Author: Richard Slaughter


“Autobiography of Richard Slaughter” (1936)

Richard Slaughter, a former slave living in Hampton, recounts his experiences during the Civil War to Claude W. Anderson of the Virginia Writers Project on December 27, 1936. He describes meeting Abraham Lincoln. 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 choices, as well as their social relations and expectations shaped their relationship and conversation with the interviewees. Although the interviews aren’t unmediated autobiographies, they are no less authentic and are just as fruitful a source for reconstructing historical experience.