Testimony by a Georgia Freedman before the Southern Claims Commission

[McIntosh, Ga.  July 17, 1873]

My name is Samuel Elliott   I was born in Liberty County a Slave and became free when the Army came into the County.  I belonged to Maybank Jones.  I am 54 years old.  I reside at Lauralview in Liberty County.  I am a farmer.  I am the Claimant in this Case. . . .

I resided from the 1st of April 1861 to the 1st of June 1865 where I live now at Lauralview.  I worked for my master all the time.  I changed my business at one time when I was with my master as a waiter–in the rebel service   I was with him Eleven month.  I came home with him.  I told my son what was going on–  he with 11 more ran off and joined the Army (the Yankee Army) on St Catherine Island.  I dont remember the Year but it was soon after the battle at Williamsburgh Va, and before the 7 days battle near Chickahomony.  I mean that was the time I came home with my master.  I was with him at Yorktown–  Soon after I came home My son with 11 others ran away & joined the Union Army.  My Master had me taken up tied me and tried to make me tell “What made them ran off”   I had to lie about it to keep from getting killed.  the 11 slaves belonged to My Master Jones   that stoped the slave owners from sending or taking slave into the Army as waiters or anything else.  it stoped it in our neighborhood

. . . .

Samuel X Elliot

Excerpts from testimony of Samuel Elliot, [17 July 1873], claim of Samuel Elliot, Liberty Co. GA case files, Approved Claims, series 732, Southern Claims Commission, 3rd Auditor, U.S. General Accounting Office, Record Group 217, National Archives.

Published in The Destruction of Slavery, pp. 146–50 (in unexcerpted form), and in Free at Last, pp. 60–61.