Slave Narratives

from the Rawick Papers, Series 5
Craddock, Ed
Marshall, Missouri
Saline County

Western Historical Manuscripts Collection
University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri

Marshall, Missouri has a life-long negro citizen who was born in slavery, but was too young to remember actual slave conditions. He is Ed Craddock, born a few years before the Civil War, the son of slaves owned by leading pioneer families. Craddock lived through the hard days of reconstruction. His own father was a school building janitor in Marshall in the 1870's, and Ed Craddock was apprenticed under his sire, finally, upon death of the latter, succeeding to the job, which he has held for forty-seven years. Years ago he married and reared a large family. Craddock belongs to the Methodist Church, serving as "second minute-man", which he explains is something like a secretary, and also belongs to the Colored Masonic Lodge. Craddock's brother is a practicing physician in St. Louis.

"Stories told me by my father are vivid", Craddock said in an interview. "One especially, because of its cruelty. A slave right here in Marshall angered his master, was chained to a hemp-brake on a cold night and left to freeze to death, which he did. My father said slaves had to have a pass to go places. 'Patrollers' usually went in groups of three. If they caught a slave off his plantation without a pass the patrollers often would flog them".

Craddock relates that his father suffered from chills and fever which, quinine, the only remedy known then, failed to cure. Someone advised him, next time the chill came on, to plunge into a deep and cold hole in the river. Ed says his father, out of desperation, tried the

Craddock, Ed
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suggested cure, and it worked, in a way squaring with the modern medical theory of setting up a counter-irritant in certain cases.

Craddock's mother was owned by the family of Marmadukes, one of whom was an early-day governor of Missouri.

Bibliography: Ed Craddock, Janitor, Saline County Court House, Marshall, Missouri.


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Document scanned by Carol Robinson.