Author: Horace E. Tonsler


“Interview with Horace Tonsler” (date unknown)

Horace E. Tonsler, a man born into slavery, tells an interviewer from the Virginia Writers Project about Burkley Bullock’s attempt to emancipate himself from slavery and the nature of segregated services at his church during slavery. This interview, along with other Virginia Writers Project interviews, offer a composite portrait of interviewees’ self-styled personal stories; interviewers’ interests, lived experiences, and editing; and social relations and hierarchies shaping their relationship and conversation. Although the interviews aren’t unmediated autobiographies, they are no less authentic and are just as fruitful a source for reconstructing historical experience.