needs review
03709_0048: Pattern of Ignorance

03709_0048: Pattern of Ignorance

Orrie Robinson, 1898, Talledega Springs, white fisherman, Talledega Springs, 23 September 1938

5 pages: 100% corrected, 40% needs review
03709_0050: A Dead Convict Don't Cost Nothin'

03709_0050: A Dead Convict Don't Cost Nothin'

Jim Lauderdale, 1880, no place given, white river rat, Talledega Springs, 8 August 1939

21 pages: 100% corrected, 5% needs review
03709_0052: Coal Miner

03709_0052: Coal Miner

Sam Brakefield, 1873, [Lamar County?], white miner, [Lamar County?], no date given

10 pages: 100% corrected, 50% needs review
03709_0059: A Day with Lula Wright

03709_0059: A Day with Lula Wright

Lula Wright, 1868, Cotton Valley, Black tenant farmer, Tuskeegee, 18 January 1939

12 pages: 91% corrected, 58% needs review
03709_0060: Isaac Hathaway, Sculptor

03709_0060: Isaac Hathaway, Sculptor

Isaac Hathaway, no date given, Cincinnati [Ohio?], Black sculptor, Tuskeegee, 2 January 1939

11 pages: 100% corrected, 9% needs review
03709_0063: Life in a Shrimping and Oyster Shucking Camp

03709_0063: Life in a Shrimping and Oyster Shucking Camp

Joe Vaughn, circa 1861, Canada, white shrimp factory worker, Bayou La Batre, 29 November 1938

8 pages: 100% corrected, 75% needs review
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