Cooking for The Babe
By John B. Green III
|Babe Ruth and Dave Sampson, c. 1930.|
He was born a slave yet he lived to become a valued companion of some of the greatest sports figures of the 20th century. His parents were sold away when he was only three weeks old yet he survived to marry and have a family of his own. His name was Dave Sampson and for more than thirty years he was perhaps the best known camp cook and hunting guide in eastern North Carolina.
|Babe Ruth and Dave Sampson, c. 1930, probably at Camp Bryan.|
David Sampson was born in Craven County, North Carolina in 1853, the slave of Michael Fisher. Both his parents were sold and sent to Mississippi by Fisher when Dave was three weeks old. Raised in his master's house, Dave learned to wait on the ladies of the household and, following the Civil War, remained with the family to learn to cook and wait on tables. At the same time he developed into a prodigious hunter and fisherman. This combination of talents would make him much sought after as cook, guide, and companion in later years.
|Dave Sampson Home, photo c. 1930.|
|"Keller's Banquet," Camp Bryan, Jan. 15, 1911. Dave Sampson seated at left.|
|Dave Sampson, Camp Bryan, January 15, 1911.|
|Dave Sampson, cook, and Ben, caretaker, Camp Bryan, January 15, 1911.|
|"Gator Hunters," Dave Sampson and H.H. Brimley, photo c. 1910.|
|Morning New Bernian, Tuesday, 26 Jan 1932.|
|Dave Sampson with the tools of his trade, photo c. 1930.|
What's the use of worrying? If I've got what I want, it's all right. If I ain't got it, it wouldn't do any good to worry. I've always trusted in the Lord. He will always provide for his children.