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249. Archer G. Herndon (William H. Herndon Interview).

[September 28, 1866?]

A. G. Herndon

Says — am from Virginia — The Customs & habits of Virginia we brought from England. — only partially So — We wanted — or found new uses adapted to our conditions &c — Our games were (5) fives — striking a ball up against a perpendicular wall — Say 30 feet high by 40 or 50 feet wide — We played long bullets — We had an iron ball — weighing from 2 to 5 pounds and rolled it on the highway — in order to see who Could roll the limited distance in the least number of throws — We have raced it — Cock fought it. We played Cards — game Called all fours — ie Seven up — We fox hunted it in the Mornings — fished — Sang Songs going to Corn Shucking — niggers beat us — Sang of


evening going to Corn shuckings — sung out — I have whip sawed it in this City in 1823. — got one dollar per dy — Sawed 200 feet — got from 1.50 to 200 per hundred — 2 men to saw 200 feet. The virginians — of a good order or class read the best Brittish literature of the day and Studied Philosophy — &c — Old virginia boasted then as now of her integrity — honor — valor — power to rule [or] reign — Am too sick to talk more. 70 years of age —

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 3920



1. Using Herndon's age (seventy) as a guide, this interview was given between February 13, 1865, and February 13, 1866, but the close similiarity of this document to the previous one suggests that husband and wife gave their testimony at the same time.

2. The game, long bullets, is described in what follows.

3. A popular card game for two players known variously as All Fours, Seven Up, or Old Sledge.

4. Communal gatherings that combined the work of husking corn with music and entertainment (supplied in Southern states by black musicians) and general festivity.

5. Sawing plank from logs by hand.