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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Ethel Marshall Faucette, November 16, 1978, and January 4, 1979. Interview H-0020. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Adoption of an orphaned child represented the extension of assistance to community members

Here, Faucette describes how her family took in the daughter of a dying family friend. The mill village exemplified a tight social network of concern, communal responsibility, and mutual cooperation.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Ethel Marshall Faucette, November 16, 1978, and January 4, 1979. Interview H-0020. 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

Well now, you all wouldn't worry so much.There were eight children, if I remember right, that your father and mother had. And then you all also raised a child that wasn't one of your brothers and sisters. Now, could you tell me that story. How did that happen and what's the story?
Well, momma was always going to see the sick, you know, down here on the hill. Well Kate's mother was bad off and she told daddy that she wanted to come down here-it was about, a little after supper. So he and her come. And momma said when she got down here that Kate's mother was dying and she hated to leave her. So her and daddy just stayed on 'till after she died. And Kate went out on the porches in the summer time. And she told daddy, she said now-she always called him Uncle Man-and she says now, Uncle Man, I ain't got nobody, she says, momma's gone. And says, I want to come and stay with you. Daddy said, well I got eight of my own, but one more won't make no difference, just come on when you get ready. Well her brothers wanted her to go and stay with a Miss Boone-Miss Mary Ann Boone. Well she didn't want to stay up there and they was having a week meeting down here at the church, and she told Miss Boone that she wanted to come down here and go with us to church that week. So she let her come. And Kate told momma, says Aunt Mary Eliza, says I don't want to go back up there. Says, I'd rather you'd kill me than to let me go back up there. So momma told her, says you don't have to go back up there if you don't want to. Says, you could stay here with the children. Says, we got a crowd, but we could take on one more. So, Kate stayed that week. Miss Boone sent two men from up here at the orphanage, up at Elon-down here to get her, carry her up there. So they come up to the house. Momma told 'em, says, well I got eight of my own, but I'm going to keep her. Says, I dare every one of you to touch her, if you do, she says, I'll kill you. Says, I got the gun right here on my machine. That's just what she told 'em. Says, now you don't touch her. So she sent to the mill after daddy. He come to the house and he told her, he said no, he says, you all can't take her away from here. If you do, you'll pay me a week's board that you can't afford. (chuckle) So he just got rid of him. And him and mother went to Graham, he didn't adopt her. He just went down there and had it fixed so that he could keep her. With that they could afford to pay the board that he wanted for her. And so she stayed at that house until she was eighteen year old.
How old was she when she came?
She was between five and six, she was just a child.