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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Ella Baker, April 19, 1977. Interview G-0008. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Baker describes her parents' courtship

Baker describes her parents' courtship.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Ella Baker, April 19, 1977. Interview G-0008. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

SUE THRASHER:
Do you have any idea how long your father had been there before your mother came up and joined him? Did he come back to Warrenton and they married there and then went back to Norfolk?
ELLA BAKER:
Actually, the gentleman comes to the lady's home. [Laughter] I really don't know what their ages were at the time of marriage, but he had gone to Norfolk and had "become settled and acclimated," and he came back to continue his wooing of her. And there's a very interesting part of the story, especially when you know my mother's temperament. It is said that he came to pay court and had ridden on horseback from the county seat, which was Warrenton, to this little section called Flums across the river. And it was the winter season, and when he arrived he had been frozen in the stirrups and had to knock his heels loose from the stirrups.
SUE THRASHER:
Was your mother impressed by that? [Laughter]
ELLA BAKER:
My mother was a very…. To let her tell the story, she wasn't about to be wooed to the extent of swooning, by no means. [Laughter] But she came down the steps—they had a two-story house by that time—and saw him bleeding. They said that she fainted; I'm not sure. [Laughter]