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Title: Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves. - Texas Narratives, Part 2
Author: United States. Work Projects Administration
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves. - Texas Narratives, Part 2" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

by the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division.

  |                                                              |
  | Transcriber's Note:                                          |
  |                                                              |
  | I. Inconsistent punctuation and capitalisation has been      |
  | silently corrected throughout the book.                      |
  |                                                              |
  | II. Clear spelling mistakes have been corrected however,     |
  | inconsistent language usage (such as 'day' and 'dey') has    |
  | been maintained. Inconsistent spelling of place names and    |
  | personal names has also been retained. A list of corrections |
  | is included at the end of the book.                          |
  |                                                              |
  | III. Handwritten corrections have been incorporated within   |
  | the text. Exceptions are notes which were just question      |
  | marks or were followed by question marks: these have been    |
  | explicitly included as 'Handwritten Notes'.                  |
  |                                                              |
  | IV. The numbers at the start of each interview were stamped  |
  | into the original work and refer to the number of the        |
  | published interview in the context of the entire Slave       |
  | Narratives project.                                          |
  |                                                              |


  _A Folk History of Slavery in the United States
  from Interviews with Former Slaves_


  _Illustrated with Photographs_




  PART 2

  Administration for the State of Texas


  Easter, Willis                          1

  Edwards, Anderson and Minerva           5

  Edwards, Ann J.                        10

  Edwards, Mary Kincheon                 15

  Elder, Lucinda                         17

  Ellis, John                            21

  Ezell, Lorenza                         25

  Farrow, Betty                          33

  Finnely, John                          35

  Ford, Sarah                            41

  Forward, Millie                        47

  Fowler, Louis                          50

  Franklin, Chris                        55

  Franks, Orelia Alexie                  60

  Frazier, Rosanna                       63

  Gibson, Priscilla                      66

  Gilbert, Gabriel                       68

  Gilmore, Mattie                        71

  Goodman, Andrew                        74

  Grant, Austin                          81

  Green, James                           87

  Green, O.W.                            90

  Green, Rosa                            94

  Green, William (Rev. Bill)             96

  Grice, Pauline                         98

  Hadnot, Mandy                         102

  Hamilton, William                     106

  Harper, Pierce                        109

  Harrell, Molly                        115

  Hawthorne, Ann                        118

  Hayes, James                          126

  Haywood, Felix                        130

  Henderson, Phoebe                     135

  Hill, Albert                          137

  Hoard, Rosina                         141

  Holland, Tom                          144

  Holman, Eliza                         148

  Holt, Larnce                          151

  Homer, Bill                           153

  Hooper, Scott                         157

  Houston, Alice                        159

  Howard, Josephine                     163

  Hughes, Lizzie                        166

  Hursey, Moses                         169

  Hurt, Charley                         172

  Ingram, Wash                          177

  Jackson, Carter J.                    180

  Jackson, James                        182

  Jackson, Maggie                       185

  Jackson, Martin                       187

  Jackson, Nancy                        193

  Jackson, Richard                      195

  James, John                           198

  Johns, Thomas                         201

  Johns, Mrs. Thomas                    205

  Johnson, Gus                          208

  Johnson, Harry                        212

  Johnson, James D.                     216

  Johnson, Mary                         219

  Johnson, Mary Ellen                   223

  Johnson, Pauline,
       and Boudreaux, Felice            225

  Johnson, Spence                       228

  Jones, Harriet                        231

  Jones, Lewis                          237

  Jones, Liza                           241

  Jones, Lizzie                         246

  Jones, Toby                           249

  Kelly, Pinkie                         253

  Kilgore, Sam                          255

  Kinchlow, Ben                         260

  Kindred, Mary                         285

  King, Nancy                           288

  King, Silvia                          290


                                Facing page

  Anderson and Minerva Edwards            5

  Ann J. Edwards                         10

  Mary Kincheon Edwards                  15

  John Ellis                             21

  Lorenza Ezell                          25

  Betty Farrow                           33

  Sarah Ford                             41

  Louis Fowler                           50

  Orelia Alexie Franks                   60

  Priscilla Gibson                       66

  Andrew Goodman                         74

  Austin Grant                           81

  James Green                            87

  O.W. Green and Granddaughter           90

  William Green, (Rev. Bill)             96

  Pauline Grice                          98

  Mandy Hadnot                          102

  William Hamilton                      106

  Felix Haywood                         130

  Phoebe Henderson                      135

  Albert Hill                           137

  Eliza Holman                          148

  Bill Homer                            153

  Scott Hooper                          157

  Alice Houston                         159

  Moses Hursey                          169

  Charley Hurt                          172

  Wash Ingram                           177

  Carter J. Jackson                     180

  James Jackson                         182

  Martin Jackson                        187

  Richard Jackson                       195

  John James                            198

  Gus Johnson                           208

  James D. Johnson                      216

  Mary Ellen Johnson                    223

  Pauline Johnson and Felice Boudreaux  225

  Spence Johnson                        228

  Harriet Jones                         231

  Harriet Jones
     with Daughter and Granddaughter    231

  Lewis Jones                           237

  Lizzie Jones                          246

  Sam Kilgore                           255

  Ben Kinchlow                          260

  Mary Kindred                          285




     WILLIS EASTER, 85, was born near Nacogdoches, Texas. He does not
     know the name of his first master. Frank Sparks brought Willis to
     Bosqueville, Texas, when he was two years old. Willis believes
     firmly in "conjuremen" and ghosts, and wears several charms for
     protection against the former. He lives in Waco, Texas.

"I's birthed below Nacogdoches, and dey tells me it am on March 19th, in
1852. My mammy had some kind of paper what say dat. But I don't know my
master, 'cause when I's two he done give me to Marse Frank Sparks and he
brung me to Bosqueville. Dat sizeable place dem days. My mammy come
'bout a month after, 'cause Marse Frank, he say I's too much trouble
without my mammy.

"Mammy de bes' cook in de county and a master hand at spinnin' and
weavin'. She made her own dye. Walnut and elm makes red dye and walnut
brown color, and shumake makes black color. When you wants yallow color,
git cedar moss out de brake.

"All de lint was picked by hand on our place. It a slow job to git dat
lint out de cotton and I's gone to sleep many a night, settin' by de
fire, pickin' lint. In bad weather us sot by de fire and pick lint and
patch harness and shoes, or whittle out something, dishes and bowls and
troughs and traps and spoons.

"All us chillen weared lowel white duckin', homemake, jes' one garment.
It was de long shirt. You couldn't tell gals from boys on de yard.

"I's twelve when us am freed and for awhile us lived on Marse Bob
Wortham's place, on Chalk Bluff, on Horseshoe Bend. After de freedom
war, dat old Brazos River done change its course up 'bove de bend, and
move to de west.

"I marries Nancy Clark in 1879, but no chilluns. Dere plenty deer and
bears and wild turkeys and antelopes here den. Dey's sho' fine eatin'
and wish I could stick a tooth in one now. I's seed fifty antelope at a
waterin' hole.

"Dere plenty Indians, too. De Rangers had de time keepin' dem back. Dey
come in bright of de moon and steals and kills de stock. Dere a ferry
'cross de Brazos and Capt. Ross run it. He sho' fit dem Indians.

"Dem days everybody went hossback and de roads was jes' trails and
bridges was poles 'cross de creeks. One day us went to a weddin'. Dey
sot de dinner table out in de yard under a big tree and de table was a
big slab of a tree on legs. Dey had pewter plates and spoons and chiny
bowls and wooden dishes. Some de knives and forks was make out of bone.
Dey had beef and pork and turkey and some antelope.

"I knows 'bout ghostes. First, I tells you a funny story. A old man
named Josh, he purty old and notionate. Every evenin' he squat down
under a oak tree. Marse Smith, he slip up and hear Josh prayin, 'Oh,
Gawd, please take pore old Josh home with you.' Next day, Marse Smith
wrop heself in a sheet and git in de oak tree. Old Josh come 'long and
pray, 'Oh, Gawd, please come take pore old Josh home with you.' Marse
say from top de tree, 'Poor Josh, I's come to take you home with me.'
Old Josh, he riz up and seed dat white shape in de tree, and he yell,
'Oh, Lawd, not right now, I hasn't git forgive for all my sins.' Old
Josh, he jes' shakin' and he dusts out dere faster den a wink. Dat
broke up he prayin' under dat tree.

"I never studied cunjurin', but I knows dat scorripins and things dey
cunjures with am powerful medicine. Dey uses hair and fingernails and
tacks and dry insects and worms and bat wings and sech. Mammy allus tie
a leather string round de babies' necks when dey teethin', to make dem
have easy time. She used a dry frog or piece nutmeg, too.

"Mammy allus tell me to keep from bein' cunjure, I sing:

"'Keep 'way from me, hoodoo and witch,
  Lend my path from de porehouse gate;
  I pines for golden harps and sich,
  Lawd, I'll jes' set down and wait.
  Old Satan am a liar and cunjurer, too--
  If you don't watch out, he'll cunjure you.'

"Dem cunjuremen sho' bad. Dey make you have pneumony and boils and bad
luck. I carries me a jack all de time. It em de charm wrop in red
flannel. Don't know what am in it. A bossman, he fix it for me.

"I sho' can find water for de well. I got a li'l tree limb what am like
a V. I driv de nail in de end of each branch and in de crotch. I takes
hold of each branch and iffen I walks over water in de ground, dat limb
gwine turn over in my hand till it points to de ground. Iffen money am
buried, you can find it de same way.

"Iffen you fills a shoe with salt and burns it, dat call luck to you. I
wears a dime on a string round de neck and one round de ankle. Dat to
keep any conjureman from sottin' de trick on ma. Dat dime be bright
iffen my friends am true. It sho' gwine git dark iffen dey does me

"For to make a jack dat am sho' good, git snakeroot and sassafras and a
li'l lodestone and brimstone and asafoetida and resin and bluestone and
gum arabic and a pod or two red pepper. Put dis in de red flannel bag,
at midnight on de dark of de moon, and it sho' do de work.

"I knowed a ghost house, I sho' did. Everybody knowed it, a red brick
house in Waco, on Thirteenth and Washington St. Dey calls it de Bell
house. It sho' a fine, big house, but folks couldn't use it. De white
folks what owns it, dey gits one nigger and 'nother to stay round and
look after things. De white folks wants me to stay dere. I goes. Every
Friday night dere am a rustlin' sound, like murmur of treetops, all
through dat house. De shutters rattles--only dere ain't no shutters on
dem windows. Jes' plain as anything, I hears a chair, rockin', rockin'.
Footsteps, soft as de breath, you could hear dem plain. But I stays and
hunts and can't find nobody nor nothin' none of dem Friday nights.

"Den come de Friday night on de las' quarter de moon. Long 'bout
midnight, something lift me out de cot. I heared a li'l child sobbin',
and dat rocker git started, and de shutters dey rattle softlike, and dat
rustlin', mournin' sound all through dat house. I takes de lantern and
out in de hall I goes. Right by de foot de stairs I seed a woman, big as
life, but she was thin and I seed right through her. She jes' walk on
down dat hall and pay me no mind. She make de sound like de beatin' of
wings. I jes' froze. I couldn't move.

"Dat woman jes' melted out de window at de end of de hall, and I left
dat place!


[Illustration: Anderson and Minerva Edwards]

     ANDERSON AND MINERVA EDWARDS, a Negro Baptist preacher and his
     wife, were slaves on adjoining plantations in Rusk County, Texas.
     Anderson was born March 12, 1844, a slave of Major Matt Gaud, and
     Minerva was born February 2, 1850, a slave of Major Flannigan. As a
     boy Andrew would get a pass to visit his father, who belonged to
     Major Flannigan, and there he met Minerva. They worked for their
     masters until three years after the war, then moved to Harrison
     County, married and reared sixteen children. Andrew and Minerva
     live in a small but comfortable farmhouse two miles north of
     Marshall. Minerva's memory is poor, and she added little to
     Anderson's story.

"My father was Sandy Flannigan and he had run off from his first master
in Maryland, on the east shore, and come to Texas, and here a slave
buyer picked him up and sold chances on him. If they could find his
Maryland master he'd have to go back to him and if they couldn't the
chances was good. Wash Edwards in Panola County bought the chance on
him, but he run off from him, too, and come to Major Flannigan's in Rusk
County. Fin'ly Major Flannigan had to pay a good lot to get clear title
to him.

"My mammy was named Minerva and her master was Major Gaud, and I was
born there on his plantation in 1866. You can ask that tax man at
Marshall 'bout my age, 'cause he's fix my 'xemption papers since I'm
sixty. I had seven brothers and two sisters. There was Frank, Joe, Sandy
and Gene, Preston and William and Sarah and Delilah, and they all lived
to be old folks and the younges' jus' died last year. Folks was more
healthy when I growed up and I'm 93 now and ain't dead; fact is, I feels
right pert mos' the time.

"My missy named Mary and she and Massa Matt lived in a hewed log house
what am still standin' out there near Henderson. Our quarters was 'cross
the road and set all in a row. Massa own three fam'lies of slaves and
lots of hosses and sheep and cows and my father herded for him till he
was freed. The government run a big tan yard there on Major Gaud's place
and one my uncles was shoemaker. Jus' 'bout time of war, I was piddlin'
'round the tannery and a government man say to me, 'Boy, I'll give you
$1,000 for a drink of water,' and he did, but it was 'federate money
that got kilt, so it done me no good.

"Mammy was a weaver and made all the clothes and massa give us plenty to
eat; fact, he treated us kind-a like he own boys. Course he whipped us
when we had to have it, but not like I seed darkies whipped on other
place. The other niggers called us Major Gaud's free niggers and we
could hear 'em moanin' and cryin' round 'bout, when they was puttin' it
on 'em.

"I worked in the field from one year end to t'other and when we come in
at dusk we had to eat and be in bed by nine. Massa give us mos' anything
he had to eat, 'cept biscuits. That ash cake wasn't sich bad eatin' and
it was cooked by puttin' cornmeal batter in shucks and bakin' in the

"We didn't work in the field Sunday but they have so much stock to tend
it kep' us busy. Missy was 'ligious and allus took us to church when she
could. When we prayed by ourse'ves we daren't let the white folks know
it and we turned a wash pot down to the ground to cotch the voice. We
prayed a lot to be free and the Lord done heered us. We didn't have no
song books and the Lord done give us our songs and when we sing them at
night it jus' whispering to nobody hear us. One went like this:

"'my knee bones am aching,
  my body's rackin' with pain,
  i 'lieve i'm a chile of god,
  and this ain't my home,
  'cause heaven's my aim.'

"Massa Gaud give big corn shuckin's and cotton pickin's and the women
cook up big dinners and massa give us some whiskey, and lots of times we
shucked all night. On Saturday nights we'd sing and dance and we made
our own instruments, which was gourd fiddles and quill flutes. Gen'rally
Christmas was like any other day, but I got Santa Claus twict in
slavery, 'cause massa give me a sack of molasses candy once and some
biscuits once and that was a whole lot to me then.

"The Vinsons and Frys what lived next to massa sold slaves and I seed
'em sold and chained together and druv off in herds by a white man on a
hoss. They'd sell babies 'way from the mammy and the Lord never did
'tend sich as that.

"I 'lieve in that hant business yet. I seed one when I was a boy, right
after mammy die. I woke up and seed it come in the door, and it had a
body and legs and tail and a face like a man and it walked to the
fireplace and lifted the lid off a skillet of 'taters what sot there and
came to my bed and raised up the cover and crawled in and I hollers so
loud it wakes everybody. I tell 'em I seed a ghost and they say I crazy,
but I guess I knows a hant when I sees one. Minerva there can tell you
'bout that haunted house we lived in near Marshall jus' after we's
married." (Minerva says, 'Deed, I can,' and here is her story:)

"The nex' year after Anderson and me marries we moves to a place that
had 'longed to white folks and the man was real mean and choked his
wife to death and he lef' the country and we moved in. We heered
peculiar noises by night and the niggers 'round there done told us it
was hanted but I didn't 'lieve 'em, but I do now. One night we seed the
woman what died come all 'round with a light in the hand and the
neighbors said that candle light the house all over and it look like it
on fire. She come ev'ry night and we left our crop and moved 'way from
there and ain't gone back yit to gather that crop. 'Fore we moved in
that place been empty since the woman die, 'cause nobody live there. One
night Charlie Williams, what lives in Marshall, and runs a store out by
the T. & P. Hospital git drunk and goes out there to sleep and while he
sleepin' that same woman come in and nigh choked him to death. Ain't
nobody ever live in that house since we is there."

Anderson then resumed his story: "I 'member when war starts and massa's
boy, George it was, saddles up ole Bob, his pony, and lef'. He stays six
months and when he rid up massa say, 'How's the war, George?' and massa
George say, 'It's Hell. Me and Bob has been runnin' Yankees ever since
us lef'.' 'Fore war massa didn't never say much 'bout slavery but when
he heered us free he cusses and say, 'Gawd never did 'tend to free
niggers,' and he cussed till he died. But he didn't tell us we's free
till a whole year after we was, but one day a bunch of Yankee soldiers
come ridin' up and massa and missy hid out. The soldiers walked into the
kitchen and mammy was churnin' and one of them kicks the churn over and
say, 'Git out, you's jus' as free as I is.' Then they ramsacked the
place and breaks out all the window lights and when they leaves it look
like a storm done hit that house. Massa come back from hidin' and that
when he starts on a cussin' spree what lasts as long as he lives.

"'bout four year after that war pappy took me to Harrison County and
I've lived here ever, since and Minerva's pappy moves from the Flannigan
place to a jinin' farm 'bout that time and sev'ral years later we was
married. It was at her house and she had a blue serge suit and I wore a
cutaway Prince Albert suit and they was 'bout 200 folks at our weddin'.
The nex' day they give us an infair and a big dinner. We raises sixteen
chillen to be growed and six of the boys is still livin' and workin' in

"I been preachin' the Gospel and farmin' since slavery time. I jined the
church mos' 83 year ago when I was Major Gaud's slave and they baptises
me in the spring branch clost to where I finds the Lord. When I starts
preachin' I couldn't read or write and had to preach what massa told me
and he say tell them niggers iffen they obeys the massa they goes to
Heaven but I knowed there's something better for them, but daren't tell
them 'cept on the sly. That I done lots. I tells 'em iffen they
keeps prayin' the Lord will set 'em free. But
since them days I's done studied some and I preached all over Panola and
Harrison County and I started the Edward's Chapel over there in Marshall
and pastored it till a few year ago. It's named for me.

"I don't preach much now, 'cause I can't hold out to walk far and I got
no other way to go. We has a $14.00 pension and lives on that and what
we can raise on the farm.


[Illustration: Ann J. Edwards]

     ANN J. EDWARDS, 81, was born a slave of John Cook, of Arlington
     County, Virginia. He manumitted his slaves in 1857. Four years
     later Ann was adopted by Richard H. Cain, a colored preacher. He
     was elected to the 45th Congress in 1876, and remained in
     Washington, D.C., until his death, in 1887. Ann married Jas. E.
     Edwards, graduate of Howard College, a preacher. She now lives with
     her granddaughter, Mary Foster, at 804 E. 4th St., Fort Worth,

"I shall gladly relate the story of my life. I was born a slave on
January 27th, 1856, and my master's name was John J. Cook, who was a
resident of Arlington County, Virginia. He moved to Washington, D.C.,
when I was nearly two years old and immediately gave my parents their
freedom. They separated within a year after that, and my mother earned
our living, working as a hairdresser until her death in 1861. I was then
adopted by Richard H. Cain, a minister of the Gospel in the African
Methodist Church.

"I remember the beginning of the war well. The conditions made a deep
impression on my mind, and the atmosphere of Washington was charged with
excitement and expectations. There existed considerable need for
assistance to the Negroes who had escaped after the war began, and Rev.
Cain took a leading part in rendering aid to them. They came into the
city without clothes or money and no idea of how to secure employment. A
large number were placed on farms, some given employment as domestics
and still others mustered into the Federal Army.

"The city was one procession of men in blue and the air was full of
martial music. The fife and drum could be heard almost all the time, so
you may imagine what emotions a colored person of my age would
experience, especially as father's church was a center for congregating
the Negroes and advising them. That was a difficult task, because a
large majority were illiterate and ignorant.

"The year father was called to Charleston, South Carolina, to take
charge of a church, we became the center of considerable trouble. It was
right after the close of the war. In addition to his ministerial duties,
father managed a newspaper and became interested in politics. He was
elected a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of South Carolina in
1868. He was also elected a Republican member of the State Senate and
served from 1868 to 1872. Then he became the Republican candidate for
the United States Representative of the Charleston district, was elected
and served in the 45th Congress from March 4, 1877 to March 3, 1879.

"You can imagine the bitter conflict his candidacy brought on. A Negro
running for public office against a white person in a Southern state
that was strong for slavery does not seem the sensible thing for a man
to do, but he did and was, of course, successful. From the moment he
became delegate to the Constitutional Convention a guard was necessary
night and day to watch our home. He was compelled to have a bodyguard
wherever he went. We, his family, lived in constant fear at all times.
Many times mother pleaded with him to cease his activities, but her
pleadings were of no avail.

"In the beginning the resentment was not so pronounced. The white
people were shocked and dejected over the outcome of the war, but
gradually recovered. As they did, determination to establish order and
prosperity developed, and they resented the Negro taking part in public
affairs. On the other side of the cause was the excess and obstinate
actions of some ignorant Negroes, acting under ill advice. Father was
trying to prevent excesses being done by either side. He realized that
the slaves were unfit, at that time, to take their place as dependable
citizens, for the want of experience and wisdom, and that there would
have to be mental development and wisdom learned by his race, and that
such would only come by a gradual process.

"He entered the contest in the interest of his own race, primarily, but
as a whole, to do justice to all. No one could change his course. He
often stated, 'It is by the Divine will that I am in this battle.'

"The climax of the resentment against him took place when he was chosen
Republican candidate to the House of Representatives. He had to maintain
an armed guard at all times. Several times, despite these guards,
attempts were made to either burn the house or injure some member of the
family. If it had not been for the fact that the officials of the city
and county were afraid of the federal government, which gave aid in
protecting him, the mob would have succeeded in harming him.

"A day or two before election a mob gathered suddenly in front of the
house, and we all thought the end had come. Father sent us all upstairs,
and said he would, if necessary, give himself up to the mob and let them
satisfy their vengeance on him, to save the rest of us.

"While he was talking, mother noticed another body of men in the alley.
They were certainly sinister looking. Father told us to prepare for the
worst, saying, 'What they plan to do is for those in front to engage
the attention of ourselves and the guard, then those in the rear will
fire the place and force us out.' He was calm throughout it all, but
mother was greatly agitated and I was crying.

"The chief of the guard called father for a parley. The mob leader
demanded that father come out for a talk. Then the sheriff and deputies
appeared and he addressed the crowd of men, and told them if harm came
to us the city would be placed under martial law. The men then
dispersed, after some discussion among themselves.

"Father moved to Washington, took the oath of office and served until
March 4th, 1879. He then received the appointment of Bishop of the
African Methodist Church and served until his death in Washington, on
Jan. 18th, 1887.

"I began my schooling in Charleston and continued in Washington, where I
entered Howard College, but did not continue until graduation. I met
James E. Edwards, another student, who graduated in 1881, and my heart
overruled my desire for an education. We married and he entered the
ministry and was called to Dallas, Texas. He remained two years, then we
were called to Los Angeles. The Negroes there were privileged to enter
public eating establishments, but a cafe owner we patronized told us the

"'After a time, I was compelled to refuse service to Negroes because
they abused the privilege. They came in in a boisterous manner and
crowded and shoved other patrons. It was due to a lack of wisdom and

"That was true. The white people tried to give the Negro his rights and
he abused the privilege because he was ignorant, a condition he could
not then help.

"My husband and I were called to Kansas City in 1896 and from there to
many other towns. Finally we came to Waco, and he had charge of a church
there when he died, in 1927. We had a pleasant married life and I tried
to do my duty as a pastor's wife and help elevate my race. We were
blessed with three children, and the only one now living is in Boston,

"I now reside with my granddaughter, Mary Foster, and this shack is the
best her husband can afford. In fact, we are living in destitute
circumstances. It is depressing to me, after having lived a life in a
comfortable home. It is the Lord's will and I must accept what is
provided. There is a purpose for all things. I shall soon go to meet my
Maker, with the satisfaction of having done my duty--first, to my race,
second, to mankind.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Note: The biography of Richard H. Cain is published in the
     Biographical Directory of the American Congress.


[Illustration: Mary Kincheon Edwards]

     MARY KINCHEON EDWARDS says she was born on July 8, 1810, but she
     has nothing to substantiate this claim. However, she is evidently
     very old. Her memory is poor, but she knows she was reared by the
     Kincheons, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and that she spoke French
     when a child. The Kincheons gave her to Felix Vaughn, who brought
     her to Texas before the Civil War. Mary lives with Beatrice
     Watters, near Austin, Texas.

"When I's a li'l gal my name Mary Anne Kincheon and I's born on the
eighth of July, in 1810. I lives with de Kincheon family over in
Louisiana. Baton Rouge am de name of dat place. Dem Kincheons have
plenty chillen. O, dey have so many chillen!

"I don't 'member much 'bout dem days. I's done forgot so many things,
but I 'members how de stars fell and how scared us was. Dem stars got to
fallin' and was out 'fore dey hits de ground. I don't knew when dat was,
but I's good size den.

"I get give to Massa Felix Vaughn and he brung me to Texas. Dat long
'fore de war for freedom, but I don't know de year. De most work I done
for de Vaughns was wet nuss de baby son, what name Elijah. His mammy
jes' didn't have 'nough milk for him.

"Den I knit de socks and wash de clothes and sometimes I work in de
fields. I he'ped make de baskets for de cotton. De man git white-oak
wood and we lets it stay in de water for de night and de nex' mornin'
and it soft and us split it in strips for makin' of de baskets.
Everybody try see who could make de bes' basket.

"Us pick 'bout 100 pound cotton in one basket. I didn't mind pickin'
cotton, 'cause I never did have de backache. I pick two and three
hunnert pounds a day and one day I picked 400. Sometime de prize give by
massa to de slave what pick de most. De prize am a big cake or some
clothes. Pickin' cotton not so bad, 'cause us used to it and have de
fine time of it. I gits a dress one day and a pair shoes 'nother day for
pickin' most. I so fast I take two rows at de time.

"De women brung oil cloths to de fields, so dey make shady place for de
chillen to sleep, but dem what big 'nough has to pick. Sometime dey sing

  "'O--ho, I's gwine home,
  And cuss de old overseer.'

"Us have ash-hopper and uses drip-lye for make barrels soap and hominy.
De way us test de lye am drap de egg in it and if de egg float de lye
ready to put in de grease for makin' de soap. Us throwed greasy bones in
de lye and dat make de bes' soap. De lye eat de bones.

"Us boil wild sage and make tea and it smell good. It good for de fever
and chills. Us git slippery elm out de bottom and chew it. Some chew it
for bad feelin's and some jes' to be chewin'.

"Sometimes us go to dances and missy let me wear some her jewl'ry. I out
dances dem all and folks didn't know dat not my jewl'ry. After freedom I
stays with de Vaughns and marries, but I forgit he name. Dat 'fore
freedom. After freedom I marries Osburn Edwards and has five chillen.
Dey all dead now. I can still git 'round with dis old gnarly cane. Jes'
you git me good and scared and see how fast I can git 'round!"


     LUCINDA ELDER, 86, was born a slave of the Cardwell family, near
     Concord Deport, Virginia. She came to Texas with Will Jones and his
     wife, Miss Susie, in 1860, and was their nurse-girl until she
     married Will Elder, in 1875. Lucinda lives at 1007 Edwards St.,
     Houston, Texas.

"You chilluns all go 'way now, while I talks to dis gen'man. I 'clares
to goodness, chilluns nowadays ain't got no manners 'tall. 'Tain't like
when I was li'l, dey larnt you manners and you larnt to mind, too.
Nowadays you tell 'em to do somethin' and you is jes' wastin' you
breath, 'less you has a stick right handy. Dey is my great
grandchilluns, and dey sho' is spoilt. Maybe I ain't got no patience no
more, like I use to have, 'cause dey ain't so bad.

"Well, suh, you all wants me to tell you 'bout slave times, and I'll
tell you first dat I had mighty good white folks, and I hope dey is gone
up to Heaven. My mama 'long to Marse John Cardwell, what I hear was de
riches' man and had de bigges' plantation round Concord Depot. Dat am in
Campbell County, in Virginny. I don't 'member old missy's name, but she
mighty good to de slaves, jes' like Marse John was.

"Mama's name was Isabella and she was de cook and born right on de
plantation. Papa's name was Gibson, his first name was Jim, and he 'long
to Marse Gibson what had a plantation next to Marse John, and I knows
papa come to see mama on Wednesday and Sat'day nights.

"Lemme see, now, dere was six of us chilluns. My mem'ry ain't so good no
more, but Charley was oldes', den come Dolly and Jennie and Susie and me
and Laura. Law me, I guess old Dr. Bass, what was doctor for Marse John,
use to be right busy with us 'bout once a year for quite a spell.

"Dem times dey don't marry by no license. Dey takes a slave man and
woman from de same plantation and puts 'em together, or sometime a man
from 'nother plantation, like my papa and mama. Mamma say Marse John
give 'em a big supper in de big house and read out de Bible 'bout
obeyin' and workin' and den dey am married. Course, de nigger jes' a
slave and have to do what de white folks say, so dat way of marryin'
'bout good as any.

"But Marse John sho' was de good marse and we had plenty to eat and wear
and no one ever got whipped. Marse John say iffen he have a nigger what
oughta be whipped, he'd git rid of him quick, 'cause a bad nigger jes'
like a rotten 'tater in a sack of good ones--it spoil de others.

"Back dere in Virginny it sho' git cold in winter, but come September de
wood gang git busy cuttin' wood and haulin' it to de yard. Dey makes two
piles, one for de big house and de bigges' pile for de slaves. When dey
git it all hauled it look like a big woodyard. While dey is haulin', de
women make quilts and dey is wool quilts. Course, dey ain't made out of
shearin' wool, but jes' as good. Marse John have lots of sheep and when
dey go through de briar patch de wool cotch on dem briars and in de fall
de women folks goes out and picks de wool off de briars jes' like you
picks cotton. Law me, I don't know nothin' 'bout makin' quilts out of
cotton till I comes to Texas.

"Course I never done no work, 'cause Marse John won't work no one till
dey is fifteen years old. Den dey works three hours a day and dat all.
Dey don't work full time till dey's eighteen. We was jes' same as free
niggers on our place. He gives each slave a piece of ground to make de
crop on and buys de stuff hisself. We growed snap beans and corn and
plant on a light moon, or turnips and onions we plant on de dark moon.

"When I gits old 'nough Marse John lets me take he daughter, Nancy Lee,
to school. It am twelve miles and de yard man hitches up old Bess to de
buggy and we gits in and no one in dat county no prouder dan what I was.

"Marse John lets us go visit other plantations and no pass, neither.
Iffen de patterroller stop us, we jes' say we 'long to Marse John and
dey don't bother us none. Iffen dey comes to our cabin from other
plantations, dey has to show de patterroller de pass, and iffen dey
slipped off and ain't got none, de patterroller sho' give a whippin'
den. But dey waits till dey off our place, 'cause Marse John won't 'low
no whippin' on our place by no one.

"Well, things was jes' 'bout de same all de time till jes' 'fore
freedom. Course, I hears some talk 'bout bluebellies, what dey call de
Yanks, fightin' our folks, but dey wasn't fightin' round us. Den one dey
mamma took sick and she had hear talk and call me to de bed and say,
'Lucinda, we all gwine be free soon and not work 'less we git paid for
it.' She sho' was right, 'cause Marse John calls all us to de cookhouse
and reads de freedom papers to us and tells us we is all free, but iffen
we wants to stay he'll give us land to make a crop and he'll feed us.
Now I tells you de truth, dey wasn't no one leaves, 'cause we all loves
Marse John.

"Den, jus' three weeks after freedom mama dies and dat how come me to
leave Marse John. You see, Marse Gibson what owns papa 'fore freedom,
was a good marse and when papa was sot free Marse Gibson gives him some
land to farm. 'Course, papa was gwine have us all with him, but when
mamma dies, Marse Gibson tell him Mr. Will Jones and Miss Susie, he
wife, want a nurse girl for de chilluns, so papa hires me out to 'em and
I want to say right now, dey jes' as good white folks as Marse John and
Old Missy, and sho' treated me good.

"Law me, I never won't forgit one day. Mr. Will say, 'Lucinda, we is
gwine drive you over to Appomatox and take de chilluns and you can come,
too.' Course, I was tickled mos' to pieces but he didn't tell what he
gwine for. You know what? To see a nigger hung. I gettin' long mighty
old now, but I won't never forgit dat. He had kilt a man, and I never
saw so many people 'fore, what dere to see him hang. I jes' shut my

"Den Mr. Will he take me to de big tree what have all de bark strip off
it and de branches strip off, and say, 'Lucinda, dis de tree where Gen.
Lee surrendered.' I has put dese two hands right on dat tree, yes, suh,
I sho' has.

"Miss Susie say one day, 'Lucinda, how you like to go with us to Texas?'
Law me, I didn't know where Texas was at, or nothin', but I loved Mr.
Will and Miss Susie and de chilluns was all wrop up in me, so I say I'll
go. And dat how come I'm here, and I ain't never been back, and I ain't
see my own sisters and brother and papa since.

"We come to New Orleans on de train and takes de boat on de Gulf to
Galveston and den de train to Hempstead. Mr. Will farm at first and den
he and Miss Susie run de hotel, and I stays with dem till I gets married
to Will Elder in '75, and I lives with him till de good Lawd takes him

"I has five chilluns but all dead now, 'ceptin' two. I done served de
Lawd now for 64 years and soon he's gwine call old Lucinda, but I'm
ready and I know I'll be better off when I die and go to Heaven, 'cause
I'm old and no 'count now.


[Illustration: John Ellis]

     JOHN ELLIS, was born June 26, 1852, a slave of the Ellis family in
     Johnson County near Cleburne, Texas. He remained with his white
     folks and was paid by the month for his labor for one year after
     freedom, when his master died and his mistress returned to
     Mississippi. He worked as a laborer for many years around Cleburne,
     coming to San Angelo, Texas in 1928. He now lives alone and is very
     active for his age.

John relates:

"My father and mother, John and Fannie Ellis, were sold in Springfield,
Missouri, to my marster, Parson Ellis, and taken away from all their
people and brought to Johnson County, Texas.

"My marster, he was a preacher and a good man. None of de slaves ever
have better white folks den we did.

"We had good beds and good food and dey teaches us to read and write
too. De buffalo and de antelope and de deer was mos' as thick as de
cattle now, and we was sent out after dem, so we would always have
plenty of fresh meat. We had hogs and cattle too. Any of dem what was
not marked was just as much ours as iffen we had raised dem, 'cause de
range was all free.

"Some of de fish we would catch out of dat Brazos River would be so big
dey would pull us in but finally we would manage to gits dem out. De
rabbits and de 'possum was plentiful too and wid de big garden what our
marster had for us all, we sho' had good to eat.

"I's done all kinds of work what it takes to run a fa'm. My boss he had
only fourteen slaves and what was called a small fa'm, compared wid de
big plantations. After our days work was done we would set up at night
and pick de seed out of de cotton so dey could spin it into thread. Den
we goes out and gits different kinds of bark and boils it to git dye for
de thread 'fore it was spinned into cloth. De chillun jes' have long
shirts and slips made out of dis home spun and we makes our shoes out of
rawhide, and Lawdy! Dey was so hard we would have to warm dem by de fire
and grease dem wid tallow to ever wear dem 'tall.

"We had good log huts and our boss had a bigger log house. We never did
work long into de night and long 'fore day like I hear tell some did. We
didn' have none of dem drivers and when we done anything very bad old
marster he whoop us a little but we never got hurt.

"I didn' see no slaves sold. Dat was done, I hear, but not so much in
Texas. I never did see no jails nor chains nor nothin' like dat either,
but I hears 'bout dem.

"We never worked Sat'days and de colored went to church wid de whites
and jine de church too, but dey never baptized dem so far as I knows.

"We had lots to eat and big times on Christmas, mos' as big as when de
white folks gits married. Umph, um! One of de gi'ls got married once and
she had such a long train on dat weddin' gown 'til me and my sister, we
have to walks along behind her and carry dat thing, all of us a-walkin'
on a strip of nice cloth from de carriage to de church. We sho' have de
cakes and all dem good eats at dem weddin' suppers.

"I nev'r hear tell of many colored weddin's. We jes' jumps over de broom
an' de bride she has to jump over it backwards and iffen she couldn'
jump it backwards she couldn't git married. Dat was sho' funny, seein'
dem colored gi'ls a tryin' to jump dat broom.

"Our boss, he tells us 'bout bein' free and he say he hire us by de
month and we stays dere a year and he dies, den ole miss she go back to
Mississippi and we jes' scatter 'round, some a workin' here and some a
workin' yonder, mos' times for our victuals and clothes. I couldn' tell
much difference myself 'cause I had good people to live wid and when it
was dat way de whites and de colored was better off de way I sees it
den dey is now, some of dem.

"I seem jes' punyin' away, de doctors don' know jes' what's wrong wid me
but I never was use to doctors anyway, jes' some red root tea or sage
weed and sheep waste tea for de measles am all de doctoring we gits when
we was slaves and dat done jes' as well.

"My wife she been dead all dese years an' I jes' lives here alone.

"Chillun? No mam, I never had no chillun 'fore I was married an' I only
had twelve after I was married; yes mam, jes' nine boys and three girls,
but I prefers to live here by myself, 'cause I gits along alright."


[Illustration: Lorenza Ezell]

     LORENZA EZELL, Beaumont, Texas, Negro, was born in 1850 on the
     plantation of Ned Lipscomb, in Spartanburg County, South Carolina.
     Lorenza is above the average in intelligence and remembers many
     incidents of slavery and Reconstruction days. He came to Brenham,
     Texas, in 1882, and several years later moved to Beaumont, where he
     lives in a little shack almost hidden by vines and trees.

"Us plantation was jes' east from Pacolet Station on Thicketty Creek, in
Spartanburg County, in South Carolina. Dat near Little and Big Pacolet
Rivers on de route to Limestone Springs, and it jes' a ordinary
plantation with de main crops cotton and wheat.

"I 'long to de Lipscombs and my mama, Maria Ezell, she 'long to 'em,
too. Old Ned Lipscomb was 'mongst de oldest citizens of dat county. I's
born dere on July 29th, in 1850 and I be 87 year old dis year. Levi
Ezell, he my daddy, and he 'long to Landrum Ezell, a Baptist preacher.
Dat young massa and de old massa, John Ezell, was de first Baptist
preacher I ever heered of. He have three sons, Landrum and Judson and
Bryson. Bryson have gif' for business and was right smart of a orator.

"Dey's fourteen niggers on de Lipscomb place. Dey's seven of us chillen,
my mamma, three uncle and three aunt and one man what wasn't no kin to
us. I was oldest of de chillen, and dey called Sallie and Carrie and
Alice and Jabus and Coy and LaFate and Rufus and Nelson.

"Old Ned Lipscomb was one de best massa in de whole county. You know dem
old patterrollers, dey call us 'Old Ned's free niggers,' and sho' hate
us. Dey cruel to us, 'cause dey think us have too good a massa. One time
dey cotch my uncle and beat him most to death.

"Us go to work at daylight, but us wasn't 'bused. Other massas used to
blow de horn or ring de bell, but massa, he never use de horn or de
whip. All de man folks was 'lowed raise a garden patch with tobaccy or
cotton for to sell in de market. Wasn't many massas what 'lowed dere
niggers have patches and some didn't even feed 'em enough. Dat's why dey
have to git out and hustle at night to git food for dem to eat.

"De old massa, he 'sisted us go to church. De Baptist church have a shed
built behind de pulpit for cullud folks, with de dirt floor and split
log seat for de women folks, but most de men folks stands or kneels on
de floor. Dey used to call dat de coop. De white preacher back to us,
but iffen he want to he turn 'round and talk to us awhile. Us mess up
songs, 'cause us couldn't read or write. I 'member dis one:

  'De rough, rocky road what Moses done travel,
  I's bound to carry my soul to de Lawd;
  It's a mighty rocky road but I mos' done travel,
  And I's bound to carry my soul to de Lawd.'

"Us sing 'Sweet Chariot,' but us didn't sing it like dese days. Us sing:

  'Swing low, sweet chariot,
  Freely let me into rest,
  I don't want to stay here no longer;
  Swing low, sweet chariot,
  When Gabriel make he las' alarm
  I wants to be rollin' in Jesus arm,
  'Cause I don't want to stay here no longer.'

Us sing 'nother song what de Yankees take dat tune and make a hymm out
of it. Sherman army sung it, too. We have it like dis:

  'Our bodies bound to morter and decay,
  Our bodies bound to morter and decay,
  Our bodies bound to morter and decay,
  But us souls go marchin' home.'

"Befo' de war I jes' big 'nough to drap corn and tote water. When de
little white chillen go to school 'bout half mile, I wait till noon and
run all de way up to de school to run base when dey play at noon. Dey
sev'ral young Lipscombs, dere Smith and Bill and John and Nathan, and de
oldest son, Elias.

"In dem days cullud people jes' like mules and hosses. Dey didn't have
no last name. My mamma call me after my daddy's massa, Ezell. Mamma was
de good woman and I 'member her more dan once rockin' de little cradle
and singin' to de baby. Dis what she sing:

  "Milk in de dairy nine days old,
  Sing-song Kitty, can't you ki-me-o?
  Frogs and skeeters gittin' mighty bol!
  Sing-song, Kitty, can't you ki-me-o?


  Keemo, kimo, darro, wharro,
  With me hi, me ho;
  In come Sally singin'
    Sometime penny winkle,
  Lingtum nip cat,
  Sing-song, Kitty, can't you ki-me-o?

  Dere a frog live in a pool,
  Sing-song, Kitty, can't you ki-me-o?
  Sure he was de bigges' fool,
  Sing-song Kitty, can't you ki-me-o?

  For he could dance and he could sing
  Sing-song, Kitty, can't you ki-me-o?
  And make de woods aroun' him ring
  Sing-song, Kitty, can't you ki-me-o?'

"Old massa didn't hold with de way some mean massas treat dey niggers.
Dere a place on our plantation what us call 'De old meadow.' It was
common for runaway niggers to have place 'long de way to hide and res'
when dey run off from mean massa. Massa used to give 'em somethin' to
eat when dey hide dere. I saw dat place operated, though it wasn't
knowed by dat den, but long time after I finds out dey call it part of
de 'Underground railroad.' Dey was stops like dat all de way up to de

"We have went down to Columbia when I 'bout 11 year old and dat where de
first gun fired. Us rush back home, but I could say I heered de first
guns of de war shot, at Fort Sumter.

"When Gen'ral Sherman come 'cross de Savannah River in South Carolina,
some of he sojers come right 'cross us plantation. All de neighbors have
brung dey cotton and stack it in de thicket on de Lipscomb place.
Sherman men find it and sot it on fire. Dat cotton stack was big as a
little courthouse and it took two months' burnin'.

"My old massa run off and stay in de woods a whole week when Sherman men
come through. He didn't need to worry, 'cause us took care of
everythin'. Dey a funny song us make up 'bout him runnin' off in de
woods. I know it was make up, 'cause my uncle have a hand in it. It went
like dis:

  'White folks, have you seed old massa
  Up de road, with he mustache on?
  He pick up he hat and he leave real sudden
  And I 'lieve he's up and gone.


  'Old massa run away
  And us darkies stay at home.
  It mus' be now dat Kingdom's comin'
  And de year of Jubilee.

  'He look up de river and he seed dat smoke
  Where de Lincoln gunboats lay.
  He big 'nuff and he old 'nuff and he orter know better,
  But he gone and run away.

  'Now dat overseer want to give trouble
  And trot us 'round a spell,
  But we lock him up in de smokehouse cellar,
  With de key done throwed in de well.'

"Right after dat I start to be boy what run mail from camp to camp for
de sojers. One time I capture by a bunch of deserters what was hidin' in
de woods 'long Pacolet River. Dey didn't hurt me, though, but dey mos'
scare me to death. Dey parole me and turn me loose.

"All four my young massas go to de war, all but Elias. He too old.
Smith, he kilt at Manassas Junction. Nathan he git he finger shot at de
first round at Fort Sumter. But when Billy was wounded at Howard Gap in
North Carolina and dey brung him home with he jaw split open, I so mad I
could have kilt all de Yankees. I say I be happy iffen I could kill me
jes' one Yankee. I hated dem 'cause dey hurt my white people. Billy was
disfigure awful when he jaw split and he teeth all shine through he

"After war was over, old massa call us up and told us we free but he
'vise not leave de place till de crop was through. Us all stay. Den us
select us homes and move to it. Us folks move to Sam Littlejohn's, north
of Thickettty Creek, where us stay two year. Den us move back to Billy
Lipscomb, de young massa, and stay dere two more year. I's right smart
good banjo picker in dem day. I kin 'member one dem songs jes' as good
today as when I pick it. Dat was:

  'Early in de mornin'
  Don't you hear de dogs a-barkin'?
  Bow, wow, wow!


  'Hush, hush, boys
  Don't make a noise,
  Massa's fast a-sleepin'.
  Run to de barnyard
  Wake up de boys
  Let's have banjo pickin.'.

  'Early in de mornin'
  Don't you hear dem roosters crowin'?

"I come in contac' with de Klu Klux. Us lef' de plantation in '65 or '66
and by '68 us was havin' sich a awful time with de Klu Klux. First time
dey come to my mamma's house at midnight and claim dey sojers done come
back from de dead. Dey all dress up in sheets and make up like spirit.
Dey groan 'round and say dey been kilt wrongly and come back for
justice. One man, he look jus' like ordinary man, but he spring up 'bout
eighteen feet high all of a sudden. Another say he so thirsty he ain't
have no water since he been kilt at Manassas Junction. He ask for water
and he jes' kept pourin' it in. Us think he sho' must be a spirit to
drink dat much water. Course he not drinkin' it, he pourin' it in a bag
under he sheet. My mama never did take up no truck with spirits so she
knowed it jes' a man. Dey tell us what dey gwine do iffen we don't all
go back to us massas and us all 'grees and den dey all dis'pear.

"Den us move to New Prospect on de Pacolet River, on de Perry Clemmons'
place. Dat in de upper edge of de county and dat where de second swarm
of de Klu Klux come out. Dey claim dey gwine kill everybody what am
Repub'can. My daddy charge with bein' a leader 'mongst de niggers. He
make speech and 'struct de niggers how to vote for Grant's first
'lection. De Klu Klux want to whip him and he have to sleep in a holler
log every night.

"Dey's a old man name Uncle Bart what live 'bout half mile from us. De
Klu Klux come to us house one night, but my daddy done hid. Den I hear
dem say dey gwine go kill old man Bart. I jump out de window and cut
short cut through dem wood and warn him. He git out de house in time and
I save he life. De funny thing, I knowed all dem Klu Klux. Spite dey
sheets and things, I knowed dey voices and dey saddle hosses.

"Dey one white man name Irving Ramsey. Us play fiddle together lots of
time. When de white boys dance dey allus wants me to go to play for dey
party. One day I say to dat boy, 'I done knowed you last night.' He say,
'What you mean?' I say, 'You one dem Klu Klux.' He want to know how I
know. I say, 'Member when you go under de chestnut tree and say, "Whoa,
Sont, whoa, Sont, to your hoss?" He say, 'Yes,' and I laugh and say,
'Well, I's right up in dat tree.' Dey all knowed I knowed dem den, but I
never told on dem. When dey seed I ain't gwineter tell, dey never try
whip my daddy or kill Uncle Bart no more.

"I ain't never been to school but I jes' picked up readin'. With some my
first money I ever earn I buy me a old blue-back Webster. I carry dat
book wherever I goes. When I plows down a row I stop at de end to rest
and den I overlook de lesson. I 'member one de very first lessons was,
'Evil communications 'rupts good morals.' I knowed de words 'evil' and
'good' and a white man 'splain de others. I been done use dat lesson all
my life.

"After us left de Pacolet River us stay in Atlanta a little while and
den I go on to Louisiana. I done lef' Spartanburg completely in '76 but
I didn't git into Texas till 1882. I fin'lly git to Brenham, Texas and
marry Rachel Pinchbeck two year after. Us was marry in church and have
seven chillen. Den us sep'rate. I been batching 'bout 20 year and I done
los' track mos' dem chillen. My gal, Lula, live in Beaumont, and Will,
he in Chicago.

"Every time I tells dese niggers I's from South Carolina dey all say,
'O, he bound to make a heap.' I could be a conjure doctor and make
plenty money, but dat ain't good. In slavery time dey's men like dat
'garded as bein' dangerous. Dey make charms and put bad mouth on you. De
old folks wears de rabbit foot or coon foot and sometime a silver dime
on a fishin' string to keep off de witches. Some dem old conjure people
make lots of money for charm 'gainst ruin or cripplin' or dry up de
blood. But I don't take up no truck with things like dat.


[Illustration: Betty Farrow]

     BETTY FARROW, 90, now living with a son on a farm in Moser Valley,
     a Negro settlement ten miles northeast of Fort Worth on Texas
     Highway No. 15, was born a slave to Mr. Alex Clark, plantation
     owner in Patrick Co., Virginia.

"I's glad to tell what I knows, but yous have to 'scuse me, 'cause my
'collection am bad. I jus' don' 'member much, but I's bo'n on Masta Alex
Clark's plantation in Patrick County, Virginny, on June 28th, 1847.
Dat's what my mammy tol' me. You see, we cullud folks have no schoolin'
dem days and I can't read or write. I has to depen' on what folks tells

"Masta Clark has right smart plantation in ole Virginny and he owns
'bout twenty other slaves dat wo'ked de big place. He had three girls
and four boys and when I's a chile we'uns played togedder and we'uns
'tached to each other all our lives.

"In mammy's family dere was five boys and four girls. I don' 'member my
pappy. When I's 'bout ten, I's set to work, peddalin' 'round de house.

"'bout three years 'fore de war marster sol' his plantation for to go to
Texas. I 'members de day we'uns started in three covered wagons, all
loaded. 'Twas celebration day for us chillun. We travels from daylight
to dark, 'cept to feed and res' de mules at noon. I don' rec'lec' how
long we was on de way, but 'twas long time and 'twarn't no celebration
towards de las'. After while we comes to Sherman, in Texas, to our new

"When we was dere 'bout a year, dere am heaps of trouble. Dere was a
neighbor, Shields, he's drivin' wood to town and goes n'cross masta's
yard and dey have arg'ments. One day we chillen playin' and masta
settin' on de front porch and Shields come up de road. Masta stops him
when he starts to cross de yard and de fust thing we knows, we hears
'bang' and dat Shields shoot de masta and we sees him fall. Dey sen's
young Alex for de doctor and he makes dat mule run like he never run
'fore. De doctor comes in de house and looks at de masta, and listens to
his heart and says, 'He am dead.' Dere was powerful sorrow in dat home.

"After dat, Masta Alex takes charge, and in 'bout one year, he says,
'We'uns goin' to Fort Worth.' So we goes, and if I rec'lec's right, dat
year de war started. After dat, dere was times dere wasn' enough to make
de clothes, but we'uns allus had plenty to eat, and we gives lots of
feed to de army mans.

"I don' 'member bein' tol' I's free. We'uns stayed right dere on de farm
'cause it was de only home we knew and no reason to go. I stays dere
till I's twenty-seven years ole, den I marries and my husban' rents
land. We'uns has ten chillun and sometimes we has to skimp, but we gets
on. When my husban' dies fifteen years ago, I comes here. I's allus been
too busy tendin' to my 'sponsibilities for to git in de debilmen' and
now I's happy, tendin' to my great gran'chile.


     JOHN FINNELY, 86, was born a slave to Martin Finnely, in Jackson
     Co., Alabama. During the Civil War ten slaves escaped from the
     Finnely plantation. Their success led John to escape. He joined the
     Federal Army. John farmed from 1865 until 1917, then moved to Fort
     Worth, Tex., and worked in packing plants until 1930. He now lives
     at 2812 Cliff St., Fort Worth, his sole support a $17.00 monthly

"Alabama am de state where I's born and dat 86 year ago, in Jackson
County, on Massa Martin Finnely's plantation, and him owns 'bout 75
other slaves 'sides mammy and me. My pappy am on dat plantation but I
don't know him, 'cause mammy never talks 'bout him 'cept to say, 'He am

"Massa run de cotton plantation but raises stock and feed and corn and
cane and rations for de humans sich as us. It am diff'rent when I's a
young'un dan now. Den, it am needful for to raise everything yous need,
'cause dey couldn't 'pend on factory made goods. Dey could buy shoes and
clothes and sich, but we'uns could make dem so much cheaper.

"What we'uns make? 'Low me to 'collect a li'l. Let's see, we'uns make
shoes, and leather and clothes and cloth and grinds de meal. And we'uns
cures de meat, preserves de fruit and make 'lassas and brown sugar. All
de harness for de mules and de hosses is make and de carts for haulin'.
Am dat all? Oh, yes, massa make peach brandy and him have he own still.

"De work am 'vided 'twixt de cullud folks and us allus have certain
duties to do. I's am de field hand and befo' I's old 'nough for to do
dat, dey has me help with de chores and errands.

"Us have de cabins of logs with one room and one door and one window
hole and bunks for sleepin'. But no cookin' am done dere. It am done in
de cookhouse by de cooks for all us niggers and we'uns eats in de eatin'
shed. De rations am good, plain victuals and dere plenty of it and 'bout
twict a week dere somethin' for treat. Massa sho' am 'ticular 'bout
feedin', 'specially for de young'uns in de nursery. You see, dere am de
nursery for sich what needs care while dere mammies am a-workin'.

"Massa feed plenty and him 'mand plenty work. Dat cause heap of trouble
on dat plantation, 'cause whippin's am given and hard ones, too. Lots of
times at de end of de day I's so tired I's couldn't speak for to stop de
mule, I jus' have to lean back on de lines.

"Dis nigger never gits whupped 'cept for dis, befo' I's a field hand.
Massa use me for huntin' and use me for de gun rest. When him have de
long shot I bends over and puts de hands on de knees and massa puts his
gun on my back for to git de good aim. What him kills I runs and fotches
and carries de game for him. I turns de squirrels for him and dat
disaway: de squirrel allus go to udder side from de hunter and I walks
'round de tree and de squirrel see me and go to massa's side de tree and
he gits de shot.

"All dat not so bad, but when he shoots de duck in de water and I has to
fotch it out, dat give me de worryment. De fust time he tells me to go
in de pond I's skeert, powe'ful skeert. I takes off de shirt and pants
but there I stands. I steps in de water, den back 'gain, and 'gain.
Massa am gittin' mad. He say, 'Swim in dere and git dat duck.' 'Yes,
sar, massa,' I says, but I won't go in dat water till massa hit me some
licks. I couldn't never git use to bein' de water dog for de ducks.

"De worst whuppin' I seed was give to Clarinda. She hits massa with de
hoe 'cause he try 'fere with her and she try stop him. She am put on de
log and give 500 lashes. She am over dat log all day and when dey takes
her off, she am limp and act deadlike. For a week she am in de bunk. Dat
whuppin' cause plenty trouble and dere lots of arg'ments 'mong de white
folks 'round dere.

"We has some joyments on de plantation, no parties or dancin' but we has
de corn huskin' and de nigger fights. For de corn huskin' everybody come
to one place and dey gives de prize for findin' de red ear. On massa's
place de prize am brandy or you am 'lowed to kiss de gal you calls for.
While us huskin' us sing lots. No, no, I's not gwine sing any dem songs,
'cause I's forgit and my voice sound like de bray of de mule.

"De nigger fights am more for de white folks' joyment but de slaves am
'lowed to see it. De massas of plantations match dere niggers 'cording
to size and bet on dem. Massa Finnely have one nigger what weighs 'bout
150 pounds and him powerful good fighter and he like to fight. None
lasts long with him. Den a new niggers comes to fight him.

"Dat fight am held at night by de pine torch light. A ring am made by de
folks standin' 'round in de circle. Deys 'lowed to do anything with dey
hands and head and teeth. Nothin' barred 'cept de knife and de club. Dem
two niggers gits in de ring and Tom he starts quick, and dat new nigger
he starts jus' as quick. Dat 'sprise Tom and when dey comes togedder it
like two bulls--kersmash--it sounds like dat. Den it am hit and kick and
bite and butt anywhere and any place for to best de udder. De one on de
bottom bites knees or anything him can do. Dat's de way it go for half
de hour.

"Fin'ly dat new nigger gits Tom in de stomach with he knee and a lick
side de jaw at de same time and down go Tom and de udder nigger jumps on
him with both feets, den straddle him and hits with right, left, right,
left, right, side Tom's head. Dere Tom lay, makin' no 'sistance.
Everybody am saysin', 'Tom have met he match, him am done.' Both am
bleedin' and am awful sight. Well, dat new nigger 'laxes for to git he
wind and den Tom, quick like de flash, flips him off and jump to he feet
and befo' dat new nigger could git to he feet, Tom kicks him in de
stomach, 'gain and 'gain. Dat nigger's body start to quaver and he massa
say, 'Dat 'nough.' Dat de clostest Tom ever come to gittin' whupped what
I's know of.

"I becomes a runaway nigger short time after dat fight. De war am
started den for 'bout a year, or somethin' like dat, and de Fed'rals am
north of us. I hears de niggers talk 'bout it, and 'bout runnin' 'way to
freedom. I thinks and thinks 'bout gittin' freedom, and I's gwine run
off. Den I thinks of de patter rollers and what happen if dey cotches me
off de place without de pass. Den I thinks of some joyment sich as de
corn huskin' and de fights and de singin' and I don't know what to do. I
tells you one singin' but I can't sing it:

  "'De moonlight, a shinin' star,
  De big owl hootin' in de tree;
  O, bye, my baby, ain't you gwineter sleep,
  A-rockin' on my knee?

  "'Bye, my honey baby,
  A-rockin' on my knee,
  Baby done gone to sleep,
  Owl hush hootin' in de tree.

  "'She gone to sleep, honey baby sleep,
  A-rockin' on my, a-rockin' on my knee.'

"Now, back to de freedom. One night 'bout ten niggers run away. De next
day we'uns hears nothin', so I says to myself, 'De patters don't cotch
dem.' Den I makes up my mind to go and I leaves with de chunk of meat
and cornbread and am on my way, half skeert to death. I sho' has de eyes
open and de ears forward, watchin' for de patters. I steps off de road
in de night, at sight of anything, and in de day I takes to de woods. It
takes me two days to make dat trip and jus' once de patters pass me by.
I am in de thicket watchin' dem and I's sho' dey gwine search dat
thicket, 'cause dey stops and am a-talkin' and lookin' my way. Dey
stands dere for a li'l bit and den one comes my way. Lawd A-mighty! Dat
sho' look like de end, but dat man stop and den look and look. Den he
pick up somethin' and goes back. It am a bottle and dey all takes de
drink and rides on. I's sho' in de sweat and I don't tarry dere long.

"De Yanks am camped nere Bellfound and dere's where I gits to. 'Magine
my 'sprise when I finds all de ten runaway niggers am dere, too. Dat am
on a Sunday and on de Monday, de Yanks puts us on de freight train and
we goes to Stevenson, in Alabama. Dere, us put to work buildin'
breastworks. But after de few days, I gits sent to de headquarters at
Nashville, in Tennessee.

"I's water toter dere for de army and dere am no fightin' at first but
'fore long dey starts de battle. Dat battle am a 'sperience for me. De
noise am awful, jus' one steady roar of de guns and de cannons. De
window glass in Nashville am all shoke out from de shakement of de
cannons. Dere am dead mens all over de ground and lots of wounded and
some cussin' and some prayin'. Some am moanin' and dis and dat one cry
for de water and, God A-mighty, I don't want any sich 'gain. Dere am
men carryin' de dead off da field, but dey can't keep up with de
cannons. I helps bury de dead and den I gits sent to Murphysboro and
dere it am jus' de same.

"You knows when Abe Lincoln am shot? Well, I's in Nashville den and it
am near de end of de war and I am standin' on Broadway Street talkin'
with de sergeant when up walk a man and him shakes hands with me and
says, 'I's proud to meet a brave, young fellow like you.' Dat man am
Andrew Johnson and him come to be president after Abe's dead.

"I stays in Nashville when de war am over and I marries Tennessee House
in 1875 and she died July 10th, 1936. Dat make 61 year dat we'uns am
togedder. Her old missy am now livin' in Arlington Heights, right here
in Fort Worth and her name am Mallard and she come from Tennessee, too.

"I comes here from Tennessee 51 year ago and at fust I farms and den I
works for de packin' plants till dey lets me out, 'cause I's too old for
to do 'nough work for dem.

"I has eight boys and three girls, dat make eleven chillen, and dey
makin' scatterment all over de country so I's alone in my old age. I has
dat $17.00 de month pension what I gits from de State.

"Dat am de end of de road.


[Illustration: Sarah Ford]

     SARAH FORD, whose age is problematical, but who says, "I's been
     here for a long time," lives in a small cottage at 3151 Clay St.,
     Houston, Texas. Born on the Kit Patton plantation near West
     Columbia, Texas, Aunt Sarah was probably about fifteen years old
     when emancipated. She had eleven children, the first born during
     the storm of 1875, at East Columbia, in which Sarah's mother and
     father both perished.

"Law me, you wants me to talk 'bout slave times, and you is cotched me
'fore I's had my coffee dis mornin', but when you gits old as I is, talk
is 'bout all you can do, so 'scuse me whilst I puts de coffee pot on de
fire and tell you what I can.

"Now, what I tells you is de truth, 'cause I only told one little lie in
my whole life and I got cotched in it and got whipped both ways. Oh,
Lawd, I sho' never won't forget dat, mama sho' was mad. Mama sends me
over to Sally Ann, the cow woman, to get some milk and onions. I never
did like to borrow, so I comes back with the milk and tell mama Sally
Ann say she ain't got no onions for no Africans. Dat make mamma mad and
she goes tell dat Sally Ann Somethin'. She brung back de onions and say,
'You, Sarah, I'll larn you not to tell no lie.' She sho' give me a

"Now, I tells you 'bout de plantation what I's born on. You all knows
where West Columbia is at? Well, dat's right where I's born, on Massa
Kit Patton's Plantation, dey calls it de Hogg place now." (Owned by
children of Gov. Will Hogg.)

"Mamma and papa belongs to Massa Kit and mama born there, too. Folks
called her 'Little Jane,' 'cause she's no bigger'n nothing.

"Papa's name was Mike and he's a tanner and he come from Tennessee and
sold to Massa Kit by a nigger trader. He wasn't all black, he was part
Indian. I heared him say what tribe, but I can't 'lect now. When I's
growed mama tells me lots of things. She say de white folks don't let de
slaves what works in de field marry none, dey jus' puts a man and
breedin' woman together like mules. Iffen the women don't like the man
it don't make no diff'rence, she better go or dey gives her a hidin'.

"Massa Kit has two brothers, Massa Charles and Massa Matt, what lives at
West Columbia. Massa Kit on one side Varney's Creek and Massa Charles on
de other side. Massa Kit have a African woman from Kentucky for he wife,
and dat's de truth. I ain't sayin' iffen she a real wife or not, but all
de slaves has to call her 'Miss Rachel.' But iffen a bird fly up in de
sky it mus' come down sometime, and Rachel jus' like dat bird, 'cause
Massa Kit go crazy and die and Massa Charles take over de plantation and
he takes Rachel and puts her to work in de field. But she don't stay in
de field long, 'cause Massa Charles puts her in a house by herself and
she don't work no more.

"If us gits sick us call Mammy Judy. She de cook and iffen you puts a
sugar barrel 'long side her and puts a face on dat barrel, you sho'
can't tell it from her, she so round and fat. Iffen us git real sick dey
calls de doctor, but iffen it a misery in de stomach or jus' de flux,
Mammy Judy fix up some burr vine tea or horsemint tea. Dey de male burr
vine and de female burr vine and does a woman or gal git de misery, dey
gives 'em de female tea, and does a man, or boy chile git it, dey gives
him de male vine tea.

"Scuse me while I pours me some coffee. It sho' do fortify me. You know
what us drink for coffee in slave times? Parched meal, and it purty good
iffen you know's how.

"Us don't have much singin' on our place, 'cepting at church on Sunday.
Law me, de folks what works in de fields feels more like cryin' at
night. Us chillen used to sing dis:

  "'Where you goin', buzzard,
  Where you gwine to go?
    I's goin' down to new ground,
  For to hunt Jim Crow.'

"I guess Massa Charles, what taken us when Massa Kit die, was 'bout de
same as all white folks what owned slaves, some good and some bad. We
has plenty to eat--more'n I has now--and plenty clothes and shoes. But
de overseer was Uncle Big Jake, what's black like de rest of us, but he
so mean I 'spect de devil done make him overseer down below long time
ago. Dat de bad part of Massa Charles, 'cause he lets Uncle Jake whip de
slaves so much dat some like my papa what had spirit was all de time
runnin' 'way. And even does your stomach be full, and does you have
plenty clothes, dat bullwhip on your bare hide make you forgit de good
part, and dat's de truth.

"Uncle Big Jake sho' work de slaves from early mornin' till night. When
you is in de field you better not lag none. When its fallin' weather de
hands is put to work fixin' dis and dat. De woman what has li'l chillen
don't have to work so hard. Dey works 'round de sugar house and come 11
o'clock dey quits and cares for de babies till 1 o'clock, and den works
till 3 o'clock and quits.

"Massa Charles have a arbor and dat's where we has preachin'. One day
old Uncle Law preachin' and he say, 'De Lawd make everyone to come in
unity and on de level, both white and black.' When Massa Charles hears
'bout it, he don't like it none, and de next mornin' old Uncle Jake git
Uncle Law and put him out in de field with de rest.

"Massa Charles run dat plantation jus' like a factory. Uncle Cip was
sugar man, my papa tanner and Uncle John Austin, what have a wooden leg,
am shoemaker and make de shoes with de brass toes. Law me, dey heaps of
things go on in slave time what won't go on no more, 'cause de bright
light come and it ain't dark no more for us black folks. Iffen a nigger
run away and dey cotch him, or does he come back 'cause he hongry, I
seed Uncle Jake stretch him out on de ground and tie he hands and feet
to posts so he can't move none. Den he git de piece of iron what he call
de 'slut' and what is like a block of wood with little holes in it, and
fill de holes up with tallow and put dat iron in de fire till de grease
sizzlin' hot and hold it over de pore nigger's back and let dat hot
grease drap on he hide. Den he take de bullwhip and whip up and down,
and after all dat throw de pore nigger in de stockhouse and chain him up
a couple days with nothin' to eat. My papa carry de grease scars on he
back till he die.

"Massa Charles and Uncle Jake don't like papa, 'cause he ain't so black,
and he had spirit, 'cause he part Indian. Do somethin' go wrong and
Uncle Big Jake say he gwine to give papa de whippin', he runs off. One
time he gone a whole year and he sho' look like a monkey when he gits
back, with de hair standin' straight on he head and he face. Papa was
mighty good to mama and me and dat de only reason he ever come back
from runnin' 'way, to see us. He knowed he'd git a whippin' but he come
anyway. Dey never could cotch papa when he run 'way, 'cause he part
Indian. Massa Charles even gits old Nigger Kelly what lives over to
Sandy Point to track papa with he dogs, but papa wade in water and dey
can't track him.

"Dey knows papa is de best tanner 'round dat part de country, so dey
doesn't sell him off de place. I 'lect papa sayin' dere one place
special where he hide, some German folks, de name Ebbling, I think.
While he hides dere, he tans hides on de sly like and dey feeds him, and
lots of mornin's when us open de cabin door on a shelf jus' 'bove is
food for mama and me, and sometime store clothes. No one ain't see papa,
but dere it is. One time he brung us dresses, and Uncle Big Jake heered
'bout it and he sho' mad 'cause he can't cotch papa, and he say to mama
he gwine to whip her 'less she tell him where papa is. Mama say, 'Fore
God, Uncle Jake, I don't know, 'cause I ain't seed him since he run
'way,' and jus' den papa come 'round de corner of de house. He save mama
from de whippin' but papa got de hot grease drapped on him like I told
you Uncle Big Jake did, and got put in de stockhouse with shackles on
him, and kep' dere three days, and while he in dere mama has de goin'
down pains and my sister, Rachel, is born.

"When freedom come, I didn't know what dat was. I 'lect Uncle Charley
Burns what drive de buggy for Massa Charles, come runnin' out in de yard
and holler, 'Everybody free, everybody free,' and purty soon sojers
comes and de captain reads a 'mation. And, Law me, dat one time Massa
Charley can't open he mouth, 'cause de captain tell him to shut up, dat
he'd do de talkin'. Den de captain say, 'I come to tell you de slaves is
free and you don't have to call nobody master no more.' Well, us jus'
mill 'round like cattle do. Massa Charley say iffen us wants to stay
he'll pay us, all 'cepting my papa. He say, 'You can't stay here, 'cause
you is a bad 'fluence.'

"Papa left but come back with a wagon and mules what he borrows and
loads mama and my sister and me in and us go to East Columbia on de
Brazos river and settles down. Dey hires me out and us have our own
patch, too, and dat de fust time I ever seed any money. Papa builds a
cabin and a corn crib and us sho' happy, 'cause de bright light done
come and dey no more whippin's.

"One night us jus' finish eatin supper and someone holler 'Hello.' You
know who it was holler? Old Uncle Big Jake. De black folks all hated him
so dey wouldn't have no truck with him and he ask my papa could he stay.
Papa didn't like him none, 'cause he done treat papa so bad, but de old
devil jus' beg so hard papa takes him out to de corn crib and fix a
place for him and he stay most a month till he taken sick and died.

"I stays with papa and mama till I marries Wes Ford and I shows you how
de Lawd done give and take away. Wes and I has a cabin by ourselves near
papa's and I is jus' 'bout to have my first baby. De wind start blowin'
and it git harder and harder and right when its de worst de baby comes.
Dat in '75 and whilst I havin' my baby, de wind tear de cabin where mama
and papa is to pieces and kilt 'em. My sister Rachel was with me so she
wasn't kilt.

"Well, I can't complain, 'cause de Lawd sho' been good to me. Wes and
all 'cept four my chillen is dead now. I has six boys and five gals. But
de ones what is alive is pore like dey mammy. But I praises de Lawd
'cause de bright light am turned on.


     MILLIE FORWARD, about 95 years old, was born a slave of Jason
     Forward, in Jasper, Texas. She has spent her entire life in that
     vicinity, and now lives in Jasper with her son, Joe McRay. Millie
     has been totally blind for fifteen years and is very deaf.

"Us used to live 'bout four mile east of Jasper, on de Newton Highway. I
reckon I's 'bout 95 year old and I thank de Lawd I's been spared dis
long. Some my old friends say I's 100, and maybe I is. I feels like it.

"I's born in Alabama and mammy have jus' got up when de white folks
brung us out west. Pappy's name Jim Forward and mammy name Mary. Dey
lef' pappy in Alabama, 'cause he 'long to 'nother massa.

"My massa name Jason Forward and he own a lot of slaves. I work as
housegirl and wait on de white women. Missus name am Sarah Ann Forward.
Massa Jason he own de fust drugstore in Jasper. I have de sister, Susan,
and de brudder, Tom. Massa and missus, dey treats us jes' like dey us
pappy and mammy.

"Us have more to eat den dan us do now. Us never was knowed to be
without meat, 'cause massa raise plenty pigs. Us have fish and possum
and coon and deer and everything. Us have biscuits and cake, too, but us
drink bran meal coffee. Massa and missus has no chillen and dey give us
feast and have biscuits and cake. Befo' Christmas massa go to town and
buy all kinds candy and toys and say, 'Millie, you go out on de gallery
and holler and tell Santy not forgit fill your stockin' tonight.' I
holler loud as I can and nex' mornin' my stockin' chock full.

"After freedom come, us stays right on with massa and missus. Massa
teach school for us at night. Us learn A B C and how spell cat and dog
and nigger. Den one day he git cross and scold us and us didn't go back
to school no more. Us didn't have sense 'nough to know he tryin' do us

"Den missus git sick, but she dat good, dat when one cullud man git
drown in de 'river she sit up in bed and make he shroud and massa feed
de whole crowd de two days dey findin' de body. After him bury, missus
git worse and say, 'Jason, pull down de blind, de light am so bright it
hurt my eyes.' Den a big, white crane come light on de chimney and us
chillen throw rocks at him, but he jes' shake he head and ruffle he
feathers and still sit dere. I tells you dat de light of Heaven shinin'
on missus and iffen ever a woman went dere, she did. She de bes' white
woman I ever see. De day she die, I cry all day.

"When de sojers go to de war, every man take a slave to wait on him and
take care he camp and cook. After de end of war, when de sojers gwine
home, don't know how many Yankees pass through Jasper, but it sound like
de roar of a storm comin'. Every officer have he wife ridin' right by he
side. Dey wives come to go home with dem. Dey thousands bluecoats,
ridin' two abreas'.

"When I young lady, dey have tourn'ments at Adrian Ryall place west of
Jasper and de one what cotch de hoss bridle de most times, git crown
queen. I gits to be queen every time. I looks like a queen now, doesn't

"After us git free a long time, me and Susan and Tom us work hard and
buy us de black land farm. But de deed git' burnt up and us didn't know
how to git 'nother deed, and a young nigger call McRay, he come foolin'
'round me and makin' love to me. He find out us don't have no deed no
more and he claim dat farm and take it 'way from us and leave me with
li'l baby boy what I names Joe Millie McRay. But never 'gain. I never

"Us done work in de cotton field and wash many a long day to pay for dat
farm. But dat boy growed to be a good man and I live with him and he
wife now. And he boy, Bob, am better still. He jes' work so hard and he
buy fine li'l home in Jasper and marry de bes' gal, mos' white. Dey have
nice fur'ture and gas and lights and everything.

"Dey treat us purty good in slavery days but I'd rather be free, but it
purty hard to be blind so long and most deaf, too, but I thank de Lawd
I's not sufferin'. I gits de pension of 'leven dollars a month. I's so
old I can't 'member much, only sometime, things comes to me I thought I
forgot long time ago. I's had it purty hard to pay for de farm and den
have it stoled from me when I's old and blind, but de good Lawd, he know
all 'bout it and we all got to stand 'fore de jedgment some day soon.


[Illustration: Louis Fowler]

     LOUIS FOWLER, 84, was born a slave to Robert Beaver, in Macon Co.,
     Georgia. Fowler did not take his father's name, but that of his
     stepfather, J. Fowler. After he was freed, Louis farmed for several
     years, then worked in packing plants in Fort Worth, Tex. He lives
     at 2706 Holland St., Fort Worth.

"Dis cullud person am 84 years old and I's born on de plantation of
Massa Robert Beaver, in old Georgia. He owned my mammy and 'bout 50
slaves. Now, 'bout my pappy, I lets you judge. Look at my hair. De color
am red, ain't it? My beard am red and my eyes is brown and my skin am
light yellow. Now, who does you think my pappy was? You don't know, of
course, but I knows, 'cause on dat plantation am a man dat am over six
feet tall and his hair as red as a brick.

"My mammy am married to a man named Fowler and he am owned by Massa Jack
Fowler, on de place next to ours. Our place am middlin' big and fixed
first class. He has first-class quarter for us cullud folks. De cabins
am two and some three rooms and dey all built of logs and chinked with a
piece of wood and daubed with dirt to fill de cracks. De way we'uns fix
dat dirt am take de clay or gumbo which am sticky when it am wet. Dat
dirt am soaked with water till it stick together and den hay or straw am
mixed with it. When sich mud am daubed in de cracks it stay and dem
cabins am sho' windproof and warm.

"De treatment am good and Massa Beaver have de choice name 'mong he
neighbors for bein' good to he niggers. No work on Sunday, no work on
Saturday evenin's. Dem times was for de cullud folks to do for
demselves. Massa Beaver have it fixed disaway, he 'low each family a
piece of groun' and dey can raise what dey likes.

"De rations am measure out and de massa allus 'low plenty of meat and we
has wheat flour. Mos' de niggers don't have wheat flour, but massa
raises de wheat and we gits it. We kin have 'lasses and brown sugar but
one thing we'uns has to watch am de waste, 'cause massa won't stand for

"De meat am cured with de hick'ry wood smoke and if you could git jus'
one taste dat ham and bacon you'd never eat none of this nowadays meat.
It sho' have a dif'rent taste.

"We makes de cloth and de wool and I could card and spin and weave 'fore
I's big 'nough to work in de field. My mammy larned me to help her. We
makes dye from de bark of walnut and de cherry and red oak trees, and
some from berries but what dey is I forgit. Iffen we'uns wants clay red,
we buries de cloth in red clay for a week and it takes on de color. Den
we soaks de cloth in cold salt water and it stays colored.

"Massa builded a log church house for we'uns cullud folks for to go to
God. Dat nigger named Allen Beaver am de preacherman and de leader in
all de parties, 'cause him can play de fiddle. No, Allen am not
educated, but can he preach a pow'ful sermon. O, Lawd! He am inspire
from de Lawd and he preached from his heartfelt.

"Dere am only one time dat a nigger gits whupped on dat plantation and
dat am not given by massa but by dem patterrollers. Massa don't
gin'rally 'low dem patterrollers whup on his place, and all de niggers
from round dere allus run from de patterrollers onto massa's land and
den dey safe. But in dis 'ticlar case, massa make de 'ception.

"'Twas nigger Jack what dey chases home and he gits under de cabin and
'fused to come out. Massa say, 'In dis case I gwine make 'ception,
'cause dat Jack he am too unreas'able. He allus chasin' after some
nigger wench and not satisfied with de pass I give. Give him 25 lashes
but don't draw de blood or leave de marks.'

"Well, sar, it am de great sight to see Jack git dat whuppin'. Him am
skeert, but dey ain't hurtin' him bad. Massa make him come out and dey
tie him to a post and he starts to bawl and beller befo' a lick am
struck. Say! Him beg like a good fellow. It am, 'Oh, massa, massa, Oh,
massa, have mercy, don't let 'em whup me. Massa, I won't go off any
more.' De patterrollers gives him a lick and Jack lets out a yell dat
sounds like a mule bray and twice as loud.

"Dere used to be a patterroller song what sent like dis:

  "Up 'de hill and down de holler
  White man cotch nigger by de collar
  Dat nigger run and dat nigger flew,
  Dat nigger tore he shirt in two.'

"Well, while dey's whuppin' dat nigger, Jack, he couldn't run and he
couldn't tear he shirt in two, but he holler till he tear he mouth in
two. Jack say he never go off without de pass 'gain and he kept he word,

"De big doin's am on Christmas Day and de massa have present for each
cullud person. Dey am little things and I laughs when I thinks of them,
but de cullud folks sho' 'joy dem and it show massa's heart am right.
For de chillen it am candy and for de women, a pin or sich, and for de
men, a knife or sich. On dat day, preacherman Allen sho' have de full
heart, and he preach and preach.

"But de war starts and it not so happy on massa's place and 'fore long
he two sons goes to dat war. De massa show worryment 'cause dey fightin'
here and dere and den come de day when dey fight right nex' to de
massa's place. It am in de field next to we'uns and de two boys, young
Charley and he brother, Bob, am in de fight. It am for sev'ral days de
army am a-marchin' to de field and gittin' ready for de battle. Durin'
dat time, de two boys comes home for a spell every day. Early one
mornin' de shootin' starts and it am not much at first but it ain't long
till it am a steady thunder and it keep up all day.

"De missy am walkin' in de yard and den go in de house and out 'gain.
She am a-twistin' her hands and cryin'. She keeps sayin', 'Dey sho' gits
kilt, my poor babies.' De massa talk to her to quiet her. Dat help me,
too, 'cause I sho' skeert. Nobody do much work dat day, but stand round
with quiverments and when dey talk, dey voice quiver. Why, even de
buildin's quivered. Every once in de while, dere am an extry roar. Dat
de cannon and every time I heered it, I jumps. I's sent to git de eggs
and have 'bout five dozen in de basket, holdin' it in front of me with
my two hands. All a sudden, one of dem extry shoots comes and down dis
nigger kid go and my head hits into de basket. Dere I is, eggs oozin'
all round me and I so skeert and fussed up I jus' lays and kicks. I
wants to scream but I can't for de eggs in my mouth. To dis day I thinks
of dat battle every time I eats eggs.

"De nex' day after de battle am over, mos' us cullud folks goes to de
field. Some of 'em buries de dead, and I hears 'em tell how in de low
places de blood stand like water and de bodies all shoot to pieces.

"Massa's sons not kilt and am de missy glad! She have allus colored
folks come to de house and make us kneel down and she thank de Lawd for
savin' her sons. Dey even go to other places and fights, but dey comes
home after de war am over.

"Surrender come and massa tells us we can stay or go and if we stay he
pay us wages or we works on shares. Some go and some stay. Mammy and me
goes to de Fowler place with my stepfather and we share crops for three

"I stays with dem till I's 18 and den I gits married. Dat in 1871 and my
wife died in 1928 and we'uns have four chillen. All dat time I's farmed
till 'bout 30 year ago when I works in de packin' plant here in Fort
Worth. I works dere 20 years and den dey say I's too old and since den I
works at de odd jobs till 'bout five years ago.

"Since I's quit work at de packin' plant it am hard for dis cullud
person. I soon uses up my savin's and den I's gone hongry plenty times.
My chillen am old and dey havin' de hard time, too. My friends helps me
a little and I gits de pension, but it am only $3.00 a month and,
course, dat ain't 'nough.

"After all dese years I's worked and 'haved, I never thinks I comes to
where I couldn't git 'nough to eat. I's am wishful for de Lawd to call
me to jedgment.


     CHRIS FRANKLIN, 82, was born a slave of Judge Robert J. Looney, in
     Bossier Parish, Louisiana. Chris now lives in Beaumont, Texas, and
     supports himself by gardening and yard work. He is thrifty and owns
     his own home.

"Yes, suh, dis is Chris Franklin. I signs my name C.C. Franklin, dat for
Christopher Columbus Franklin. I's born in Bossier Parish, up in
Louisiana, jes' twenty-five miles de other side of Shreveport. I's born
dere in 1855, on Christmas Day, but I's raise up in Caddo Parish. Old
massa move over dere when I 'bout a year old.

"Old massa name Robert J. Looney and he a jedge and lawyer. He have a
boy name R.J., Jr., but I's talkin' 'bout de old head, de old 'riginal.
De missy, her name Lettie Looney. He weren't no farmer, jes' truck farm
to raise de livin' for he household and slaves. He didn't have over a
half dozen growed up slaves. Course, dey rears a lot of young'uns.

"My pappy's name Solomon Lawson. He 'long to Jedge Lawson, what live
near us. When freedom come, he done take de name Sol Franklin, what he
say am he pappy's name.

"Jedge Looney have de ord'nary frame house. Dey 'bout six, seven rooms
in it, all under one roof. De dinin' room and cook room wasn't built off
to deyself, like mos' big houses. It was a raise house, raise up on high
pillars and dey could drive a hoss and buggy under it. He live on de
Fairview Road.

"Us slaves all live in one big slave cabin, built out of plank. It built
sort-a like de 'partment house. Dey four rooms and each fam'ly have one
room. Dey have a lamp and a candle for our comfort. It jes' a li'l,
ord'nary brass lamp. Dey used to make 'em out of wax and tallow. Dey
raise dere own bees and when dey rob de bee gums dey strain de honey and
melt de wax with tallow to make it firmer. Dey tie one end de wick on
de stick 'cross de mold and put in de melted wax and tallow.

"Dey have a table and benches, too. But a chair de rare thing in a
cabin. Dey make some with de split hick'ry or rawhide bottom. Dey have
hay mattress. De tickin' am rice sacks. Us have mud chimney. Dey fix
sticks like de ladder and mix mud and moss and grass in what dey calls
'cats'. Dey have rock backs, and, man, us have a sho' 'nough fire in
'em. Put a stick long as me and big as a porch post in dat fireplace. In
cold weather dat last all day and all night.

"When de parents workin' in de field, somebody look after de chillen. De
nannies come in and nuss dem when time come. De white folks never put on
'strictions on de chillen till dey twelve, fourteen years old. Dey all
wear de straight-cut slip. Dey give de li'l gals de slip dress and li'l
panties. In wintertime dey give de boy's de li'l coat and pants and
shoes, but no drawers or unnerwear. Dey give dem hard russet shoes in
wintertime. Dey have brass toes. Dey plenty dur'ble. In summertime us
didn't see no shoe.

"Massa Looney jes' as fine de man as ever make tracks. Christmas time
come, he give 'em a few dollars and say go to the store and buy what us
want. He give all de li'l nigger chillen gif's, jes' like he own. He git
de jug of whiskey and plenty eggs and make de big eggnog for everybody.
He treat us cullud folks jes' like he treat he own fam'ly. He never take
no liquor 'cept at Christmas. He give us lots to eat at Christmas, too.

"Sometime old missy come out and call all de li'l niggers in de house to
play with her chillen. When us eat us have de tin plate and cup. Dey
give us plenty milk and butter and 'taters and sich. Us all set on de
floor and make 'way with dem rations.

"Dey had a li'l church house for de niggers and preachin' in de
afternoon, and on into de night lots of times. Dey have de cullud
preacher. He couldn't read. He jes' preach from nat'ral wit and what he
larn from white folks. De whole outfit profess to be Baptis'.

"De marryin' business go through by what massa say. De fellow git de
massa's consen'. Massa mos'ly say yes without waitin', 'cause marryin'
mean more niggers for him comin' on. He git de jedge or preacher to
marry dem. Iffen de man live on one plantation and de gal on 'nother, he
have to git de pass to go see her. Dat so de patterrollers not git him.

"De slaves used to have balls and frolics in dey cabins. But iffen dey
go to de frolic on 'nother plantation dey git de pass. Dat so dey can
cotch runaway niggers. I never heared of stealin' niggers, 'cept
dis-a-way. Sometime de runaway nigger git fifty or hundred miles away
and show up dere as de stray slave. Dat massa where he show up take care
of him so long, den lay claim to him. Dat call harborin' de nigger.

"Dey lots of places where de young massas has heirs by nigger gals. Dey
sell dem jes' like other slaves. Dat purty common. It seem like de white
women don't mind. Dey didn't 'ject, 'cause dat mean more slaves.

"Sometimes de white folks has de big deer drive. Dem and de niggers go
down in de bottoms to drive deers up. Dey rid big, fine hosses and start
de deers runnin'. Dey raise dere own dogs. Massa sho' careful 'bout he
hounds. He train dem good and treat dem good, too. He have somethin'
cook reg'lar for dem. Dey hunts foxes and wolves and plenty dem kinds

"I seen sojers' by de thousands. When 'mancipation come out massa come
to de back door with de paper and say, 'Yous free.' He furnish dem with
all dey needs and give dem part de crop. He 'vide up de pig litters and
such 'mongst dem. He give dem de start. Den after two, three year he
commence takin' out for dere food and boots and clothes and sich.

"De night de pusson die dey has de wake and sing and pray all night
long. Dey all very 'ligious in dere profession. Dey knock off all work
so de slaves can go to de buryin'.

"De white folks 'low dem to have de frolic with de fiddle or banjo or
windjammer. Dey dances out on de grass, forty or fifty niggers, and dem
big gals nineteen year old git out dere barefoot as de goose. It jes' de
habit of de times, 'cause dey all have shoes. Sometimes dey call de jig
dance and some of dem sho' dance it, too. De prompter call, 'All git
ready.' Den he holler, 'All balance,' and den he sing out, 'Swing you
pardner,' and dey does it. Den he say, 'First man head off to de right,'
and dere dey goes. Or he say, 'All promenade,' and dey goes in de
circle. One thing dey calls, 'Bird in de Cage.' Three joins hands round
de gal in de middle, and dance round her, and den she git out and her
pardner git in de center and dey dance dat way awhile.

"After freedom dey have de log cabin schoolhouse. De first teacher was
de cullud women name Mary Chapman. I near wore out dat old blueblack
speller tryin' to larn A B C's.

"I leaves Caddo Parish in 1877 for Galveston, and leaves dere on de four
mast schooner for Leesburg and up de Calcasieu River. Den I goes to de
Cameron Parish and in 1879 I comes to Beaumont. I marries Mandy Watson
in 1882 and she died in 1932. Us never have no chillen but 'dopts two.
Us marry in de hotel dinin'-room, 'cause I's workin' for de hotel man,
J.B. Goodhue. De Rev. Elder Venable, what am da old cullud preacher,
marries us. I didn't git marry like in slavery time, I's got a great big
marriage certif'cate hangin' on de wall of my house.

"I 'longs to several lodges, de Knights of Labor and de Knights of Honor
and de Pilgrims. I never hold no office. I's jes' de bench member. I's a
member of de Live Lake Missionary Baptist Church.

"I's got de big house of my own, on de corner of Roberts Avenue and San
Antonio street. After my wife die, I gits de man to come and live dere
with me. Dat's all I knows.


[Illustration: Orelia Alexie Franks]

     ORELIA ALEXIE FRANKS was born on the plantation of Valerian Martin,
     near Opelousas, Louisiana. She does not know her age, but thinks
     she is near ninety. Her voice has the musical accent of the French
     Negro. She has lived in Beaumont, Texas, many years.

"I's born on Mr. George Washington's birthday', the twenty-second of
February but I don't know what year. My old massa was Valerian Martin
and he come from foreign country. He come from Canada and he Canada
French. He wife name Malite Guidry. Old massa a good Catholic and he
taken all the li'l slave chillen to be christen. Oh, he's a Christian
massa and I used to be a Catholic but now I's a Apostolic, but I's
christen in St. Johns Catholic Church, what am close to Lafayette, where
I's born.

"My pa name Alexis Franks and he was American and Creole. My ma name
Fanire Martin and I's raise where everybody talk French. I talks
American but I talks French goodest.

"Old massa he big cane and cotton farmer and have big plantation and
raise everything, and us all well treat. Dey feed us right, too. Raise
big hawg in de pen and raise lots of beef. All jes' for to feed he
cullud folks.

"Us quarters out behind de big house and old massa come round through de
quarters every mornin' and see how us niggers is. If us sick he call
nuss. She old slavery woman. She come look at 'em. If dey bad sick dey
send for de doctor. Us house all log house. Dey all dab with dirt 'tween
de logs. Dey have dirt chimney make out of sticks and dab with mud. Dey
[Transcriber's note: unfinished sentence at end of page]

"Lots of time we eat coosh-coosh. Dat make out of meal and water. You
bile de water and salt it, den put in de cornmeal and stir it and bile
it. Den you puts milk or clabber or syrup on it and eat it.

"Old massa have de graveyard a purpose to bury de cullud folks in. Dey
have cullud preacher. Dey have funeral in de graveyard. Dat nigger
preacher he a Mef'dist.

"Old massa son-in-law, he overseer. He 'low nobody to beat de slaves. Us
li'l ones git spank when we bad. Dey put us 'cross de knee and spank us
where dey allus spank chillen.

"Christmas time dey give big dinner. Dey give all de old men whiskey.
Everybody have big time.

"Dey make lots of sugar. After dey finish cookin' de sugar dey draw off
what left from de pots and give it to us chillen. Us have candy pullin'.

"Dey weave dey own cloth. Us have good clothes. Dey weave de cloth for
make mattress and stuff 'em with moss. Massa sho' believe to serve he
niggers good. I see old massa when he die. Us see old folks cry and us
cry, too. Dey have de priest and burn de candles. Us sho' miss old

"I see lots of sojers. Dey so many like hair on your head. Dey Yankees.
Dey call 'em bluejackets. Dey a fight up near massa's house. Us climb in
tree for to see. Us hear bullets go 'zoom' through de air 'round dat
tree but us didn't know it was bullets. A man rid up on a hoss and tell
massa to git us pickaninnies out dat tree or dey git kilt. De Yankees
have dat battle and den sot us niggers free.

"Old massa, he de kind man what let de niggers have dey prayer-meetin'.
He give 'em a big cabin for dat. Shout? Yes, Lawd! Sing like dis:

  "'Mourner, fare you well,
  Gawd 'Mighty bless you,
  Till we meets again.'

"Us sings 'nother song:

  "'Sinner blind,
  Johnnie, can't you ride no more?
  Sinner blind.
  Your feets may be slippin'
  Your soul git lost.
  Johnnie, can't you ride no more?
  Yes, Lawd,
  Day by day you can't see,
  Johnnie, can't you ride no more?
  Yes, Lawd.'"


     ROSANNA FRAZIER was born a slave on the Frazier plantation in
     Mississippi. She does not remember her masters given name, nor does
     she know her age, although from her memories of various events
     during the Civil War, she believes she is close to ninety, at
     least. Rosanna is blind and bedridden, and is cared for by friends
     in a little house in Pear Orchard Negro Settlement, in Beaumont,

"My mammy was a freeborn woman named Viny Frazier and she come from a
free country. She was on her way to school when dey stoled her, when she
de young gal. De spec'lator gang stoled her and brung her and sold her
in Red River, in Mississippi. Missy Mary, she buy her. Missy Mary
married den to one man named Pool and she have two boys call Josh and
Bill. After dat man die, she marry Marse Frazier.

"My daddy name Jerry Durden and after I's born they brings us all to
Texas, but my daddy belong to de Neylands, so we loses him. My white
folks moves to a big plantation close to Woodville, in Tyler County, and
Marse Frazier have de store and plenty of stock. He come first from

"All us little chillen, black and white, play togedder and Marse
Frazier, he raise us. His chillen call Sis and Texana and Robert and
John. Marse Frazier he treat us nice and de other white folks calls us
'free niggers', and wouldn't 'low us on dere places. Dey 'fraid dere
niggers git dissatisfy with dey own treatment. Sho's you born, iffen one
of us git round dem plantations, dey jus' cut us to pieces with de whip.
Some of dem white folks sho' was mean, and dey work de niggers all day
in de sun and cut dem with de whip, and sho' done 'em up bad. Dat on
other places, not on ours.

"Marse Frazier, he didn't work us too hard and give Saturday and Sunday
off. He's all right and give good food. People sho' would rare off from
him, 'cause he too good. He was de Methodist preacher and furnish us
church. Sometimes he has camp meeting and dey cook out doors with de
skillicks. Sometimes he has corn shucking time and we has hawg meat and
meal bread and whiskey and eggnog and chicken.

"De books he brung us didn't do us no good, 'cause us wouldn't larn
nothin'. Us too busy playin' and huntin' good berries in de wood, de
huckleberry and grape and muscadine and chinquapins. All dis time de war
was fixin' and I seed two, three soldiers round spyin'. When peace
'clared missy's two boys come back from de war. We stays with Marse
Frazier two year and den I goes and gits married to de man call Baker.

"I done been blind like dis over 40 year. One Sunday I stay all night
with a man and he wife and I was workin' as woodchopper on de Santa Fe
route up Beaumont to Tyler County. After us git up and I starts 'way, I
ain't gone but 15, 16 yard when I hear somethin' say, 'Rose, you done
somethin' you ain't ought.' I say, 'No, Lawd, no.' Den de voice say,
'Somethin' gwine happen to you,' and de next mornin' I's blind as de bat
and I ain't never seed since.

"Some try tell me snow or sweat or smoke de reason. Dat ain't de reason.
Dey a old, old, slowfooted somethin' from Louisiana and dey say he de
conjure man, one dem old hoodoo niggers. He git mad at me de last
plum-ripenin' time and he make up powdered rattlesnake dust and pass dat
through my hair and I sho' ain't seed no more.

"Dat not de onliest thing dem old conjure men do. Dey powder up de
rattle offen de snake and tie it up in de little old rag bag and dey do
devilment with it. Day git old scorpion and make bad medicine. Dey git
dirt out de graveyard and dat dirt, after dey speak on it, would make
you go crazy.

"When dey wants conjure you, dey sneak round and git de hair combin' or
de finger or toenail, or anything natural 'bout your body, and works de
hoodoo on it.

"Dey make de straw man or de clay man and dey puts de pin in he leg and
you leg gwineter git hurt or sore jus' where dey puts de pin. Iffen dey
puts de pin through de heart you gwineter die and ain't nothin' kin save

"Dey make de charm to wear round de neck or de ankle and dey make de
love powder, too, out de love vine, what grow in de woods. Dey biles de
leaves and powders 'em. Dey sho' works, I done try 'em.


[Illustration: Priscilla Gibson]

     PRISCILLA GIBSON is not sure of her age, but thinks she was born
     about 1856, in Smith County, Mississippi, to Mary Puckett and her
     Indian husband. They belonged to Jesse Puckett, who owned a
     plantation on the Strong River. Priscilla now lives in Jasper,

"Priscilla Gibson is my name, and I's bo'n in Smith County, way over in
Mis'ippi, sometime befo' de War. I figger it was 'bout 1856, 'cause I's
old enough to climb de fence and watch dem musterin' in de troops when
de war began. Dey tol' me I's nine year ole when de War close, but dey
ain' sure of dat, even. My neighbor, Uncle Bud Adams, he 83, and I's
clippin' close at he heels.

"Mammy's name was Mary Puckett, but I never seed my father as I knows
of. Don' know if he was a whole Injun or part white man. Never seed but
one brother and his name was Jake. Dey took him to de War with de white
boys, to cook and min' de camp and he took pneumony and die.

"Massa's name was Jesse Puckett, and Missus' name Mis' Katie. Dey hab
big fam'ly and dey live in a big wooden-beam house with a big up-stair'.
De house was right on de highway from Raleigh to Brandon, with de Strong
River jis' below us. Dey took in and 'commadated travelers 'cause dey
warn' hotels den.

"Massa have hunner's of acres. You could walk all day and you never git
offen his lan'. An' he have gran' furniture and other things in de
house. I kin remember dem, 'cause I use' to he'p 'round de house, run
errands and fan Mis' Katie and sich. I 'members chairs with silk
coverin's on 'em and dere was de gran' lights, big lamps with de roses
on de shades. And eve'ywhere de floors with rugs and de rugs was pretty,
dey wasn' like dese thin rugs you sees nowadays. No, ma'am, dey has big
flowers on 'em and de feets sinks in 'em. I useter lie down on one of
dem rugs in Mis' Katie's room when she's asleep and I kin stop fannin.'

"Massa Puckett was tol'able good to de slaves. We has clothes made of
homespun what de nigger women weaved, and de little boys wo' long-tail
shirts, with no pants till they's grown. Massa raised sheep and dey make
us wool clothes for winter, but we has no shoes.

"De white folks didn' larn us read and write but dey was good to us
'cep' when some niggers try to run away and den dey whips 'em hard. We
has plenty to eat and has prayer meetin's with singin' and shoutin', and
we chilluns played marbles and jump de rope.

"After freedom come all lef' but me 'cause Missus say she have me boun'
to her till I git my age. But I's res'less one night and my sister,
Georgy Ann, come see me, and I run off with her, but dey never comes
after me. I was scart dey would, 'cause I 'membered 'bout our neighbor,
ole Means, and his slave, Sylvia, and she run away and was in de woods,
and he'd git on de hoss, take de dogs and set 'em on her, and let dem
bite her and tear her clothes.


     GABRIEL GILBERT was born in slavery on the plantation of Belizare
     Brassard, in New Iberia Parish, Louisiana. He does not know his
     age, but appears to be about eighty. He has lived in Beaumont,
     Texas, for sixteen years.

"My old massa was Belizare Broussard. He was my mom's massa. He had a
big log house what he live in. De places 'tween de logs was fill with
dirt. De quarters de slaves live in was make out of dirt. Dey put up
posties in de ground and bore holes in de posts and put in pickets
'cross from one post to the other. Den dey build up de sides with mud.
De floor and everything was dirt. Dey had a schoolhouse built for de
white chillen de same way. De cullud chillen didn't have no school.

"Dem was warm healthy houses us grew up in. Dey used to raise better men
den in dem houses dan now. My pa name was Joseph Gilbert. He old massa
was Belleau Prince.

"I didn't know what a store was when I was growin' up. Us didn't have
store things like now. Us had wooden pan and spoon dem times. I never
see no iron plow dem days. Nothin' was iron on de plow 'cept de share. I
tell dese youngsters, 'You in hebben now from de time I come up.' When a
man die dem days, dey use de ox cart to carry de corpse.

"Massa have 'bout four hundred acres and lots of slaves. He raise sugar
cane. He have a mill and make brown sugar. He raise cotton and corn,
too. He have plenty stock on de place. He give us plenty to eat. He was
a nice man. He wasn't brutish. He treat he slaves like hisself. I never
'member see him whip nobody. He didn't 'low no ill treatment. All de
folks round he place say he niggers ruint and spoiled.

"De li'l white folks and nigger folks jus' play round like brudder and
sister and us all eat at de white table. I slep' in de white folks
house, too. My godfather and godmother was rich white folks. I still

"I seed sojers but I too li'l to know nothin' 'bout dem. Dey didn't
worry me a-tall. I didn't git close to de battle.

"My mammy weave cloth out cotton and wool. I 'member de loom. It go
'boom-boom-boom.' Dat de shuttle goin' cross. My daddy, he de smart man.
I'll never be like him long as I live in dis world. He make shoes. He
build house. He do anything. He and my mammy neither one ever been

"De first work I done was raisin' cotton and sugar cane and sweet and
Irish 'taters. I used to cook sugar.

"I marry on twenty-second of February. My wife was Medora Labor. She
been dead thirty-five year now. I never marry no second woman. I love my
wife so much I never want nobody else. Us had six chillen. Two am

"Goin' back when I a slave, massa have a store. When de priest come dey
hold church in dat store. Old massa have sev'ral boys. Dey went after
some de slave gals. Dey have chillen by dem. Dem gals have dere cabins
and dere chillen, what am half white.

"After while dem boys marry. But dey allus treat dey chillen by de slave
womens good. Dey white wife treat dem good, too, most like dey dere own

"Old massa have plenty money. Land am only two bits de acre. Some places
it cost nothing. Dey did haulin' in ox-carts. A man what had mules had
something extra.

"Us have plenty wild game, wild geese and ducks. Fishin' am mighty good.
Dey was 'gaters, too. I seed dem bite a man's arm off.

"If a slave feelin' bad dey wouldn't make him work. My uncle and my
mammy dey never work nothing to speak of. Dey allus have some kind
complaint. Ain't no tellin' what it gwine be, but you could 'low
something ailin' dem!

"I 'member dey a white man. He had a gif'. I don't care what kind of
animal, a dog or a hoss, dat man he work on it and it never leave you or
you house. If anybody have toothache or earache he take a brand new nail
what ain't never work befo' and work dat round you tooth or ear. Dat
break up de toothache or earache right away. He have li'l prayer he say.
I don't know what it was.

"I's seed ghosties. I talk with dem, too. Sometimes dey like people.
Sometimes dey like animal, maybe white dog. I allus feel chilly when dey
come round me. I talk with my wife after she dead. She tell me, 'Don't
you forgit to pray.' She say dis world corrupt and you got to fight it


     MATTIE GILMORE lives in a little cabin on E. Fifth Avenue, in
     Corsicana, Texas. A smile came to her lips, as she recalled days
     when she was a slave in Mobile, Alabama. She has no idea how old
     she is. Her master, Thomas Barrow, brought his slaves to Athens,
     Texas, during the Civil War, and Mattie had two children at that
     time, so she is probably about ninety.

"I's born in Mobile, Alabama, and I don't have no idea when. My white
folks never did tell me how old I was. My own dear mammy died 'fore I
can remember and my stepma didn't take no time to tell me nothin'. Her
name was Mary Barrow and papa's name was Allison Barrow, and I had
sisters, Rachel and Lou and Charity, and a brother, Allison.

"My master sold Rachel when she was jus' a girl. I sho' did cry. They
put her on a block and sold her off. I heared they got a thousand
dollars for her, but I never seed her no more till after freedom. A man
named Dick Burdon, from Kaufman County, bought her. After freedom I
heared she's sick and brung her home, but she was too far gone.

"We lived in a log house with dirt floors, warm in winter but sho' hot
in summer, no screens or nothin', jus' homemade doors. We had homemade
beds out of planks they picked up around. Mattresses nothin', we had
shuck beds. But, anyway, you takes it, we was better off den dan now.

"I worked in the fields till Rachel was sold, den tooken her place,
doin' kitchen work and fannin' flies off de table with a great, long
limb. I liked dat. I got plenty to eat and not so hot. We had jus' food
to make you stand up and work. It wasn't none the good foolish things we
has now. We had cornbread and blackeyed peas and beans and sorghum
'lasses. Old master give us our rations and iffen dat didn't fill us up,
we jus' went lank. Sometimes we had possum and rabbits and fish, iffen
we cotched dem on Sunday. I seed Old Missy parch coffee in a skittle,
and it good coffee, too. We couldn't go to the store and buy things,
'cause they warn't no stores hardly.

"When dey's hoein' cotton or corn, everybody has to keep up with de
driver, not hurry so fast, but workin' steady. Some de women what had
suckin' babies left dem in de shade while dey worked, and one time a
big, bald eagle flew down by one dem babies and picked it up and flew
away with it. De mama couldn't git it and we never heared of dat baby

"I 'member when we come from Mobile to Texas. By time we heared de
Yankees was comin' dey got all dere gold together and Miss Jane called
me and give me a whole sack of pure gold and silver, and say bury it in
de orchard. I sho' was scart, but I done what she said. Dey was more
gold in a big desk, and de Yanks pulled de top of dat desk and got de
gold. Miss Jane had a purty gold ring on her finger and de captain
yanked it off. I said, 'Miss Jane, is dey gwine give you ring back?' All
she said was, 'Shet you mouth,' and dat's what I did.

"Dat night dey digs up de buried gold and we left out. We jus' traveled
at night and rested in daytime. We was scart to make a fire. Dat was
awful times. All on de way to de Mississip', we seed dead men layin'
everywhere, black and white.

"While we's waitin' to go cross de Mississip' a white man come up and
asks Marse Barrow how many niggers he has, and counts us all. While we's
waitin' de guns 'gins to go boom, boom, and you could hear all dat
noise, it so close. When we gits on de boat it flops dis way and dat
scart me. I sho' don't want to see no more days like dat one, with war
and boats.

"We fixes up a purty good house and quarters and gits settled up round
Athens. And it ain't so long 'fore a paper come make us free. Some de
slaves laughin' and some cryin' and it a funny place to be. Marse Barrow
asks my stepma to stay cook and he'd pay her some money for it. We
stayed four or five years. Marse Barrow give each he slaves somethin'
when dey's freed. Lots of master put dem out without a thing. But de
trouble with most niggers, dey never done no managin' and didn't know
how. De niggers suffered from de war, iffen dey did git freedom from it.

"I's already married de slave way in Mobile and had three chillen. My
husband died 'fore war am over and I marries Las Gilmore and never has
no more chillen. I has no livin' kinfolks I knows of. When we come here
Las done any work he could git and bought this li'l house, but I can't
pay taxes on it, but, sho', de white folks won't put me out. I done git
my leg cut off in a train wreck, so I can't work, and I's too old,
noways. I don't has no idea how old I is.


[Illustration: Andrew Goodman]

     ANDREW GOODMAN, 97, was born a slave of the Goodman family, near
     Birmingham, Alabama. His master moved to Smith County, Texas, when
     Andrew was three years old. Andrew is a frail, kindly old man, who
     lives in his memories. He lives at 2607 Canton St., Dallas, Texas.

"I was born in slavery and I think them days was better for the niggers
than the days we see now. One thing was, I never was cold and hongry
when my old master lived, and I has been plenty hongry and cold a lot of
times since he is gone. But sometimes I think Marse Goodman was the
bestes' man Gawd made in a long time.

"My mother, Martha Goodman, 'longed to Marse Bob Goodman when she was
born, but my paw come from Tennessee and Marse Bob heired him from some
of his kinfolks what died over there. The Goodmans must have been fine
folks all-a-way round, 'cause my paw said them that raised him was good
to they niggers.

"Old Marse never 'lowed none of his nigger families separated. He 'lowed
he thought it right and fittin' that folks stay together, though I heard
tell of some that didn't think so.

"My Missus was just as good as Marse Bob. My maw was a puny little woman
that wasn't able to do work in the fields, and she puttered round the
house for the Missus, doin' little odd jobs. I played round with little
Miss Sallie and little Mr. Bob, and I ate with them and slept with them.
I used to sweep off the steps and do things, and she'd brag on me and
many is the time I'd git to noddin' and go to sleep, and she'd pick me
up and put me in bed with her chillun.

"Marse Bob didn't put his little niggers in the fields till they's big
'nough to work, and the mammies was give time off from the fields to
come back to the nursin' home to suck the babies. He didn't never put
the niggers out in bad weather. He give us something to do, in out of
the weather, like shellin' corn and the women could spin and knit. They
made us plenty of good clothes. In summer we wore long shirts, split up
the sides, made out of lowerings--that's same as cotton sacks was made
out of. In winter we had good jeans and knitted sweaters and knitted

"My paw was a shoemaker. He'd take a calfhide and make shoes with the
hairy sides turned in, and they was warm and kept your feet dry. My maw
spent a lot of time cardin' and spinnin' wool, and I allus had plenty

"Life was purty fine with Marse Bob. He was a man of plenty. He had a
lot of land and he built him a big log house when he come to Texas. He
had sev'ral hundred head of cattle and more than that many hawgs. We
raised cotton and grain and chickens and vegetables, and most anything
anybody could ask for. Some places the masters give out a peck of meal
and so many pounds of meat to a family for them a week's rations, and if
they et it up that was all they got. But Marse Bob allus give out
plenty, and said, 'If you need more you can have it, 'cause ain't any
going to suffer on my place.'

"He built us a church, and a old man, Kenneth Lyons, who was a slave of
the Lyon's family nearby, used to git a pass every Sunday mornin' and
come preach to us. He was a man of good learnin' and the best preacher I
ever heard. He baptised in a little old mudhole down back of our place.
Nearly all the boys and gals gits converted when they's 'bout twelve or
fifteen year old. Then on Sunday afternoon, Marse Bob larned us to read
and write. He told us we oughta git all the learnin' we could.

"Once a week the slaves could have any night they want for a dance or
frolic. Mance McQueen was a slave 'longing on the Dewberry place, what
could play a fiddle, and his master give him a pass to come play for us.
Marse Bob give us chickens or kilt a fresh beef or let us make 'lasses
candy. We could choose any night, 'cept in the fall of the year. Then we
worked awful hard and didn't have the time. We had a gin run by
horsepower and after sundown, when we left the fields, we used to gin a
bale of cotton every night. Marse allus give us from Christmas Eve
through New Year's Day off, to make up for the hard work in the fall.

"Christmas time everybody got a present and Marse Bob give a big hawg to
every four families. We had money to buy whiskey with. In spare time
we'd make cornshuck horse collars and all kinds of baskets, and Marse
bought them off us. What he couldn't use, he sold for us. We'd take post
oak and split it thin with drawin' knives and let it git tough in the
sun, and then weave it into cotton baskets and fish baskets and little
fancy baskets. The men spent they money on whiskey, 'cause everything
else was furnished. We raised our own tobacco and hung it in the barn to
season, and a'body could go git it when they wanted it.

"We allus got Saturday afternoons off to fish and hunt. We used to have
fish fries and plenty game in them days.

"Course, we used to hear 'bout other places where they had nigger
drivers and beat the slaves. But I never did see or hear tell of one of
master's slaves gittin' a beatin'. We had a overseer, but didn't know
what a nigger driver was. Marse Bob had some nigger dogs like other
places, and used to train them for fun. He'd git some the boys to run
for a hour or so and then put the dogs on the trail. He'd say, 'If you
hear them gittin' near, take to a tree.' But Marse Bob never had no
niggers to run off.

"Old man Briscoll, who had a place next to ours, was vicious cruel. He
was mean to his own blood, beatin' his chillen. His slaves was afeared
all the time and hated him. Old Charlie, a good, old man who 'longed to
him, run away and stayed six months in the woods 'fore Briscoll cotched
him. The niggers used to help feed him, but one day a nigger 'trayed
him, and Briscoe put the dogs on him and cotched him. He made to Charlie
like he wasn't goin' to hurt him none, and got him to come peaceful.
When he took him home, he tied him and beat him for a turrible long
time. Then he took a big, pine torch and let burnin' pitch drop in spots
all over him. Old Charlie was sick 'bout four months and then he died.

"Marse Bob knowed me better'n most the slaves, 'cause I was round the
house more. One day he called all the slaves to the yard. He only had
sixty-six then, 'cause he had 'vided with his son and daughter when they
married. He made a little speech. He said, 'I'm going to a war, but I
don't think I'll be gone long, and I'm turnin' the overseer off and
leavin' Andrew in charge of the place, and I wants everything to go on,
just like I was here. Now, you all mind what Andrew says, 'cause if you
don't, I'll make it rough on you when I come back home.' He was jokin',
though, 'cause he wouldn't have done nothing to them.

"Then he said to me, 'Andrew, you is old 'nough to be a man and look
after things. Take care of Missus and see that none the niggers wants,
and try to keep the place going.'

"We didn't know what the war was 'bout, but master was gone four years.
When Old Missus heard from him, she'd call all the slaves and tell us
the news and read us his letters. Little parts of it she wouldn't read.
We never heard of him gittin' hurt none, but if he had, Old Missus
wouldn't tell us, 'cause the niggers used to cry and pray over him all
the time. We never heard tell what the war was 'bout.

"When Marse Bob come home, he sent for all the slaves. He was sittin' in
a yard chair, all tuckered out, and shuck hands all round, and said he's
glad to see us. Then he said, 'I got something to tell you. You is jus'
as free as I is. You don't 'long to nobody but you'selves. We went to
the war and fought, but the Yankees done whup us, and they say the
niggers is free. You can go where you wants to go, or you can stay here,
jus' as you likes.' He couldn't help but cry.

"The niggers cry and don't know much what Marse Bob means. They is sorry
'bout the freedom, 'cause they don't know where to go, and they's allus
'pend on Old Marse to look after them. Three families went to get farms
for theyselves, but the rest just stay on for hands on the old place.

"The Federals has been comin' by, even 'fore Old Marse come home. They
all come by, carryin' they little budgets, and if they was walkin'
they'd look in the stables for a horse or mule, and they jus' took what
they wanted of corn or livestock. They done the same after Marse Bob
come home. He jus' said, 'Let them go they way, 'cause that's what
they're going to do, anyway.' We was scareder of them than we was of the
debbil. But they spoke right kindly to us cullud folks. They said, 'If
you got a good master and want to stay, well, you can do that, but now
you can go where you want to, 'cause ain't nobody going to stop you.'

"The niggers can't hardly git used to the idea. When they wants to leave
the place, they still go up to the big house for a pass. They jus' can't
understand 'bout the freedom. Old Marse or Missus say, 'You don't need
no pass. All you got to do is jus' take you foot in you hand and go.'

"It seem like the war jus' plumb broke Old Marse up. It wasn't long till
he moved into Tyler and left my paw runnin' the farm on a halfance with
him and the niggers workers. He didn't live long, but I forgits jus' how
long. But when Mr. Bob heired the old place, he 'lowed we'd jus' go
'long the way his paw has made the trade with my paw.

"Young Mr. Bob 'parently done the first rascality I ever heard of a
Goodman doin'. The first year we worked for him we raised lots of grain
and other things and fifty-seven bales of cotton. Cotton was fifty-two
cents a pound and he shipped it all away, but all he ever gave us was a
box of candy and a sack of store tobacco and a sack of sugar. He said
the 'signment done got lost. Paw said to let it go, 'cause we had allus
lived by what the Goodman had said.

"I got married and lived on the old place till I was in my late fifties.
I had seven chillun, but if I got any livin' now, I don't know where
they is now. My paw and maw got to own a little piece of land not far
from the old place, and paw lived to be 102 and maw 106. I'm the last
one of any of my folks.

"For twenty years my health ain't been so good, and I can't work even
now, though my health is better'n in the past. I had hemorraghes. All my
folks died on me, and it's purty rough on a old man like me. My white
folks is all dead or I wouldn't be 'lowed to go hongry and cold like I
do, or have to pay rent.


[Illustration: Austin Grant (A)]

[Illustration: Austin Grant (B)]

     AUSTIN GRANT came to Texas from Mississippi with his grandfather,
     father, mother and brother. George Harper owned the family. He
     raised cotton on Peach Creek, near Gonzales. Austin was hired out
     by his master and after the war his father hired him out to the
     Riley Ranch on Seco Creek, above D'hanis. He then bought a farm in
     the slave settlement north of Hondo. He is 89 or 90 years old.

"I'm mixed up on my age, I'm 'fraid, for the Bible got burned up that
the master's wife had our ages in. She told me my age, which would make
me 89, but I believe I come nearer bein' 91, accordin' to the way my
mother figured it out.

"I belonged to George Harper, he was Judge Harper. The' was my father,
mother and two boys. He brought us from Mississippi, but I don' 'member
what part they come from. We settled down here at Gonzeles, on Peach
Creek, and he farmed one year there. Then he moved out here to Medina
County, right here on Hondo Creek. I dont 'member how many acres he had,
but he had a big farm. He had at least eight whole slave families. He
sold 'em when he wanted money.

"My mother's name was Mary Harper and my father's name was Ike Harper,
and they belonged to the Harpers, too. You know, after they was turned
loose they had to name themselves. My father named himself Grant and his
brother named himself Glover, and my grandfather was Filmore. They had
some kin' of law you had to git away from your boss' name so they named

"Our house we had to live in, I tell you we had a tough affair, a picket
concern, you might say no house a-tall. The beds was one of your own
make; if you knowed how to make one, you had one, but of course the
chillen slept on the floor, patched up some way.

"We went barefooted in the summer and winter, too. You had to prepare
that for yourself, and if you didn' have head enough to prepare for
yourself, you went without. I don' see how they done as well as they
done, 'cause some winters was awful cold, but I always said the Lawd was
with 'em.

[Handwritten Note: 'used']

"We didn' have no little garden, we never had no time to work no garden.
When you could see to work, you was workin' for him. Ho! You didn' know
what money was. He never paid you anything, you never got to see none.
Some of the Germans would give the old ones a little piece of money, but
the chillen, pshaw! They never got to see nothin.'

"He was a pretty good boss. You didn' have to work Sunday and part of
Saturday and in the evenin', you had that. He fed us good. Sometimes, if
you was crowded, you had to work all day Saturday. But usually he give
you that, so you could wash and weave cloth or such. He had cullud women
there he kep' all the time to weave and spin. They kep' cloth made.

"On Saturday nights, we jes' knocked 'round the place. Christmas? I don'
know as I was ever home Christmas. My boss kep' me hired out. The slaves
never had no Christmas presents I know of. And big dinners, I never was
at nary one. They didn' give us nothin, I tell you, but a grubbin' hoe
and axe and the whip. They had co'n shuckin's in them days and co'n
shellin's, too. We would shuck so many days and so many days to shell it

"We would shoot marbles when we was little. It was all the game the
niggers ever knowed, was shootin' marbles.

"After work at nights there wasn't much settin' 'round; you'd fall into
bed and go to sleep. On Saturday night they didn' git together, they
would jes' sing at their own houses. Oh, yes'm, I 'member 'em singin'
'Run, nigger, run,' but it's too far back for me to 'member those other
songs. They would raise up a song when they was pickin' cotton, but I
don' 'member much about those songs.

"My old boss, I'm boun' to give him praise, he treated his niggers
right. He made 'em work, though, and he whipped 'em, too. But he fed
good, too. We had rabbits and possums once in awhile. Hardly ever any
game, but you might git a deer sometimes.

"Let 'em ketch you with a gun or a piece of paper with writin' on it and
he'd whip you like everything. Some of the slaves, if they ever did git
a piece of paper, they would keep it and learn a few words. But they
didn' want you to know nothin', that's what, nothin' but work. You would
think they was goin' to kill you, he would whip you so if he caught you
with a piece of paper. You couldn' have nothin' but a pick and axe and
grubbin' hoe.

"We never got to play none. Our boss hired us out lots of times. I don'
know what he got for us. We farmed, cut wood, grubbed, anything. I
herded sheep and I picked cotton.

"We got up early, you betcha. You would be out there by time you could
see and you quit when it was dark. They tasked us. They would give us
200 or 300 pounds of cotton to bring in and you would git it, and if you
didn' git it, you better, or you would git it tomorrow, or your back
would git it. Or you'd git it from someone else, maybe steal it from
their sacks.

"My grandfather, he would tell us things, to keep the whip off our
backs. He would say, 'Chillen, work, work and work hard. You know how
you hate to be whipped, so work hard!' And of course we chillen tried,
but of course we would git careless sometimes.

"The master had a 'black snake'--some called it a 'bull whip,' and he
knew how to use it. He whipped, but I don' 'member now whether he
brought any blood on me, but he cut the blood outta the grown ones. He
didn' tie 'em, he always had a whippin' block or log to make 'em lay
down on. They called 500 licks a 'light breshin,' and right on your
naked back, too. They said your clothes wouldn' grow but your hide
would. From what I heered say, if you run away, then was when they give
you a whippin,' prob'bly 1500 or 2000 licks. They'd shore tie you down
then, 'cause you couldn' stan' it. Then you'd have to work on top of all
that, with your shirt stickin' to your back.

"The overseer woke us up. Sometimes he had a kin' of horn to blow, and
when you heered that horn, you'd better git up. He would give you a good
whippin' iffen he had to come and wake you up. He was the meanest one on
the place, worse'n the boss man.

"The boss man had a nice rock house, and the women didn' work at all.

"I never did see any slaves auctioned off, but I heered of it. My boss
he would take 'em there and sell 'em.

"They had a church this side of New Fountain and the boss man 'lowed us
to go on Sunday. If any of the slaves did join, they didn' baptize them,
as I know of.

"When one of the slaves would die, they would bury 'em on the land
there. Reg'lar little cemetery there. Oh, yes, they would have doctors
for 'em. If anybody died, they would tell some of the other slaves to
dig the grave and take 'em out there and bury 'em. They jes' put 'em in
a box, no preachin' or nothin.' But, of course, if it was Sunday the
slaves would follow out there and sing. No, if they didn' die on Sunday,
you couldn' go; you went to that field.

"If you wanted to go to any other plantation you had to git a pass to go
over there, and if you didn' and got caught, you got one of the worst
whippins'. If things happened and they wanted to tell 'em on other
plantations, they would slip out at night and tell 'em.

"We never heered much about the fightin' or how it was goin.' When the
war finally was over, our old boss called us all up and had us to stand
in abreast, and he stood on the gallery and he read the verdict to 'em,
and said, 'Now, you can jes' work on if you want to, and I'll treat you
jes' like I always did.' I guess when he said that they knew what he
meant. The' wasn't but one family left with 'im. They stayed about two
years. But the rest was just like birds, they jes' flew.

"I went with my father and he hired me out for two years, to a man named
Riley, over on the Seco. I did most everythin', worked the field and was
house rustler, too. But I had a good time there. After I left 'im, I
came to D'Hanis. I worked on a church house they was buildin'. Then I
went back to my father and worked for him a long time, freightin' cotton
to Eagle Pass. I used horses and mules and hauled cotton and flour and
whiskey and things like that.

"I met my wife down on Black Creek, and I freighted two years after we
was married. We got married so long ago, but in them days anything would
do. You see, these days they are so proud, but we was glad to have
anything. I had a black suit to be married in, and a pretty long shirt,
and I wore boots. She wore a white dress, but in them days they didn'
have black shoes. Yes'm, they had a dance, down here on Black Creek.
Danced half the night at her house and two men played the fiddle. Eat?
We had everythin' to eat, a barbecued calf and a hog, too, and all kinds
of cakes and pies. Drink? Why, the men had whiskey to drink and the
women drank coffee. We married about 7 or 8 in the evenin' at her house.
My wife's name was Sarah Ann Brackins.

"Did I see a ghost? Well, over yonder on the creek was a ghost. It was a
moonlight night and it passed right by me and it never had no head on it
a-tall. It almost breshed me. It kep' walkin' right by side of me. I
shore saw it and I run like a good fellow. Lots of 'em could see
wonnurful sights then and I heered lots of noises, but that's the only
ghost I ever seen.

"No, I never knowed nothing 'bout charms. I've seen 'em have a rabbit
heel or coon heel for good luck. I seen a woman one time that was
tricked, or what I'd call poisoned. A place on her let, it was jes' the
shape of these little old striped lizards. It was somethin' they called
'trickin it,' and a person that knowed to trick you would put it there
to make you suffer the balance of your days. It would go 'round your leg
clear to the hip and be between the skin and the flesh. They called it
the devil's work."


[Illustration: James Green]

     JAMES GREEN is half American Indian and half Negro. He was born a
     slave to John Williams, of Petersburg, Va., became a "free boy",
     then was kidnapped and sold in a Virginia slave market to a Texas
     ranchman. He now lives at 323 N. Olive St., San Antonio, Texas.

"I never knowed my age till after de war, when I's set free de second
time, and then marster gits out a big book and it shows I's 25 year old.
It shows I's 12 when I is bought and $800 is paid for me. That $800 was
stolen money, 'cause I was kidnapped and dis is how it come:

"My mammy was owned by John Williams in Petersburg, in Virginia, and I
come born to her on dat plantation. Den my father set 'bout to git me
free, 'cause he a full-blooded Indian and done some big favor for a big
man high up in de courts, and he gits me set free, and den Marster
Williams laughs and calls me 'free boy.'

"Then, one day along come a Friday and that a unlucky star day and I
playin' round de house and Marster Williams come up and say, 'Delia,
will you 'low Jim walk down de street with me?' My mammy say, 'All
right, Jim, you be a good boy,' and dat de las' time I ever heared her
speak, or ever see her. We walks down whar de houses grows close
together and pretty soon comes to de slave market. I ain't seed it
'fore, but when Marster Williams says, 'Git up on de block,' I got a
funny feelin', and I knows what has happened. I's sold to Marster John
Pinchback and he had de St. Vitus dance and he likes to make he niggers
suffer to make up for his squirmin' and twistin' and he the bigges'
debbil on earth.

"We leaves right away for Texas and goes to marster's ranch in Columbus.
It was owned by him and a man call Wright, and when we gits there I's
put to work without nothin' to eat. Dat night I makes up my mind to run
away but de nex' day dey takes me and de other niggers to look at de
dogs and chooses me to train de dogs with. I's told I had to play I
runnin' away and to run five mile in any way and then climb a tree. One
of de niggers tells me kind of nice to climb as high in dat tree as I
could if I didn't want my body tore off my legs. So I runs a good five
miles and climbs up in de tree whar de branches is gettin' small.

"I sits dere a long time and den sees de dogs comin'. When dey gits
under de tree dey sees me and starts barkin'. After dat I never got
thinkin' of runnin' away.

"Time goes on and de war come along, but everything goes on like it did.
Some niggers dies, but more was born, 'cause old Pinchback sees to dat.
He breeds niggers as quick as he can, 'cause dat money for him. No one
had no say who he have for wife. But de nigger husbands wasn't de only
ones dat keeps up havin' chillen, 'cause de marsters and de drivers
takes all de nigger gals dey wants. Den de chillen was brown and I seed
one clear white one, but dey slaves jus' de same.

"De end of dat war comes and old Pinchback says, 'You niggers all come
to de big house in de mornin'. He tells us we is free and he opens his
book and gives us all a name and tells us whar we comes from and how old
we is, and says he pay us 40 cents a day to stay with him. I stays 'bout
a year and dere's no big change. De same houses and some got whipped but
nobody got nailed to a tree by de ears, like dey used to. Finally old
Pinchback dies and when he buried de lightnin' come and split de grave
and de coffin wide open.

"Well, time goes on some more and den Lizzie and me, we gits together
and we marries reg'lar with a real weddin'. We's been together a long
time and we is happy.

"I 'members a old song like dis:

  "'Old marster eats beef and sucks on de bone,
          And give us de gristle--
      To make, to make, to make, to make,
          To make de nigger whistle.'

"Dat all de song I 'member from dose old days, 'ceptin' one more:

  "'I goes to church in early morn,
  De birds just a-sittin' on de tree--
  Sometimes my clothes gits very much worn--
  'Cause I wears 'em out at de knee.

  "'I sings and shouts with all my might,
      To drive away de cold--
  And de bells keep ringin' in gospel light,
      Till de story of de Lamb am told.'"


[Illustration: O.W. Green and Granddaughter]

     O.W. Green, son of Frank and of Mary Ann Marks, was born in slavery
     at Bradly Co., Arkansas, June 26, 1859. His owners, the Mobley
     family, owned a large plantation and two or three thousand slaves.
     Jack Mobley, Green's young master, was killed in the Civil War, and
     Green became one of the "orphan chillen." When the Ku Klux Klan
     became active, the "orphan chillen" were taken to Little Rock, Ark.
     Later on, Green moved to Del Rio, Texas, where he now lives.

"I was bo'ned in Arkansas. Frank Marks was my father and Mary Ann Marks
my mother. She was bo'n on the plantation. I had two brothers.

"I don' 'member de quarters, but dey mus' of had plenty, 'cause dey was
two, three thousand slaves on de plantation. All my kin people belonged
to Massa Mobley. My grandfather was a millman and dey had one de bigges'
grist mills in de country.

"Our Massa was good and we had plenty for to eat. Dere was no jail for
slaves on our place but not far from dere was a jail.

"De Ku Klux Klan made everything pretty squally, so dey taken de orphan
chillen to Little Rock and kep' 'em two, three years. Dere was lots of
slaves in dat country 'round Rob Roy and Free Nigger Bend. Old
Churchill, who used to be governor, had a plantation in dere.

"When I was nine years ol' dey had de Bruce and Baxter revolution. 'Twas
more runnin' dan fightin'. Bruce was 'lected for governor but Baxter
said he'd be governor if he had to run Brooks into de sea.

"My young Massa, Jack Mobley, was killed in de war, is how I come to be
one of de orphan chillen.

"While us orphan chillen was at Little Rock dere come a terrible
soreness of de eyes. I heard tell 'twas caused from de cholera. Every
little child had to take turns about sittin' by de babies or totin'
them. I was so blind, my eyes was so sore, I couldn't see. The doctor's
wife was working with us. She was tryin' to figure up a cure for our
sore eyes, first using one remedy and den another. An old herb doctor
told her about a herb he had used on de plantations to cure de slaves'
sore eyes. Dey boiled de herb and put hit on our eyes, on a white cloth.
De doctor's wife had a little boy about my age. He would play with me,
and thought I was about hit. He would lead me around, then he would run
off and leave me and see if I could see. One day between 'leven and
twelve o'clock--I never will fergit hit--he taken me down to de mess
room. De lady was not quite ready to dress my eyes. She told me to go on
and come back in a little while. When I got outside I tore dat old rag
off of my eyes and throwed hit down. I told the little boy, 'O, I can
see you!' He grabbed me by de arm and ran yellin' to his mammy, 'Mama,
he can see! Mama, Owen can see!' I neva will fo'git dat word. Dey were
all in so a rejoicin', excitable way. I was de first one had his eyes
cured. Dey sent de lady to New York and she made plenty of money from
her remedy.

"Things sure was turrible durin' de war. Dey just driv us in front of de
soldiers. Dere was lots of cholera. We was just bedded together lak
hogs. The Ku Klux Klan come behind de soldiers, killin' and robbin'.

"After two or three years in de camp with de orphans, my kin found me
and took me home.

"My grandfather and uncle was in de fightin'. My grandfather was a wagon
man. De las' trip he made, he come home bringin' a load of dead soldiers
to be buried. My grandfather told de people all about de war. He said
hit sure was terrible.

"When de war was over de people jus' shouted for joy. De men and women
jus' shouted for joy. 'Twas only because of de prayers of de cullud
people, dey was freed, and de Lawd worked through Lincoln.

"My old masta was a doctor and a surgeon. He trained my grandmother; she
worked under him thirty-seven years as a nurse. When old masta wanted
grandmother to go on a special case he would whip her so she wouldn't
tell none of his secrets. Grandmother used herbs fo' medicine--black
snake root, sasparilla, blackberry briar roots--and nearly all de
young'uns she fooled with she save from diarrhea.

"My old masta was good, but when he found you shoutin' he burnt your
hand. My grandmother said he burnt her hand several times. Masta
wouldn't let de cullud folks have meetin', but dey would go out in de
woods in secret to pray and preach and shout.

"I jist picked up enough readin' to read my bible and scratch my name. I
went to school one mo'ning and didn't git along wid de teacher so I
didn't go no mo'.

"I 'member my folks had big times come Christmas. Dey never did work on
Sundays, jist set around and rest. Dey never worked in bad weather. Dey
never did go to de field till seven o'clock.

"I married in 1919. I have two step-daughters and one step-son. My
step-son lives in San Antonio. I have six step-grandchillen. I was a
member of de Baptist church befo' you was bo'n, lady.


Dibble, Fred
Beaumont, Jefferson Co. Dist. #3

     ROSA GREEN, 85 years old, was born at Ketchi, Louisiana, but as
     soon as she was old enough became a housegirl on the plantation of
     Major "Bob" Hollingsworth at Mansfield, Louisiana. To the best of
     her knowledge, she was about 13 when the "freedom papers" were
     read. She had had 13 children by her two husbands, both deceased,
     and lives with her youngest daughter in Beaumont. Their one-room,
     unpainted house is one of a dozen unprepossessing structures
     bordering an alleyway leading off Pine Street. Rosa, a spry little
     figure, crowned with short, snow-white pigtails extending in
     various directions, spends most of her time tending her small
     flowerbeds and vegetable garden. She is talkative and her memory
     seems quite active.

"When de w'ite folks read de freedom paper I was 13 year old. I jes'
lean up agin de porch, 'cause I didn' know den what it was all about. I
war'nt bo'n in Texas, I was bo'n in Ketchi, but I was rais' in Manfiel'.
Law, yes, I 'member de fight at Manfiel'. My ol' marster tuk all he
niggers and lef' at night. Lef' us little ones; say de Yankees could git
us effen day wan' to, 'cause we no good no way, and I wouldn' care if
dey did git us. Dey put us in a sugar hogshead and give us a spoon to
scrape out de sugar. 'Bout de ol' plantation, I work a little w'ile in
de fiel'. I didn' know den like I see now. Dese chillen bo'n wid mo'
sense now dan we was den. Dey was 'bout ten cullud folks on de place. My
ol' marster name Bob Hollingsworth, but dey call 'im Major, 'cause he
was a major in de war, not de las' one, but de one way back yonder. Ol'
missus work de little ones roun' de house and under de house and kep'
ev'yt'ing clean as yo' han'. The ol' marster I thought was de meanes'
man de Lawd ever made. Look like he cuss ev'y time he open he mouth. De
neighbor w'ite folks, some good, some bad. My work was cleanin' up 'roun
de house and nussin' de chillen. Only times I went to church when day
tuk us long to min' de chillen. When de battle of Manfiel' was, we didn'
git out much. When de Yankees was comin' to Gran' Cane, my w'ite folks
dig a big pit and put der meat and flour and all in it and cover it over
wid dirt and put wagon loads of pine straw over it. It was 'bout five or
six mile to Manfield and 'bout 49 or 50 mile to Shreveport. My ol'
marster tuk all he niggers and went off somweres, dey called it Texas,
but I didn' know where. De ol'er ones farm. Dey rais' ev'yt'ing dey
could put in de groun', dey did. My pa was kirrige(carriage) driver for
my ol' missus. He was boss nigger fo' de cullud men when marster wan't
right dere. My father jis' stay dere. See, dey free our people in July.
Dat leave de whole crop stanin' dere in de fiel'. Dey had to stay dere
and take care of de crop. After dat dey commence makin' contraks and
bargins. I was 22 years ol' when I marry de fus' time. Both my husban's
dead. I had 13 chillen in all.

"De fus' time I went to church, missus tuk me and another gal to min' de
chillen. I never heared a preacher befo'. I 'member how de preacher word
de hymn:

  'Come, ye sinners, po' and needy.
  Weak and wounded, sick and so'.'

"I couldn' understan' it, but now when I look down on it I sees it now.
I bleeve us been here goin' on fo' year' right yere in dis house."


[Illustration: William Green, (Rev. Bill) (A)]

[Illustration: William Green, (Rev. Bill) (B)]

     WILLIAM GREEN, or "Reverend Bill", as he is call by the other
     Negroes, was brought to Texas from Mississippi in 1862. His master
     was Major John Montgomery. William is 87 years old. He has lived in
     San Antonio, Texas, for 50 years.

"I is Reverend Bill, all right, but I is 'fraid dat compliment don't
belong to me no more, 'cause I quit preachin' in favor of de young men.

"I kin tell you my 'speriences in savin'--mis'ry dat was, is peace dat
is. I tells you dis 'spite of bein' alone in de world with no chillun.

"I is raised a slave and 'mancipated in June, but I 'members de old
plantation whar I is born. Massa John Montgomery, he owned me, and he
went to de war and git kilt. I knowed 'bout de war, though us slaves
wasn't sposed to know nothin' 'bout it. I was livin' in Texas then,
'cause Massa John moved over here from Mis'sippi. In dat place niggers
was allus wrong, no matter what, but it was better in dis place. We used
to think we was lucky to git over here to Texas, and we used to sing a
song 'bout it:

  "'Over yonder is de wild-goose nation,
  Whar old missus has sugar plantation--
  Sugar grows sweet but de plantation's sour,
  'cause de nigger jump and run every hour.

  "'I has you all to know, you all to know,
  Dare's light on de shore,
  Says little Bill to big Bill,
  There's a li'l nigger to write and cipher.'

"I don't know what de song meant but we thought we'd git free here in
Texas, and we'd git eddicated, and dat's de meanin' of de talk about
writin' and cipherin'.

"Well, when I is free I isn't free, 'cause de boss wants me and another
boy to stay till we's 21 year old. But old Judge Longworth, he come down
dere and dere was pretty near a fight, and he 'splains to us we was

"'bout five year after dat I takes up preachin' and I preaches for a
long time, and I works on a farm, half and half with de owner. I has a
good life, but now I's too old to preach.


[Illustration: Pauline Grice]

     PAULINE GRICE, 81, was born a slave of John Blackshier, who owned
     her mother, about 150 slaves, 50 slave children, and a large
     plantation near Atlanta, Georgia. Pauline married Navasota Grice in
     1875 and they moved to Texas in 1917. Since her husband's death in
     1928 Pauline has depended on the charity of friends, with whom she
     lives at 2504 Ross Ave., North Fort Worth, Texas.

"White man, dis old cullud woman am not strong. 'Bout all my substance
am gone now. De way you sees me layin' on dis bed am what I has to do
mos' de time. My mem'randum not so good like 'twas.

"De place I am borned am right near Atlanta, in Georgia, and on dat
plantation of Massa John Blackshier. A big place, with 'bout 150 growed
slaves and 'bout 50 pickininnies. I doesn't work till near de surrender,
'cause I's too small. But us don't leave Massa John, us go right on
workin' for him like 'fore.

"Massa John am de kind massa and don't have whuppin's. He tell de
overseer, 'If you can't make dem niggers work without de whup, den you
not de man I wants.' Mos' de niggers 'have theyselves and when dey don't
massa put dem in de li'l house what he call de jail, with nothin' to eat
till deys ready to do what he say. Onct or twict he sell de nigger what
won't do right and do de work.

"Us have de cabin what am made from logs but us only sleeps dere. All us
cookin' done in de big kitchen. Dere am three women what do dat, and
give us de meals in de long shed with de long tables.

"To de bes' of dis nigger's mem'randum, de feed am good. Plenty of
everything and corn am de mostest us have. Dere am cornbread and
cornmeal mush and corn hominy and corn grits and parched corn for drink,
'stead of tea or coffee. Us have milk and 'lasses and brown sugar, and
some meat. Dat all raise on de place. Stuff for to eat and wear, dat am
made by us cullud folks and dat place am what dey calls se'f-s'portin'.
De shoemaker make all de shoes and fix de leather, too.

"After breakfas' in de mornin' de niggers am gwine here, dere and
everywhere, jus' like de big factory. Every one to he job, some
a-whistlin', some a-singin'. Dey sings diff'rent songs and dis am one
when deys gwine to work:

  "'Old cotton, old corn, see you every morn,
  Old cotton, old corn, see you since I's born.
  Old cotton, old corn, hoe you till dawn,
  Old cotton, old corn, what for you born?'

"Yes, suh, everybody happy on massa's place till war begin. He have two
sons and Willie am 'bout 18 and Dave am 'bout 17. Dey jines de army and
after 'bout a year, massa jine too, and, course, dat make de missy awful
sad. She have to 'pend on de overseer and it warn't like massa keep
things runnin'.

"In de old days, if de niggers wants de party, massa am de big toad in
de puddle. And Christmas, it am de day for de big time. A tree am fix,
and some present for everyone. De white preacher talk 'bout Christ. Us
have singin' and 'joyment all day. Den at night, de big fire builded and
all us sot 'round it. Dere am 'bout hundred hawg bladders save from hawg
killin'. So, on Christmas night, de chillen takes dem and puts dem on de
stick. Fust dey is all blowed full of air and tied tight and dry. Den
de chillen holds de bladder in de fire and purty soon, 'B A N G,'
dey goes. Dat am de fireworks.

"Dat all changed after massa go to war. Fust de 'federate sojers come
and takes some mules and hosses, den some more come for de corn. After
while, de Yankee sojers comes and takes some more. When dey gits
through, dey ain't much more tookin' to be done. De year 'fore
surrender, us am short of rations and sometime us hongry. Us sees no
battlin' but de cannon bang all day. Once, dey bang two whole days
'thout hardly stoppin'. Dat am when missy go tech in de head, 'cause
massa and de boys in dat battle. She jus' walk 'round de yard and twist
de hands and say, 'Dey sho' git kilt. Dey sho' dead.' Den when extra
loud noise come from de cannon, she scream. Den word come Willie am
kilt. She gits over it, but she am de diff'rent woman. For her, it am
trouble, trouble and more trouble.

"She can't sell de cotton. Dey done took all de rations and us couldn't
eat de cotton. One day she tell us, 'De war am on us. De sojers done
took de rations. I can't sell de cotton, 'cause of de blockade.' I don't
know what am dat blockade, but she say it. 'Now,' she say, 'All you
cullud folks born and raise here and us allus been good to you. I can't
holp it 'cause rations am short and I'll do all I can for you. Will yous
be patient with me?' All us stay dere and holp missy all us could.

"Den massa come home and say, 'Yous gwine be free. Far as I cares, you
is free now, and can stay here and tough it through or go where you
wants. I thanks yous for all de way yous done while I's gone, and I'll
holp you all I can.' Us all stay and it sho' am tough times. Us have
most nothin' to eat and den de Ku Klux come 'round dere. Massa say not
mix with dat crowd what lose de head, jus' stay to home and work. Some
dem niggers on other plantations ain't keep de head and dey gits whupped
and some gits kilt, but us does what massa say and has no trouble with
dem Klux.

"It 'bout two year after freedom mammy gits marry and us goes and works
on shares. I stays with dem till 1875 and den marries Navasota Robert
Grice and us live by farmin' till he die, nine year since. 'Bout 20 year
since us come here from Georgia and works de truck farm. I has two
chillen but dey dead. De way I feels now, 'twon't be long 'fore I goes,
too. My friends is good to me and lets me stay with dem.


[Illustration: Mandy Hadnot]

     MANDY HADNOT, small and forlorn looking, as she lies in a huge,
     old-fashioned wooden bed, appears very black in contrast to the
     clean white sheets and a thick mop of snowy wool on her head. She
     does not know her age, but from her appearance and the details she
     remembers of her years as slave in the Slade home, near Cold
     Springs, Texas, she must be very old. She lives in Woodville,
     Texas, with her husband, Josh, to whom she has been married 13

"I's too small to 'member my father, 'cause he die when I jus' a baby.
Dey was my mudder and me and de ole mistus and marster on de plantation.
It were mo' jus' a farm, but dey raise us all we need to eat and feed de
cows and hosses.

"De earlies' 'membrance I hab is when de ole marster drive into de town
for supplies every two weeks. Us place was right near Col' Springs. He
was a good man. He treat dis lil' darky jus' like he own chile, 'cause
he never hab any chillen of his own. I know 'bout de time he comin' home
when he go to town and I wait down by de big gate. Purty soon I see de
big ox comin' and see de smoke from de road dust flyin'. Den I know he
almos' home and I holler and wave my han' and he holler and wave he han'
right back. He allus brung me somethin', jus' like I he own little gal.
Sometime he brung me a whistle or some candy or doll or somethin'.

"One Easter he brung me de purties' lil' hat I ever did see. My ole
mistus took me to Sunday school with her and I spruce up in dat hat.

"Every Christmas 'fore ole marster die he fix me up a tree out de woods.
Dey put popco'n on it to trim it and dey give me sometime a purty dress
or shoes and plenty candy and maybe a big, red apple. Dey hab a big san'
pile for me to play in, but I never play with any other chillen. My
mammy, Emily Budle, she cook and clean up mistus log house cabin. After
de ole marster die dey both work in de fiel' and raise plenty vegetables
to can and eat. My task was to shell peas and watch and stir de big
cookin' pots on de fireplace.

"My mistus hav lots of company. When she come in and say, 'Mandy, shine
up de knife and fork and put de polish on de pianny, I allus happy,
'cause I lub to see folks come. Us hab chicken and all kinds of good
things. De preacher, he was big, jolly man, he come to de house 'bout
one Sunday in every month. Sometime dey brung lil' white chillen to
dinner. Den us play

  'Rabbit, rabbit.
  Jump fru' de crack.'


  'Kitty, kitty,
  In de corner,
  Meow, meow,
  Run, kitty, run.'

"De ole marster pick me out a lil', gentle hoss named Julie and dat was
my very own hoss. It was jus' a common lil' hoss. I uster sneak sugar
out de barrel to feed Julie. Dey had a big smokehouse on de farm where
dey kep' all kin's of good things like sugar and sich. Dey had fruits of
all kin's put up.

"Every mornin' de ole mistus took out de big Bible and hab prayer
meetin' for jus' us three. Us never learn read much, tho' she try teach
me some. When I's 'bout nine year ole she buy me a purty white dress
and took me to jine de church. She was a little, white-hair' woman, what
never los' her temper 'bout nothin'. She use' to let me bump on her
pianny and didn' say nothin'. She couldn' play de pianny but she kinder
hope maybe I could, but I never did learn how.

"When freedom come my mudder and me pay no 'tention to it. Us stay right
on de place. Purty soon my mudder die and I jus' took up her shoes. One
day I's makin' a bonfire in de yard and ketch my dress on fire. De whol
side of my lef' leg mos' bu'n off. Mistus was so lil' she couldn' lif'
me but she fin'ly git me to bed. Dere I stay for long, long time, and
she wait on me han' and feet. She make linseed poultice and kep' de bu'n
grease good. Mos' time she leave all de wo'k stan' in de middle of de
floor and read de Bible and pray for me to git heal up and not suffer.
She cry right 'long with me when I cry, 'cause I hurt so.

"When I's 16 year ole I want to hab courtin'. Mistus 'low me to hab de
boy come right to de big house to see me. He come two mile every Sunday
and us go to Lugene Baptist church. Den she hav nice Sunday dinner for
both us. She let me go to ice cream supper, too. Dey didn' hab no
freezer den, jus' a big pan in some ice. De boys and girls took tu'ns
stirrin' de cream. It never git real ha'd but stay kinder slushy. Dey
serve cake. Us hav pie supper, too. Whoever git de girl's pie eat it
with her.

"My ole mistus she pay me money right 'long after freedom but I too
close to spen' any. Den when I 'cide to marry Bob Thomas, she he'p me
fix a hope ches'. I buys goods for sheets and table kivers and one nice
Sunday set dishes.

"Us marry right in de parlor of de mistus house. De white man preacher
marry us and mistus she give me 'way. Ole mistus he'p me make my weddin'
dress outta white lawn. I hab purty long, black hair and a veil with a
ribbon 'round de fron'. De weddin' feas' was strawberry ice cream and
yaller cake. Ole mistus giv me my bedstead, one of her purtiest ones,
and de set dishes and glasses us eat de weddin' dinner outta. My husban'
gib me de trabblin' dress, but I never use dat dress for three weeks,
though, 'cause ole mistus cry so when I hafter leave dat I stay for
three weeks after I marry.

"She all 'lone in de big house and I think it break her heart. I ain'
been gone to de sawmill town very long when she sen' for me. I go to see
her and took a peach pie, 'cause I lub her and I know dat's what she
like better'n anything. She was sick and she say, 'Mandy, dis de las'
time us gwineter see each other, 'cause I ain' gwineter git well. You be
a good girl and try to git through de worl' dat way.' Den she make me
say de Lord Prayer for her jus' like she allus make me say it for a
night prayer when I lil' gal. I never see her no mo'.

"Me and Bob Thomas and dis husban', Josh, what I marry thirteen year
ago, hab 'bout 10 chillen all togedder. Us been lib here many a year. I
don' care so much 'bout leavin' dis yearthly home, 'cause I knows I
gwineter see de ole mistus up dere and I tell her I allus 'member what
she tell me and try lib dat way all time.


[Illustration: William Hamilton]

     WILLIAM HAMILTON belonged to a slave trader, who left him on the
     Buford plantation, near Village Creek, Texas. The trader did not
     return, so the Buford family raised the child with their slaves.
     William now lives at 910 E. Weatherford St., Ft. Worth, Texas.

"Who I is, how old I is and where I is born, I don't know. But Massa
Buford told me how durin' de war a slave trader name William Hamilton,
come to Village Creek, where Massa Buford live. Dat trader was on his
way south with my folks and a lot of other slaves, takin' 'em
somewheres, to sell. He camped by Massa Buford's plantation and asks
him, 'Can I leave dis li'l nigger here till I comes back?' Massa Buford
say, 'Yes,' and de trader say he'll be back in 'bout three weeks, soon
as he sells all the slaves. He mus' still be sellin' 'em, 'cause he
never comes back so far and there I am and my folks am took on, and I is
too li'l to 'member 'em, so I never knows my pappy and mammy. Massa
Buford says de trader comes from Missouri, but if I is born dere I don't

"De only thing I 'members 'bout all dat, am dere am lots of cryin' when
dey tooks me 'way from my mammy. Dat something I never forgits.

"I only 'members after de war, and most de cullud folks stays with Massa
Buford after surrender and works de land on shares. Dey have good times
on dat place, and don't want to leave. Day has dances and fun till de Ku
Klux org'nizes and den it am lots of trouble. De Klux comes to de dance
and picks out a nigger and whups him, jus' to keep de niggers scart, and
it git so bad dey don't have no more dances or parties.

"I 'members seein' Faith Baldwin and Jeb Johnson and Dan Hester gittin'
whupped by de Klux. Dey wasn't so bad after women. It am allus after
dark when dey comes to de house and catches de man and whups him for
nothin'. Dey has de power, and it am done for to show dey has de power.
It gits so bad round dere, dat de menfolks allus eats supper befo' dark
and takes a blanket and goes to de woods for to sleep. Alex Buford don't
sleep in de house for one whole summer.

"No one knowed when de Klux comin'. All a-sudden up dey gallops on
hosses, all covered with hoods, and bust right into de house. Jus'
latches 'stead of locks was used dem days. Dey comes sev'ral times to
Alex' house but never cotches him. I'd hear dem comin' when dey hit de
lane and I'd holler, 'De Klux am comin'.' It was my job, after dark,
listenin' for dem Klux, den I gits under de bed.

"Why dey comes so many times round dere, am 'cause de second time dey
comes, Jane Bensom am dere. Jane am lots of woman, wide as de door and
tall, and weighs 'bout three hunder pounds. I calls, 'Here comes de
Klux,' and makes for under de bed. There am embers in de fireplace and
she fills a pail with dem and when de Klux busts in de door she lets dem
have de embers in de face, and den out de back door she goes. Two of dem
am burnt purty bad. De nex' night back dey comes and asks where Jane am.
She 'longs to Massa John Ditto and am so big everybody knows her, but de
niggers won't tell on her. She leaves de country fin'ly, but dey comes
lookin' for her every night for two months.

"Right over on Massa Ditto's place, am a killin' of a baby by dem Klux.
De baby am in de mammy's arms and a bunch of Klux ridin' by takes a
shot at de mammy, and it hits de baby and kills it.

"Right after de baby killin', sojers with blue coats comes dere and
camps front of Massa Buford's place and pertects de cullud folks. I goes
over to dey camp every day and dey gives me lots of good eats.

"De cullud folks has lots of trouble after de war, 'cause dey am ir'rant
niggers and gits foolishment in de head. They gits de idea de white
folks should give dem land and mules and sich. Over in de valley, Massa
Moses owns lots of land and fifty nigger families, and he gives each
family a deed to 'bout fifty acres. Some dem cullud folks grandchillen
still on dat land, too, de Parkers and Farrows and Nelsons and some
others. Den all de other niggers thinks dey should git land, too, but
dey don't, and it make dem git foolishment and git in trouble.

"In 1897 I marries Effie Coleman and has no chillens, so I is alone in
de world now. I can't do much and lives on de $10.00 de month pension.
De white folks lets me live in dis shack for mowin' de lawn, but I
worries 'bout when I can't do no more work. It am de awful way to spend
you last days.


     PIERCE HARPER, 86, was born on the Subbs plantation near Snow Hill,
     North Carolina. When eight years old he was sold for $1,150
     [Handwritten Note: '?'] to the Harper family, who lived in Snow
     Hill. After the Civil War, Pierce farmed a small place near Snow
     Hill and saw many raids of the Klu Klux Klan. He came to Galveston,
     Texas, in 1877. Pierce attended a Negro school after he was grown,
     learned to read and write, and is interested in the betterment of
     his race.

"When you ask me is I Pierce Harper, you kind of 'sprised me. I reckoned
everybody know old Pierce Harper. Sister Johnson say to me outside of
services last Sunday night, 'Brother Harper, you is de beatines' man I
ever seen. You know everybody and everybody know you.' And I said,
'Sister Johnson, dat's 'cause I keep faith with de Lawd. I love de Lawd
and my neighbors and de Lawd and my neighbors love me.' Dat's what my
old mother told me 'way back in slavery, before I was ever sold. But
here I is talking 'bout myself when you want to hear me talk 'bout
slavery. Let's see, now.

"I was born way back in 1851 in North Carolina, on Mr. Subbs'
plantation, clost to Snow Hill, which was the county seat. My daddy was
a field hand and my mother worked in the fields, too, right 'longside my
daddy, so she could keep him lined up. The master said that Calisy, that
my mother, was the best fieldhand he had, and Calvin, that my daddy, was
the laziest. My mother used to say he was chilesome.

"Then when I was eight years old they sold me. The market place was in
Snow Hill on the public square near the jailhouse. It was jus' a little
stand built out in the open with no top on it, that the slaves stood on
to get sold while the white folks auctioned 'em off. I was too little to
get on the stand, so they had to hold me up and Mr. Harper bought me for
$1,100. [Handwritten Note: '?'] That was cheap for a boy.

"He lived in a brick house in town and had two-three slaves 'sides me. I
run errands and kept the yard clean, things a little boy could do. They
didn't have no school for slaves and I never learned to read and write
till after freedom. After I was sold, they let me go visit my mother
once a year, on Sunday morning, and took me back at night.

"The masters couldn't whip the slaves there. The law said in black and
white no master couldn't whip no slave, no matter what he done. When a
slave got bad they took him to the county seat and had him whipped. One
day I seen my old daddy get whipped by the county and state 'cause he
wouldn't work. They had a post in the public square what they tied 'em
to and a man what worked for the county whipped 'em.

"After he was whipped my daddy run away to the north. Daddy come by when
I was cleanin' the yard and said, 'Pierce, go 'round side the house,
where nobody can't see us.' I went and he told me goodbye, 'cause he was
goin' to run away in a few days. He had to stay in the woods and travel
at night and eat what he could find, berries and roots and things. They
never caught him and after he crossed the Mason-Dixon line he was safe.

"There used to be a man who raised bloodhounds to hunt slaves with. I
seen the dogs on the trail a whole day and still not catch 'em.
Sometimes the slave made friends with the dogs and they wouldn't let on
if they found him. Three dogs followed one slave the whole way up north
and he sold them up there.

"I heered 'em talk about some slaves what run barefooted in cold weather
and you could trail 'em by blood in the snow and ice where they hurt
their feet.

"Most of the time the master gave us castor oil when we were sick. Some
old folks went in the woods for herbs and made medicine. They made tea
out of 'lion's tongue' for the stomach and snake root is good for pains
in the stomach, too. Horse mint breaks the fever. They had a vermifuge

"I seed a lot of Southern soldiers and they'd go to the big house for
something to eat. Late in '63 they had a fight at a place called
Kingston, only 12 miles from our place, takin' how the jacks go. We
could hear the guns go off when they was fightin'. The Yankees beat and
settled down there and the cullud folks flocked down on them and when
they got to the Yankee lines they was safe. They went in droves of 25 or
50 to the Yankees and they put 'em to work fightin' for freedom. They
fit till the war was over and a lot of 'em got kilt. My mother and
sister run away to the Yankees and they paid 'em big money to wash for

"When peace come they read the 'mancipation law to the cullud people and
they stayed up half the night at Mr. Harper's, singing and shouting.
They spent that night singin' and shoutin'. They wasn't slaves no more.
The master had to give 'em a half or third of what he made. Our master
parceled out some land to 'em and told 'em to work it their selves and
some done real well. They got hosses that the soldiers had turned loose
to die, and fed them and took good care of 'em and they got good stock
that way. Cotton was twenty and thirty cents a pound then.

"After us cullud folks was 'sidered free and turned loose, the Klu Klux
broke out. Some cullud people started to farmin', like I told you, and
gathered the old stock. If they got so they made good money, and had a
good farm, the Klu Klux would come and murder 'em. The gov'ment builded
school houses and the Klu Klux went to work and burned 'em down. They'd
go to the jails and take the cullud men out and knock their brains out
and break their necks and throw 'em in the river.

"There was a cullud man they taken, his name was Jim Freeman. They taken
him and destroyed his stuff and him, 'cause he was making some money.
Hung him on a tree in his front yard, right in front of his cabin.

"There was some cullud young men went to the schools they'd opened by
the gov'ment. Some white woman said someone had stole something of hers
so they put them young men in jail. The Klu Klux went to the jail and
took 'em out and killed 'em. That happened the second year after the

"After the Klu Kluxes got so strong the cullud men got together and made
the complaint before the law. The Gov'nor told the law to give 'em the
old guns in the com'sary, what the Southern soldiers had used, so they
issued the cullud men old muskets and said protect themselves. They got
together and organized the militia and had leaders like reg'lar
soldiers. They didn't meet 'cept when they heered the Klu Kluxes was
coming to get some cullud folks. Then they was ready for 'em. They'd
hide in the cabins and then's when they found out who a lot of them Klu
Kluxes was, 'cause a lot of 'em was kilt. They wore long sheets and
covered the hosses with sheets so you couldn't rec'nize 'em. Men you
thought was your friend was Klu Kluxes and you'd deal with 'em in stores
in the daytime and at night they'd come out to your house and kill you.
I never took part in none of the fights, but I heered the others talk
'bout them, but not where them Klu Klux could hear 'em.

"One time they had 12 men in jail, 'cused of robbin' white folks. All
was white in jail but one, and he was cullud. The Klu Kluxes went to the
jailor's house and got the jail key and got them men out and carried 'em
to the River Bridge, in the middle. Then they knocked their brains out
and threw 'em in the river.

"We was 'fraid of them Klu Kluxes and come to town, to Snow Hill. We
rented a little house and my mother took in washing and ironing. I went
to school and learned to read and write, then worked on farms, and
fin'ly went to Columbia, in South Carolina, and worked in the turpentine
country. I stayed there a while and got married.

"I come to Texas in 1877 and Galveston was a little pen then, a little
mess. I worked for some white people and then went to Houston and it
wasn't nothing but a mudhole. So I messed 'round in South Carolina again
a while and then come back to Galveston.

"The Lawd called me then and I answered and I answered and was preacher
here at the Union Baptist Church, on 11th and K, 'bout 25 years.

"I knowed Wright Cuney well and he held the biggest place a cullud man
ever helt in Galveston. He was congressman and the white people looked
up to him just like he was white.

"Durin' the Spanish-American War I went to Washington, D.C., to see my
sister and got in the soldier business. The gov'ment give me $30.00 a
month for drivin' a four-mule wagon for the army. I druv all through
Pennsylvania and Virginia and South Carolina for the gov'ment. I was
a----what do they call a laborer in the army?

"When war was over I come back here and now I'm too old to work and the
state gives me a pension and me and my granddaughter live on that. The
young folks is makin' their mark now. One thing about 'em, they get
educated, but there's not much for them to do when they get finished
with school but walk the streets now. I been always trying to help my
people to rise 'bove their station and they are rising all the time, and
some day they'll be free."


     MOLLY HARRELL was born a slave on the Swanson plantation, near
     Palestine, Texas. She was a housegirl, but must have been too small
     to do much work. She does not know her age, but thinks she was
     about seven when she was freed. Molly lives at 3218 Ave H.,
     Galveston, Texas.

"Don't you tell nobody dat I use to be a slave. I 'most forgot it myself
till you got round me jes' den. Course, I ain't blamin' you for it, but
what you done say 'bout all de plantations havin' schools was wrong, so
I jes' had to tell you I been a slave myself. It jes' slip out.

"Like I jes' say, I knows what I's talkin' 'bout, 'cause I use to be a
slave myself and I don't know how to read and write. Dat why I say I
can't see so good. It don't do to let folks know dey's smarter'n you,
'cause den dey got you right where dey wants you. Now, Will, dat de man
I's marry to, am younger'n me but he don't know it. When you git marry,
you don't tell de man how old you is. He wouldn't have you if you did.
'Course, Will ain't so young heself, but he's born after de war and I's
born durin' slavery, so dat make me older.

"Mr. Swanson use to own de big plantation in Palestine. Everybody in dat
part de country knowed him. He use to live in a plain, wood house on de
Palestine road. My mother use to cook and wait on tables. John was my

"Dey use to have de little whip dey use on de women. Course de field
hands got it worse, but den, dey was men. Mr. Swanson was good and he
was mean. He was nice one day and mean as Hades de next. You never
knowed what he gwine to do. But he never punish nobody 'cept dey done
somethin'. My father was a field hand, and Mr. Swanson work de fire out
dem. Work, work--dat all dey know from time dey git up in de mornin'
till dey went to bed at night. But he wasn't hard on dem like some
masters was. If dey sick, dey didn't habe to work and he give dem de
med'cine hisself. If he cotch dem tryin' play off sick, den he lay into
dem, or if he cotch dem loafin'. Course, I don't blame him for dat,
'cause dere ain't anythin' lazier dan a lazy nigger. Will am 'bout de
laziest one in de bunch. You ain't never find a lazier nigger dan Will.

"I was purty little den, but I done my share. I holp my mother dust and
clean up de house and peel 'tatoes. Dere some old men dat too old to
work so dey sot in de sun all day and holp with de light work. Dey carry
grub and water to de field hands.

"Somebody run 'way all de time and hide in de woods till dere gut pinch
dem and den dey have to come back and git somethin' to eat. Course, dey
got beat, but dat didn't worry dem none, and it not long till dey gone

"My mother sold into slavery in Georgia, or round dere. She tell me
funny things 'bout how dey use to do up dere. A old white man think so
much of he old nigger when he die he free dat nigger in he will, and
lef' him a little money. He open de blacksmith shop and buy some slaves.
Mother allus say dose free niggers make de hardes' masters. One in
Palestine marry a nigger slave and buy her from her master. Den he tell
everybody he own a slave.

"Everybody talk 'bout freedom and hope to git free 'fore dey die. I
'member de first time de Yankees pass by, my mother lift me up on de
fence. Dey use to pass by with bags on de mules and fill dem with stuff
from de houses. Dey go in de barn and holp deyself. Dey go in de stables
and turn out de white folks' hosses and run off what dey don't take for

"Den one night I 'member jes' as well, me and my mother was settin' in
de cabin gettin' ready to go to bed, when us hear somebody call my
mother. We listen and de overseer whisper under de door and told my
mother dat she free but not to tell nobody. I don't know why he done it.
He allus like my mother, so I guess he do it for her. The master reads
us de paper right after dat and say us free.

"Me and my mother lef' right off and go to Palestine. Most everybody
else go with us. We all walk down de road singin' and shoutin' to beat
de band. My father come nex' day and jine us. My sister born dere. Den
us go to Houston and Louisiana for a spell and I hires out to cook. I
works till us come to Galveston 'bout ten year ago.


Dibble, Fred, P.W., Beehler, Rheba, P.W.,
Beaumont, Jefferson, Dist. #3.

     ANN HAWTHORNE, Beaumont, Tex., was clad in a white dress which was
     protected by a faded blue checked apron. On her feet she wore men's
     bedroom slippers much too large for her, and to prevent their
     falling off, were tied around the ankle by rag strings. She wore
     silk hose with the heels completely worn out of them. Her figure is
     generous in proportions, and her hair snow white, fixed in little
     pig tails and wrapped in black string. Ann related her story in a
     deep voice and a jovial manner. Although born and raised in Jasper
     county, she speaks boastfully about having been to Houston.

"If you's lookin' for Ann Hawthorne, dis is me. I was bo'n in slavery,
and I was a right sizeable gal when freedom come. I was 'bout 10 or 12
year' ol' when freedom riz up."

"I was bo'n up here in Jasper. Ol' marster Woodruff Norsworthy and Miss
Ca'lina, dey was my ol' marster and mistus. Miss Ca'lina she name' me."

"My pa was Len Norsworthy. My ma was name Ca'line after ol' mistus. Dat
how come I 'member ol' mistus name so good. I got fo' brudders livin',
but nary a sister. My brudders is Newton and Silas and Willie and Frank.
I say dey's livin'. I mean dat de las' time I heard of 'em dey was

"Yas, I 'member de house I was raise in. It was jis' a one-room log
house. Dey was a ol' Geo'gia hoss bed in it. It was up pretty high and
us chillun had to git on a box to git in dat bed. De mattress was mek
outer straw. Sometime dey mek 'em in co'n sacks and sometime dey put 'em
in a tick what dey weave on de loom. I had a aunt what was de weaver.
She weave all de time for ol' marster. She uster weave all us clo's."

"My ma she was jis' a fiel' han' but my gramma and my aunt dey hab dem
for wuk 'roun' de house. I didn' do nuthin' but chu'n (churn) and clean
de yard, and sweep 'roun' and go to de spring and tote de water. I l'arn
how to hoe, too."

"Dat was a big plantation. Fur as I kin 'member I t'ink dey was 'bout 25
or 30 slaves on de place. You see I done git ol' and childish and I
can't 'member like what I uster could. I 'member though, dat my pa uster
drive a team for ol' marster. Sometime he fiel' han' on de plantation,

"Ol' marster he was good to his slaves. I heerd of slaves bein' whip'
but I ain't never see any git whip. Dey was a overseer on de place and
iffen dey was any whippin' to be did, he done it."

"Me? I never did git no lickin's when I was a li'l slave. No mam. I
allus did obey jis' like I was teached to do and dey didn' hafter whip
me. I 'members dat."

"We done our playin' 'roun' dat big house, but dat front gate, we
dassen' go outside dat. We uster jump de rope and play ring plays and
sich. You know how dey yoke dey han's togedder? Dat de way us uster do
and go 'roun' and 'roun' singin' our li'l jumped up songs. Den us jis'
play 'roun' lots of times anyt'ing what happen to come up in our min's."

"Dey feed us good back in slavery. Give us plenty of meat and bread and
greens and t'ings. Ye, dey feed us good and us had plenty. Dey give us
plenty of co'nbread. Dat's de reason I's a co'nbread eater now. I ain't
no flour-bread eater. I lubs my co'nbread. Us all eat outer one big pan.
Dey give each li'l nigger a big iron spoon and us sho' go to it. Dey
give us milk in a sep'rate vessel, and dey give eb'ryone a slice of meat
in our greens. And dey never dassent tek de other feller's piece of
meat. Eb'ryt'ing better go 'long smoove wid us chillun. We better eat
and shut our mouf. We dassent raise no squall."

"I tell dese chillun here dey ain't know nuffin'. Dey got dey glass. We
had our li'l go'ds (gourds) pretty and clean and white. I wish I had
one of dem ol' time go'ds now to drink my milk outer."

"In good wedder dey feed us under a big tree out in de yard. And us
better leave eb'ryt'ing clean and no litter 'roun'. In de winter time
dey fed us in de kitchen."

"Us gals wo' plain, long waisted dress. Dey was cut straight and wid
long waist and dey button down de back."

"Dey was a cullud man what mek shoes for de slaves to wear in de winter
time. He mek 'em outer rough red russet ledder. Dat ledder was hard and
lots of times it mek blister on us feet. I uster be glad when summer
time come so's I could go barefoot."

"Dey had cabins for de slaves to live in. Dere was jis' one room and one
family to de cabin. Some of 'em was bigger dan others and dey put a big
family in a big cabin and a li'l family in a li'l cabin."

"I never see no slaves bought and sol'. I heerd my gramma and ma say dey
ol' marster wouldn' sell none of his slaves."

"I heerd 'bout dem broom-stick marriages, but I ain't never seed none.
Dat was dey law in dem days."

"Dey didn' know nuffin' 'bout preachin' and Sunday School in dem times.
De fus' preachin' I heerd was atter dat. I hear a white preacher
preach. He uster preach to de white folks in de mornin' and de cullud
folks in de afternoons. But de slaves some of 'em uster had family
prayer meetings to deyselfs."

"De ol' marster he didn' work he han's on Sunday and he give 'em half de
day off on Sadday, too. But he never give 'em a patch to work for
deyself. Dat half a day off on Sadday was for de slaves to wash and
clean up deyselfs."

"I never git marry 'till way atter freedom come. Dat was up in Jasper
county where I's bred and bo'n. I marry Hyman Hawthorne. Near as you kin
guess, dat was 'bout 50 year' ago. Den he die and lef' me wid eight
chillun. My baby gal she ain't never see no daddy."

"Atter he dead I wash and iron and cook out and raise my chillun. I was
raise up in de fiel' all my life. When I git disable' to wuk in de time
of de 'pressure (depression) I git on my walkin' stick. I wag up town
and I didn' fail to ax de white folks 'cause I wo' myself out wukkin'
for 'em. Dey load up my sack and sometime dey bring me stuff in a car
right dere to dat gate. But I's had two strokes and I ain't able to go
to town no mo'."

"I tell you I never hear nuthin' 'bout chu'ch 'till way atter freedom.
Sometime den us go to chu'ch. Dey was one Mef'dis' Chu'ch and one
Baptis' Chu'ch in Jasper. Dere moughta been a Cabilic (Catholic) Chu'ch
dere too, but I dunno 'bout dat."

"I don' 'member seein' no sojers. I t'ink some of ol' marster's boys
went to de war but de ol' man didn' go. I dunno 'bout wedder dey come
back or not 'cep'n' I 'member dat Crab Norsworthy he come back."

"When any of de slaves git sick ol' mistus and my gramma dey doctor 'em.
De ol' mistus she a pretty good doctor. When us chillun git sick dey git
yarbs or dey give us castor oil and turpentine. Iffen it git to be a
ser'ous ailment dey sen' for de reg'lar doctor. Dey uster hang
asafoetida 'roun' us neck in a li'l bag to keep us from ketch' de
whoopin' cough and de measles."

"Dey was a gin and cotton press on de place. Ol' marster gin' and bale'
he own cotton. Dat ol' press had dem long arms a-stickin' down what dey
hitch hosses to and mek 'em go 'roun' and 'roun' and press de bale."

"Dey raise dey own t'bacco on de place. I didn' use snuff nor chew 'till
after I growed up and marry. Back in slavery you couldn' let 'em ketch
you wid a chew of t'bacco or snuff in your mouf. Iffen you did dey
wouldn' let you forgit it."

"I uster like to go and play 'roun' de calfs, jis' go up and pet 'em and
rub 'em. But we dassent git on 'em to ride 'em."

"Marster uster sit 'roun' and watch us chillun play. He enjoy dat. He
call me his Annie 'cause I name' after my mistus. Sometime he hab a
wagon load of watermilion haul' up from de fiel' and cut 'em. Eb'ry
chile hab a side of watermilion. And us hab all de sugar cane and sweet
'taters us want."

"Dey had a big smokehouse. Dey hab big hog killin' time, and dey dry and
salt de meat in a big long trough. Dey git oak and ash and hick'ry wood
and mek a fire under it and smoke it. My gramma toted de key to dat
smokehouse and ol' mistus she'd tell her what to go and git for de white
folks and de cullud folks."

"When Crismus come 'roun' dey give us big eatin'. Us hab chicken and
turkey and cake. I don' 'member dat dey give us no presents."

"My gramma and my ma and ol' man Norsworthy dey come from Alabama. I
never hear of him breakin' up a family. But when dey was livin' in
Geo'gy, my ma marry a man name' Hawthorne in Geo'gy. He wouldn' sell him
to Marse Norsworthy when he come to Texas. Atter freedom marster go to
Geo'gy to git him and bring him to Texas, but he done raisin' up anudder
family dere and won't come. Li'l befo' she die her husban' come. When he
'bout wo' out and ready to die, den he come. Some of de ol'es' chillun
'member dey daddy and dey crazy for him to come and dey mek up de money
for him. When he git here dey tek care of him 'till he die right dere at
Olive. Ma tell 'em to write him he neenter (need not) come. She say he
ain't no service to her. But he come and de daughter tek care of her ma
and pa bofe."

"I's got 8 gran'chillun and 5 great-gran'chillun. I 'vides (divide) my
time 'tween my daughter here and de one in Houston."

"You wants to tek my picture? Daughter, I don' want dat hat you got
dere. Dat one of de chillun' hats. Git dat li'l bonnet. Dat becomes me
better. I can't stan' much sun. Dey say I's got high blood pressue."


     JAMES HAYES, 101, was born a slave to a plantation owner whose name
     he does not now recall, in Shelby Co., two miles from Marshall,
     Texas. Mr. John Henderson bought the place, six slaves and James
     and his mother. James, known as Uncle Jim, seems happy, still
     stands erect, and is very active for his age. He lives on a green
     slope overlooking the Trinity river, in Moser Valley, a Negro
     settlement ten miles northeast of Fort Worth.

"Dis nigger have lived a long time, yas, suh! I's 101 years ole, 'cause
I's bo'n Dec. 28, 1835. Dat makes me 102 come nex' December. I can'
'member my fust marster's name, 'cause when I's 'bout two years ole, me
and my sis, 'bout five, and our mammy was sol' to Marster John
Henderson. I don' 'member anything 'bout my pappy, but I 'member Marster
Henderson jus' like 'twas las' week. I's settin' hear a thinkin' of dem
ole days when I's a li'l nigger a cuttin' up on ole marster's
plantation. How I did play roun' with de chilluns till I's big enough
for to wo'k. After I's 'bout 13, I jus' peddles roun' de house for 'bout
a year, den 'twarn't long till I hoes co'n and potatoes. Dere's six
slaves on dat place and I coul' beat dem all a-hoein'.

"De marster takes good care of us and sometimes give us money, 'bout
25¢, and lets us go to town. Dat's when we was happy and celebrates.
We'uns spent all de money on candy and sweet drinks. Marster never
crowded us 'bout de wo'k, and never give any of us whuppin's. I's
sev'ral times needed a whuppin', but de marster never gives dis nigger
more'n a good scoldin'. De nearest I comes to gittin whupped, 'twas
once when I stole a plate of biscuits offen de table. I warn't in need
of 'em, but de devil in me caused me to do it. Marster and all de folks
comes in and sets down, and he asks for de biscuits, and I's under de
house and could hear 'em talk. De cook says, 'I's put de biscuits on de
table.' Marster says, 'If you did, de houn' got 'em.' Cook says, 'If a
houn' got 'em, 'twas a two-legged one, 'cause de plate am gone, too.'
I's made de mistake of takin' de plate. Marster give me de wors'
scoldin' I ever has and dat larned me a lesson.

"Not long after dat, Marster sol' my mammy to his brudder who lived in
Fort Worth. When dey took her away, I's powerful grieved. 'Bout dat time
de War started. De marster and his boy, Marster Ben, jined de army. De
marster was a sergeant. De women folks was proud of dere men folks, but
dey was powerful grieved. All de time de men's away, I could tell Missy
Elline and her mamma was worried. Dey allus sen's me for de mail, and
when I fotches it, dey run to meet me, anxious like, to open de letter,
and was skeert to do it. One day I fotches a letter and I could feel it
in my bones, dere was trouble in dat letter. Sure 'nough, dere was
trouble, heaps of it. It tells dat Marster Ben am kilt and dat dey was a
shippin' him home. All de ole folks, cullud and white, was cryin'. Missy
Elline, she fainted. When de body comes home, dere's a powerful big
funeral and after dat, dere's powerful weepin's and sadness on dat
place. De women folks don' talk much and no laughin' like 'fore. I
'members once de missy asks me to make a 'lasses cake. I says, 'I's got
no 'lasses.' Missy says, 'Don' say 'lasses, say molasses.' I says, 'Why
say molasses when I's got no 'lasses.' Dat was de fus' time Missy laugh
after de funeral.

"Durin' de War, things was 'bout de same, like always, 'cept some
vittles was scarce. But we'uns had plenty to eat and us slaves didn'
know what de War was 'bout. I guess we was too ign'rant. De white folks
didn' talk 'bout it 'fore us. When it's over, de Marster comes home and
dey holds a big celebration. I's workin' in de kitchen and dey tol' me
to cook heaps of ham, chicken, pies, cakes, sweet 'taters and lots of
vegetables. Lots of white folks comes and dey eats and drinks wine, dey
sings and dances. We'uns cullud folks jined in and was singin' out in de
back, 'Massa's in de Col', Har' Groun'. Marster asks us to come in and
sing dat for de white folks, so we'uns goes in de house and sings dat
for de white folks and dey jines in de chorus.

"Three days after de celebration, de marster calls all de slaves in de
house and says, 'Yous is all free, free as I am.' He tol' us we'uns
could go if we'uns wanted to. None of us knows what to do, dere warn't
no place to go and why would we'uns wan' to go and leave good folks like
de marster? His place was our home. So we'uns asked him if we could stay
and he says, 'Yous kin stay as long as yous want to and I can keep
yous.' We'uns all stayed till he died, 'bout a year after dat.

"When he was a-dyin', marster calls me to his bed and says, 'My dyin'
reques' is dat yous be taken to your mama.' He calls his son, Zeke, in
and tells him dat I should be fotched to my mamma. And 'bout in a year,
Marster Zeke fotches me to my mamma, in Johnson Station, south of
Arlington. She's wo'kin' for Jack Ditto and I's pleased to see her.

I's pleased to see my mammy, but after a few days I wants to go back to
Marshall with Marster Zeke. Dat was my home, so I kep' pesterin' marster
to fetch me back, but he slips off and leaves me. I has to stay and I's
been here ever since.

"I gits my fust job with Carter Cannon, on a farm, and stays seven
years. Den I goes to Fort Worth and takes a job cookin' in de Gran'
Hotel for three years. Den I goes to Dallas and cooks for private
families, and wo'ks for Marster James Ellison for 30 years. I stops four
years ago and comes out here to wait till de good Lawd calls me home.

"Bout gittin' married, after I quits de Gran' Hotel I marries and we'uns
has two chillen. My wife died three years later.

"You knows, I believes I's mo' contented as a slave. I's treated kind
all de time and had no frettin' 'bout how I gwine git on. Since I's been
free, I sometimes have heaps of frettin'. Course, I don' want to go back
into slavery, but I's paid for my freedom.

"I's never been sick abed, but I's had mo' misery dis las' year dan all
my life. It's my heart. If I live till December, I'll be 102 years old,
and dis ole heart have been pumpin' and pumpin' all dem years and have
missed nary a beat till dis las' year. I knows 'twon't be long till de
good Lawd calls dis ole nigger to cross de Ribber Jordan and I's ready
for de Lawd when he calls.


[Illustration: Felix Haywood (A)]

[Illustration: Felix Haywood (B)]

     FELIX HAYWOOD is a temperamental and whimsical old Negro of San
     Antonio, Texas, who still sees the sunny side of his 92 years, in
     spite of his total blindness. He was born and bred a slave in St.
     Hedwig, Bexar Co., Texas, the son of slave parents bought in
     Mississippi by his master, William Gudlow. Before and during the
     Civil War he was a sheep herder and cowpuncher. His autobiography is
     a colorful contribution, showing the philosophical attitude of the
     slaves, as well as shedding some light upon the lives of slave
     owners whose support of the Confederacy was not accompanied by
     violent hatred of the Union.

"Yes, sir, I'm Felix Haywood, and I can answer all those things that you
want to know. But, first, let me ask you this: Is you all a white man,
or is you a black man?"

"I'm black, blacker than you are," said the caller.

The eyes of the old blind Negro,--eyes like two murkey brown
marbles--actually twinkled. Then he laughed:

"No, you ain't. I knowed you was white man when you comes up the path
and speaks. I jus' always asks that question for fun. It makes white men
a little insulted when you dont know they is white, and it makes niggers
all conceited up when you think maybe they is white."

And there was the key note to the old Negro's character and temperament.
He was making a sort of privileged game with a sportive twist out of his
handicap of blindness.

As the interviewer scribbled down a note, the door to the little shanty
on Arabella Alley opened and a backless chair was carried out on the
porch by a vigorous old colored woman. She was Mrs. Ella Thompson,
Felix' youngest sister, who had known only seven years of slavery. After
a timid "How-do-you-do," and a comment on the great heat of the June
day, she went back in the house. Then the old Negro began searching his
92 years of reminiscences, intermixing his findings with philosophy,
poetry and prognostications.

"It's a funny thing how folks always want to know about the War. The war
weren't so great as folks suppose. Sometimes you didn't knowed it was
goin' on. It was the endin' of it that made the difference. That's when
we all wakes up that somethin' had happened. Oh, we knowed what was
goin' on in it all the time, 'cause old man Gudlow went to the post
office every day and we knowed. We had papers in them days jus' like

"But the War didn't change nothin'. We saw guns and we saw soldiers, and
one member of master's family, Colmin Gudlow, was gone
fightin'--somewhere. But he didn't get shot no place but one--that was
in the big toe. Then there was neighbors went off to fight. Some of 'em
didn't want to go. They was took away (conscription). I'm thinkin' lots
of 'em pretended to want to go as soon as they had to go.

"The ranch went on jus' like it always had before the war. Church went
on. Old Mew Johnson, the preacher, seen to it church went on. The kids
didn't know War was happenin'. They played marbles, see-saw and rode. I
had old Buster, a ox, and he took me about plenty good as a horse.
Nothin' was different. We got layed-onto(whipped) time on time, but
gen'rally life was good--just as good as a sweet potato. The only misery
I had was when a black spider bit me on the ear. It swelled up my head
and stuff came out. I was plenty sick and Dr. Brennen, he took good care
of me. The whites always took good care of people when they was sick.
Hospitals couldn't do no better for you today.... Yes, maybe it was a
black widow spider, but we called it the 'devil biter'.

"Sometimes someone would come 'long and try to get us to run up North
and be free. We used to laugh at that. There wasn't no reason to =run=
up North. All we had to do was to =walk=, but walk =South=, and we'd be
free as soon as we crossed the Rio Grande. In Mexico you could be free.
They didn't care what color you was, black, white, yellow or blue.
Hundreds of slaves did go to Mexico and got on all right. We would hear
about 'em and how they was goin' to be Mexicans. They brought up their
children to speak only Mexican.

"Me and my father and five brothers and sisters weren't goin' to Mexico.
I went there after the war for a while and then I looked 'round and
decided to get back. So I come back to San Antonio and I got a job
through Colonel Breckenridge with the waterworks. I was handling pipes.
My foreman was Tom Flanigan--he must have been a full-blooded Frenchman!

"But what I want to say is, we didn't have no idea of runnin' and
escapin'. We was happy. We got our lickings, but just the same we got
our fill of biscuits every time the white folks had 'em. Nobody knew how
it was to lack food. I tell my chillen we didn't know no more about
pants than a hawg knows about heaven; but I tells 'em that to make 'em
laugh. We had all the clothes we wanted and if you wanted shoes bad
enough you got 'em--shoes with a brass square toe. And shirts! Mister,
them was shirts that was shirts! If someone gets caught by his shirt on
a limb of a tree, he had to die there if he weren't cut down. Them
shirts wouldn't rip no more'n buckskin.

"The end of the war, it come jus' like that--like you snap your

"How did you know the end of the war had come?" asked the interviewer.

"How did we know it! Hallelujah broke out--

    "'Abe Lincoln freed the nigger
    With the gun and the trigger;
  And I ain't goin' to get whipped any more.
    I got my ticket,
    Leavin' the thicket,
  And I'm a-headin' for the Golden Shore!'

"Soldiers, all of a sudden, was everywhere--comin' in bunches, crossin'
and walkin' and ridin'. Everyone was a-singin'. We was all walkin' on
golden clouds. Hallelujah!

  "'Union forever,
  Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
  Although I may be poor,
  I'll never be a slave--
  Shoutin' the battle cry of freedom.'

"Everybody went wild. We all felt like heroes and nobody had made us
that way but ourselves. We was free. Just like that, we was free. It
didn't seem to make the whites mad, either. They went right on giving us
food just the same. Nobody took our homes away, but right off colored
folks started on the move. They seemed to want to get closer to freedom,
so they'd know what it was--like it was a place or a city. Me and my
father stuck, stuck close as a lean tick to a sick kitten. The Gudlows
started us out on a ranch. My father, he'd round up cattle, unbranded
cattle, for the whites. They was cattle that they belonged to, all
right; they had gone to find water 'long the San Antonio River and the
Guadalupe. Then the whites gave me and my father some cattle for our
own. My father had his own brand, 7 B ), and we had a herd to start out
with of seventy.

"We knowed freedom was on us, but we didn't know what was to come with
it. We thought we was goin' to get rich like the white folks. We thought
we was goin' to be richer than the white folks, 'cause we was stronger
and knowed how to work, and the whites didn't and they didn't have us to
work for them anymore. But it didn't turn out that way. We soon found
out that freedom could make folks proud but it didn't make 'em rich.

"Did you ever stop to think that thinking don't do any good when you do
it too late? Well, that's how it was with us. If every mother's son of a
black had thrown 'way his hoe and took up a gun to fight for his own
freedom along with the Yankees, the war'd been over before it began. But
we didn't do it. We couldn't help stick to our masters. We couldn't no
more shoot 'em than we could fly. My father and me used to talk 'bout
it. We decided we was too soft and freedom wasn't goin' to be much to
our good even if we had a education."

The old Negro was growing very tired, but, at a request, he instantly
got up and tapped his way out into the scorching sunshine to have his
photograph taken. Even as he did so, he seemed to smile with those
blurred, dead eyes of his. Then he chuckled to himself and said:

  "'Warmth of the wind
  And heat of the South,
  And ripe red cherries
  For a ripe, red mouth.'"

"Land sakes, Felix!" came through the window from sister Ella. "How you
carries on! Don't you be a-mindin' him, mister."


[Illustration: Phoebe Henderson]

     PHOEBE HENDERSON, a 105 year old Negro of Harrison Co., was born a
     slave of the Bradley family at Macon, Georgia. After the death of
     her mistress, Phoebe belonged to one of the daughters, Mrs. Wiley
     Hill, who moved to Panola County, Texas in 1859, where Phoebe lived
     until after the Civil War. For the past 22 years she has lived with
     Mary Ann Butler, a daughter, about five miles east of Marshall, in
     Enterprise Friendship Community. She draws a pension of $16.00 a

"I was bo'n a slave of the Bradley family in Macon, Georgia. My father's
name was Anthony Hubbard and he belonged to the Hubbard's in Georgia. He
was a young man when I lef' Georgia and I never heard from him since. I
'member my mother; she had a gang of boys. Marster Hill brought her to
Texas with us.

"My ole missus name was Bradley and she died in Tennessee. My lil'
missus was her daughter. After dey brought us to Texas in 1859 I worked
in the field many a day, plowin' and hoein', but the children didn't do
much work 'cept carry water. When dey git tired, dey'd say dey was sick
and the overseer let 'em lie down in de shade. He was a good and kindly
man and when we do wrong and go tell him he forgave us and he didn't
whip the boys 'cause he was afraid they'd run away.

"I worked in de house, too. I spinned seven curts a day and every night
we run two looms, makin' large curts for plow lines. We made all our
clothes. We didn't wear shoes in Georgia but in this place the land was
rough and strong, so we couldn't go barefooted. A black man that worked
in the shop measured our feet and made us two pairs a year. We had good
houses and dey was purty good to us. Sometimes missus give us money and
each family had their garden and some chickens. When a couple marry, the
master give them a house and we had a good time and plenty to wear and
to eat. They cared for us when we was sick.

"Master Wiley Hill had a big plantation and plenty of stock and hawgs,
and a big turnip patch. He had yellow and red oxen. We never went to
school any, except Sunday school. We'd go fishin' often down on the
creek and on Saturday night we'd have parties in the woods and play ring
plays and dance.

"My husband's name was David Henderson and we lived on the same place
and belonged to the same man. No, suh, Master Hill didn't have nothin'
to do with bringin' us together. I guess God done it. We fell in love,
and David asked Master Hill for me. We had a weddin' in the house and
was married by a colored Baptist preacher. I wore a white cotton dress
and Missus Hill give me a pan of flour for a weddin' present. He give us
a house of our own. My husband was good to me. He was a careful man and
not rowdy. When we'd go anywhere we'd ride horseback and I'd ride behin'

"I's scared to talk 'bout when I was freed. I 'member the soldiers and
that warrin' and fightin'. Toby, one of the colored boys, joined the
North and was a mail messenger boy and he had his horse shot out from
under him. But I guess its a good thing we was freed, after all.


[Illustration: Albert Hill]

     ALBERT HILL, 81, was born a slave of Carter Hill, who owned a
     plantation and about 50 slaves, in Walton Co., Georgia. Albert
     remained on the Hill place until he was 21, when he went to
     Robinson Co., Texas. He now lives at 1305 E. 12th St., Fort Worth,
     Texas, in a well-kept five-room house, on a slope above the Trinity

"I was born on Massa Carter Hill's plantation, in Georgia, and my name
am Albert Hill. My papa's name was Dillion, 'cause he taken dat name
from he owner, Massa Tom Dillion. He owned de plantation next to Massa
Hill's, and he owned my mammy and us 13 chillen. I don't know how old I
is, but I 'members de start of de war, and I was a sizeable chile den.

"De plantation wasn't so big and wasn't so small, jus' fair size, but it
am fixed first class and everything am good. We has good quarters made
out of logs and lots of tables and benches, what was made of split logs.
We has de rations and massa give plenty of de cornmeal and beans and
'lasses and honey. Sometimes we has tea, and once in a while we gits
coffee. And does we have de tasty and tender hawg meat! I'd like to see
some of dat hawg meat now.

"Massa am good but he don't 'low de parties. But we kin go to Massa
Dillion's place next to us and dey has lots of parties and de dances. We
dances near all night Saturday night, but we has to stay way in de back
where de white folks can't hear us. Sometimes we has de fiddle and de
banjo and does we cut dat chicken wing and de shuffle! We sho' does.

"I druv de ox, and drivin' dat ox am agitation work in de summer time
when it am hot, 'cause dey runs for water every time. But de worst
trouble I ever has is with one hoss. I fotches de dinner to de workers
out in de field and I use dat hoss, hitched to de two-wheel cart. One
day him am halfway and dat hoss stop. He look back at me, a-rollin' de
eye, and I knows what dat mean--'Here I stays, nigger.' But I heered to
tie de rope on de balky hosses tail and run it 'twixt he legs and tie to
de shaft. I done dat and puts some cuckleburrs on de rope, too. Den I
tech him with de whip and he gives de rear back'ards. Dat he best rear.
When he do dat it pull de rope and de rope pull de tail and de burrs
gits busy. Dat hoss moves for'ard faster and harder den what he ever
done 'fore, and he keep on gwine. You see, he am trying git 'way from he
tail, but de tail am too fast. Course, it stay right behin' him. Den I's
in de picklement. Dat hoss am runnin' away and I can't stop him. De
workers lines up to stop him but de cart give de shove and dat pull he
tail and, lawdy whoo, dat hose jump for'ard like de jackrabbit and go
through dat line of workers. So I steers him into de fence row, and
dere's no more runnin', but an awful mix-up with de hoss and de cart and
de rations. Dat hoss so sceered him have de quavers. Massa say, 'What
you doin'?' I says, 'Break de balk.' He say, 'Well, yous got everything
else broke. We'll see 'bout de balk later.'

Massa has de daughter, Mary, and she want to marry Bud Jackson, but
massa am 'gainst it. Bud am gwine to de army and dat give dis boy work,
'cause I de messenger boy for him and Missy Mary. Dey keeps company
unbeknownst and I carry de notes. I puts de paper in de hollow stump.
Once I's sho' I's kotched. Dere am de massa and he say, 'Where you been,
nigger?' I's sho' skeert and I says, 'I's lookin' for de squirrels.' So
massa goes 'way and when I tells you I's left, it ain't de proper word
for to 'splain, 'cause I's flew from here.' I tells Missy Mary and she
say, 'You sho' am de Lawd's chosen nigger.'

"De 'federate soldiers comes and dey takes de rations, but de massa has
dug de pit in de pasture and buried lots of de rations, so de soldiers
don't find so much. De clostest battle was Atlanta, more dan 25 mile

"When de war come over, Bud Jackson he come home. De massa welcome him,
to de sprise of everybody, and when Bud say he want to marry Missy Mary,
massa say, 'I guesses you has earnt her.'

"When freedom am here, massa call all us together and tells us 'bout de
difference 'tween freedom and hustlin' for ourselves and dependin' on
someone else. Most of de slaves stays, and massa pays them for de work,
and I stays till I's 21 year old, and I gits $7.00 de month and de
clothes and de house and all I kin eat. De massa have died 'fore dat,
and dere am powerful sorrow. Missy Mary and Massa Bud has de plantation
den, and dey don't want me to go to Texas. But dey goes on de visit and
while dey gone I takes de train for Robinson County, what am in Texas.

"I works at de pavin' work and at de hostlin' work and I works on de
hosses. Den I works for de Santa Fe railroad, handlin' freight, and I
works till 'bout three year ago, when I gits too old for to work no

"But I tells you 'bout de visit back to de old plantation. I been gone
near 40 year and I 'cides to go back, so I reaches de house and dere am
Missy Mary peelin' apples on de back gallery. She looks at me, and she
say, 'I got whippin' waiting for yous, 'cause you run off without
tellin' us.' Dere wasn't no more peelin' dat day, 'cause we sits and
talks 'bout de old times and de old massa. Dere sho' am de tears in dis
nigger's eyes. Den we talks 'bout de nigger messenger I was, and we
laughs a little. All day long we talks a little, and laughs and cries
and talks. I stays 'bout two weeks and seed lots of de folks I knowed
when I was young, de white folks and de niggers, too.

"I's too old to make any more visits, but I would like to go back to Old
Georgia once more. If Missy Mary was 'live, I'd try, but she am dead, so
I tries to wait for old Gabriel blow he horn. When he blow he horn, dis
nigger say, 'Louder, Gabriel, louder!'


     ROSINA HOARD does not know just where she was born. The first thing
     she remembers is that she and her parents were purchased by Col.
     Pratt Washington, who owned a plantation near Garfield, in Travis
     County, Texas. Rosina, who is a very pleasant and sincere person,
     says she has had a tough life since she was free. She receives a
     monthly pension of fourteen dollars, for which she expresses
     gratitude. Her address is 1301 Chestnut St., Austin, Tex.

"When I's a gal, I's Rosina Slaughter, but folks call me Zina. Yes, sar.
It am Zina dat and Zina dis. I says I's born April 9, 1859, but I 'lieve
I's older. It was somewhere in Williamson County, but I don't know the
massa's name. My mammy was Lusanne Slaughter and she was stout but in
her last days she got to be a li'l bit of a woman. She died only last
spring and she was a hunerd eleven years old.

"Papa was a Baptist preacher to de day of he death. He had asthma all
his days. I 'member how he had de sorrel hoss and would ride off and
preach under some arbor bush. I rid with him on he hoss.

"First thing I 'member is us was bought by Massa Col. Pratt Washington
from Massa Lank Miner. Massa Washington was purty good man. He boys,
George and John Henry, was de only overseers. Dem boys treat us nice.
Massa allus rid up on he hoss after dinner time. He hoss was a bay, call
Sank. De fields was in de bottoms of de Colorado River. De big house was
on de hill and us could see him comin'. He weared a tall, beaver hat

"De reason us allus watch for him am dat he boy, George, try larn us our
A B C's in de field. De workers watch for massa and when dey seed him
a-ridin' down de hill dey starts singin' out, 'Ole hawg 'round de
bench--Ole hawg 'round de bench.'

"Dat de signal and den everybody starts workin' like dey have something
after dem. But I's too young to larn much in de field and I can't read
today and have to make de cross when I signs for my name.

"Each chile have he own wood tray. Dere was old Aunt Alice and she done
all de cookin' for de chillen in de depot. Dat what dey calls de place
all de chillen stays till dere mammies come home from de field. Aunt
Alice have de big pot to cook in, out in de yard. Some days we had beans
and some day peas. She put great hunks of salt bacon in de pot, and bake
plenty cornbread, and give us plenty milk.

"Some big chillen have to pick cotton. Old Junus was de cullud overseer
for de chillen and he sure mean to dem. He carry a stick and use it,

"One day de blue-bellies come to de fields. Dey Yankee sojers, and tell
de slaves dey free. Some stayed and some left. Papa took us and move to
de Craft plantation, not far 'way, and farm dere.

"I been married three time. First to Peter Collinsworth. I quit him.
Second to George Hoard. We stayed togedder till he die, and have five
chillen. Den I marries he brother, Jim Hoard. I tells you de truth, Jim
never did work much. He'd go fishin' and chop wood by de days, but not
many days. He suffered with de piles. I done de housework and look after
de chillen and den go out and pick two hunerd pound cotton a day. I was
a cripple since one of my boys birthed. I git de rheumatis' and my knees
hurt so much sometime I rub wed sand and mud on dem to ease de pain.

"We had a house at Barton Springs with two rooms, one log and one box. I
never did like it up dere and I told Jim I's gwine. I did, but he come
and got me.

"Since freedom I's been through de toughs. I had to do de man's work,
chop down trees and plow de fields and pick cotton. I want to tell you
how glad I is to git my pension. It is sure nice of de folks to take
care of me in my old age. Befo' I got de pension I had a hard time. You
can sho' say I's been through de toughs.


     TOM HOLLAND was born in Walker County, Texas, and thinks he is
     about 97 years old. His master, Frank Holland, traded Tom to
     William Green just before the Civil War. After Tom was freed, he
     farmed both for himself and for others in the vicinity of his old
     home. He now lives in Madisonville, Texas.

"My owner was Massa Frank Holland, and I's born on his place in Walker
County. I had one sister named Gena and three brothers, named George and
Will and Joe, but they's all dead now. Mammy's name was Gena and my
father's named Abraham Holland and they's brung from North Carolina to
Texas by Massa Holland when they's real young.

"I chopped cotton and plowed and split rails, then was a horse rider. In
them days I could ride the wildest horse what ever made tracks in Texas,
but I's never valued very high 'cause I had a glass eye. I don't 'member
how I done got it, but there it am. I'd make a dollar or fifty cents to
ride wild horses in slavery time and massa let me keep it. I buyed
tobacco and candy and if massa cotch me with tobacco I'd git a whippin',
but I allus slipped and bought chewin' tobacco.

"We allus had plenty to eat, sich as it was them days, and it was good,
plenty wild meat and cornbread cooked in ashes. We toasted the meat on a
open fire, and had plenty possum and rabbit and fish.

"We wore them loyal shirts open all way down the front, but I never seed
shoes till long time after freedom. In cold weather massa tanned lots of
hides and we'd make warm clothes. My weddin' clothes was a white loyal
shirt, never had no shoes, married barefooted.

"Massa Frank, he one real good white man. He was awful good to his
Negroes. Missis Sally, she a plumb angel. Their three chillen stayed
with me nearly all the time, askin' this Negro lots of questions. They
didn't have so fine a house, neither, two rooms with a big hall through
and no windows and deer skins tacked over the door to keep out rain and
cold. It was covered with boards I helped cut after I got big 'nough.

"Massa Frank had cotton and corn and everything to live on, 'bout three
hundred acres, and overseed it himself, and seven growed slaves and five
little slaves. He allus waked us real early to be in the field when
daylight come and worked us till slap dark, but let us have a hour and a
half at noon to eat and rest up. Sometimes when slaves got stubborn he'd
whip them and make good Negroes out of them, 'cause he was real good to

"I seed slaves sold and auctioned off, 'cause I's put up to the highest
bidder myself. Massa traded me to William Green jus' 'fore the war, for
a hundred acres land at $1.00 a acre. He thought I'd never be much
'count, 'cause I had the glass eye, but I'm still livin' and a purty
fair Negro to my age. All the hollerin' and bawlin' took place and when
he sold me it took me most a year to git over it, but there I was,
'longin' to 'nother man.

"If we went off without a pass we allus went two at a time. We slipped
off when we got a chance to see young folks on some other place. The
patterrollers cotched me one night and, Lawd have mercy on me, they
stretches me over a log and hits thirty-nine licks with a rawhide loaded
with rock, and every time they hit me the blood and hide done fly. They
drove me home to massa and told him and he called a old mammy to doctor
my back, and I couldn't work for four days. That never kep' me from
slippin' off 'gain, but I's more careful the next time.

"We'd go and fall right in at the door of the quarters at night, so
massa and the patterrollers thinks we's real tired and let us alone and
not watch us. That very night we'd be plannin' to slip off somewheres to
see a Negro gal or our wife, or to have a big time, 'specially when the
moon shine all night so we could see. It wouldn't do to have torch
lights. They was 'bout all the kind of lights we had them days and if we
made light, massa come to see what we're doin', and it be jus' too bad
then for the stray Negro!

"That there war brung suffrin' to lots of people and made a widow out of
my missis. Massa William, he go and let one them Yankees git him in one
of them battles and they never brung him home. Missis, she gits the
letter from his captain, braggin' on his bravery, but that never helped
him after he was kilt in the war. She gits 'nother letter that us
Negroes is free and she tells us. We had no place to go, so we starts to
cry and asks her what we gwine do. She said we could stay and farm with
her and work her teams and use her tools and land and pay her half of
what we made, 'sides our supplies. That's a happy bunch of Negroes when
she told us this.

"Late in that evenin' the Negroes in Huntsville starts hollerin' and
shoutin' and one gal was hollerin' loud and a white man come ridin' on a
hoss and leans over and cut that gal nearly half in two and a covered
wagon come along and picks her up and we never heared nothin' more.

"I married Imogene, a homely weddin' 'fore the war. We didn't have much
to-do at our weddin'. I asks missis if I could have Imogene and she says
yes and that's all they was to our weddin'. We had three boys and three
gals, and Imogene died 'bout twenty years ago and I been livin' with one
child and 'nother. I gits a little pension from the gov'ment and does
small jobs round for the white people.

"I 'lieve they ought to have gived us somethin' when we was freed, but
they turned us out to graze or starve. Most of the white people turned
the Negroes slam loose. We stayed a year with missis and then she
married and her husband had his own workers and told us to git out. We
worked for twenty and thirty cents a day then, and I fin'ly got a place
with Dr. L.J. Conroe. But after the war the Negro had a hard struggle,
'cause he was turned loose jus' like he came into the world and no
education or 'sperience.

"If the Negro wanted to vote the Klu Kluxes was right there to keep him
from votin'. Negroes was 'fraid to git out and try to 'xert they
freedom. They'd ride up by a Negro and shoot him jus' like a wild hawg
and never a word said or done 'bout it.

"I's farmed and makin' a livin' is 'bout all. I come over here in
Madison County and rents from B.F. Young, clost to Midway and gits me a
few cows. I been right round here ever since. I lives round with my
chillen now, 'cause I's gittin' too old to work.

"This young bunch of Negroes is all right some ways, but they won't tell
the truth. They isn't raised like the white folks raised us. If we
didn't tell the truth our massa'd tear us all to pieces. Of course, they
is educated now and can get 'most any kind of work, some of them, what
we couldn't.


[Illustration: Eliza Holman]

     ELIZA HOLMAN, 82, was born a slave of the Rev. John Applewhite,
     near Clinton, Mississippi. In 1861 they came to Texas, settling
     near Decatur. Eliza now lives at 2507 Clinton Ave., Fort Worth,

"Talk 'bout de past from de time I 'members till now, slave days and
all? Dat not so hard. I knows what de past am, but what to come, dat am
different. Dey says, 'Let de past be de guide for de future,' but if you
don't know de future road, hows you gwine guide? I's sho' glad to tell
you all I 'members, but dat am a long 'memberance.

"I know I's past 80, for sho', and maybe more, 'cause I's old 'nough to
'member befo' de war starts. I 'members when de massa move to Texas by
de ox team and dat am some trip! Dey loads de wagon till dere ain't no
more room and den sticks we'uns in, and we walks some of de time, too.

"My massa am a preacherman and have jus' three slaves, me and pappy and
mammy. She am cook and housekeeper and I helps her. Pappy am de field
hand and de coachman and everything else what am needed. We have a nice,
two-room log house to live in and it am better den what mos' slaves
have, with de wood floor and real windows with glass in dem.

"Massa am good but he am strict. He don't have to say much when he wants
you to do somethin'. Dere am no honey words round de house from him, but
when him am preachin' in de church, him am different. He am honey man
den. Massa could tell de right way in de church but it am hard for him
to act it at home. He makes us go to church every Sunday.

"But I's tellin' you how we'uns come to Texas. De meals am cook by de
campfire and after breakfast we starts and it am bump, bump, bump all
day long. It am rocks and holes and mudholes, and it am streams and
rivers to cross. We'uns cross one river, musta been de Mississippi, and
drives on a big bridge and dey floats dat bridge right 'cross dat river.

"Massa and missus argues all de way to Texas. She am skeert mos' de time
and he allus say de Lawd take care of us. He say, 'De Lawd am a-guidin'
us.' She say, 'It am fools guidin' and a fool move for to start.' Dat de
way dey talks all de way. And when we gits in de mudhole 'twas a
argument 'gain. She say, 'Dis am some more of your Lawd's calls.' He
say, 'Hush, hush, woman. Yous gittin' sac'ligious.' So we has to walk
two mile for a man to git his yoke of oxen to pull us out dat mudhole,
and when we out, massa say, 'Thank de Lawd.' And missus say, 'Thank de
mens and de oxen.'

"Den one day we'uns camps under a big tree and when we'uns woke in de
mornin' dere am worms and worms and worms. Millions of dem come off dat
tree. Man, man, dat am a mess. Massa say dey army worms and missus say,
'Why for dey not in de army den?'

"After we been in Texas 'bout a year, missy Mary gits married to John
Olham. Missy Mary am massa's daughter. After dat I lives with her and
Massa John and den hell start poppin' for dis nigger. Missy Mary am good
but Massa John am de devil. Dat man sho' am cruel, he works me to death
and whups me for de leas' thing. My pappy say to me, 'You should 'come a
runaway nigger.' He runs 'way hisself and dat de las' time we hears of

"When surrender come I has to stay on with Massa Olham, 'cause I has no
place to go and I's too young to know how to do for myself. I stays
'bout till I's 16 year old and den I hunts some place to work and gits
it in Jacksboro and stays dere sev'ral years. I quits when I gits
married and dat 'bout nine year after de war end.

"I marries Dick Hines at Silver Creek and he am a farmer and a contrary
man. He worked jus' as hard at his contrariness as him did at his
farmin'. Mercy, how distressin' and worryment am life with dat nigger! I
couldn't stand it no longer dan five year till I tooks my getaway. De
nex' year I marries Sam Walker what worked for cattlement here in Fort
Worth and he died 'bout 20 year ago. Den 'twas 'bout 13 year ago I
marries Jack Holman and he died in 1930. I's sho' try dis marrin'
business but I ain't gwine try it no more, no, suh.

"'Twixt all dem husbands and workin' for de white folks I gits 'long,
but I's old and de last few years I can't work. Dey pays me $12.00 de
month from de State and dat's what I lives on. Shucks, I's not worth
nothin' no more. I jus' sets and sets and thinks of de old days and my
mammy. All dat make me sad. I'll tell you one dem songs what 'spresses
my feelin's 'zactly.

  "I's am climbin' Jacob's ladder, ladder,
  I's am climbin' Jacob's ladder, ladder,
  Soldier of de cross; O-h-h-h! Rise and shine,
  Give Gawd de glory, glory, glory,
  In de year of Jubilee.
  I wants to climb up Jacob's ladder, ladder,
  Jacob's ladder, till I gits in de new Jerusalem.

"Dat jus' how I feels."


     LARNCE HOLT, 79, was born near Woodville, in Tyler County, Texas, a
     slave of William Holt. He now lives in Beaumont, Texas.

"I's jus' small fry when freedom come, 'cause I's born in 1858. Bill
Holt was my massa's name, dat why dey calls me Larnce Holt. My massa, he
come from Alabama but my mammy and daddy born in Texas. Mammy named
Hannah and daddy Elbert. Mammy cooked for de white folks but daddy, he
de shoemaker. Dat consider' a fine job on de plantation, 'cause he make
all de shoes de white folks uses for everyday and all de cullud people
shoes. Every time dey kill de beef dey save de hide for leather and dey
put it in de trough call de tan vat, with de oak bark and other things,
and leave 'em dere long time. Dat change de raw hide to leather. When de
shoe done us black dem with soot, 'cause us have to do dat or wear 'em
red. I's de little tike what help my daddy put on de soot.

"Massa have de big plantation and I 'member de big log house. It have de
gallery on both sides and dey's de long hall down de center. De dogs and
sometimes a possum used to run through de hall at night. De hall was big
'nough to dance in and I plays de fiddle.

"My mammy have four boys, call Eb and Ander and Tobe. My big brother Eb
he tote so many buckets of water to de hands in de field he wore all de
hair offen de top he head.

"I be so glad when Christmas come, when I's li'l. Down in de quarter us
hang up stocking and us have plenty homemake ginger cake and candy make
out of sugar and maybe a apple. One Christmas I real small and my mammy
buy me a suit of clothes in de store. I so proud of it I 'fraid to sit
down in it. 'Terials in dem day was strong and last a long time. One
time I git de first pair shoes from a store. I thought dey's gold. My
daddy bought dem for me and dey have a brace in de toe and was nat'ral

"When freedom come us family breaks up. Old missy can't bear see my
mammy go, so us stay. Dey give my daddy a place on credick and he start
farm and dey even 'low him hosses and mule and other things he need. My
massa good to de niggers. I stays with my mammy till she die when I ten
year old and den my brother Eb he take me and raise me till I sixteen.
Den I go off for myself.

"Dem young year us have good time. I fiddle to de dance, play 'Git up in
de Cool,' and 'Hopus Creek and de Water.' Us sho' dress up for de dance.
I have black calico pants with red ribbon up de sides and a hickory
shirt. De gals all wears ribbons 'round de waist and one like it 'round
de head.

"Us have more hard time after freedom come dan in all de other time
together. Us livin' in trouble time. 'Bout 15 year ago I lost a leg, a
big log fall 'cross it when I makin' ties. I had plenty den but it go
for de hospital.


[Illustration: Bill Homer]

     BILL HOMER, 87, was born a slave on June 17, 1850, to Mr. Jack
     Homer, who owned a large plantation near Shreveport, La. In 1860
     Bill was given to Mr. Homer's daughter, who moved to Caldwell,
     Texas. Bill now lives at 3215 McKinley Ave., Fort Worth, Texas.

"I is 87 years old, 'cause I is born on June 17th, in 1850, and that's
'cording to de statement my missy give me. I was born on Massa Jack
Homer's plantation, close to Shreveport. Him owned my mammy and my pappy
and 'bout 100 other slaves. Him's plantation was a big un. I don't know
how many acres him have, but it was miles long. Dere was so many
buildings and sheds on dat place it was a small town. De massa's house
was a big two-story building and dere was de spinnin' house, de
smokehouse, de blacksmith shop and a nursery for de cullud chillens and
a lot of sheds and sich. In de nigger quarters dere was 50 one-room
cabins and dey was ten in a row and dere was five rows.

"De cabins was built of logs and had dirt floors and a hole whar a
window should be and a stone fireplace for de cookin' and de heat. Dere
was a cookhouse for de big house and all de cookin' for de white folks
was 'tended to by four cooks. We has lots of food, too--cornmeal and
vegetables and milk and 'lassas and meat. For mos' de meat dey kotched
hawgs in de Miss'sippi River bottoms. Once a week, we have white flour

"Some work was hard and some easy, but massa don' 'lieve in overworkin'
his slaves. Sat'day afternoon and Sunday, dere was no work. Some
whippin' done, but mos' reasonable. If de nigger stubborn, deys whips
'nough for to change his mind. If de nigger runs on, dat calls de good
whippin's. If any of de cullud folks has de misery, dey lets him res' in
bed and if de misery bad de massa call de doctor.

"I larnt to be coachman and drive for massa's family. But in de year of
1860, Missy Mary gits married to Bill Johnson and at dat weddin' massa
Homer gives me and 49 other niggers to her for de weddin' present. Massa
Johnson's father gives him 50 niggers too. Dey has a gran' weddin'. I
helps take care of de hosses and dey jus' kep' a-comin'. I 'spect dere
was more'n 100 peoples dere and dey have lots of music and dancin' and
eats and, I 'spects, drinks, 'cause we'uns made peach brandy. You see,
de massa had his own still.

"After de weddin' was over, dey gives de couple de infare. Dere's whar
dis nigger comes in. I and de other niggers was lined up, all with de
clean clothes on and den de massa say, 'For to give my lovin' daughter
de start, I gives you dese 50 niggers. Massa Bill's father done de same
for his son, and dere we'uns was, 100 niggers with a new massa.

"Dey loads 15 or 20 wagons and starts for Texas. We travels from
daylight to dark, with mos' de niggers walkin'. Of course, it was hard,
but we enjoys de trip. Dere was one nigger called Monk and him knows a
song and larned it to us, like this:

  "'Walk, walk, you nigger, walk!
  De road am dusty, de road am tough,
  Dust in de eye, dust in de tuft;
  Dust in de mouth, yous can't talk--
  Walk, you niggers, don't you balk.

  "'Walk, walk, you nigger walk!
  De road am dusty, de road am rough.
  Walk 'til we reach dere, walk or bust--
  De road am long, we be dere by and by.'

Now, we'uns was a-follerin' behin' de wagons and we'uns sings it to de
slow steps of de ox. We'uns don't sing it many times 'til de missy come
and sit in de back of de wagon, facin' we'uns and she begin to beat de
slow time and sing wid we'uns. Dat please Missy Mary to sing with us and
she laugh and laugh.

"After 'bout two weeks we comes to de place near Caldwell, in Texas, and
dere was buildin's and land cleared, so we's soon settled. Massa plants
mostly cotton and corn and clears more land. I larned to be a coachman,
but on dat place I de ox driver or uses de hoe.

"Yous never drive de ox, did yous? De mule ain't stubborn side of de ox,
de ox am stubborn and den some more. One time I's haulin' fence rails
and de oxen starts to turn gee when I wants dem to go ahead. I calls for
haw, but dey pays dis nigger no mind and keeps agwine gee. Den dey
starts to run and de overseer hollers and asks me, 'Whar you gwine?' I
hollers back, 'I's not gwine, I's bein' took.' Dem oxen takes me to de
well for de water, 'cause if dey gits dry and is near water, dey goes in
spite of de devil.

"De treatment from new massa am good, 'cause of Missy Mary. She say to
Massa Bill, 'if you mus' 'buse de nigger, 'buse yous own.' We has music
and parties. We plays de quill, make from willow stick when de sap am
up. Yous takes de stick and pounds de bark loose and slips it off, den
slit de wood in one end and down one side, puts holes in de bark and put
it back on de stick. De quill plays like de flute.

"I never goes out without de pass, so I never has trouble with de patter
rollers. Nigger Monk, him have de 'sperience with 'em. Dey kotched him
twice and dey sho' makes him hump and holler. After dat he gits pass or
stays to home.

"De War make no diff'runce with us, 'cept de soldiers comes and takes de
rations. But we'uns never goes hungry, 'cause de massa puts some niggers
hustlin' for wil' hawgs. After surrender, missy reads de paper and tells
dat we'uns is free, but dat we'uns kin stay 'til we is 'justed to de

"De second year after de War, de massa sells de plantation and goes back
to Louisiana and den we'uns all lef'. I goes to Laredo for seven year
and works on a stock ranch, den I goes to farmin'. I gits married in
1879 to Mary Robinson and we'uns has 14 chilluns. Four of dem lives

"I works hard all my life 'til 1935 and den I's too old. My wife and I
lives on de pensions we gits.


[Illustration: Scott Hooper]

     SCOTT HOOPER, 81, was born a slave of the Rev. Robert Turner, a
     Baptist minister who owned seven slave families. They lived on a
     small farm near Tenaha, then called Bucksnort, in Shelby County,
     Texas. Scott's father was owned by Jack Hooper, a neighboring
     farmer. Scott married Steve Hooper when she was thirteen and they
     had eight children, whose whereabouts are now unknown to her. She
     receives an $8.00 monthly pension.

"Well, I'll do de best I can to tell yous 'bout my life. I used to have
de good 'collection, but worryment 'bout ups and downs has 'fected my
'membance. I knows how old I is, 'cause mammy have it in de Bible, and
I's born in de year 1856, right in Shelby County, and near by Bucksnort,
what am call Tenaha now.

"Massa Turner am de bestest man he could be and taken good care of us,
for sho'. He treat us like humans. There am no whuppin's like some other
places has. Gosh. What some dem old slaves tell 'bout de whup and de
short rations and lots of hard work am awful, so us am lucky.

"Massa don't have de big place, but jus' seven families what was five to
ten in de family. My mammy had nine chillen, but my pappy didn't live on
us place, but on Jack Hooper's farm, what am four mile off. He comes
Wednesday and Saturday night to see us. His massa am good, too, and lets
him work a acre of land and all what he raises he can sell. Pappy plants
cotton and mostest de time he raises better'n half de bale to
he acre. Dat-a-way, he have money and he own pony
and saddle, and he brung us chillen candy and toys and coffee and tea
for mammy. He done save 'bout $500 when surrender come, but it am all
'Federate money and it ain't worth nothin'. He give it to us chillen to
play with.

"Massa Turner am de Baptist preacherman and he have de church at
Bucksnort. He run de store, too, and folks laughs 'cause 'sides being a
preacherman he sells whiskey in dat store. He makes it medicine for us,
with de cherry bark and de rust from iron nails in it. He call it,
'Bitters,' and it a good name. It sho' taste bitter as gall. When us
feels de misery it am bitters us gits. Castor oil am candy 'side dem

"My grandmammy am de cook and all us eats in de shed. It am plenty food
and meat and 'lasses and brown sugar and milk and butter, and even some
white flour. Course, peas and beans am allus on dat table.

"When surrender come massa calls all us in de yard and makes de talk. He
tells us we's free and am awful sorry and show great worryment. He say
he hate to part with us and us been good to him, but it am de law. He
say us can stay and work de land on shares, but mostest left. Course,
mammy go to Massa Hooper's place to pappy and he rents land from Massa
Hooper, and us live there seven years and might yet, but dem Klu Klux
causes so much troublement. All us niggers 'fraid to sleep in de house
and goes to de woods at night. Pappy gits 'fraid something happen to us
and come to Fort Worth. Dat in 1872 and he farms over in de bottom.

"I's married to Steve Hooper den, 'cause us marry when I's thirteen
years old. He goes in teamin' in Fort Worth and hauls sand and gravel
twenty-nine years. He doin' sich when he dies in 1900. Den I does
laundry work till I's too old. I tries to buy dis house and does fair
till age catches me and now I can't pay for it. All I has is $8.00 de
month and I's glad to git dat, but it won't even buy food. On sich
'mount, there am no way to stinch myself and pinch off de payments on de
house. Dat am de worryment.


[Illustration: Alice Houston (A)]

[Illustration: Alice Houston (B)]

     ALICE HOUSTON, pioneer nurse and midwife on whom many San Angeloans
     have relied for years, was born October 22, 1859. She was a slave
     of Judge Jim Watkins on his small plantation in Hays County, near
     San Marcos, Texas and served as house girl to her mistress, Mrs.
     Lillie Watkins for many years after the Civil War. At Mrs. Watkins'
     death she came with her husband, Jim Houston, to San Angelo, Texas
     where she has continued her services as nurse to white families to
     the present time.

Alice relates her slave day experiences as follows:

"I was jes' a little chile when dat Civil War broke out and I's had de
bes' white folks in de world. My ole mistress she train me for her
house girl and nurse maid. Dat's whar I's gits so many good ideas fer

"My mother's name was Mariah Watkins an' my father was named Henry
Watkins. He would go out in de woods on Sat'day nights and ketch
'possums and bring dem home and bake 'em wid taters. Dat was de best
eatin' we had. Course we had good food all de time but we jes' like dat
'possum best.

"My marster, he only have four families and he had a big garden fer all
of us. We had our huts at de back of de farm. Dey was made out of logs
and de cracks daubbed up wid mud. Dey was clean and comfortable though,
and we had good beds.

"When we was jes' little kids ole marster he ketch us a stealin'
watermelons and he say, 'Git! Git! Git! And when we runs and stoops over
to crawl through de crack of de fence he sho' give us a big spank. Den
we runs off cryin' and lookin' back like.

"Ole marster, he had lots of hogs and cows and chickens and I can jes'
taste dat clabber milk now. Ole miss, she have a big dishpan full of
clabber and she tells de girl to set dat down out in de yard and she
say, 'Give all dem chillun a spoon now and let dem eat dat.' When we all
git 'round dat pan we sho' would lick dat clabber up.

"We had straight slips made out of white lowell what was wove on dat ole
spinnin' wheel. Den dey make jeans for de men's breeches and dye it wid
copperas and some of de cloth dey dye wid sumac berries and hit was
sho' purty too.

"Ole miss, she make soda out of a certain kind of weed and dey makes
coffee out of dried sweet taters.

"My marster he didn' have no over-seer. He say his slaves had to be
treated right. He never 'lowed none of his slaves to be sold 'way from
their folks. I's nev'r, nev'r seen any slaves in chains but I's hear
talk of dem chains.

"My white folks, dey tries to teach us to read and spell and write some
and after ole marster move into town he lets us go to a real school.
That's how come I can read so many docto' books you see.

"We goes to church wid our white folks at dem camp meetin's and oh
Lawdy! Yes, mam, we all sho' did shout. Sometimes we jined de church

"We washed our clothes on Sat'day and danced dat night.

"On Christmas and New Year we would have all de good things old marster
and ole missus had and when any of de white folks marry or die dey sho'
carry on big. Weddin's and funerals, dem was de biggest times.

"When we gits sick, ole marster he have de docto' right now. He sho' was
good 'bout dat. Ole miss she make us wear a piece of lead 'round our
necks fer de malaria and to keeps our nose from bleedin' and all of us
wore some asafoetida 'round our necks to keep off contagion.

"When de war close ole marster calls up all de slaves and he say, 'You's
all free people now, jes' same as I is, and you can go or stay,' and we
all wants to stay 'cause wasn't nothin' we knowed how to do only what
ole marster tells us. He say he let us work de land and give us half of
what we make, and we all stayed on several years until he died. We
stayed with Miss Watkins, and here I is an ole nigga, still adoin' good
in dis world, a-tellin' de white folks how to take care of de


     JOSEPHINE HOWARD was born in slavery on the Walton plantation near
     Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She does not know her age, but when Mr. Walton
     moved to Texas, before the Civil War, she was old enough to work in
     the fields. Josephine is blind and very feeble. She lives with a
     daughter at 1520 Arthur St., Houston, Texas.

"Lawd have mercy, I been here a thousand year, seems like. 'Course I
ain't been here so long, but it seems like it when I gits to thinkin'
back. It was long time since I was born, long 'fore de war. Mammy's name
was Leonora and she was cook for Marse Tim Walton what had de plantation
at Tuscaloosa. Dat am in Alabamy. Papa's name was Joe Tatum and he lived
on de place 'jinin' ourn. Course, papa and mamy wasn't married like
folks now, 'cause dem times de white folks jes' put slave men and women
together like hosses or cattle.

"Dey allus done tell us it am wrong to lie and steal, but why did de
white folks steal my mammy and her mammy? Dey lives clost to some water,
somewheres over in Africy, and de man come in a little boat to de sho'
and tell dem he got presents on de big boat. Most de men am out huntin'
and my mammy and her mammy gits took out to dat big boat and dey locks
dem in a black hole what mammy say so black you can't see nothin'. Dat
de sinfulles' stealin' dey is.

"De captain keep dem locked in dat black hole till dat boat gits to
Mobile and dey is put on de block and sold. Mammy is 'bout twelve year
old and dey am sold to Marse Tim, but grandma dies in a month and dey
puts her in de slave graveyard.

"Mammy am nuss gal till she git older and den cook, and den old Marse
Tim puts her and papa together and she has eight chillen. I reckon Marse
Tim warn't no wor'ser dan other white folks. De nigger driver sho' whip
us, with de reason and without de reason. You never knowed. If dey done
took de notion dey jes' lays it on you and you can't do nothin'.

"One mornin' we is all herded up and mammy am cryin' and say dey gwine
to Texas, but can't take papa. He don't 'long to dem. Dat de lastes'
time we ever seed papa. Us and de women am put in wagons but de men
slaves am chained together and has to walk.

"Marse Tim done git a big farm up by Marshall but only live a year dere
and his boys run de place. Dey jes' like dey papa, work us and work us.
Lawd have mercy, I hear dat call in de mornin' like it jes' jesterday,
'All right, everybody out, and you better git out iffen you don't want
to feel dat bullwhip 'cross you back.'

"My gal I lives with don't like me to talk 'bout dem times. She say it
ain't no more and it ain't good to think 'bout it. But when you has live
in slave times you ain't gwine forgit dem, no, suh! I's old and blind
and no 'count, but I's alive, but in slave times I'd be dead long time
ago, 'cause white folks didn't have no use for old niggers and git shet
of dem one way or t'other.

"It ain't till de sojers comes we is free. Dey wants us to git in de
pickin', so my folks and some more stays. Dey didn't know no place to go
to. Mammy done took sick and die and I hires out to cook for Missy
Howard, and marries her coachman, what am Woodson Howard. We farms and
comes to Houston nigh sixty year ago. Dey has mule cars den. Woodson
gits a job drayin' and 'fore he dies we raises three boys and seven
gals, but all 'cept two gals am dead now. Dey takes care of me, and dat
all I know 'bout myself.


     LIZZIE HUGHES, blind Negress of Harrison County, Texas, was born on
     Christmas Day, 1848, a slave of Dr. Newton Fall, near Nacogdoches.
     Lizzie married when she was eighteen and has lived near Marshall
     since that time. She is cared for by a married daughter, who lives
     on Lizzie's farm.

"My name am Lizzie Fall Hughes. I was borned on Christmas at Chireno,
'tween old Nacogdoches town and San Augustine. Dat eighty-nine year ago
in slavery time. My young master give me my age on a piece of paper when
I married but the rats cut it up.

"I 'longed to Dr. Fall and old Miss Nancy, his wife. They come from
Georgia. Papa was named Ed Wilson Fall and mammy was June. Dr. Newton
Fall had a big place at Chireno and a hundred slaves. They lived in li'l
houses round the edge of the field. We had everything we needed. Dr.
Newton run a store and was a big printer. He had a printin' house at
Chireno and 'nother in California.

"The land was red and they worked them big Missouri mules and sho'
raised somethin'. Master had fifty head of cows, too, and they was
plenty wild game. When master was gone he had a overseer, but tell him
not to whip. He didn't 'lieve in rushin' his niggers. All the white
folks at Chireno was good to they niggers. On Saturday night master give
all the men a jug of syrup and a sack of flour and a ham or middlin' and
the smokehouse was allus full of beef and pork. We had a good time on
that place and the niggers was happy. I 'member the men go out in the
mornin', singin':

  "'I went to the barn with a shinin', bright moon,
  I went to the wood a-huntin' a coon.
  The coon spied me from a sugar maple tree,
  Down went my gun and up the tree went me.
  Nigger and coon come tumblin' down,
  Give the hide to master to take off to town,
  That coon was full of good old fat,
  And master brung me a new beaver hat.'

  "Part of 'nother song go like this:

  "'Master say, you breath smell of brandy,
  Nigger say, no, I's lick 'lasses candy.'

"When old master come to the lot and hear the men singin' like that, he
say, 'Them boys is lively this mornin', I's gwine git a big day's
plowin' done. They did, too, 'cause them big Missouri mules sho' tore up
that red land. Sometime they sing:

  "'This ain't Christmas mornin', just a long summer day,
  Hurry up, yellow boy and don't run 'way,
  Grass in the cotton and weeds in the corn,
  Get in the field, 'cause it soon be morn.'

"At night when the hands come in they didn't do nothin' but eat and cut
up round the quarters. They'd have a big ball in a big barn there on the
place and sixty and seventy on the floor at once, singin':

  "'Juba this and Juba that,
  Juba killed a yaller cat.
  Juba this and Juba that,
  Hold you partner where you at.'

"The whites preached to the niggers and the niggers preached to
theyselves. Gen'man sho' could preach good them times; everybody cried,
they preached so good. I's a mourner when I git free.

"I's big 'nough to work round the house when war starts, but not big
'nough to be studyin' 'bout marryin'. I's sho' sorry when we's sot
free. Old master didn't tell his niggers they free. He didn't want them
to go. On a day he's gone, two white men come and showed us a piece of
paper and say we's free now. One them men was a big mill man and told
mama he'll give her $12.00 a month and feed her seven li'l niggers if
she go cook for his millhands. Papa done die in slavery, so mama goes
with the man. I run off and hid under the house. I wouldn't leave till I
seed master. When he come home he say, 'Lizzie, why didn't you go?' I
say, 'I don't want to leave my preserves and light bread.' He let me

"Then I gits me a li'l man. He works for master in the store and I works
round the house. Master give me two dresses and a pair of shoes when I
married. We lived with him a year or two and then come to Marshall. My
husband worked on public work and I kept house for white folks and we
saved our money and buyed this li'l farm. My man's dead fourteen years
now and my gal and her husband keeps the farm goin'.

"Me and my man didn't have nothin' when we left Nacogdoches, but we
works hard and saves our money and buyed this farm. It 'pear like these
young niggers don't try to 'cumulate nothin'.


[Illustration: Moses Hursey]

     MOSE HURSEY believes he is about eighty-two years old. He was born
     in slavery on a plantation in Louisiana, and was brought to Texas
     by his parents after they were freed. Mose has been a preacher most
     of his life, and now believes he is appointed by God to be "Head
     Prophet of the World." He lives with his daughter at 1120 Tenth
     St., Dallas, Texas.

"I was born somewhere in Louisiana, but can't rec'lect the place exact,
'cause I was such a little chap when we left there. But I heared my
mother and father say they belonged to Marse Morris, a fine gentleman,
with everything fine. He sold them to Marse Jim Boling, of Red River
County, in Texas. So they changes their name from Morris to Boling, Liza
Boling and Charlie Boling, they was. Marse Boling didn't buy my brother
and sister, so that made me the olderest child and the onliest one.

"The Bolings had a 'normous big house and a 'normous big piece of land.
The house was the finest I ever seen, white and two-story. He had about
sixty slaves, and he thought a powerful lot of my folks, 'cause they was
good workers. My mother, special, was a powerful 'ligious woman.

"We lived right well, considerin'. We had a little log house like the
rest of the niggers and I played round the place. Eatin' time come, my
mother brung a pot of peas or beans and cornbread or side meat. I had
'nother brother and sister comin' 'long then, and we had tin plates and
cups and knives and spoons, and allus sot to our food.

"We had 'nough of clothes, sich as they was. I wore shirttails out of
duckings till I was a big boy. All the little niggers wore shirttails.
My mother had fair to middlin' cotton dresses.

"All week the niggers worked plantin' and hoein' and carin' for the
livestock. They raised cotton and corn and veg'tables, and mules and
horses and hawgs and sheep. On Sundays they had meetin', sometimes at
our house, sometimes at 'nother house. Right fine meetin's, too. They'd
preach and pray and sing--shout, too. I heared them git up with a
powerful force of the spirit, clappin' they hands and walkin' round the
place. They'd shout, 'I got the glory. I got that old time 'ligion in my
heart.' I seen some powerful 'figurations of the spirit in them days.
Uncle Billy preached to us and he was right good at preachin' and
nat'rally a good man, anyways. We'd sing:

  "'Sisters, won't you help me bear my cross,
  Help me bear my cross,
  I been done wear my cross.
  I been done with all things here,
  'Cause I reach over Zion's Hill.
  Sisters, won't you please help bear my cross,
  Up over Zion's hill?'

"I seed a smart number of wagons and mules a-passin' along and some camp
along the woods by our place. I heared they was a war and folks was
goin' with 'visions and livestock. I wasn't much bigger'n a minute and I
was scared clean to my wits.

"Then they's a time when paw says we'll be a-searchin' a place to stay
and work on a pay way. They was a consider'ble many niggers left the
Bolings. The day we went away, which was 'cause 'twas the breakin' up of
slavery, we went in the wagon, out the carriage gate in front the
Boling's place. As we was leavin', Mr. Boling called me and give me a
cup sweet coffee. He thought consid'ble plenty of me.

"We went to a place called Mantua, or somethin' like that. My paw says
he'll make a man of me, and he puts me to breakin' ground and choppin'
wood. Them was bad times. Money was scarce and our feedin' was pore.

"My paw died and maw and me and the children, Nancy and Margina and
Jessie and George, moves to a little place right outside Sherman. Maw
took in washin' and ironin'. I went one week to school and the teacher
said I learned fastest of any boy she ever see. She was a nice, white
lady. Maw took me out of school 'cause she needed me at home to tend the
other children, so's she could work. I had a powerful yearnin' to read
and write, and I studied out'n my books by myself and my friends helped
me with the cipherin'.

"I did whatever work I could find to do, but my maw said I was a
different mood to the other children. I was allus of a 'ligious and
serious turn of mind. I was baptised when I was fifteen and then when I
was about twenty-five I heared a clear call to preach the Gospel-word. I
went to preachin' the word of Gawd. I got married and raised a family of
children, and I farmed and preached.

"I was just a preacher till about thirty years ago, and then Gawd
started makin' a prophet out of me. Today I am Mose Hursey, Head Prophet
to the World. They is lesser prophets, but I is the main one. I became a
great prophet by fastin' and prayin'. I fast Mondays and Wednesdays and
Fridays. I know Gawd is feedin' the people through me. I see him in
visions and he speaks to me. In 1936 I saw him at Commerce and Jefferson
Streets (Dallas) and he had a great banner, sayin', 'All needs a
pension.' In August this year I had a great vision of war in the eastern
corner of the world. I seen miles of men marchin' and big guns and
trenches filled with dead men. Gawd tells me to tell the people to be
prepared, 'cause the tides of war is rollin' this way, and all the
thousands of millions of dollars they spend agin it ain't goin' to stop
it. I live to tell people the word Gawd speaks through me.


[Illustration: Charley Hurt]

     CHARLEY HURT, 85, was born a slave of John Hurt, who owned a large
     plantation and over a hundred slaves, in Oglethorpe County,
     Georgia. Charley stayed with his master for five years after the
     Civil War. In 1899 Charley moved to Fort Worth, and now lives at
     308 S. Harding St.

"Yes, suh, I'm borned in slavery and not 'shamed of it, 'cause I can't
help how I'm borned. Dere am folks what wont say dey borned in slavery.

"Us plantation am near Maxie, over in Oglethorpe County, in Georgia, and
massa am John Hurt and he have near a hunerd slaves. Us live in de li'l
cabin make from logs chink with mud and straw and twigs am mix with dat
mud to make it hold. De big chimley am outside de cabin mostly, and am
logs and mud, too. De cabin am 'bout ten by twenty feet and jus' one

"Would I like some dem rations we used to git, now? 'Deed I would. Dem
was good, dat meat and cornmeal and 'lasses and plenty milk and
sometimes butter. De meat am mostest pork, with some beef, 'cause massa
raise plenty hawgs and tendin' meat curin' am my first work. I puts dat
meat in de brine and den smokes de hams and shoulders. When hawg-killin'
time come I'm busy watchin' de smokehouse, what am big, and hams and
sich hung on racks 'bout six feet high from de fireplace. Den it my duty
to keep dat fire smoulderin' and jus' smokin'. De more smoke, de better.
Den I packs dat meat in hawgs heads and puts salt over each layer. Dat
am some meat!

"I mus' tell you 'bout dat whiskey and brandy. Massa have he own still
and allus have three barrels or more whiskey and brandy on hand. Den on
Christmas Day, him puts a tub of whiskey or brandy in de yard and hangs
tin cups 'round de tub. Us helps ourselves. At first us start jokin'
with each other, den starts to sing and everybody am happy. Massa
watches us and if one us gittin' too much, massa sends him to he cabin
and he sleep it off. Anyway, dat one day on massa's place all am happy
and forgits dey am slaves.

"De last Christmas 'fore surrender I gits too much and am sick. Gosh
a-mighty! Dat de sickest I ever be and dat de last time I gits drunk.
Yes, suh, dat spoil dis nigger's taste for whiskey.

"Now, 'bout whuppin's, dere am only one whuppin' what am give. Jerry
gits dat, 'cause he wont do what massa say. He tie Jerry on de log and
have de rawhide whip.

"Dere am system on dat plantation. Everybody do he own work, sich as
field hands, stock hands, de blacksmith and de shoemaker and de weavers
and clothes makers. I'm all 'round worker and goes after de mail, jus'
runnin' 'round de place.

"When de war start, all massa's sons jines de army. He have three. John
am de captain and James carry de flag and I guesses August am jus' de
plain sojer. Dey all comes home 'fore de war am finish. August git run
over by de wheel of de cannon truck and it cripple he legs so he can't
walk good. James gits sick with some kind fever misery and he am sent
home. Den John am shot in de shoulder and it stay sore and won't heal.
One day Jerry say to massa he want to look at dat sore. Him see
somethin' stickin' out and he pull it. It a piece of young massa's coat
and de bullet have carry it into de flesh and it am dere a whole year.
De sore gits all right after dat out.

"'Fore de boys goes to fightin' dey trains near de place where am de big
field for to train hunerds of sojer boys. I likes dat, 'cause de drums
goes, 'ter-ump, ter-ump, ter-ump, tump, tump,' and de fifes goes, 'te,
te, ta, te, tat' and plays Dixie. One day Young massa trainin' dem
sojers and he am walkin' backwards and facin' dem sojers, and jus' as
him say, 'Halt,' down he go, flat on he back. Right away quick, him say,
''Bout face,' 'cause him don't want dem sojers to laugh in he face, so
he turn dem 'round.

"When surrender come, all dem what not kilt comes home and dey have a
big 'ception in Maxie. Dey have lots of long tables and de food am put
on 'fore de train come in. Dere was two coaches full of de boys and dey
doesn't wait for dat train to stop. No, suh, dey crawls out de windows.
Well, dere am huggin' and kissin' of de homefolks, and dey all laughin'
and cryin' at de same time, 'cause of de joy dey's feelin'. Den dey all
sets down to de feast. Massa make de welcome talk. I done hide in de
wagon full of hams and cakes and pies and dere a canvas over dat stuff,
and dat how I gits to dat welcome home.

"I crawls out 'fore dey unloads de wagon and 'fore long massa see me and
him say, 'Gosh for hemlock! Boy, how comes you here?' I lets my face
slip a li'l, 'bout half a laugh. I says, 'I rides under dat canvas.' Dat
start him laughin' and he tells de people dat I'm a pat'otic nigger.
After dey all eats us niggers gits to eat. For once, I gits plenty pie
and cake.

"Us never have much joyments in slave time. Only when de corn ready for
huskin' all de neighbors comes dere and a whole big crowd am a-huskin'
and singin'. I can't 'member dem songs, 'cause I'm not much for singin'.
One go like dis:

  "'Pull de husk, break de ear;
  Whoa, I's got de red ear here.'

"When you finds de red ear, dat 'titles you to de prize, like kissin' de
gal or de drink of brandy or somethin'. Dey not 'nough red ears to suit

"I'm thirteen year when surrender come. Massa don't call us to him like
other massas done. Him jus' go 'mongst de folks and say, 'Well, folks,
yous am free now and no longer my prop'ty, and yous 'titled to pay for
work. I 'member old Jerry sings, 'Free, free as de jaybird, free to flew
like de jaybird. Whew!'

"Some de cullud folks stays and some goes. Mostest dem stays and works
de land on shares. I stays till I'm eighteen year and den I works for a
farmer den for a blacksmith den some carpenter work and some
railroadin'. De fact am, I works at anything I could find to does. I
does dat most my life.

"It good for me to stay with Massa Hurt after freedom, 'cause den day
plenty trouble in every place. Dere am fightin' 'twixt white and cullud
folks over votin' and sich. Dey try 'lect my brudder to Congress one
time, but he not 'lect, 'cause de white man what am runnin' 'gainst him
gits a cullud preacher to run 'gainst dem both. Dat split de cullud
votes and de white man am 'lect. I votes like de white man say, couple
times, but after dat I stops votin'. It ain't right for me to vote 'less
I knows how and why. I larns to read and den starts votin' 'gain.

"After de war de Ku Klux am org'nize and dey makes de niggers plenty
trouble. Sometimes de niggers has it comin' to 'em and lots of times dey
am 'posed on. Dere a old, cullud man name George and he don't trouble
nobody, but one night de white caps--dat what dey called--comes to
George's place. Now, George know of some folks what am whupped for
no-cause, so he prepare for dem white caps. When dey gits to he house
George am in de loft. He tell dem he done nothin' wrong and for dem to
go 'way, or he kill dem. Dey say he gwine have a free sample of what he
git if he do wrong and one dem white caps starts up de ladder to git
George and George shoot him dead. 'Nother white cap starts shootin'
through de ceilin'. He can't see George but through de cracks George can
see and he shoots de second feller. So dey leaves and say dey come back.
George runs to he old massa and he takes George to de law men. Never
nothin' am done 'bout him killin' de white caps, 'cause dem white caps
goes 'round 'busing niggers.

"I comes to Texas 'bout 40 year since and gits by purty good till de
depression comes, den it hard for me. My age am 'gainst me, too, and
many de time I's wish for some dat old ham and bacon on de old

"First I marries Ann Arrant, in 1898 dat was, and us have three chillen
but dey all dead. Us git sep'rate in 1917 and I marries Mary Durham in
1921, and us still livin' together. Us have no chillen. Mammy have ten
chillen but I'm de only one what am livin' now, 'cause I'm de youngest.


[Illustration: Wash Ingram]

     WASH INGRAM, A 93 year old Negro, was born a slave of Capt. Jim
     Wall, of Richmond, Va. His father, Charley Wall Ingram, ran away
     and secured work in a gold mine. Later, his mother died and Capt.
     Wall sold Wash and his two brothers to Jim Ingram, of Carthage,
     Texas. When Wash's father learned this, he overtook his sons before
     they reached Texas and put himself back in bondage, so he could be
     with his children. Wash served as water carrier for the Confederate
     soldiers at the battle of Mansfield, La. He now lives with friends
     on the Elysian Fields Road, seven miles southeast of Marshall,

"I don' know just how ole I is. I was 'bout 18 when de War was over. I
was bo'n on Captain Wall's place in Richmond, Virgini'. Pappy's name was
Charlie and mammy's name was Ca'line. I had six sisters and two brothers
and all de sisters is dead. I haven't heard from my brothers since
Master turn us loose, a year after de war.

"Pappy say dat he and mammy was sold and traded lots of times in
Virgini'. We always went by de name of whoever we belonged to. I first
worked as a roustabout boy dere on Capt. Wall's place in Virgini'. He
was sho' a big man, weighed more'n 200 pounds. He owned lots of niggers
and worked lots of land. The white folks was good to us, but Pappy was a
fightin' man and he run off and got a job in a gold mine in Virgini'.

"After pappy run away, mammy died and den one day de overseer herded up
a big bunch of us niggers and driv us to Barnum's Tradin' Ya'd down in
Mississippi. Dat's a place where dey sold and traded Niggers jus' lak
stock. I cried when Capt. Wall sold me, 'cause dat was one man dat sho'
was good to his niggers. But he had too many slaves.

"Cotton was a good price den and dem slave buyers had plenty of money.
We was sold to Jim Ingram, of Carthage. He bought a big gang of slaves
and refugeed part of 'em to Louisiana and part to Texas. We come to
Texas in ox wagons. While we was on the way, camped at Keachie,
Louisiana, a man come ridin' into camp and someone say to me, 'Wash,
dar's your pappy.' I didn' believe it 'cause pappy was workin' in a gold
mine in Virgini'. Some of de men told pappy his chillen is in camp and
he come and fin' me and my brothers. Den he jine Master Ingram's slaves
so he can be with his chillen.

"Master Ingram had a big plantation down near Carthage and lots of
niggers. He also buyed land, cleared it and sol' it. I plowed with oxen.
We had a overseer and sev'ral taskmasters. Dey whip de niggers for not
workin' right, or for runnin' 'way or pilferin' roun' master's house. We
woke up at four o'clock and worked from sunup to sundown. Dey give us an
hour for dinner. Dem dat work roun' de house et at tables with plates.
Dem dat work in de field was drove in from work and fed jus' like hosses
at a big, long wooden trough. Dey had to eat with a wooden spoon. De
trough and de food was clean and always plenty of it, and we stood up to
eat. We went to bed soon after supper durin' de week for dat's 'bout all
we feel like doin' after workin' twelve hours. We slep' in wooden beds
what had corded rope mattresses.

"We had to learn de best way we could, 'cause dere was no schools. We
had church out in de woods. I didn' see no money till after de
surrender. Guess we didn' need any, 'cause dey give us food and clothes
and tobacco. We didn' have to buy nothin'. I had broadcloth clothes, a
blue jean overcoat and good shoes and boots.

"De niggers had heap better times dan now. Now we work all time and
can't git nothin'. Sat'day night we would have parties and dance and
play ring plays. We had de parties dere in a big double log house. Dey
would give us whiskey and wine and cherry brandy, but dere wasn' no
shootin' or gamblin'. Dey didn' 'low it. De men and women didn' do like
dey do now. If dey had such carryin's on as dey do now, de white folks
would have whipped 'em good.

"I 'member dat war and I sees dem cannons and hears 'em. I toted water
for de soldiers what fought at de Battle of Mansfield. Master Ingram had
350 slaves when de war was over but he didn' turn us loose till a year
after surrender. He telled us dat de gov'ment goin' to give us 40 acres
of land and a pair of mules, but we didn' git nothin'. After Master
Ingram turn us loose, pappy bought a place at De Berry, Texas, and I
live with him till after I was grown. Den I marry and move to Louisiana.
I come back to Texas two years ago and lived with my friends here ever
since. My wife died 18 years ago and I had a hard time 'cause I don'
have no folks, but I's managed to git someone to let me work for
somethin' to eat, a few clothes and a place to sleep.


[Illustration: Carter J. Jackson]

     CARTER J. JACKSON, 85, was born in Montgomery, Alabama, a slave of
     Parson Dick Rogers. In 1863 the Rogers family brought Carter to
     Texas and he worked for them as a slave until four years after
     emancipation. Carter was with his master's son, Dick, when he was
     killed at Pittsburg, Pa. Carter married and moved to Tatum in 1871.

"If you's wants to know 'bout slavery time, it was Hell. I's born in
Montgomery, over yonder in Alabama. My pappy named Charles and come from
Florida and mammy named Charlotte and her from Tennessee. They was sold
to Parson Rogers and brung to Alabama by him. I had seven brothers call
Frank and Benjamin and Richardson and Anderson and Miles, Emanuel and
Gill, and three sisters call Milanda, Evaline and Sallie, but I don't
know if any of 'em are livin' now.

"Parson Rogers come to Texas in '63 and brung 'bout 42 slaves and my
first work was to tote water in the field. Parson lived in a good, big
frame house, and the niggers lived in log houses what had dirt floors
and chimneys, and our bunks had rope slats and grass mattress. I sho'
wish I could have cotch myself sleepin' on a feather bed them days. I
wouldn't woke up till Kingdom Come.

"We et vegetables and meat and ash cake. You could knock you mammy in
the head, eatin' that ash cake bread. I ain't been fit since. We had
hominy cooked in the fireplace in big pots that ain't bad to talk 'bout.
Deer was thick them days and we sot up sharp stobs inside the pea field
and them young bucks jumps over the fence and stabs themselves. That the
only way to cotch them, 'cause they so wild you couldn't git a fair shot
with a rifle.

"Massa Rogers had a 300 acre plantation and 200 in cultivation and he
had a overseer and Steve O'Neal was the nigger driver. The horn to git
up blowed 'bout four o'clock and if we didn't fall out right now, the
overseer was in after us. He tied us up every which way and whip us, and
at night he walk the quarters to keep us from runnin' 'round. On Sunday
mornin' the overseer come 'round to each nigger cabin with a big sack of
shorts and give us 'nough to make bread for one day.

"I used to steal some chickens, 'cause we didn't have 'nough to eat, and
I don' think I done wrong, 'cause the place was full of 'em. We sho'
earned what we et. I'd go up to the big house to make fires and lots of
times I seed the mantel board lined with greenbacks, 'tween mantel and
wall and I's snitched many a $50.00 bill, but it 'federate money.

"Me and four of her chillen standin' by when mammy's sold for $500.00.
Cryin' didn't stop 'em from sellin' our mammy 'way from us.

"I 'member the war was tough and I went 'long with young massa Dick when
he went to the war, to wait on him. I's standin' clost by when he was
kilt under a big tree in Pittsburg, and 'fore he die he ask Wes Tatum,
one the neighbor boys from home, to take care of me and return me to
Massa George.

"I worked on for Massa Rogers four year after that, jus' like in slavery
time, and one day he call us and say we can go or stay. So I goes with
my pappy and lives with him till 1871. Then I marries and works on the
railroad when it's builded from Longview to Big Sandy, 'bout 1872. I
works there sev'ral years and I raises seven chillen. After I quits the
railroad I works wherever I can, on farms or in town.


[Illustration: James Jackson]

     JAMES JACKSON, 87, was born a slave to the Alexander family, in
     Caddo Parish, La. When he was about two, his master moved to Travis
     County, Texas. A short time later he and his two brothers were
     stolen and sold to Dr. Duvall, in Bastrop Co., Texas. He worked
     around Austin till he married, when he moved to Taylor and then to
     Kaufman. In 1929 he went to Fort Worth where he has lived ever

"I was bo'n at Caddo Parish, dats in Louisiana, on de Doc Alexander
plantation. My mother says I was bo'n on de 18th day of December, in de
year of 1850. I guess dat's right, 'cause I's 87 years ole dis comin'

"Jus' 'bout dat time dey started shippin' de darkies to Texas. My
marster moved to Travis County, Texas, and tuk all his slaves wid him. I
was too young to 'member, but my mother, she told me 'bout it.

"It wasn' long after we was on Marster Alexander's new place in Travis
County, till one night a man rode up on a hoss and stole me and my two
brothers and rode away wid us. He tuk us to Bastrop County and sold us
to Doc Duvall. Marster Duvall sold my brother right after he bought us,
but me and John, we stayed wid him till de slaves was freed.

"On Marster Duvall's plantation de slaves all lived in log cabins back
of de big house. Dey was one room, two rooms and three room cabins,
dependin' on de size of de family. Most had dirt floors, but some of 'em
had log slabs. We had dese ole wooden beds wid a rope stretch 'cross de
bottom and a mattress of straw or cotton dat de niggers got in de fiel'.
We had lots to eat, like biscuit, cornbread, meat and sich stuff. Most
times dey made coffee outta parch cornmeal. We had gardens and raised
most of de stuff to eat.

"I herds sheep and is houseboy most of de time. When I was ole enough, I
picks cotton. I was jus' learnin' when de slaves was freed. Marster
Duvall had over 500 acres in cotton and he kep' us in de fiel' all de
time, 'cept Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

"Dey had meetin' and dances Saturday nights. I was too young to 'member
jus' what de songs was, but dey had a fiddle and played all night long.
On ever' Sunday de niggers went to Church in de evenin'. Dey had a white
preacher in de mornin' and a cullud preacher in de evenin'.

"Marster Duvall would whip de niggers who was disobedience and he jus'
call dem up and ask dem what was de trouble, den he would whip dem wid a
cowhide or a rope whip. We could go anywhere iffen we had a pass, but if
we didn' de paddlerollers would ketch us. They was kinda like policemen
we got today.

"In slavery, dey traded and sold niggers like dey do hosses and mules.
Dey carry dem to de court house and put dem on de block and auction 'em
off. Some sold for roun' $3,000. It was hard to sell one wid scars on
him, 'cause nobody wanted him. I seen 'em come by in droves, all chained

"When de slaves was free dey was sho' happy. Dey all got together and
had a kin' of cel'bration. Marster told dem if dey wanted to stay and
help make de crop, he'd give 'em 50 cents a day and a place to stay.
Some tuk him up on dat and stayed, but a lot of dem left dere. Me and my
brother, we started walkin' to Austin. In Austin we finds our mother,
she was working for Judge Paschal. She hires us out to one place and den

"Since freedom I done most everything anybody could do. I been porter
and waiter in hotels and rest'rants. I been factory hand, and worked for
carpenters and in de roun' house. I picked cotton and worked on de farm.

"I been married 61 years. I gits married at home, like civilize folks
do. I raised a big family, 12 chillen, but only five is alive today. I
moved here in 1929 and looks like I's here till I die.


     MAGGIE JACKSON was born a slave of the Sam Oliver family, in Cass
     Co., Texas, near Douglasville. She is about 80 years old and her
     memory is not very good, so her story gives few details. She lives
     with her daughter near Douglasville, on highway #8.

"I am about 80 years old and was a chile during slavery times. My papa's
name was Tom Spencer Hall and my mama's name was Margaret Hall. My
brothers and sisters was Maria and Barbara and Alice and Octavia and
Andrew and Thomas and Hillary and Eugenia and Silas and Thomas. We was a
big fam'ly.

"My mama was Sam Oliver's slave, but my papa lived a mile away with
Masta Sam Carlow. We lived in box houses and slep' on wood beds and we
et co'nbread and peas and grits and lots of rabbits and 'possums. Mama
cooked it on the fireplace.

"Masta Sam's house was big and had six big rooms with a hall through the
middle and the kitchen sot way off in the ya'd and had a big cellar
under it. Masta Sam had a big orchard and put apples and pears in the
cellar for the winter. My brothers use' to slip under there and steal
them and mama'd whip 'em.

"The big house set 'mong big oak trees and the slaves houses was
scattered roun' the back. Masta Sam had a ole cowhorn he use' to blow
for the niggers to come outta the fiel'.

"Mos' all us chillen wen' fishin' on Saturday and we'd fish with pins.
One day I slipped off and caught a whole string of fish.

"We learned to read and write and we wen' to church with the white
folks. Masta Sam was good to us and gave us plenty food and clothes.

"I never was 'fraid of haints and I never see none, but I know some seen

"I married John Jackson in a white muslin dress and we was married by
Dan Sherman, a cullud preacher from Jefferson. I married John 'cause I
loved him and we didn' fuss and fight. I has five chillen and five


[Illustration: Martin Jackson (A)]

[Illustration: Martin Jackson (B)]

     MARTIN JACKSON, who calls himself a "black Texan", well deserves to
     select a title of more distinction, for it is quite possible that
     he is the only living former slave who served in both the Civil War
     and the World War. He was born in bondage in Victoria Co., Texas,
     in 1847, the property of Alvy Fitzpatrick. This self-respecting
     Negro is totally blind, and when a person touches him on the arm to
     guide him he becomes bewildered and asks his helper to give verbal
     directions, up, down, right or left. It may be he has been on his
     own so long that he cannot, at this late date, readjust himself to
     the touch of a helping hand. His mind is uncommonly clear and he
     speaks with no Negro colloquialisms and almost no dialect.

Following directions as to where to find Martin Jackson, "the most
remarkable Negro in San Antonio," a researcher made his way to an old
frame house at 419 Center St., walked up the steps and through the house
to an open door of a rear room. There, on an iron bed, lay a long, thin
Negro, smoking a cigarette. He was dressed in a woolen undershirt and
black trousers and his beard and mustache were trimmed much after the
fashion of white gallants of the Gay Nineties. His head was remarkably
well-shaped, with striking eminences in his forehead over his brows.

After a moment the intruder spoke and announced his mission. The old
Negro, who is stone blind, quickly admitted that he was Martin Jackson,
but before making any further comment he carried on an efficient
interview himself; he wanted to know who the caller was, who had
directed the visit, and just what branch of the Federal service happened
to be interested in the days of slavery. These questions satisfactorily
answered, he went into his adventures and experiences, embellishing the
highlights with uncommon discernment and very little prodding by the

       *       *       *       *       *

"I have about 85 years of good memory to call on. I'm ninety, and so I'm
not counting my first five years of life. I'll try to give you as clear
a picture as I can. If you want to give me a copy of what you are going
to write, I'll appreciate it. Maybe some of my children would like to
have it.

"I was here in Texas when the Civil War was first talked about. I was
here when the War started and followed my young master into it with the
First Texas Cavalry. I was here during reconstruction, after the War. I
was here during the European World War and the second week after the
United States declared war on Germany I enlisted as cook at Camp Leon

"This sounds as if I liked the war racket. But, as a matter of fact, I
never wore a uniform--grey coat or khaki coat--or carried a gun, unless
it happened to be one worth saving after some Confederate soldier got
shot. I was official lugger-in of men that got wounded, and might have
been called a Red Cross worker if we had had such a corps connected with
our company. My father was head cook for the battalion and between times
I helped him out with the mess. There was some difference in the food
served to soldiers in 1861 and 1917!

"Just what my feelings was about the War, I have never been able to
figure out myself. I knew the Yanks were going to win, from the
beginning. I wanted them to win and lick us Southerners, but I hoped
they was going to do it without wiping out our company. I'll come back
to that in a minute. As I said, our company was the First Texas Cavalry.
Col. Buchell was our commander. He was a full-blooded German and as fine
a man and a soldier as you ever saw. He was killed at the Battle of
Marshall and died in my arms. You may also be interested to know that my
old master, Alvy Fitzpatrick, was the grandfather of Governor Jim

"Lots of old slaves closes the door before they tell the truth about
their days of slavery. When the door is open, they tell how kind their
masters was and how rosy it all was. You can't blame them for this,
because they had plenty of early discipline, making them cautious about
saying anything uncomplimentary about their masters. I, myself, was in a
little different position than most slaves and, as a consequence, have
no grudges or resentment. However, I can tell you the life of the
average slave was not rosy. They were dealt out plenty of cruel

"Even with my good treatment, I spent most of my time planning and
thinking of running away. I could have done it easy, but my old father
used to say, 'No use running from bad to worse, hunting better.' Lots of
colored boys did escape and joined the Union army, and there are plenty
of them drawing a pension today. My father was always counseling me. He
said, 'Every man has to serve God under his own vine and fig tree.' He
kept pointing out that the War wasn't going to last forever, but that
our forever was going to be spent living among the Southeners, after
they got licked. He'd cite examples of how the whites would stand
flatfooted and fight for the blacks the same as for members of their own
family. I knew that all was true, but still I rebelled, from inside of
me. I think I really was afraid to run away, because I thought my
conscience would haunt me. My father knew I felt this way and he'd rub
my fears in deeper. One of his remarks still rings in my ears: 'A clear
conscience opens bowels, and when you have a guilty soul it ties you up
and death will not for long desert you.'

"No, sir, I haven't had any education. I should have had one, though. My
old missus was sorry, after the War, that she didn't teach me. Her name,
before she married my old master, was Mrs. Long. She lived in New York
City and had three sons. When my old master's wife died, he wrote up to
a friend of his in New York, a very prominent merchant named C.C.
Stewart. He told this friend he wanted a wife and gave him
specifications for one. Well, Mrs. Long, whose husband had died, fitted
the bill and she was sent down to Texas. She became Mrs. Fitzpatrick.
She wasn't the grandmother of Governor Ferguson. Old Fitzpatrick had two
wives that preceded Mrs. Long. One of the wives had a daughter named
Fanny Fitzpatrick and it was her that was the Texas' governor's mother.
I seem to have the complicated family tree of my old master more clear
than I've got my own, although mine can be put in a nutshell: I married
only once and was blessed in it with 45 years of devotion. I had 13
children and a big crop of grandchildren.

"My earliest recollection is the day my old boss presented me to his
son, Joe, as his property. I was about five years old and my new master
was only two.

"It was in the Battle of Marshall, in Louisiana, that Col. Buchell got
shot. I was about three miles from the front, where I had pitched up a
kind of first-aid station. I was all alone there. I watched the whole
thing. I could hear the shooting and see the firing. I remember standing
there and thinking the South didn't have a chance. All of a sudden I
heard someone call. It was a soldier, who was half carrying Col. Buchell
in. I didn't do nothing for the Colonel. He was too far gone. I just
held him comfortable, and that was the position he was in when he
stopped breathing. That was the worst hurt I got when anybody died. He
was a friend of mine. He had had a lot of soldiering before and fought
in the Indian War.

"Well, the Battle of Marshall broke the back of the Texas Cavalry. We
began straggling back towards New Orleans, and by that time the War was
over. The soldiers began to scatter. They was a sorry-lookin' bunch of
lost sheep. They didn't know where to go, but most of 'em ended up
pretty close to the towns they started from. They was like homing
pigeons, with only the instinct to go home and, yet, most of them had no
homes to go to.

"No, sir, I never went into books. I used to handle a big dictionary
three times a day, but it was only to put it on a chair so my young
master could sit up higher at the table. I never went to school. I
learned to talk pretty good by associating with my masters in their big

"We lived on a ranch of about 1,000 acres close to the Jackson County
line in Victoria County, about 125 miles from San Antonio. Just before
the war ended they sold the ranch, slaves and all, and the family, not
away fighting, moved to Galveston. Of course, my father and me wasn't
sold with the other blacks, because we was away at war. My mother was
drowned years before when I was a little boy. I only remember her after
she was dead. I can take you to the spot in the river today where she
was drowned. She drowned herself. I never knew the reason behind it, but
it was said she started to lose her mind and preferred death to that."

At this point in the old Negro's narrative the sound of someone singing
was heard. A moment later the door to the house slammed shut and in
accompaniment to the tread of feet in the kitchen came this song:

  "I sing because I'm happy,
  And I sing because I'm free--
  His eyes is on the sparrow
  And I know He watches me."

The singer glanced in the bedroom and the song ended with both
embarrassment and anger:

  "Father! Why didn't you say you had callers?"

It was not long, however, before the singer, Mrs. Maggie Jackson,
daughter-in-law of old Martin Jackson, joined in the conversation.

"The master's name was usually adopted by a slave after he was set free.
This was done more because it was the logical thing to do and the
easiest way to be identified than it was through affection for the
master. Also, the government seemed to be in a almighty hurry to have us
get names. We had to register as someone, so we could be citizens. Well,
I got to thinking about all us slaves that was going to take the name
Fitzpatrick. I made up my mind I'd find me a different one. One of my
grandfathers in Africa was called Jeaceo, and so I decided to be

After this clear-headed Negro had posed for his photograph, the
researcher took his leave and the old blind man bade him a gracious
"good-bye." He stood as if watching his new friend walking away, and
then lighted a cigarette.

"How long have you been smoking, Martin?" called back the researcher.

"I picked up the deadly habit," answered Martin, "over seventy-five
years ago."


     NANCY JACKSON, about 105 years old, was born in Madison Co.,
     Tennessee, a slave of the Griff Lacy family. She was married during
     slavery and was the mother of three children when she was freed. In
     1835, Nancy claims, she was brought to Texas by her owner, and has
     lived in Panola Co. all her life. She has no proof of her age and,
     of course, may be in the late nineties instead of over one hundred,
     as she thinks. She lives with her daughter about five miles west of
     Tatum, Tex.

"I's live in Panola County now going on 102 year and that a mighty long
time for to 'member back, but I'll try to rec'lect. I's born in
Tennessee and I think it's in 1830 or 1832. I lives with my baby chile
what am now 57 year old and she's born when I's 'bout 'bout 33. But I
ain't sho' 'bout my age, noways.

"Massa Griff fetches us to Texas when I a baby and my brudders what am
Redic and Anthony and Essex and Allen and Brick and my sisters what am
Ann and Matty and Charlotte, we all come to Texas. Mammy come with us
but pappy was sold off the Lacy place and stays in Tennessee.

"Massa had the bigges' house in them parts and a passel of slaves.
Mammy's name was Letha, and we have a purty good place to live and massa
not bad to us. We was treated fair, I guesses, but they allus whipped us
niggers for somethin'. But when we got sick they'd git the doctor,
'cause losin' a nigger like losin' a pile of money in them days.

"Massa sometimes outlines the Bible to us and we had a song what we'd
sing sometimes:

  "'Stand your storm, Stand your storm,
  Till the wind blows over,
  Stand your storm, Stand your storm,
  I's a sojer of the Cross,
  A follower of the Lamb.'

"We was woke by a bell and called to eat by a bell and put to bed by
that bell and if that bell ring outta time you'd see the niggers jumpin'
rail fences and cotton rows like deers or something, gettin' to that
house, 'cause that mean something bad wrong at massa's house.

"I marries right here in Panola County while slavery still here and my
brother-in-law marries me and Lewis Blakely, and I's 'bout nineteen. My
husban' 'longed to the Blakely's and after the weddin' he had to go back
to them and they 'lowed him come to see me once a week on Saturday and
he could stay till Sunday. I works on for the Lacy's more'n a year after
slavery till Lewis come got me and we moved to ourselves.

"I 'member one big time we done have in slavery. Massa gone and he
wasn't gone. He left the house 'tendin' go on a visit and missy and her
chillen gone and us niggers give a big ball the night they all gone. The
leader of that ball had on massa's boots and he sing a song he make up:

  "'Ole massa's gone to Philiman York
  And won't be back till July 4th to come;
  Fac' is, I don't know he'll be back at all,
  Come on all you niggers and jine this ball.'

"That night they done give that big ball, massa had blacked up and slip
back in the house and while they singin' and dancin', he sittin' by the
fireplace all the time. 'Rectly he spit, and the nigger who had on he
boots recernizes him and tries climb up the chimmey."


[Illustration: Richard Jackson]

     RICHARD JACKSON, Harrison County farmer, was born in 1859, a slave
     of Watt Rosborough. Richard's family left the Rosboroughs when the
     Negroes were freed, and moved to a farm near Woodlawn. Richard
     married when he was twenty-five and moved to an adjoining farm,
     which he now owns.

"I was born on the Rosborough plantation in 1859 and 'longed to old man
Watt Rosborough. He brung my mammy out of North Carolina, but my pappy
died when I was a baby, and mammy married Will Jackson. Besides me they
was six brothers, Jack and Nathan, Josh and Bill and Ben and Mose. I had
three sisters named Matilda and Charity and Anna.

"I 'members my mammy's father, Jack, but don't know where he come from.
I heared him tell of fightin' the Indians on the frontier, and one
mammy's brothers was shot with a Indian arrow.

"The plantation jined the Sabine river and old man Watt owned many a
slave. The old home is still standin' cross the road from Rosborough
Springs, nine miles south of Marshall.

"They was a white overseer on the place and mammy's stepdaddy, Kit, was
niggerdriver and done all the whippin', 'cept of mammy. She was bad
'bout fightin' and the overseer allus tended to her. One day he come to
the quarters to whip her and she up and throwed a shovel full of live
coals from the fireplace in his bosom and run out the door. He run her
all over the place 'fore he cotched her. I seed the overseer tie her
down and whip her. The niggers wasn't whipped much 'cept for fightin'
'mongst themselves.

"I 'members mammy allus sayin' the darkies had to pray out in the woods,
'cause they ain't 'lowed to make no fuss round the house. She say they
was fed and clothed well 'nough, but the overseer worked the lights out
of the darkies. I wasn't big 'nough to do field work, but 'member goin'
to the field to take mammy's pipe to her. They wasn't no matches in them
days, and I allus took fire from the house and sot a stump afire in the
field, so mammy could light her pipe.

"None of our folks larnt to read and write till after slavery. My oldes'
brother was larnin' to read on the sly, but the overseer found out 'bout
it and stopped him. He found some letters writ on the wall of the
quarter with charcoal and made the darkies tell him who writ it. My
brother Jack done it. The overseer didn't whip him, but told him he
darns't do it 'gain.

"After surrender my folks left the Rosboroughs right straight and moved
clost to Woodlawn. My oldes' hired out in Shreveport. When they asks him
what he's worth, he told them he didn't know, but he was allus worth a
heap of money when anyone wanted to buy him from the Rosboroughs.

"The Ku Kluxers come to our house in Woodlawn, and I got scart and
crawled under the bed. They told mammy they wasn't gwine hurt her, but
jus' wanted water to drink. They didn't call each other by names. When
the head man spoke to any of them he'd say, Number 1, or Number 2, and
like that.

"I thunk I heared ghosts on the Driscoll place once, up in the loft of
the house. I heared them plain as day. My step-pa done die there and
might of been his ghost. We moved away right straight, and old man
Driscoll had to burn that house down after that, 'cause wouldn't none
the darkies live in it.

"The only time I voted was when they put whiskey out. I heared a white
man one time in Marshall, makin' a speech on the square. He said he was
gwine tell us darkies why they didn't low us to vote. He didn't tell us,
'cause the law come out and made him git out the wagon and leave.

"This young race is sho' livin' fast, but I guess they's all right.
Things is jes' different now to when I was a boy. When I was a boy,
folks didn't mind helpin' one 'nother, but now they is in too big a
hurry to pay you any mind.


[Illustration: John James]

     JOHN JAMES, 78, was born a slave to John Chapman, on a large
     plantation in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. John took the
     name of his father, who was owned by John James. John and his
     mother stayed with Mr. Chapman for six years after they were freed,
     then John went to Missouri, where he worked for the M. K. & T.
     Railroad for twenty years. He then came to Texas, and now lives at
     315 S. Jennings Ave., in Fort Worth.

"I doesn't have so much mind for slavery days, 'cause I's too young
then, but I 'members when surrender come and some befo' dat. I 'members
my mammy lef' me in de nursery with all de other cullud babies when she
go work in de field. De old nurse, Jane, tooks care of us.

"Dat were de big place what Massa John have and dere 'bout fifty cullud
families on de place, so it am more'n a hunerd slaves what he own. I's
runnin' round, like kids am allus doin', first one place, den t'other,
watchin' everything. De big bell ring in de mornin' and you'd see all de
cullud folks comin' from dey cabins, gwineter de kitchen to breakfast.
Dat allus befo' daybreak, and dey have to eat by de light of de pine
torch. It am de pineknot torch. De meals am all cooked dere and dey eat
at long tables. De young'uns from six to ten year eats at de second
table and little'r den dat, in de nursery.

"I sho' 'members 'bout dat nursery feedin'. I never forgits how dat
cornmeal mush and milk am served in de big pans. Dey gives we uns de
wooden spoon and we'uns crowds round de pans like little pigs. I can see
it now. Us push and shove and de nurse walk here and dere, tryin' to
make us eat like humans. She have to cuff one of us once in a while. If
she don't, dem kids be in de pans with both feet. When dey done eatin',
dey faces am all smear with mush and milk.

"Massa allus feed plenty rations, only after war starts de old folks say
dey am short of dis and dat, 'cause dem sojers done took it for de army.

"After breakfast I'd see a crew go here and a crew go dere. Some of 'em
spin and weave and make clothes, and some tan de leather or do de
blacksmith work, and mos' of 'em go out in de field to work. Dey works
till dark and den come home and work round de quarters.

"Dem quarters was 'bout ten by fifteen feet, each one, with a hole for
de window dat am not dere and de floor am de ground, and de straw bunks
for to sleep on. In us cabin am mammy and us three chillen and our aunt.
My pappy done die befo' I 'member him. Some kind stomach mis'ry kilt

"One day Massa Chapman call all us to de front gallery. Us didn't know
what gwine to happen, 'cause it not ord'nary to git called from de work.
Him ring de bell and dat am sho' 'nough de liberty bell, 'cause him read
from de long paper and say, 'You is slaves no more. You is free, jus'
like I is, and have to 'pend on yourselves for de livin'. All what wants
to stay I'll pay money to work, and a share of de crop, iffen you don't
want money.' Mostest of dem stays, and some what goes gits into
troublement, 'cause den dere's trouble 'twixt de white folks and de
cullud folks. Some de niggers thinks they am bigger dan de white folks,
'cause dey free, and de Klu Klux, what us call white caps, puts dem in
de place dey 'longs.

"I gits chased by dem white caps once, jus' befo' us leave massa. Dat
am when I's 'bout thirteen year old. I's 'bout a mile off de place
without de pass and it am de rule them days, all cullud folks must have
de pass to show where dey 'longs and where dey gwine. I has no business
to be off de place without de pass. 'Twas a gal.. Sho', day am it. Us
walks down de road 'bout a mile and am settin' 'hind some bushes, off de
plantation. Us see dem white caps comin' down de road on hossback and us
ain't much scart, 'cause us think dey can't see us 'hind dem bushes. But
dat leader say, 'Whoa,' and dey could look down on us, 'cause dey on
hossback. Well, gosh for 'mighty! Dere us am and can't move den us so
scart. One dem white caps says, 'What you doin', nigger?' 'Jus' settin'
here,' I telt him. 'Yous better start runnin', 'cause us gwine try cotch
you,' dey says.

"Us two niggers am down dat road befo' dem words am outten he mouth. Dey
lets de hosses canter 'hind we'uns and us try to run faster. Fin'ly us
gits home and dat de last time I goes off without de pass.

"Mammy moves to Baton Rouge soon after dat and works as de housemaid. Us
stay dere two year and I gits some little jobs and den I goes to work
for de railroad in Sedalia, up in Missouri, and dere I works as section
hand for de Katy railroad for twenty year. Den I gits through and comes
to Texas.

"I works at anything till eight year ago and den I's no count for work
so I's livin' on de pension, what am $15.00 de month.

"I's never married. I jus' couldn't make de hitch. Dem what I wants,
don't want me. Dem what wants me, I don't want, so dere am never no

"No, I's never voted, 'cause I done heared 'bout de trouble dey has over
in Baton Rouge 'bout niggers votin'. I jus' don't like trouble, and for
de few years what am left, I's gwine keep de record of stayin' 'way from


     THOMAS JOHNS, 508 Knopp St., Cleburne, Texas, was born April 18,
     1847, in Chambers Co., Alabama. He belonged to Col. Robert Johns,
     who had come to Alabama from Virginia. After Johns was freed he
     stayed with his old owner's family until 1874, when he moved to

"My father's name was George and my mother's name was Nellie. My father
was born in Africa. Him and two of his brothers and one sister was stole
and brought to Savannah, Georgia, and sold. Dey was de chillen of a
chief of de Kiochi tribe. De way dey was stole, dey was asked to a dance
on a ship which some white man had, and my aunt said it was early in de
mornin' when dey foun' dey was away from de land, and all dey could see
was de water all 'round. She said they was members of de file-tooth
tribe of niggers. My father's teeth was so dat only de front ones met
together when he closed his mouth. De back ones didn' set together. W'en
his front teeth was together, de back ones was apart, sorta like a V on
its side.

"My mother was born a slave in Virginia. She married there and had a
little girl, and they was sold away from the husband and brought to
Alabama. She said her mother was part Indian and part nigger. Her father
was part white and part nigger, but he look about as white as a white

"My brother's names was John, Jake and Dave. My sister's names was Ann,
Katie, Judie and Easter.

"I belonged to Col. Robert Johns. He owned 30 or 35 slaves. We was well
treated and had the same food the white folks did, and didn' none of us
go hongry. Col. Johns didn' have his niggers whipped, neither.

"Marster's place had 500 acres in it. We raised cotton, corn and rice,
vegetables and every sort of fruit that would grow there, a lot of it
growin' wild. We et mostly hog meat, but we had some beef and mutton,
too. When we'd kill a beef, we'd send some to all the neighbors.

"We done a good day's work, but didn' have to work after night 'less it
was necessary. We was allowed to stop at 12 o'clock and have time for
rest 'fore goin' back to work. Other slave owners roun' our place wasn't
as good to dere slaves, would work 'em hard and half starve 'em. And
some marsters or overseers would whip dere niggers pretty hard,
sometimes whip 'em to death. Marster Johns didn' have no overseer. He
seed to the work and my father was foreman. For awhile after old Marster
died, in 1862 or 1863, I forget which now, we had a overseer, John
Sewell. He was mean. He whipped the chillen and my mother told Miss
Lucy, old marster's oldest girl.

"We was allus well treated by old marster. We was called, 'John's free
niggers,' not dat we was free, but 'cause we was well treated. Jesse
Todd, his place joined ours, had 500 slaves, and he treated 'em mighty
bad. He whipped some of 'em to death. A man sold him two big niggers
which was brothers and they was so near white you couldn' hardly tell
'em from a white man. Some people thought the man what sold 'em was
their daddy. The two niggers worked good and dey hadn' never been
whipped and dey wouldn' stand for bein' whipped. One mornin' Todd come
up to 'em and told de oldest to take his shirt off. He say, 'Marster,
what you wan' me to take my shirt off for?' Todd say, 'I told you to
take your shirt off.' De nigger say, 'Marster, I ain' never took my
shirt off for no man.' Todd run in de house and got his gun and come
back and shot de nigger dead. His brother fell down by him where he lay
on de groun'. Todd run back to load his gun again, it bein' a single
shot. Todd's wife and son grabbed him and dey had all dey coul' do to
keep him from comin' out and killin' de other nigger.

"Marse Johns had 12 chillen. De house dey lived in was Colonyal style
and had 12 rooms. I was bo'n in dat house.

"De slaves had log cabins. We wore some cotton clothes in de summer but
in de winter we wore wool clothes. We allus had shoes. A shoemaker would
come 'round once a year and stay maybe 30 days, makin' shoes for
everybody on de place; den in about 6 months he would come back and
half-sole and make other repairs to de shoes. We made all our clothes on
de place. We wove light wool cloth for summer and heavy for winter.

"I could take raw cotton and card and spin it on a spinnin' wheel into
thread, fine enough to be sewed with a needle. We woun' de thread on a
broche, make like and 'bout de size of a ice pick. De thread was den
woun' on a reel 'bout de size of a forewheel of a wagon, and de reel
would turn 48 times and den 'cluck'. Dat was for dem to be able to tell
we was workin'.

"Dere was plenty wild game, possums, rabbits, turkey and so on. Dere was
fish, too, in de creek. I was de leader of de bunch. We would ketch
little fish in de creek. We'd cook a lot of fish and den we'd put a rag
rug in de yard under a big mulberry tree and pour de fish out on dat and
den eat 'em.

"Old marster never beat his slaves and he didn' sell 'em. But some of de
owners did. If a owner had a big woman slave and she had a little man
for her husban' and de owner had a big man slave, dey would make de
little husban' leave, and make de woman let de big man be her husban',
so's dere be big chillen, which dey could sell well. If de man and woman
refused, dey'd get whipped.

"Course whippin' made a slave hard to sell, maybe couldn' be sold,
'cause when a man went to buy a slave he would make him strip naked and
look him over for whip marks and other blemish, jus' like dey would a
horse. But even if it done damage to de sale to whip him, dey done it,
'cause dey figgered, kill a nigger, breed another--kill a mule, buy

"I'll never forget de rice patch. It shore got me some whippin's, 'cause
my daddy tell me to watch de birds 'way from dat rice, and sometimes
dey'd get to it. It jus' seem like de blackbirds jus' set 'round and
watched for dat rice to grow up where dey could get it. We would cut a
block off a pine tree and build a fire on it and burn it out. Den we
would cut down into it and scrape out all de char, and den put de rice
in dere and beat and poun' it with a pestle till we had all de grain
beat out de heads. Den we'd pour de rice out on a cloth and de chaff and
trash would blow away.

"Our marster he drilled men for de army. De drill groun' was 'bout a
mile from our place. He was a dead shot with a rifle and had a rifle
with an extry long barrel.

"De Yankees told us niggers when dey freed us after de war dat dey would
give each one of us 40 acres of land and a mule. De nearest I'se ever
come to dat is de pension of 'leven dollars I gets now. But I'se jus' as
thankful for dat as I can be. In fac', I don't see how I could be any
more thankful it 'twas a hun'erd and 'leven dollars.

"A man told me a nigger woman told his wife she would ruther be slave
than free. Well, I think, but I might be wrong, anybody which says that
is tellin a lie. Dere is sumpin' 'bout bein' free and dat makes up for
all de hardships. I'se been both slave and free and I knows. Course,
while I was slave I didn' have no 'sponsibility, didn' have to worry
'bout where sumpin' to eat and wear and a place to sleep was comin'
from, but dat don't make up for bein' free.


     AUNTIE THOMAS JOHNS, 508 Knopp St., Cleburne, Texas, was born in
     Burleson Co., Texas, in 1864. She was only two when her mother was
     freed, so knows nothing of slavery except stories her mother told
     her, or that she heard her husband, Thomas Johns, tell.

"I was two years old when my mama was set free. Her owner was Major
Odom. He was good to his niggers, my mama said. She tol' me 'bout
slavery times. She said other white folks roun' there called Major
Odom's niggers, 'Odom's damn free niggers,' 'cause he was so easy on

"He was never married, but he had a nigger woman, Aunt Phyllis she was
called, that he had some children by. She was half white. I remember her
and him and five of their sons. The ones I knowed was nearly all white,
but Aunt Phyllis had one boy that was nigger black. His daddy was a
nigger man. When she was drunk or mad she'd say she thought more of her
black chile than all the others. Major Odom treated their children jus'
like he treated the other niggers. He never whipped none of his niggers.
When his and Aunt Phyllis'es sons was grown they went to live in the
quarters, which was what the place the niggers lived was called.

"One of Major Odom's niggers was whipped by a man named Steve Owens. He
got to goin' to see a nigger woman Owens owned, and one night they beat
him up bad. Major Odom put on his gun for Owens, and they carried guns
for each other till they died, but they never did have a shootin'.

"Colonel Sims had a farm joinin' Major Odom's farm, and his niggers was
treated mean. He had a overseer, J.B. Mullinax, I 'member him, and he
was big and tough. He whipped a nigger man to death. He would come out
of a mornin' and give a long, keen yell, and say, 'I'm J.B. Mullinax,
just back from a week in Hell, where I got two new eyes, one named Snap
and Jack, and t'other Take Hold. I'm goin' to whip two or three niggers
to death today.' He lived a long time, but long 'fore he died his eyes
turned backward in his head. I seen 'em thataway. He wouldn' give his
niggers much to eat and he'd make 'em work all day, and just give 'em
boiled peas with just water and no salt and cornbread. They'd eat their
lunch right out in the hot sun and then go right back to work. Mama said
she could hear them niggers bein' whipped at night and yellin', 'Pray,
marster, pray,' beggin' him not to beat 'em.

"Other niggers would run away and come to Major Odom's place and ask his
niggers for sumpin' to eat. My mama would get word to bring 'em food and
she'd start out to where they was hidin' and she'd hear the hounds, and
the runaway niggers would have to go on without gettin' nothin' to eat.

"My husban's tol' me about slavery times in Alabama. He said they would
make the niggers work hard all day pickin' cotton and then take it to
the gin and gin away into the night, maybe all night. They'd give a
nigger on Sunday a peck of meal and three pounds of meat and no salt nor
nothin' else, and if you et that up 'fore the week was out, you jus'
done without anything to eat till the end of the week.

"My husban' said a family named Gullendin was mighty hard on their
niggers. He said ole Missus Gullendin, she'd take a needle and stick it
through one of the nigger women's lower lips and pin it to the bosom of
her dress, and the woman would go 'round all day with her head drew down
thataway and slobberin'. There was knots on the nigger's lip where the
needle had been stuck in it.


[Illustration: Gus Johnson]

     GUS JOHNSON, 90 years or more, was born a slave of Mrs. Betty
     Glover, in Marengo Co., Alabama. Most of his memories are of his
     later boyhood in Sunnyside, Texas. He lives in an unkempt, little
     lean-to house, in the north end of Beaumont, Texas. There is no
     furniture but a broken-down bed and an equally dilapidated trunk
     and stove. Gus spends most of his time in the yard, working in his
     vegetable garden.

"Dey brung thirty-six of us here in a box car from Alabama. Yes, suh,
dat's where I come from--Marengo County, not so far from 'Mopolis. Us
belong to old missy Betty Glover and my daddy name August Glover and my
mammy Lucinda. Old missy, she sho' treat us good and I never git whip
for anything 'cept lyin'. Old missy, she do de whippin'.

"Old missy she sho' a good woman and all her white folks, dey used to go
to church at White Chapel at 'leven in de mornin'. Us cullud folks goes
in de evenin'. Us never do no work on Sunday, and on Saturday after
twelve o'clock us can go fishin' or huntin'.

"Dey give de rations on Saturday and dat's 'bout five pound salt bacon
and a peck of meal and some sorghum syrup. Dey make dat syrup on de
plantation. Dey's ten or twelve big clay kettles in a row, sot in de

"We have lots to eat, and if de rations run short we goes huntin' or
fishin'. Some de old men kills rattlesnake and cook 'em like fish and
say dey fish. I eat dat many a time and never knowed it. 'Twas good,

"Dey used to have a big house where dey kep' de chillen, 'cause de
wolves and panthers was bad. Some de mammies what suckle de chillen
takes care of all de chillen durin' de daytime and at night dey own
mammies come in from de field and take dem. Sometime old missy she help
nuss and all de li'l niggers well care for. When dey gits sick dey makes
de med'cine of herbs and well 'em dat way.

"When us left Alabama us come through Meridian to Houston and den to
Hockley and den to Sunnyside, 'bout 18 mile west of Houston. Dat a
country with lots of woods and us sot in to clean up de ground and clean
up 150 acres to farm on. Dere 'bout forty-seven hands and more
'cumulates. Dey go back to Meridian for more and brung 'em in a ox cart.

"My brother, Bonzane Johnson, was one dey brung on dat trip. I had
'nother brother, Keen, what die when he 102 year old. Us was all
long-life people, 'cause I have a gran' uncle what die when he 136 year
old. He and my grandma and grandpa come from South Carolina and dey was
all Africa people. I heered dem tell how dey brung from Africa in de
ship. My daddy he die at 99 and 'nother brother at 104.

"Us see lots of sojers when us come through from Meridian and dey de
cavalry. Dey come ridin' up with high hats like beavers on dey head and
us 'fraid of 'em, 'cause dey told us dey gwine take us to Cuba and sell
us dere.

"When us first git to Texas it was cold--not sort a cold, but I mean
cold. I shovel de snow many a day. Dey have de big, common house and de
white folks live upstairs and de niggers sleep on de first floor. Dat to
'tect de white folks at night, but us have our own houses for to live in
in de daytime, builded out of logs and daubed with mud and nail rive
out boards over dat mud. Dey make de chimney out of sticks and mud, too
but us have no windows, and in summer us kind of live out in de bresh
arbor, what was cool.

"Us have all kind of crops and more'n 100 acres in fruit, 'cause dey
brung all kind trees and seeds from Alabama. Dey was undergroun' springs
and de water was sho' good to drink, 'cause in Mobile de water wasn't
fitten to drink. It taste like it have de lump of salt melted in it. Us
keep de butter and milk in de spring house in dem days, 'cause us ain't
have no ice in dem time.

"Old massa, he name Adam and he brother name John, and dey was way up
yonder tall people. Old massa die soon and us have missy to say what we
do. All her overseers have to be good. She punish de slaves iffen day
bad, but not whip 'em. She have de jail builded undergroun' like de
stormcave and it have a drop door with de weight on it, so dey couldn't
git up from de bottom. It sho' was dark in dat place.

"In slavery time us better be in by eight o'clock, better be in dat
house, better stick to dat rule. I 'member after freedom, missy have de
big celebration on Juneteenth every year. [Handwritten Note: '?']

"When war come to Texas every plantation was conscrip' for de war and my
daddy was 'pinted to selec' de able body men offen us place for to be
sojers. My brother Keen was one of dem. He come back all right, though.

"When freedom come missy give all de men niggers $500 each, but dat
'federate money and have pictures of hosses on it. Dat de onlies' money
missy have den. Old missy Betty, she die in Sunnyside, Texas, when she
115 year old.

"When I's 18 year old I marry a gal by name Lucy Johnson. She dead now
long ago. I got five livin' chillen somewhere, but I done lost track of
'em. One of dem boys serve in de last war.

"I used to hear somethin' 'bout rabbit foot. De old folks used to say
dat iffen de rabbit have time to stop and lick he foot de dog can't
track him no more and I allus wears de rabbit foot for good luck. I
don't know if it brung me dat luck, though.

"I been here 36 year and I work mos' de time as house mover, what I work
at 26 year. I'll be honnes' with you, I don't know how old I is, but it
mus' be plenty, 'cause I 'members lots 'bout de war. I didn't see no
fightin' but I knowed what was goin' on den.

"I belong to de U. B. F. Lodge, what I pays into in case I gits sick.
But I never can git sick and I ain't have no ailment 'cept my feets jus'
swoll up, and I can't git nothin' for that.


     HARRY JOHNSON, 86, whose real name was Jim, was born in Missouri,
     where he was stolen by Harry Fugot, when about twelve years old,
     and taken to Arkansas. He was given the name of Harry and remained
     with Fugot until near the close of the Civil War. Fugot then sold
     him to Graham for 1,200 acres and he was brought to Coryell Co.,
     Texas, and later to Caldwell Co. He worked in Texas two years
     before finding out the slaves were free. He later went to McMullen
     Co. to work cattle, but eventually spent most of his time rearing
     ten white children. He now lives in Pearsall, where he married at
     the age of 59.

"I come from Missouri to Arkansas and then to Texas, and I was owned by
Massa Louis Barker and my name was Jim Johnson. But a white man name
Harry Fugot stoled me and run me out to Arkansas and changed my name to
Harry. He stoled me from Mississippi County in de southern part of
Missouri, down close to de Arkansas line, and I was 'bout 12 year old

"My mama's name was Judie and her husban' name Miller. When I wasn't big
'nough to pack a chip, old Massa Louis Barker wouldn't take $400 for me,
'cause he say he wants to make a overseer out of me. My daddy went off
durin' de war. He carried off by sojers and he never did come back.

"Dey 'bout 30, 40 acres in Massa Barker's plantation in Missouri. He
used to hire me out from place to place and de men what hires me puts me
to doin' what he wanted. I was stole from my mammy when I's 'bout 10 or
12 and she never did know what become of me.

"O, my stars! I seed hun'erds and hun'erds of sojers 'fore I stole from
Missouri. Dey what us call Yankees. I seed 'em strung out a half-mile
long, goin' battle two and three deep. Dey never did destroy any homes.
Dey took up a little stuff. I had five sacks of meal one day and was
goin' to de mill and de sojers come along and taken me, meal and all. De
maddes' woman I ever saw was dat day. De sojers come and druv off her
cows. She told 'em not to, dat her husban' fightin' and she have to make
de livin' off dem cows, but dey druv de cows to camp and kilt 'bout
three of 'em. Dey done dat, I knows, 'cause I's with 'em.

"But down in Arkansas I seed de southern sojers and I's plowin' for a
old lady call Williams, and some sojers come and goes in de house. I
heered say dey was Green's men, and dey taken everything dat old woman
have what dey wants, and dey robs lots of houses.

"It don't look reas'able to say it, but it's a fac'--durin' slavery
iffen you lived one place and your mammy lived 'cross de street you
couldn't go to see her without a pass. De paddlerollers would whip you
if you did. Dere was one woman owns some slaves and one of 'em asks her
for a pass and she give him de piece of paper sposed to be de pass, but
she writes on it:

  "'His shirt am rough and his back am tough,
  Do, pray, Mr. Paddleroller, give 'im 'nough.'

"De paddlerollers beat him nearly to death, 'cause that's what's wrote
on de paper he give 'em.

"I 'member a whippin' one slave got. It were 100 lashes. Dey's a big
overseer right here on de San Marcos river, Clem Polk, him and he massa
kilt 16 niggers in one day. Dat massa couldn't keep a overseer, 'cause
de niggers wouldn't let 'em whip 'em, and dis Clem, he say, 'I'll stay
dere,' and he finds he couldn't whip dem niggers either, so he jus'
kilt 'em. One nigger nearly got him and would have kilt him. Dat nigger
raise de ax to come down on Polk's head and de massa stopped him jus' in
time, and den Polk shoots dat nigger in de breast with a shotgun.

"Dey had court days and when court met, dey passed a bill what say,
'Keep de niggers at home.' Some of 'em could go to church and some of
'em couldn't. Dey'd let de cullud people be baptized, but dey didn't
many want it, dey didn't understan' it 'nough.

"After de war ends, Massa Fugot sells me to Massa Graham for 1,200 acres
of land, and I lives in Caldwell County. He was purty good to he slaves
and we live in a li'l old frame house, facin' west. I sleeps in de same
house as massa and missus, to guard 'em. One night some men came and
wake me up and tells me to put my clothes on. Missus was in de bed and
she 'gin cryin' and tell 'em not to take me, but dey taken me anyway. We
called 'em Guerrillas and dey thieves. Dey white men and one of 'em I
had knowed a long time. I's with dem thives and hears 'em talk 'bout
killin' Yankees. Dey kep' me in de south part of Missouri a long time. I
didn't do anything but sit 'round de house with dem.

"When I's sold to Massa Graham I didn't have to come to Texas, 'cause
I's free, but I didn't know dat, and I's out here two years 'fore I
knowed I's free. Down in Caldwell County is where de bondage was lifted
offen me and I found out I's free. I jus' stays on and works and my
massa give me he promise I's git a hoss and saddle and $100 in money
when I's 21 year old, but he didn't do it. He give me a li'l pony and a
saddle what I sold for $3.00 and 'bout eight or nine dollars in money.
He had me blindfolded and I thought I gwine git a good hoss and saddle
and more money.

"I looks back sometimes and thinks times was better for eatin' in
slavery dan what dey is now. My mammy was a reg'lar cook and she made me
peach cobblers and apple dumplin's. In dem days, we'd take cornmeal and
mix it with water and call 'em corn dodgers and dey awful nice with
plenty butter. We had lots of hawg meat and when dey kilt a beef a man
told all de neighbors to come git some of de meat.

"Right after de war, times is pretty hard and I's taken beans and
parched 'em and got 'em right brown, and meal bran to make coffee out
of. Times was purty hard, but I allus could find somethin' to work at in
dem days.

"I lived all my life 'mong white folks and jus' worked in first one
place and then 'nother. I raised ten white chillen, nine of de Lowe
chillen, and dey'd mind me quicker dan dey own pappy and mammy. Dat in
McMullin County.

"De day I's married I's 59 year old and my wife is 'bout 60 year old
now. De last 20 years I's jus' piddled 'round and done no reg'lar work.
I married right here in de church house. I nussed my wife when she a
baby and used to court her mammy when she's a girl. We's been real happy


[Illustration: James D. Johnson]

     JAMES D. JOHNSON, born Oct. 1st, 1860, at Lexington, Mississippi,
     was a slave of Judge Drennon. He now lives with his daughter at
     4527 Baltimore St., Dallas, Texas. His memory is poor and his
     conversation is vague and wandering. His daughter says, "He ain't
     at himself these days." James attended Tuckaloo University, near
     Jackson, Mississippi, and uses very little dialect.

"My first clear recollection is about a day when I was five years old. I
was playing in the sand by the side of the house in Lexington with some
other children and some Yankee soldiers came by. They came on horseback
and they drew rein by the side of the house and I ran under the house
and hid. My mother called to me to come out and told me they were
Federal soldiers and I could tell it by their blue uniforms. One of the
soldiers reached into his haversack and pulled out a uniform and gave it
to me. 'Have your mammy make a suit out of it,' he said. Another soldier
gave me a uniform and my mother was a seamstress in the home of the
Drennons and she made me two suits out of those uniforms.

"Judge Drennon had married the daughter of Colonel Terry and he had
given my parents to his daughter when she married the judge. My father
and mother both came from Virginia. Colonel Terry had bought them at
separate times from a slave trader who brought them from Virginia to
Mississippi. They had a likeness for each other when they learned both
came from Virginia. Both of them had white fathers, were light
complected and had been brought up in the big house.

"When they told the Colonel they wished to marry he only said, 'Julia,
do you take William,' and 'William, do you take Julia?' Then they were
man and wife. He gave them the name of Johnson, which was the family
name of my father's mother and the name of his father.

"When my parents lived with Judge Drennon they had a house in the yard
quarters. The Drennon home was the most beautiful house I ever have
seen. It was a big, brick mansion with tall, white pillars reaching up
to the second story. The yards and grounds were so beautiful the white
folks used to come from long ways off to see them.

"After the surrendering we lived with the Drennons four or five years.
They paid my parents for their work and I had an easy time of it. I was
youngest of eight children and there was ten years or more between me
and the next older child. My mother wanted to make something special out
of me.

"I went to three different schools down in the woods before I was nine.
White people would come and put up schools for the colored children but
the white people in Mississippi said they were not good people and would
criticize them. Sometimes the schools would get busted up. We studied
out of the Blue Back speller and an arithmetic and a dictionary. I could
spell and give the meaning of most nigh every word in that dictionary.

"When I was thirteen they held an examination at Lexington for colored
children to see who'd get a scholarship at Tuckaloo University, eight
miles from Jackson. I was greatly surprised when I won from my county
and I went but didn't finish there. Then I went a little while to a
small university near Lexington, called Allcorn University. I loved to
go to school and was considered bookish. But my people died and I had to
earn a living for myself and I couldn't find any way to use so much what
I learned out of books, as far as making money was concerned. So I came
to Texas, doing any kind of labor work I could find. Finally I married
and went to farming 35 or 40 years and raised five children.

"I'm the only one left now of my brothers and sisters and it won't be
long until I'm gone, too, but I don't mind that. We lived a long time.
Some of it was hard and some of it was good. I tried all the time to
live according to my lights and that is as far as I know how to do. I
don't feel resentful of anything, anymore.

"When there is sun, I just sit in the sun."


     MARY JOHNSON does not know her age but is evidently very old.
     Paralytic strokes have affected mind and body. Her speech, though
     impaired, is a swift flow of words, often profane. A bitter
     attitude toward everything is apparent. Mary is homeless and owes
     the necessities of life to the kindness of a middle aged Negress
     who takes care of several old women in her home in Pear Orchard, in
     Beaumont, Texas.

"Now, wait, white folks, I got to scratch my head so's I kin 'member.
I's been paralyze so I can't git my tongue to speak good. It git all
twist up.

"I don't know how old I is. My daddy he have my age in the big Bible but
he done move 'round so much it git lost long ago. He used to 'long to
them Guinea men. Them was real small men and they sho' walk fast. He
wasn't so tall as my mommer and he name John Allen and he a pore man,
all bone. He sold out from the old country, that Mississippi. My mama
name Sarah and she come from Choctaw country, 'round in Georgia. I have
grandma Rebecca, a reg'lar old Indian woman and she have two long black
braid longer'n her waist and she allus wore a big bonnet with splits in
it. You know de Indian people totes they chillens on they back and my
mommer have me wrop up in a blanket and strop on her back.

"I's the firstborn chile and my mommer have two gal chillen, me and
Hannah, and she have seven boy. Where I's born was old wild country and
old Virginny run down thataway. Everything was plenty good to eat and I
seed strawberries what would push you to git 'em in your mouth.

"Clost to where I's born they's a place where they brung the Africy
people to tame 'em and they have big pens where they puts 'em after
they takes 'em outta they gun ships. They sho' was wild and they have
hair all over jus' like a dog and big hammer rings in they noses. They
didn't wore no clothes and sometime they git 'way and run to them swamps
in Floridy and git all wild and hairy 'gain. They brung preachers to
help tame 'em, but didn't 'low no preacher in them pens by hisself,
'cause they say them preacher won't come back, 'cause some them wild
Africy people done kill 'em and eat 'em. They done worship them snake
bit as a rake handle, 'cause they ain't knowed no better. When they gits
'em all tame they sells 'em for field hands, but they allus wild and
iffen anybody come they duck and hide down.

"My old missy she name Florence Walker and she reg'lar tough. I helps
nuss her chile, Mary, and Mary make her mommer be good to me. Us wore
li'l brass toe shoes and I call mine gold toe shoes. Them shoes hard
'nough to knock a mule out. After young missy and me git growed us run
off to dances and old missy beat us behind good. She say us jes' chillen
yet and keep us in short, short dress and we pull out the stitchin' in
them hems so us dresses drags and she sho' wore us out for that.

"Did us love to dance? Jesus help me! Them country niggers swing me so
hard us land in the corner with a wham.

"My brudder Robert he a pow'ful big boy and he wasn't 'lowed to have no
pants till he 21 year old, but that didn't 'scourage him from courtin'
the gals. I try tease him 'bout go see the gals with dat split shirt.
That not all, that boy nuss he mommer breast till he 21 year old. He
have to have that nussin' real reg'lar. But one time he pesterin' mommer
and she tryin' milk the cow and the cow git nervous and kick over the
bucket and mommer fall off the stool and she so mad she wean him right
there and then.

"Old massa he never clean hisself up or dress up. He look like a vagrant
thing and he and missy mean, too. My pore daddy he back allus done cut
up from the whip and bit by the dogs. Sometime when a woman big they
make a hollow out place for her stomach and make her lay down 'cross
that hole and whip her behind. They sho' tear that thing up.

"Us chillen git to play and us sing

  "'Old possum in the holler log
    Sing high de loo,
  Fatter than a old green frog,
    Sing high de loo,
    Whar possum?

"That church they have a 'markable thing. They a deep tranch what cut
all 'round the bottom and clay steps what lead all the way to the top
the mountain and when the niggers git to shoutin' that church jes'
a-rollin' and rockin'. One the songs I 'member was

  "'Shoo the devil out the corner,
    Shoo, members, shoo,
  Shoo the devil out the corner,
    Shoo, members, shoo.'

"Us li'l gals allus wore cottanade dresses ev'ry day. Them what us call
nine-stitch dresses. Mammy make fasten-back dresses and fasten-back
drawers and knit sweaters and socks for the mens. She git sheep wool
what near ruint by cockle burrs and make us chillen set by the hour and
pick out them burrs.

"Us houses like chicken coops but us sho' happy in that li'l cabin
house. Nothin' to worry 'bout. Mammy cook them grits, that yaller
hominy. She make 'ash cat', cornbread wrop in cabbage leaf and put ashes
'round it.

"The old plantation 'bout on the line 'tween Virginny and Mis'sippi and
us live near the Madstone. That a big stone, all smooth and when a dog
bite you you go run 'round the Madstone and wash yourself in the hot
springs and the bites don't hurt you.

"I seed lots of sojers and my daddy fit with the Yankees and they have a
big fight close there and have a while lots of dead bodies layin' 'round
like so many logs and they jus' stack 'em up and sot fire to 'em. You
seed 'em burnin' night and day. They lay down and shoot and then jump up
and stick 'em and sometimes they drunk the blood outten where they stick
'em, 'cause they can't git no water.

"After freedom us go in ox team to New Orleans and daddy he raise cotton
and sell it and mommer sell eggs. My daddy a workin' man and he help
build the big custom house in New Orleans and help pull the rope to pull
the boats up the canal from the river. That Canal Street now. He put he
name on top that custom house and it there to this day. You can go there
and see it. He help build the hosp'tal, too.

"One time us live close to the bay and that gran' and us take a stove
and cotch catfish and perch and cook 'em on the bank and us go meet
oyster boats and daddy git 'em by the tub.

"I git marry in Baton Rouge when I sixteen and my husban' he name Arras
Shaw and he lots older'n me and I couldn't keep him. He in Port Arthur
now. My husban' and I sawmill 20 year in Grayburg, here in Texas, and
then us sep'rate. I been in Beaumont 16 year and I's rice farm cook in
the camp on the Fannett Road. They tells me I got uncles in Africy. I
goes to Sanctified church and that all I can do now.


[Illustration: Mary Ellen Johnson]

     MARY ELLEN JOHNSON, owner of a little restaurant at 1301 Marilla
     St., Dallas, Texas, is 77 years old. She was born in slavery to the
     Murth family, about ten miles from San Marcos, Texas. She neither
     reads nor writes but talks with little dialect.

"I don't know so fur back as befo' I was born, 'cept what my mammy told
me, and she allus said little black chillen wasn't sposed to ask so many
questions. Her name was Missouri Ellison, 'cause she belonged to Miss
Micelder Ellison and then when she married with Mr. Murth, her daddy
said my mammy was her 'heritance.

"My first mem'ries are us playin' in the backyard with Miss Fannie and
Miss Martha and Mr. Sammie. They was the little Murth chillen. We used
to make playhouses out there and sweep the ground clean down to the
level with brush brooms and dec'rate it all up with little broken
glasses and crockery.

"In them days we lived in a little, old log cabin in the backyard and
there was just one room, but it was snug and we had a plenty of livin'.
My mammy had a nice cotton bed and she weren't no field nigger, but my
pappy were.

"Miss Micelder had a fine farm and raised most everything we ate and the
food nowadays ain't like what it was then. Miss Micelder had a wood
frame house with a big kitchen and they were cookin' goin' on all the
time. They cooked on a wood stove with iron pots and skillets, and the
roastin' ears and chicken fried right out of your own yard is tastier
than what you git now. Grated 'tater puddin' was my dish.

"When I am seven years old I hear talk 'bout a war and the separation
but I don't pay much 'tention. It seem far away and I don't bother my
kinky head 'bout it. But then they tells eme [typo: me] the war is over
and I'm goin' to be raised free and that I don't 'long to anybody but
Gawd and my pappy and mammy, but it don't make me feel nothin', 'cause I
ain't never know I ain't free.

"After the war we removed to a house on a hill where they is five
houses, little log houses all in a row. We had good times, but we had to
work in the cotton and corn and wheat in the daylight time, but when the
dusk come we used to sing and dance and play into the moonlight.

"But one man called Milton, he's past his yearling boy days and he
didn't like to see us spend our time in sin, so he'd preach to us from
the Gospel, but I had the hardest time to get 'ligion of anybody I
knowed. Fin'ly I got sick when I were fifteen and was in my bed and
somethin' happened. Lawd, it was the most 'lievable thing ever happened
to me. I was layin' there when sin formed a heavy, white veil just like
a blanket over my bed and it just eased down over me till it was mashing
the breath out of me. I crys out to the Lawd to save me and, sho'
'nough, He hear the cry of a pore mis'able sinner. I ran to my mammy and
pappy a-shoutin'.

"The next year I marries and went on 'nother farm right near by and
starts havin' chillen. I has ten and think I done rightly my part,
'cause I lived right by the word and taught my chillen the same. I'm
lookin' to the promise to live in Glory after my days here is done.


[Illustration: Pauline Johnson and Felice Boudreaux]

     PAULINE JOHNSON and FELICE BOUDREAUX, sisters, were once slaves on
     the plantation of Dermat Martine, near Opelousas, Louisiana. As
     their owners were French, they are more inclined to use a Creole
     patois than English.

"Us was both slaves on de old plantation close to Opelousas," Pauline
began. As the elder of the two sisters she carried most of the
conversation, although often referring to Felice before making positive

"I was 12 year old when freedom come and Felice was 'bout six. Us
belonged to Massa Dermat Martine and the missy's name Mimi. They raise
us both in the house and they love us so they spoil us. I never will
forget that. The little white chillen was younger than me, 'bout
Felice's age. They sho' had pretty li'l curly black hair.

"Us didn't have hard time. Never even knowed hard time. That old massa,
he what you call a good man.

"Us daddy was Renee and he work in the field. The old massa give him a
mud and log house and a plot of ground for he own. The rain sho' never
get in that log house, it so tight. The furniture was homemake, but my
daddy make it good and stout.

"Us daddy he work de ground he own on Sunday and sold the things to buy
us shoes to put on us feet and clothes. The white folks didn't give us
clothes but they let him have all the money he made in his own plot to
get them.

"Us mama name Marguerite and she a field hand, too, so us chillen growed
up in the white folks house mostly. 'Fore Felice get big enough to leave
I stay in the big house and take care of her.

"One day us papa fall sick in the bed, just 'fore freedom, and he kep'
callin' for the priest. Old massa call the priest and just 'fore us papa
die the priest marry him and my mama. 'fore dat they just married by the
massa's word.

"Felice and me, us have two brothers what was born and die in slavery,
and one sister still livin' in Bolivar now. Us three uncles, Bruno and
Pophrey and Zaphrey, they goes to the war. Them three dies too young.
The Yankees stole them and make them boys fight for them.

"I never done much work but wash the dishes. They wasn't poor people and
they uses good dishes. The missy real particular 'bout us shinin' them
dishes nice, and the silver spoons and knives, too.

"Them white people was good Christian people and they christen us both
in the old brick Catholic church in Opelousas. They done torn it down
now. Missy give me pretty dress to get christen in. My godmother, she
Mileen Nesaseau, but I call her 'Miran'. My godfather called 'Paran.'

"On Sunday mornin' us fix our dress and hair and go up to the missy's
looking-glass to see if us pretty enough go to church. Us goes to Mass
every Sunday mornin' and church holiday, and when the cullud folks sick
massa send for the priest same's for the white folks.

"We wears them things on the strings round the neck for the good of the
heart. They's nutmeg.

"The plantation was a big, grand place and they have lots of orange
trees. The slaves pick them oranges and pack then down on the barrel
with la mosse (Spanish moss) to keep them. They was plenty pecans and
figs, too.

"In slavery time most everybody round Opelousas talk Creole. That make
the words hard to come sometime. Us both talk that better way than

"Durin' the war, it were a sight. Every mornin' Capt. Jenerette Bank and
he men go a hoss-back drillin' in the pasture and then have drill on
foot. A white lady take all us chillen to the drill ground every
mornin'. Us take the lunch food in the basket and stay till they done
drill out.

"I can sing for you the song they used to sing:

  "O, de Yankee come to put de nigger free,
    Says I, says I, pas bonne;
      In eighteen-sixty-three,
  De Yankee get out they gun and say,
  Hurrah! Let's put on the ball.

"When war over none the slaves wants leave the plantation. My mama and
us chillen stays on till old massa and missy dies, and then goes live on
the old Repridim place for a time.

"Both us get marry in that Catholic church in Opelousas. As for me, it
most too long ago to talk about. His name Alfred Johnson and he dead 12
years. Our youngest boy, John, go to the World War. Two my nephews die
in that war and one nephew can't walk now from that war.

"Felice marry Joseph Boudreaux and when he die she come here to stay
with me. There's more hard time now than in the old day for us, but I
hope things get better.


[Illustration: Spence Johnson]

     SPENCE JOHNSON was born free, a member of the Choctaw Nation, in
     the Indian Territory, in the 1850's. He does not know his exact
     age. He and his mother were stolen and sold at auction in
     Shreveport to Riley Surratt, who lived near Shreveport, on the
     Texas-Louisiana line. He has lived in Waco since 1874.

"De nigger stealers done stole me and my mammy out'n de Choctaw Nation,
up in de Indian Territory, when I was 'bout three years old. Brudder
Knox, Sis Hannah, and my mammy and her two step-chillun was down on de
river washin'. De nigger stealers driv up in a big carriage and mammy
jus' thought nothin', 'cause the road was near dere and people goin' on
de road stopped to water de horses and res' awhile in de shade. By'n by,
a man coaxes de two bigges' chillun to de carriage and give dem some
kind-a candy. Other chillun sees dis and goes, too. Two other men was
walkin' 'round smokin' and gettin' closer to mammy all de time. When he
kin, de man in de carriage got de two big step-chillun in with him and
me and sis' clumb in too, to see how come. Den de man holler, 'Git de
ole one and let's git from here.' With dat de two big men grab mammy and
she fought and screeched and bit and cry, but dey hit her on de head
with something and drug her in, and throwed her on de floor. De big
chilluns begin to fight for mammy, but one of de men hit 'em hard and
off dey driv, with de horses under whip.

"Dis was near a place called Boggy Depot. Dey went down de Red Ribber,
'cross de ribber and on down in Louisian to Shreveport. Down in Louisan
us was put on what dey call de 'block' and sol' to de highes' bidder. My
mammy and her three chillun brung $3,000 flat. De step chillun was sol'
to somebody else, but us was bought by Marse Riley Surratt. He was de
daddy of Jedge Marshall Surratt, him who got to be jedge here in Waco.

"Marse Riley Surratt had a big plantation; don't know how many acres,
but dere was a factory and gins and big houses and lots of nigger
quarters. De house was right on de Tex-Louisan line. Mammy cooked for
'em. When Marse Riley bought her, she couldn' speak nothin' but de
Choctaw words. I was a baby when us lef' de Choctaw country. My sister
looked like a full blood Choctaw Indian and she could pass for a real
full blood Indian. Mammy's folks was all Choctaw Indians. Her sisters
was Polly Hogan, and Sookey Hogan and she had a brudder, Nolan Tubby.
Dey was all known in de Territory in de ole days.

"Near as Marse Riley's books can come to it, I mus' of been bo'n 'round
1859, up in de Territory.

"Us run de hay press to bale cotton on de plantation and took cotton by
ox wagons to Shreveport. Seven or eight wagons in a train, with three or
four yoke of steers to each wagon. Us made 'lasses and cloth and shoes
and lots of things. Old Marse Riley had a nigger who could make shoes
and if he had to go to court in Carthage, he'd leave nigger make shoes
for him.

"De quarters was a quarter mile long, all strung out on de creek bank.
Our cabin was nex' de big house. De white folks give big balls and had
supper goin' all night. Us had lots to eat and dey let us have dances
and suppers, too. We never go anywhere. Mammy always cry and 'fraid of
bein' stole again.

"Dere was a white man live close to us, but over in Louisan. He had
raised him a great big black man what brung fancy price on de block. De
black man sho' love dat white man. Dis white man would sell ole
John--dat's de black man's name--on de block to some man from Georgia or
other place fur off. Den, after 'while de white man would steal ole John
back and bring him home and feed him good, den sell him again. After he
had sol' ole John some lot of times, he coaxed ole John off in de swamp
one day and ole John foun' dead sev'ral days later. De white folks said
dat de owner kilt him, 'cause 'a dead nigger won't tell no tales.'

"Durin' de Freedom War, I seed soldiers all over de road. Dey was
breakin' hosses what dey stole. Us skeered and didn' let soldiers see us
if we could he'p it. Mammy and I stayed on with Marse Riley after
Freedom and till I was 'bout sixteen. Den Marse Riley died and I come to
Waco in a wagon with Jedge Surratt's brother, Marse Taylor Surratt. I
come to Waco de same year dat Dr. Lovelace did, and he says that was
1874. I married and us had six chillun.

"I can't read or write, 'cause I only went to school one day. De white
folks tried to larn me, but I's too thickheaded.


[Illustration: Harriet Jones]

[Illustration: Harriet Jones with Daughter and Granddaughter]

     HARRIET JONES, 93, was born a slave of Martin Fullbright, who owned
     a large plantation in North Carolina. When he died his daughter,
     Ellen, became Harriet's owner, and was so kind to Harriet that she
     looks back on slave years as the happiest time in her life.

"My daddy and mammy was Henry and Zilphy Guest and Marse Martin
Fullbright brung dem from North Carolina to Red River County, in Texas,
long 'fore freedom, and settled near Clarksville. I was one of dere
eight chillen and borned in 1844 and am 93 years old. My folks stayed
with Marse Martin and he daughter, Miss Ellen, till dey went to de
reward where dey dies no more.

"De plantation raise corn and oats and wheat and cotton and hawgs and
cattle and hosses, and de neares' place to ship to market am at
Jefferson, Texas, ninety miles from Clarksville, den up river to
Shreveport and den to Memphis or New Orleans. Dey send cotton by wagon
train to Jefferson but mostly by boat up de bayou.

"When Marse Martin die he 'vide us slaves to he folks and I falls to he
daughter, Miss Ellen. Iffen ever dere was a angel on dis earth she was
it. I hopes wherever it is, her spirit am in glory.

"When Miss Ellen marry Marse Johnnie Watson, she have me fix her up. She
have de white satin dress and pink sash and tight waist and hoop skirt,
so she have to go through de door sideways. De long curls I made hang
down her shoulders and a bunch of pink roses in de hand. She look like a

"All de fine folks in Clarksville at dat weddin' and dey dances in de
big room after de weddin' supper. It was de grand time but it make me
cry, 'cause Miss Ellen done growed up. When she was a li'l gal she wore
de sweetes' li'l dresses and panties with de lace ruffles what hung down
below her skirt, and de jacket button in de back and shoes from soft
leather de shoeman tan jus' for her. When she li'l bigger she wear de
tucked petticoats, two, three at a time to take place of hoops, but she
still wear de white panties with lace ruffles what hang below de skirt
'bout a foot. Where dey gone now? I ain't seed any for sich a long time!

"When de white ladies go to church in dem hoop skirts, dey has to pull
dem up in da back to set down. After freedom dey wears de dresses long
with de train and has to hold up de train when dey goes in de church,
lessen dey has de li'l nigger to go 'long and hold it up for dem.

"All us house women larned to knit de socks and head mufflers, and many
is de time I has went to town and traded socks for groceries. I cooked,
too, and helped 'fore old Marse died. For everyday cookin' we has corn
pone and potlicker and bacon meat and mustard and turnip greens, and
good, old sorghum 'lasses. On Sunday we has chicken or turkey or roast
pig and pies and cakes and hot, salt-risin' bread.

"When folks visit dem days dey do it right and stays several days, maybe
a week or two. When de quality folks comes for dinner, Missie show me
how to wait on table. I has to come in when she ring de bell, and hold
de waiter for food jus' right. For de breakfas' we has coffee and hot
waffles what my mammy make.

"Dere was a old song we used to sing 'bout de hoecake, when we cookin'

  "'If you wants to bake a hoecake,
  To bake it good and done,
  Slap it on a nigger's heel,
  And hold it to de sun.

  "'My mammy baked a hoecake,
  As big as Alabama,
  She throwed it 'gainst a nigger's head,
  It ring jus' like a hammer.

  "'De way you bake a hoecake,
  De old Virginny way,
  Wrap it round a nigger's stomach,
  And hold it dere all day.'

"Dat de life we lives with old and young marse and missie, for dey de
quality folks of old Texas.

"'Bout time for de field hands to go to work, it gittin' mighty hot down
here, so dey go by daylight when it cooler. Old Marse have a horn and
'long 'bout four o'clock it 'gin to blow, and you turn over and try take
'nother nap, den it goes arguin', b l o w, how loud dat old horn do
blow, but de sweet smell de air and de early breeze blowin' through de
trees, and de sun peepin' over de meadow, make you glad to git up in de
early mornin'.

  "'It's a cool and frosty mornin'
  And de niggers goes to work,
  With hoes upon dey shoulders,
  Without a bit of shirt.'

"'When dey hears de horn blow for dinner it am de race, and dey sings:

  "'I goes up on de meatskins,
  I comes down on de pone--
  I hits de corn pone fifty licks,
  And makes dat butter moan.'

"De timber am near de river and de bayou and when dey not workin' de
hosses or no other work, we rides down and goes huntin' with de boys,
for wild turkeys and prairie chickens, but dey like bes' to hunt for
coons and possums.

  "'Possum up de gum stump,
  Raccoon in de hollow--
  Git him down and twist him out,
  And I'll give you a dollar.'

"Come Christmas, Miss Ellen say, 'Harriet, have de Christmas Tree carry
in and de holly and evergreens.' Den she puts de candles on de tree and
hangs de stockin's up for de white chillen and de black chillen. Nex'
mornin', everybody up 'fore day and somethin' for us all, and for de men
a keg of cider or wine on de back porch, so dey all have a li'l
Christmas spirit.

"De nex' thing am de dinner, serve in de big dinin' room, and dat
dinner! De onlies' time what I ever has sich a good dinner am when I
gits married and when Miss Ellen marries Mr. Johnnie. After de white
folks eats, dey watches de servants have dey dinner.

"Den dey has guitars and banjoes and fiddles and plays old Christmas
tunes, den dat night marse and missie brung de chillen to de quarters,
to see de niggers have dey dance. 'Fore de dance dey has Christmas
supper, on de long table out in de yard in front de cabins, and have
wild turkey or chicken and plenty good things to eat. When dey all
through eatin', dey has a li'l fire front de main cabins where de
dancin' gwine be. Dey moves everything out de cabin 'cept a few chairs.
Next come de fiddler and banjo-er and when dey starts, de caller call,
'Heads lead off,' and de first couple gits in middle de floor, and all
de couples follow till de cabin full. Next he calls, 'Sashay to de
right, and do-si-do.' Round to de right dey go, den he calls, 'Swing
you partners, and dey swing dem round twice, and so it go till daylight
come, den he sing dis song:

  "'Its gittin' mighty late when de Guinea hen squall,
  And you better dance now if you gwine dance a-tall--
  If you don't watch out, you'll sing 'nother tune,
  For de sun rise and cotch you, if you don't go soon,
  For de stars gittin' paler and de old gray coon
  Is sittin' in de grapevine a-watchin' de moon.'

"Den de dance break up with de Virginny Reel, and it de end a happy
Christmas day. De old marse lets dem frolic all night and have nex' day
to git over it, 'cause its Christmas.

"'Fore freedom de soldiers pass by our house and stop ask mammy to cook
dem something to eat, and when de Yankees stop us chillen hides. Once
two men stays two, three weeks lookin' round, pretends dey gwine buy
land. But when de white folks gits 'spicious, dey leaves right sudden,
and it turn out dey's Yankee spies.

"I marries Bill Jones de year after freedom. It a bright, moonlight
night and all de white folks and niggers come and de preacher stand
under de big elm tree, and I come in with two li'l pickininnies for
flower gals and holdin' my train. I has on one Miss Ellen's dresses and
red stockin's and a pair brand new shoes and a wide brim hat. De
preacher say, 'Bill, does you take dis woman to be you lawful wife?' and
Bill say he will. Den he say, 'Harriet, will you take dis nigger to be
you lawful boss and do jes' what he say?' Den we signs de book and de
preacher say, 'I quotes from de scripture:

  "'Dark and stormy may come de weather,
  I jines dis man and woman together.
  Let none but Him what make de thunder,
  Put dis man and woman asunder.'

"Den we goes out in de backyard, where de table sot for supper, a long
table made with two planks and de peg legs. Miss Ellen puts on de white
tablecloth and some red berries, 'cause it am November and dey is ripe.
Den she puts on some red candles, and we has barbecue pig and roast
sweet 'taters and dumplin's and pies and cake. Dey all eats dis grand
supper till dey full and mammy give me de luck charm for de bride. It am
a rabbit toe, and she say:

  "'Here, take dis li'l gift,
  And place it near you heart;
  It keep away dat li'l riff
  What causes folks to part.

  "'It only jes' a rabbit toe,
  But plenty luck it brings,
  Its worth a million dimes or more,
  More'n all de weddin' rings.'

"Den we goes to Marse Watson's saddleshop to dance and dances all night,
and de bride and groom, dat's us, leads de grand march.

"De Yankees never burned de house or nothin', so Young Marse and Missie
jes' kep' right on livin' in de old home after freedom, like old Marse
done 'fore freedom. He pay de families by de day for work and let dem
work land on de halves and furnish dem teams and grub and dey does de

"But bye'n-bye times slow commence to change, and first one and 'nother
de old folks goes on to de Great Beyon', one by one dey goes, till all I
has left am my great grandchild what I lives with now. My sister was
livin' at Greenville six years ago. She was a hundred and four years old
den. I don't know if she's livin' now or not. How does we live dat long?
Way back yonder 'fore I's born was a blessin' handed down from my great,
great, grandfather. It de blessin' of long life, and come with a
blessin' of good health from livin' de clean, hones' life. When
nighttime come, we goes to bed and to sleep, and dat's our blessin'.


[Illustration: Lewis Jones]

     LEWIS JONES, 86, was born a slave to Fred Tate, who owned a large
     plantation on the Colorado River in Fayette Co., Texas. Lewis'
     father was born a slave to H. Jones and was sold to Fred Tate, who
     used him as a breeder to build up his slave stock. Lewis took his
     father's name after Emancipation, and worked for twenty-three years
     in a cotton gin at La Grange. He came to Fort Worth in 1896 and
     worked for Armour & Co. until 1931. Lewis lives at 3304 Loving
     Ave., Fort Worth, Texas.

"My birth am in de year 1851 on de plantation of Massa Fred Tate, what
am on de Colorado River. Yes, suh, dat am in de state of Texas. My mammy
am owned by Massa Tate and so am my pappy and all my brudders and
sisters. How many brudders and sisters? Lawd A-mighty! I'll tell you
'cause you asks and dis nigger gives de facts as 'tis. Let's see, I
can't 'lect de number. My pappy have 12 chillen by my mammy and 12 by
anudder nigger name Mary. You keep de count. Den dere am Liza, him have
10 by her, and dere am Mandy, him have 8 by her, and dere am Betty, him
have six by her. Now, let me 'lect some more. I can't bring de names to
mind, but dere am two or three other what have jus' one or two chillen
by my pappy. Dat am right. Close to 50 chillen, 'cause my mammy done
told me. It's disaway, my pappy am de breedin' nigger.

"You sees, when I meets a nigger on dat plantation, I's most sho' it am
a brudder or sister, so I don't try keep track of 'em.

"Massa Tate didn't give rations to each family like lots of massas, but
him have de cookhouse and de cooks, and all de rations cooked by dem and
all us niggers sat down to de long tables. Dere am plenty, plenty. I
sho' wishes I could have some good rations like dat now. Man, some of
dat ham would go fine. Dat was 'Ham, what am.'

"We'uns raise all de food right dere on de place. Hawgs? We'uns have
three, four hundred and massa raise de corn and feed dem and cure de
meat. We'uns have de cornmeal and de wheat flour and all de milk and
butter we wants, 'cause massa have 'bout 30 cows. And dere am de good
old 'lasses, too.

"Massa feed powerful good and he am not onreas'ble. He don't whup much
and am sho' reas'ble 'bout de pass, and he 'low de parties and have de
church on de place. Old Tom am de preacherman and de musician and him
play de fiddle and banjo. Sometime dey have jig contest, dat when dey
puts de glass of water on de head and see who can jig de hardes' without
spillin' de water. Den dere am joyment in de singin'. Preacher Tom set
all us niggers in de circle and sing old songs. I jus' can't sing for
you, 'cause I's lost my teeth and my voice am raspin', but I'll word
some, sich as

  "'In de new Jerusalem,
  In de year of Jubilee.'

"I done forgit de words. Den did you ever hear dis one:

  "'Oh, do, what Sam done, do dat again,
  He went to de hambone, bit off de end.'

"When Old Tom am preacherman, him talks from he heartfelt. Den sometime
a white preacherman come and he am de Baptist and baptize we'uns.

"Massa have de fine coach and de seat for de driver am up high in front
and I's de coachman and he dresses me nice and de hosses am fine, white
team. Dere I's sat up high, all dress good, holdin' a tight line 'cause
de team am full of spirit and fast. We'uns goes lickity split and it am
a purty sight. Man, 'twarnt anyone bigger dan dis nigger.

"I has de bad luck jus' one time with dat team and it am disaway: massa
have jus' change de power for de gin from hoss to steam and dey am
ginnin' cotton and I's with dat team 'side de house and de hosses am
a-prancin' and waitin' for missy to come out. Massa am in de coach. Den,
de fool niggers blows de whistle of dat steam engine and de hosses never
heered sich befo' and dey starts to run. Dey have de bit in de teeths
and I's lucky dat road am purty straight. I thinks of massa bein' inside
de coach and wants to save him. I says to myself, 'Dem hosses skeert and
I don't want to skeer 'em no more.' I jus' hold de lines steady and keep
sayin', 'Steady, boys, whoa boys.' Fin'ly dey begins to slow down and
den stops and massa gits out and de hosses am puffin' hard and all foam.
He turns to me and say, 'Boy, you's made a wonnerful drive, like a
vet'ran.' Now, does dat make me feel fine! It sho' do.

"When surrender come I's been drivin' 'bout a year and it's 'bout 11
o'clock in de mornin', 'cause massa have me ring de bell and all de
niggers runs quick to de house and massa say dey am free niggers. It am
time for layin' de crops by and he say if dey do dat he pay 'em. Some
stays and some goes off, but mammy and pappy and me stays. Dey never
left dat plantation, and I stays 'bout 8 years. I guess it dat coachman
job what helt me.

"When I quits I goes to work for Ed Mattson in La Grange and I works in
dat cotton gin 18 years. Fin'ly I comes here to Fort Worth. Dat am 1896.
I works for Armours 20 years but dey let me off six years ago, 'cause
I's too old. Since den I works at any little old job, for to make my

"Sho', I's been married and it to Jane Owen in La Grange, and we'uns
have three chillen and dey all dead. She died in 1931.

"It am hard for dis nigger to git by and sometime I don't know for sho'
dat I's gwine git anudder meal, but it allus come some way. Yes, suh,
dey allus come some way. Some of de time dey is far apart, but dey
comes. De Lawd see to dat, I guess.


     LIZA JONES, 81, was born a slave of Charley Bryant, near Liberty,
     Texas. She lives in Beaumont, and her little homestead is reached
     by a devious path through a cemetery and across a ravine on a plank
     foot-bridge. Liza sat in a backless chair, smoking a pipe, and her
     elderly son lay on a blanket nearby. Both were resting after a hot
     day's work in the field. Within the open door could be seen Henry
     Jones, Liza's husband for sixty years, a tall, gaunt Negro who is
     helpless. Blind, deaf and almost speechless, he could tell nothing
     of slavery days, although he was grown when the war ended.

"When de Yankees come to see iffen dey had done turn us a-loose, I am a
nine year old nigger gal. That make me about 81 now. Dey promenade up to
de gate and de drum say a-dr-um-m-m-m-m, and de man in de blue uniform
he git down to open de gate. Old massa he see dem comin' and he runned
in de house and grab up de gun. When he come hustlin' down off de
gallery, my daddy come runnin'. He seed old massa too mad to know what
he a-doin', so quicker dan a chicken could fly he grab dat gun and
wrastle it outten old massa's hands. Den he push old massa in de
smokehouse and lock de door. He ain't do dat to be mean, but he want to
keep old massa outten trouble. Old massa know dat, but he beat on de
door and yell, but it ain't git open till dem Yankees done gone.

"I wisht old massa been a-livin' now, I'd git a piece of bread and meat
when I want it. Old man Charley Bryant, he de massa, and Felide Bryant
de missus. Dey both have a good age when freedom come.

"My daddy he George Price and he boss nigger on de place. Dey all come
from Louisiana, somewhere round New Orleans and all dem li'l extra

"Liz'beth she my mama and dey's jus' two us chillen, me and my brudder,
John. He lives in Beaumont.

"'Bout all de work I did was 'tend to de rooms and sweep. Nobody ever
'low us to see nobody 'bused. I never seed or heared of nobody gittin'
cut to pieces with a whip like some. Course, chillen wasn't 'lowed to go
everywhere and see everything like dey does now. Dey jump in every
corner now.

"Miss Flora and Miss Molly am de only ones of my white folks what am
alive now and dey done say dey take me to San Antonio with dem. Course,
I couldn't go now and leave Henry, noway. De old Bryant place am in de
lawsuit. Dey say de brudder, Mister Benny, he done sharped it 'way from
de others befo' he die, but I 'lieve the gals will win dat lawsuit.

"My daddy am de gold pilot on de old place. Dat mean anything he done
was right and proper. Way after freedom, when my daddy die in Beaumont,
Cade Bryant and Mister Benny both want to see him befo' he buried. Dey
ride in and say, 'Better not you bury him befo' us see him. Dat's us
young George.' Dey allus call daddy dat, but he old den.

"My mama was de spring back cook and turkey baker. Dey call her dat, she
so neat, and cook so nice. I's de expert cook, too. She larnt me.

"Us chillen used to sing

  "'Don't steal,
  Don't steal my sugar.
  Don't steal,
  Don't steal my candy.
  I's comin' round de mountain.'

"Dey sho' have better church in dem days dan now. Us git happy and
shout. Dey too many blind taggers now. Now dey say dey got de key and
dey ain't got nothin'. Us used to sing like dis:

  "'Adam's fallen race,
  Good Lawd, hang down my head and cry.
  Help me to trust him,
  Help me to trust him,
  Help me to trust him,
     Gift of Gawd.

  "'Help me to trust him,
  Help me to trust him,
  Help me to trust him,
     Eternal Life.

  "'Had not been for Adam's race,
  I wouldn't been sinnin' today,
  Help me to trust him,
     Gift of Gawd.'

"Dey 'nother hymn like dis:

  "'Heavenly land,
  Heavenly land,
  I's gwineter beg Gawd,
  For dat Heavenly land.

  "'Some come cripplin',
  Some come lame,
  Some come walkin',
  In Jesus' name.'

"You know I saw you-all last night in my sleep? I ain't never seed you
befo' today, but I seed you last night. Dey's two of you, a man and a
woman, and you come crost dat bridge and up here, askin' me iffen I
trust in de Lawd. And here you is today.

"Dey had nice parties in slavery time and right afterwards. Dey have
candy pullin' and corn shuckin's and de like. Old Massa Day and Massa
Bryant, dey used to put dey niggers together and have de prize dances.
Massa Day allus lose, 'cause us allus beat he niggers at dancin'. Lawd,
when I clean myself up, I sho' could teach dem how to buy a cake-walk in
dem days. I could cut de pigeon wing, jes' pull my heels up and clack
dem together. Den us do de back step and de banquet, too.

"Us allus have de white tarleton Swiss dress for dances and Sunday. Dem
purty good clothes, too and dey make at home. Us knowed how to sew and
one de old man's gals, she try teach me readin' and writin'. I didn't
have no sense, though, and I cry to go out and play.

"When freedom come old massa he done broke down and cry, so my daddy
stay with him. He stay a good many year, till both us chillen was
growed. Us have de li'l log house on de place all dat time. Dey 'nother
old cullud man what stay, name George Whitehouse. He have de li'l house,
too. He stay till he die.

"Dey was tryin' to make a go of it after de war, 'cause times was hard.
De white boys, dey go out in de field and work den, and work hard,
'cause dey don't have de slaves no more. I used to see de purty, young
white ladies, all dress up, comin' to de front door. I slips out and
tell de white boys, and dey workin' in de field, half-naked and dirty,
and dey sneak in de back door and clean up to spark dem gals.

"I been marry to dat Henry in dere sixty year, and he was a slave in
Little Rock, in Arkansas, for Anderson Jones. Henry knowed de bad,
tejous part of de war and he must be 'bout 96 year old. Now he am in
pain all de time. Can't see, can't hear and can't talk. Us never has had
de squabble. At de weddin' de white folks brung cakes and every li'l
thing. I had a white tarleton dress with de white tarleton wig. Dat de
hat part what go over de head and drape on de shoulder. Dat de sign you
ain't never done no wrong sin and gwinter keep bein' good.

"After us marry I move off de old place, but nothin' must do but I got
to keep de house for Mister Benny. I's cleanin' up one time and finds a
milk churn of money. I say, 'Mr. Benny, what for you ain't put dat money
in de bank?' He say he will. De next time I cleanin' up I finds a pillow
sack full of money. I says, 'Mr. Benny, I's gwineter quit. I ain't
gwineter be 'sponsible for dis money.' He's sick den and I put de money
under he pillow and git ready to go. He say, 'You better stay, or I send
Andrew, de sheriff, after you.' I goes and cooks dinner and when I gits
back dey has four doctors with Mr. Benny. He wife say to me, 'Liza, you
got de sight. Am Benny gwineter git well?' I goes and looks and I knowed
he gwine way from dere. I knowed he was gone den. Dey leant on me a heap
after dat.

"It some years after dat I leaves dem and Henry and me gits married and
us make de livin' farmin'. Us allus stays right round hereabouts and
gits dis li'l house. Now my son and me, us work de field and gits 'nough
to git through on.


[Illustration: Lizzie Jones]

     LIZZIE JONES, an 86 year old ex-slave of the R.H. Hargrove family,
     was born in 1861, in Harrison County, Texas. She stayed with her
     owner until four years after the close of the Civil War. She now
     lives with Talmadge Buchanan, a grandson, two miles east of
     Karnack, on the Lee road.

"I was bo'n on the ole Henry Hargrove place. My ole missus was named
Elizabeth and mammy called me Lizzie for her. But the Hargroves called
me 'Wink' since I was a chile, 'cause I was so black and shiny. Massa
Hargrove had four girls and four boys and I helped tend them till I was
big enough to cook and keep house. I wagged ole Marse Dr. Hargrove, dat
lives in Marshall, round when he was a baby.

"I allus lived in de house with the white folks and ate at their table
when they was through, and slep' on the floor. We never had no school or
church in slavery time. The niggers couldn' even add. None of us knowed
how ole we was, but Massa set our ages down in a big book.

"I 'member playin' peep-squirrel and marbles and keepin' house when I
was a chile. Massa 'lowed the boys and girls to cou't but they couldn'
marry 'fore they was 20 years ole, and they couldn' marry off the
plantation. Slaves warn't married by no Good Book or the law, neither.
They'd jes' take up with each other and go up to the Big House and ask
massa to let them marry. If they was ole enough, he'd say to the boy,
'Take her and go on home.'

"Mammy lived 'cross the field at the quarters and there was so many
nigger shacks it look like a town. The slaves slep' on bunks of homemade
boards nailed to de wall with poles for legs and they cooked on the
fireplace. I didn' know what a stove was till after de War. Sometime
they'd bake co'nbread in the ashes and every bit of the grub they ate
come from the white folks and the clothes, too. I run them looms many a
night, weavin' cloth. In summer we had lots of turnips and greens and
garden stuff to eat. Massa allus put up sev'ral barrels of kraut and a
smokehouse full of po'k for winter. We didn' have flour or lard, but
huntin' was good 'fore de war and on Sat'day de men could go huntin' and
fishin' and catch possum and rabbits and squirrels and coons.

"The overseer was named Wade and he woke the han's up at four in the
mornin' and kep' them in the field from then till the sun set. Mos' of
de women worked in de fields like de men. They'd wash clothes at night
and dry them by the fire. The overseer kep' a long coach whip with him
and if they didn' work good, he'd thrash them good. Sometime he's pretty
hard on them and strip 'em off and whip 'em till they think he was gonna
kill 'em. No nigger ever run off as I 'member.

"We never have no parties till after 'mancipation, and we couldn' go off
de place. On Sundays we slep' or visited each other. But the white folks
was good to us. Massa Hargrove didn' have no doctor but there wasn' much
sickness and seldom anybody die.

"I don' 'member much 'bout de War. Massa went to it, but he come home
shortly and say he sick with the 'sumption, but he got well real quick
after surrender.

"The white folks didn' let the niggers know they was free till 'bout a
year after the war. Massa Hargrove took sick sev'ral months after and
'fore he did he tell the folks not to let the niggers loose till they
have to. Finally they foun' out and 'gun to leave.

"My pappy died 'fore I was bo'n and mammy married Caesar Peterson and
'bout a year after de war dey moved to a farm close to Lee, but I kep'
on workin' for de Hargroves for four years, helpin' missus cook and keep


     TOBY JONES was born in South Carolina, in 1850, a slave of Felix
     Jones, who owned a large tobacco plantation. Toby has farmed in
     Madisonville, Texas, since 1869, and still supports himself, though
     his age makes it hard for him to work.

"My father's name was Eli Jones and mammy's name was Jessie. They was
captured in Africa and brought to this country whilst they was still
young folks, and my father was purty hard to realize he was a slave,
'cause he done what he wanted back in Africa.

"Our owner was Massa Felix Jones and he had lots of tobacco planted. He
was real hard on us slaves and whipped us, but Missie Janie, she was a
real good woman to her black folks. I 'members when their li'l
curlyheaded Janie was borned. She jus' loved this old, black nigger and
I carried her on my back whole days at a time. She was the sweetes' baby
ever borned.

"Massa, he lived in a big, rock house with four rooms and lots of shade
trees, and had 'bout fifty slaves. Our livin' quarters wasn't bad. They
was rock, too, and beds built in the corners, with straw moss to sleep

"We had plenty to eat, 'cause the woods was full of possum and rabbits
and all the mud holes full of fish. I sho' likes a good, old, fat possum
cooked with sweet 'taters round him. We cooked meat in a old-time pot
over the fireplace or on a forked stick. We grated corn by hand for
cornbread and made waterpone in the ashes.

"I was borned 'bout 1850, so I was plenty old to 'member lots 'bout
slave times. I 'members the loyal clothes, a long shirt what come down
below our knees, opened all the way down the front. On Sunday we had
white loyal shirts, but no shoes and when it was real cold we'd wrap our
feet in wool rags so they wouldn't freeze. I married after freedom and
had white loyal breeches. I wouldn't marry 'fore that, 'cause massa
wouldn't let me have the woman I wanted.

"The overseer was a mean white man and one day he starts to whip a
nigger what am hoein' tobacco, and he whipped him so hard that nigger
grabs him and made him holler. Missie come out and made them turn loose
and massa whipped that nigger and put him in chains for a whole year.
Every night he had to be in jail and couldn't see his folks for that
whole year.

"I seed slaves sold, and they'd make them clean up good and grease their
hands and face, so they'd look real fat, and sell them off. Of course,
most the niggers didn't know their parents or what chillen was theirs.
The white folks didn't want them to git 'tached to each other.

"Missie read some Bible to us every Sunday mornin' and taught us to do
right and tell the truth. But some them niggers would go off without a
pass and the patterrollers would beat them up scand'lous.

"The fun was on Saturday night when massa 'lowed us to dance. There was
lots of banjo pickin' and tin pan beatin' and dancin', and everybody
would talk 'bout when they lived in Africa and done what they wanted.

"I worked for massa 'bout four years after freedom, 'cause he forced me
to, said he couldn't 'ford to let me go. His place was near ruint, the
fences burnt and the house would have been but it was rock. There was a
battle fought near his place and I taken missie to a hideout in the
mountains to where her father was, 'cause there was bullets flyin'
everywhere. When the war was over, massa come home and says, 'You son
of a gun, you's sposed to be free, but you ain't, 'cause I ain't gwine
give you freedom.' So, I goes on workin' for him till I gits the chance
to steal a hoss from him. The woman I wanted to marry, Govie, she 'cides
to come to Texas with me. Me and Govie, we rides that hoss most a
hundred miles, then we turned him a-loose and give him a scare back to
his house, and come on foot the rest the way to Texas.

"All we had to eat was what we could beg and sometimes we went three
days without a bite to eat. Sometimes we'd pick a few berries. When we
got cold we'd crawl in a breshpile and hug up close together to keep
warm. Once in awhile we'd come to a farmhouse and the man let us sleep
on cottonseed in his barn, but they was far and few between, 'cause they
wasn't many houses in the country them days like now.

"When we gits to Texas we gits married, but all they was to our weddin'
am we jus' 'grees to live together as man and wife. I settled on some
land and we cut some trees and split them open and stood them on end
with the tops together for our house. Then we deadened some trees and
the land was ready to farm. There was some wild cattle and hawgs and
that's the way we got our start, caught some of them and tamed them.

"I don't know as I 'spected nothin' from freedom, but they turned us out
like a bunch of stray dogs, no homes, no clothin', no nothin', not
'nough food to last us one meal. After we settles on that place, I never
seed man or woman, 'cept Govie, for six years, 'cause it was a long ways
to anywhere. All we had to farm with was sharp sticks. We'd stick holes
and plant corn and when it come up we'd punch up the dirt round it. We
didn't plant cotton, 'cause we couldn't eat that. I made bows and
arrows to kill wild game with and we never went to a store for nothin'.
We made our clothes out of animal skins.

"We used rabbit foots for good luck, tied round our necks. We'd make
medicine out of wood herbs. There is a rabbit foot weed that we mixed
with sassafras and made good cough syrup. Then there is cami weed for
chills and fever.

"All I ever did was to farm and I made a livin'. I still makes one,
though I'm purty old now and its hard for me to keep the work up. I has
some chickens and hawgs and a yearling or two to sell every year.


     AUNT PINKIE KELLY, whose age is a matter of conjecture, but who
     says she was "growed up when sot free," was born on a plantation in
     Brazoria Co., owned by Greenville McNeel, and still lives on what
     was a part of the McNeel plantation, in a little cabin which she
     says is much like the old slave quarters.

"De only place I knows 'bout is right here, what was Marse Greenville
McNeel's plantation, 'cause I's born here and Marse Greenville and Missy
Amelia, what was his wife, is de only ones I ever belonged to. After de
war, Marse Huntington come down from up north and took over de place
when Marse Greenville die, but de big house burned up and all de papers,
too, and I couldn't tell to save my life how old I is, but I's growed up
and worked in de fields befo' I's sot free.

"My mammy's name was Harriet Jackson and she was born on de same
plantation. My pappy's name was Dan, but folks called him Good Cheer. He
druv oxen and one day they show me him and say he my pappy, and so I
guess he was, but I can't tell much about him, 'cause chillen then
didn't know their pappys like chillen do now.

"Most I 'members 'bout them times is work, 'cause we's put out in de
fields befo' day and come back after night. Then we has to shell a
bushel of corn befo' we goes to bed and we was so tired we didn't have
time for nothin'.

"Old man Jerry Driver watches us in de fields and iffen we didn't work
hard he whip us and whip us hard. Then he die and 'nother man call
Archer come. He say, 'You niggers now, you don't work good, I beat you,'
and we sho' worked hard then.

"Marse Greenville treated us pretty good but he never give us nothin'.
Sometime we'd run away and hide in de woods for a spell, but when they
cotch us Marse Greenville tie us down and whip us so we don't do it no

"We didn't have no clothes like we do now, jes' cotton lowers and rubber
shoes. They used to feed us peas and cornbread and hominy, and sometime
they threw beef in a pot and bile it, but we never had hawg meat.

"Iffen we took sick, old Aunt Becky was de doctor. They was a building
like what they calls a hospital and she put us in there and give us
calomel or turpentine, dependin' on what ailed us. They allus kep' the
babies there and let de mammies come in and suckle and dry 'em up.

"I never heered much 'bout no war and Marse Greenville never told us we
was free. First I knows was one day we gwine to de fields and a man come
ridin' up and say, 'Whar you folks gwine?' We say we gwine to de fields
and then he say to Marse Greenville, 'You can't work these people,
without no pay, 'cause they's as free as you is.' Law, we sho' shout,
young folks and old folks too. But we stay there, no place to go, so we
jes' stay, but we gits a little pay.

"After 'while I marries. Allen Kelley was de first husban' what I ever
owned and he die. Houston Edmond, he the las' husban' I ever owned and
he die, too.

"Law me, they used to be a sayin' that chillen born on de dark of de
moon ain't gwineter have no luck, and I guess I sho' was born then!"


[Illustration: Sam Kilgore]

     SAM KILGORE, 92, was born a slave of John Peacock, of Williams
     County, Tennessee, who owned one of the largest plantations in the
     south. When he was eight years old, Sam accompanied his master to
     England for a three-year stay. Sam was in the Confederate Army and
     also served in the Spanish-American War. He came to Fort Worth in
     1889 and learned cement work. In 1917 he started a cement
     contracting business which he still operates. He lives at 1211 E.
     Cannon St., Fort Worth, Texas.

"You asks me when I's born and was I born a slave. Well, I's born on
July 17, 1845, so I's a slave for twenty years, and had three massas.
I's born in Williamson County, near Memphis, in Tennessee. Massa John
Peacock owned de plantation and am it de big one! Dere am a thousand
acres and 'bout a thousand slaves.

"De slave cabins am in rows, twenty in de first row and eighteen in de
second and sixteen in de third. Den dere am house servants quarters near
de big house. De cabins am logs and not much in dem but homemade tables
and benches and bunks 'side de wall. Each family has dere own cabin and
sometimes dere am ten or more in de family, so it am kind of crowded.
But massa am good and let dem have de family life, and once each week de
rations am measure out by a old darky what have charge de com'sary, and
dere am allus plenty to eat.

"But dem eats ain't like nowadays. It am home-cured meat and mostly
cornmeal, but plenty veg'tables and 'lasses and brown sugar. Massa
raised lots of hawgs, what am Berkshires and Razorbacks. Razorback meat
am 'sidered de best and sweetest.

"De work stock am eighty head of mules and fifty head of hosses and
fifteen yoke of oxen. It took plenty feed for all dem and massa have de
big field of corn, far as we could see. De plantation am run on system
and everything clean and in order, not like lots of plantations with
tools scattered 'round and dirt piles here and there. De chief overseer
am white and de second overseers am black. Stien was nigger overseer in
de shoemakin' and harness, and Aunty Darkins am overseer of de spinnin'
and weavin'.

"Dat place am so well manage dat whippin's am not nec'sary. Massa have
he own way of keepin' de niggers in line. If dey bad he say, 'I 'spect
dat nigger driver comin' round tomorrow and I's gwine sell you.' Now,
when a nigger git in de hands of de nigger driver it am de big chance
he'll git sold to de cruel massa, and dat make de niggers powerful
skeert, so dey 'haves. On de next plantation we'd hear de niggers
pleadin' when dey's whipped, 'Massa, have mercy,' and sich. Our massa
allus say, 'Boys, you hears dat mis'ry and we don't want no sich on dis
place and it am up to you.' So us all 'haves ourselves.

"When I's four years old I's took to de big house by young Massa Frank,
old massa's son. He have me for de errand boy and, I guess, for de
plaything. When I gits bigger I's his valet and he like me and I sho'
like him. He am kind and smart, too, and am choosed from nineteen other
boys to go to England and study at de mil'tary 'cademy. I's 'bout eight
when we starts for Liverpool. We goes from Memphis to Newport and takes
de boat, Bessie. It am a sailboat and den de fun starts for sho'. It am
summer and not much wind and sometimes we jus' stand still day after day
in de fog so thick we can't see from one end de boat to de other.

"I'll never forgit dat trip. When we gits far out on de water, I's dead
sho' we'll never git back to land again. First I takes de seasick and
dat am something. If there am anything worser it can't be stood! It
ain't possible to 'splain it, but I wants to die, and if dey's anything
worser dan dat seasick mis'ry, I says de Lawd have mercy on dem. I can't
'lieve dere am so much stuff in one person, but plenty come out of me. I
mos' raised de ocean! When dat am over I gits homesick and so do Massa
Frank. I cries and he tries to 'sole me and den he gits tears in he
eyes. We am weeks on dat water, and good old Tennessee am allus on our

"When we gits to England it am all right, but often we goes down to de
wharf and looks over de cotton bales for dat Memphis gin mark. Couple
times Massa Frank finds some and he say, 'Here a bale from home, Sam,'
with he voice full of joy like a kid what find some candy. We stands
round dat bale and wonders if it am raised on de plantation.

"But we has de good time after we gits 'quainted and I seed lots and
gits to know some West India niggers. But we's ready to come home and
when we gits dere it am plenty war. Massa Frank jines de 'Federate Army
and course I's his valet and goes with him, right over to Camp
Carpenter, at Mobile. He am de lieutenant under General Gordon and befo'
long dey pushes him higher. Fin'ly he gits notice he am to be a colonel
and dat sep'rates us, 'cause he has to go to Floridy. 'I's gwine with
you,' I says, for I thinks I 'longs to him and he 'longs to me and can't
nothing part us. But he say, 'You can't go with me this time. Dey's
gwine put you in de army.' Den I cries and he cries.

"I's seventeen years old when I puts my hand on de book and am a sojer.
I talks to my captain 'bout Massa Frank and wants to go to see him. But
it wasn't more'n two weeks after he leaves dat him was kilt. Dat am de
awful shock to me and it am a long time befo' I gits over it. I allus
feels if I'd been with him maybe I could save his life.

"My company am moved to Birmingham and builds breastworks. Dey say Gen.
Lee am comin' for a battle but he didn't ever come and when I been back
to see dem breastworks, dey never been used. We marches north to
Lexington, in Kentuck' but am gone befo' de battle to Louisville. We
comes back to Salem, in Georgia, but I's never in no big battle, only
some skirmishes now and den. We allus fixes for de battles and builds
bridges and doesn't fight much.

"I goes back after de war to Memphis. My mammy am on de Kilgore place
and Massa Kilgore takes her and my pappy and two hundred other slaves
and comes to Texas. Dat how I gits here. He settles at de place called
Kilgore, and it was named after him, but in 1867 he moves to Cleburne.

"Befo' we moved to Texas de Klu Kluxers done burn my mammy's house and
she lost everything. Dey was 'bout $100 in greenbacks in dat house and a
three hundred pound hawg in de pen, what die from de heat. We done run
to Massa Rodger's house. De riders gits so bad dey come most any time
and run de cullud folks off for no cause, jus' to be orn'ry and plunder
de home. But one day I seed Massa Rodgers take a dozen guns out his
wagon and he and some white men digs a ditch round de cotton field close
to de road. Couple nights after dat de riders come and when dey gits
near dat ditch a volley am fired and lots of dem draps off dey hosses.
Dat ended de Klux trouble in dat section.

"After I been in Texas a year I jines de Fed'ral Army for de Indian war.
I's in de transportation division and drives oxen and mules, haulin'
supplies to de forts. We goes to Fort Griffin and Dodge City and
Laramie, in Wyoming. Dere am allus two or three hundred sojers with us,
to watch for Indian attacks. Dey travels on hosses, 'head, 'side and
'hind de wagon. One day de Sent'nel reports Indians am round so we gits
hid in de trees and bresh. On a high ledge off to de west we sees de
Indians travelin' north, two abreast. De lieutenant say he counted 'bout
seven hundred but dey sho' missed us, or maybe I'd not be here today.

"I stays in de service for seven years and den goes back to Johnson
County, farmin' on de Rodgers place, and stays till I comes to Fort
Worth in 1889. Den I gits into 'nother war, de Spanish 'merican War. But
I's in de com'sary work so don't see much fightin'. In all dem wars I
sees most no fightin', 'cause I allus works with de supplies.

"After dat war I goes to work laborin' for buildin' contractors. I works
for sev'ral den gits with Mr. Bardon and larns de cement work with him.
He am awful good man to work for, dat John Bardon. Fin'ly I starts my
own cement business and am still runnin' it. My health am good and I's
allus on de job, 'cause dis home I owns has to be kept up. It cost
sev'ral thousand dollars and I can't 'ford to neglect it.

"I's married twict. I marries Mattie Norman in 1901 and sep'rates in
1904. She could spend more money den two niggers could shovel it in. Den
I marries Lottie Young in 1909, but dere am no chillens. I's never dat

"I's voted ev'ry 'lection and 'lieves it de duty for ev'ry citizen to

"Now, I's told you everything from Genesis to Rev'lations, and it de
truth, as I 'members it.


[Illustration: Ben Kinchlow]

     BEN KINCHLOW, 91, was the son of Lizaer Moore, a half-white slave
     owned by Sandy Moore, Wharton Co., and Lad Kinchlow, a white man.
     When Ben was one year old his mother was freed and given some
     money. She was sent to Matamoras, Mexico and they lived there and
     at Brownsville, Texas, during the years before and directly
     following the Civil War. Ben and his wife, Liza, now live in
     Uvalde, Texas, in a neat little home. Ben has straight hair, a
     Roman nose, and his speech is like that of the early white settler.
     He is affable and enjoys recounting his experiences.

"I was birthed in 1846 in Wharton, Wharton County, in slavery times. My
mother's name was Lizaer Moore. I think her master's name was Sandy
Moore, and she went by his name. My father's name was Lad Kinchlow. My
mother was a half-breed Negro; my father was a white man of that same
county. I don't know anything about my father. He was a white man, I
know that. After I was borned and was one year old, my mother was set
free and sent to Mexico to live. When we left Wharton, we was sent away
in an ambulance. It was an old-time ambulance. It was what they called
an ambulance--a four-wheeled concern pulled by two mules. That is what
they used to traffic in. The big rich white folks would get in it and go
to church or on a long journey. We landed safely into Matamoros, Mexico,
just me and my mother and older brother. She had the means to live on
till she got there and got acquainted. We stayed there about twelve
years. Then we moved back to Brownsville and stayed there until after
all Negroes were free. She went to washing and she made lots of money at
it. She charged by the dozen. Three or four handkerchiefs were
considered a piece. She made good because she got $2.50 a dozen for men
washing and $5 a dozen for women's clothes.

"I was married in February, 1879, to Christiana Temple, married at
Matagorda, Matagorda County. I had six children by my first wife. Three
boys and three girls. Two girls died. The other girl is in Gonzales
County. Lawrence is here workin' on the Kincaid Ranch and Andrew is
workin' for John Monagin's dairy and Henry is seventy miles from Alpine.
He's a highway boss. This was my first wife. Now I am married again and
have been with this wife forty years. Her name was Eliza Dawson. No
children born to this union.

"The way we lived in those days--the country was full of wild game,
deer, wild hogs, turkey, duck, rabbits, 'possum, lions, quails, and so
forth. You see, in them days they was all thinly settled and they was
all neighbors. Most settlements was all Meskins mostly; of course there
was a few white people. In them days the country was all open and a man
could go in there and settle down wherever he wanted to and wouldn't be
molested a-tall. They wasn't molested till they commenced putting these
fences and putting up these barbwire fences. You could ride all day and
never open a gate. Maybe ride right up to a man's house and then just
let down a bar or two.

"Sometime when we wanted fresh meat we went out and killed. We also
could kill a calf or goat whenever we cared to because they were plenty
and no fence to stop you. We also had plenty milk and butter and
home-made cheese. We did not have much coffee. You know the way we made
our coffee? We just taken corn and parched it right brown and ground it
up. Whenever we would get up furs and hides enough to go into market, a
bunch of neighbors would get together and take ten to fifteen deer hides
each and take 'em in to Brownsville and sell 'em and get their
supplies. They paid twenty-five cents a pound for them. That's when we
got our coffee, but we'd got so used to using corn-coffee, we didn't
care whether we had that real coffee so much, because we had to be
careful with our supplies, anyway. My recollection is that it was fifty
cents a pound and it would be green coffee and you would have to roast
it and grind it on a mill. We didn't have any sugar, and very rare thing
to have flour. The deer was here by the hundreds. There was blue
quail--my goodness! You could get a bunch of these blue top-knot quail
rounded up in a bunch of pear and, if they was any rocks, you could kill
every one of 'em. If you could hit one and get 'im to fluttering the
others would bunch around him and you could kill every one of 'em with

"We lived very neighborly. When any of the neighbors killed fresh meat
we always divided with one another. We all had a corn patch, about three
or four acres. We did not have plows; we planted with a hoe. We were
lucky in raisin' corn every year. Most all the neighbors had a little
bunch of goats, cows, mares, and hogs. Our nearest market was forty
miles, at old Brownsville. When I was a boy I wo'e what was called
shirt-tail. It was a long, loose shirt with no pants. I did not wear
pants until I was about ten or twelve. The way we got our supplies, all
the neighbors would go in together and send into town in a dump cart
drawn by a mule. The main station was at Brownsville. It was thirty-five
miles from where they'd change horses. They carried this mail to
Edinburg, and it took four days. Sometimes they'd ride a horse or mule.
We'd get our mail once a week. We got our mail at Brownsville.

"The country was very thinly settled then and of very few white people;
most all Meskins, living on the border. The country was open, no fences.
Every neighbor had a little place. We didn't have any plows; we planted
with a hoe and went along and raked the dirt over with our toes. We had
a grist mill too. I bet I've turned one a million miles. There was no
hired work then. When a man was hired he got $10 or $12 per month, and
when people wanted to brand or do other work, all the neighbors went
together and helped without pay. The most thing that we had to fear was
Indians and cattle rustlers and wild animals.

"While I was yet on the border, the plantation owners had to send their
cotton to the border to be shipped to other parts, so it was transferred
by Negro slaves as drivers. Lots of times, when these Negroes got there
and took the cotton from their wagon, they would then be persuaded to go
across the border by Meskins, and then they would never return to their
master. That is how lots of Negroes got to be free. The way they used to
transfer the cotton--these big cotton plantations east of here--they'd
take it to Brownsville and put it on the wharf and ship it from there. I
can remember seeing, during the cotton season, fifteen or twenty teams
hauling cotton, sometimes five or six, maybe eight bales on a wagon. You
see, them steamboats used to run all up and down that river. I think
this cotton went out to market at New Orleans and went right out into
the Gulf.

"Our house was a log cabin with a log chimney da'bbed with mud. The
cabin was covered with grass for a roof. The fireplace was the kind of
stove we had. Mother cooked in Dutch ovens. Our main meal was corn bread
and milk and grits with milk. That was a little bit coarser than meal.
The way we used to cook it and the best flavored is to cook it
out-of-doors in a Dutch oven. We called 'em corn dodgers. Now ash cakes,
you have your dough pretty stiff and smooth off a place in the ashes and
lay it right on the ashes and cover it up with ashes and when it got
done, you could wipe every bit of the ashes off, and get you some butter
and put on it. M-m-m! I tell you, its fine! There is another way of
cookin' flour bread without a skillet or a stove, is to make up your
dough stiff and roll it out thin and cut it in strips and roll it on a
green stick and just hold it over the coals, and it sure makes good
bread. When one side cooks too fast, you can just turn it over, and have
your stick long enough to keep it from burnin' your hands. How come me
to learn this was: One time we were huntin' horse stock and there was
an outfit along and the pack mule that was packed with our provisions
and skillets and coffee pots and things--we never did carry much stuff,
not even no beddin'--the pack turned on the mule and we lost our skillet
and none of us knowed it at the time. All of us was cooks, but that old
Meskin that was along was the only one that knew how to cook bread that
way. Sometimes we would be out six weeks or two months on a general
round-up, workin' horse stock; the country would just be alive with
cattle, and horses too. We used to have lots of fun on those drives.

"I tell you, I didn't enjoy that 'court' at night. They got so tough on
us you couldn't spit in camp, couldn't use no cuss words--they would
sure 'put the leggin's on you' if you did!"

Uncle Ben hitched his chair, and with much chuckling, recalled the
"kangaroo court" the cowboys used to hold at night in camp. These
impromptu courts were often all the fun the cowboys had during the long
weeks of hunting stock in the open range country.

"Oh, it was all in fun. Just catch somebody so we could hold court! They
would have two or three as a jury. They would use me as sheriff and
appoint a judge. The prisoner was turned over to the judge and whatever
he said, it had to be carried out exactly. The penalty? Well,
sometimes--it was owing to the crime--but sometimes they would put it up
to about twenty licks with the leggin's. If they was any bendin' trees,
they would lay you across the log. They got tough, all right, but we
sure had fun. We had to salute the boss every mornin', and if we forgot
it...! They never forgot it that night; you'd sure get tried in court.

"We camped on the side of a creek one time, and we had a new man, a sort
of green fellow. This new man unsaddled his horse by the side of the
creek and he lay down there. He had on a big pair of spurs, and I was
watchin' him and studyin' up some kind of prank to play on 'im. So I
went and got me a string and tied one of his spurs to his saddle and
then I told the boss what I'd done and he had one of the fellows put a
saddle on and tie tin cups and pots on it and then they commenced
shootin' and yellin'. This man with the saddle on went pitchin' right
toward that fellow, and that man got up, scared to death, and started to
run. He run the length of the string and then fell down, but he didn't
take time to get up; he went runnin' on his all-fours as fur as he
could, till he drug the saddle to where it hung up. He woulda run right
into the creek, but the saddle held 'im back. We didn't hold kangaroo
court over that! Nobody knowed who did it. Of course, they all knowed,
but they didn't let on. But nobody ever got in a bad humor; it didn't do
no good.

"I've stood up of many a bad night, dozin'. It would be two weeks,
sometimes, before we got to lay down on our beds. I have stood up
between the wagon wheel and the bed (of the wagon) and dozed many a
night. Maybe one or two men would come in and doze an hour or two, but
if the cattle were restless and ready to run, we had to be ready right
now. Sho! Those stormy nights thunderin' and lightnin'! You could just
see the lightnin' all over the steers' horns and your horse's ears and
mane too. It would dangle all up and down his mane. It never interfered
with =you= a-tall. And you could see it around the steer's horns in the
herd, the lightnin' would dangle all over 'em. If the hands (cowboys) or
the relief could get to 'em before they got started to runnin', they
could handle 'em; but if they got started first, they would be pretty
hard to handle.

"The first ranch I worked on after I left McNelly was on the =Banqueta= on
the =Agua Dulce= Creek for the Miley boys, putting up a pasture fence. I
worked there about two months, diggin' post holes. From there to the
King Ranch for about four months, breaking horses. I kept travelin' east
till I got back to Wharton, where my mother was. She died there in
Wharton. I didn't stay with her very long. I went down to =Tres Palacios=
in Matagorda County. I did pasture work there, and cattle work. I worked
for Mr. Moore for twelve years. Then he moved to Stockdale and I worked
for him there eight years. From there, after I got through with Mr.
Moore, I went back to =Tres Palacios= and I worked there for first one man
and then another. I think we have been here at Uvalde for about
twenty-three years.

"I've been the luckiest man in the world to have gone through what I
have and not get hurt. I have never had but two horses to fall with me.
I could ride all day right now and never tire. You never hear me say,
'I'm tired, I'm sleepy, I'm hongry.' And out in camp you never see me
lay down when I come in to camp, or set down to eat, and if I =do=, I set
down on my foot. I always get my plate in my hand and eat standin' up,
or lean against the wagon, maybe.

"When Cap'n. McNelly taken sick and resigned, I traveled east and picked
up jobs of work on ranches. The first work after I left the Rio Grande
was on the =Banqueta=, and then I went to work on the King Ranch about
fifty miles southeast (?) of Brownsville. It wasn't fixed up in them
days like it is now. But the territory is like it was then. They worked
all Meskin hands. They were working about twenty-five or thirty Meskins
at the headquarters' ranch. And the main =caporal= was a Meskin. His wages
was top wages and he got twelve dollars a month. And the hands, if you
was a real good hand, you got seven or eight dollars a month, and they
would give you rations. They would furnish you all the meat you wanted
and furnish you corn, but you would have to grind it yourself for bread.
You know, like the Meskins make on a =metate=. You could have all the
home-made cheese you want, and milk. In them days, the Meskins didn't
have sense enough to make butter. I seen better times them days than I
am seein' now. We just had a home livin'. You could go out any time and
kill you anything you wanted--turkeys, hogs, javalinas, deer, 'coons,
'possums, quail.

"I'll tell you about a Meskin ranch I worked on. It was a big lake. It
covered, I reckin, fifty acres, and these little Meskin huts just
surrounded that big lake. And fish! My goodness, you could just go down
there and throw your hook in without a bait and catch a fish. That was
what you call the =Laguna de Chacona=. That was out from Brownsville
about thirty-five miles. That ranch was owned by the old Meskin named
Chacon, where the lake got its name.

"It seems funny the way they handled milk calves--you know, the
men-folks didn't milk cows, they wouldn't even fool with 'em. They would
have a great big corral and maybe they would have fifteen or twenty cows
and they would be four or five families go there to milk. Every calf
would have a rawhide strap around his neck about six foot long. Now,
instead of them makin' a calf pen--of evenin's the girls would go down
there and I used to go help 'em--they would pull the calf up to the
fence and stick the strap through a crack and pull the calf's head down
nearly to the ground where he couldn't suck. Of course, the old cow
would hang around right close to the calf as she could git. When they
let the calf suck, they'd leave 'im tied down so he couldn't suck in the
night. They always kep' the cows up at night and they'd leave the calves
in the pen with 'em, but tied down. But buildin' just what you call a
calf pen, they'd set posts in the ground just like these stock pens at
the railroad and lay the poles between 'em. Then again, they would dig a
trench and set mesquite poles so thick and deep, why, you couldn't push
it down!

"Now, in dry times, they would have a =banvolete= (ban-bo-la-te). Hand me
two of them sticks, mama. Now, you see, like here would be the well and
you cut a long stick as long as you could get it, with a fork up here in
this here pole, and have this here stick in the fork of the pole. They'd
bolt the cross piece down in the fork of the pole that was put in the
ground right by the well, and have it so it would work up and down.
They'd be a weight tied on the end of the other pole and they could sure
draw water in a hurry. I made one out here on the Anderson Ranch. Just
as fast as you could let your bucket down, then jerk it up, you had the
water up. The well had cross pieces of poles laid around it and cut to
fit together.

"Now, about the other way we had to draw water. We had a big well, only
it was fenced around to keep cattle from gettin' in there. The reason
they had to do that, they had a big wheel with footpieces, like steps,
to tread, and you would have the wheel over the well and they had about
fifteen or twenty rawhide buckets fastened to a rope (that the wheel
pulled it went around), and when they went down, they would go down in
front of you. You had to sit down right behind the wheel, and you would
push with your feet and pull with your hands, and the buckets came up
behind you and as they went up, they would empty and go back down. They
had some way of fixin' the rawhide. I think they toasted it, or scorched
the hide to keep it hard so the water wouldn't soak it up and get it
soft. That was on that place, the Chacona Lakes. That old Meskin was a
native of the Rio Grande and run cattle and horses. In them days, you
could buy an acre of land for fifty cents, river front, all the land you
wanted. Now that land in that valley, you couldn't buy it for a hundred
dollars an acre.

"Did I tell you about diggin' that pit right in the fence of our corn
patch to catch javalines? The way we done, why, we just dug a big pit
right on the inside of the field, right against the fence, and whenever
they would go through that hole to go in the corn patch, they would drop
off in that hole. I think we caught nine, little and big, at one
trappin' once. It was already an old trompin' place where they come in
and out, and we had put the pit there. But after you use it, they won't
come in there again.

"You see, I tell you about them brush fences. The deer had certain
places to go to that fence to jump it, and after we found the regular
jumpin' place, we would cut three sticks--pretty good size, about like
your wrist, about three foot long--and peel 'em and scorch 'em in the
fire and sharpen the ends right good and we would go to set our traps.
We would put these three sharp sticks right about where the forefeet of
the deer would hit. You'd just set the sticks about four inches from
where his forefeet would hit the ground, and you'd set the sticks
leanin' towards the brush fence, and they would be one in the center and
two on the side and about two inches apart. When he jumped, you would
sure get 'im right about the point of the brisket. He'd hardly ever
miss 'em, and you'd find 'im right there. Oh, sometimes he'd pull up a
stick and run a piece with it, but he didn't run very far.

"I been listenin' to the radio about Cap'n McNelly and I tell you it
didn't sound right to me. In what way? Why, they never was no cattle on
the steamboats down the Rio Grande. I just tell you they was no way of
shippin' cattle on a steamboat. They couldn't get 'em down the hatch and
they couldn't keep 'em on deck and they wasn't no wharf to load 'em,
either. I was there and I seen them boats too long and I =know= they never
shipped no cattle on them steamboats. After they crossed the Rio Grand
into Mexico, they might have been shipped from some port down there, but
all them cattle they crossed was =swum= across. They was big boats, but
they wasn't no stock boats. They shipped lots of cotton on them
steamboats, but they wasn't fixed to ship no cattle. They was up there
for freight and passengers. The passengers was going on down the Gulf,
maybe to New Orleans. They would get on at Brownsville. The steamboats
couldn't go very fur up the river only in high water, but they could
come up to Brownsville all the time.

"I was in the Ranger service for about a year with Captain McNelly, or
until he died. I was his guide. I was living thirty-five miles above
Brownsville. I was working for a man right there on the place by the
name of John Cunningham. It was called Bare Stone. You see, hit was a
ranch there. McNelly was stationed there after the government troops
moved off. They had 'em (the troops) there for a while, but they never
did do no good, never did make a raid on nothin'. I was twenty or
twenty-one. How come me to get in with McNelly, they had a big meadow
there, a big 'permuda' (Bermuda) grass meadow. Me and another fellow
used to go in there, and John Cunningham furnished Cap'n McNelly hay for
his horses. That's how come me to get in with 'im. Fin'ly, he found out
I knew all about that country and sometimes he would come over there and
get me to map off a road, though they wasn't but one main road right
there. So, one day I was over in the camp with 'im and I say, 'Cap'n,
how would you like to give me a job to work with you?' He said, 'I'd
like to have you all right, but you couldn't come here on state pay, and
under =no responsibility=.' I told 'im that was all right. I knew how I
was going to get my money, 'cause I gambled. Sometimes I would have a
hundred or a hundred, twenty-five dollars. Durin' the month I would win
from the soljers dealin' monte or playin' seven-up. They wasn't no craps
in them days. We played luck too; we never had no shenanigans,
a-stealin' a man's money. If you had a good streak o' luck, you made
good; if you didn't, you was out o' luck. Sometimes, I had up as high as
twenty-five or thirty dollars.

"One thing about the cap'n, he'd tell his men--well, we had a sutler's
shop right across from our camp, all kinds of good drinks--and he would
tell his men he didn't care how much they drank but he didn't want any
of 'em fighting'. He kep' 'em under good control.

"You see, they was all dependin' on me for guidin'. There was no way
for them cow rustlers or bandits to get to the cow ranches after they
crossed the river (Rio Grande) excep' to cross that road for there was
no other way for 'em to get out there. You see, there was where it would
be easy for me, pickin' up a trail. I would just follow that road on if
I had a certain distance to go, and if I didn't find no trail I would
come back and report, and if I would find a trail he would ask me how
many they was and where they was goin', and I would tell 'im which way,
'cause I didn't know exactly where they was goin' to round-up. He would
always give 'em about two or three days to make the round-up from the
time that trail crossed. And we always went to meet 'em, or catch 'em at
the river. We got into two or three real bad combats.

"The worst one was on Palo Alto Prairie, one of Santa Anna's battle
grounds. About twelve or fifteen miles east of old Brownsville. They was
sixteen of the bandits and they was fifteen of 'em killed--all Meskins
excep' one white man. One Meskin escaped. The cap'n just put 'em all up
together in a pile and sent a message to Brownsville to the authorities
and told 'em where they was at and what shape they was in. They must
have had two hundred or two hundred and twenty-five head (of cattle)
with 'em. It was open country and they would get anybody's cattle. They
just got 'em off the range.

"They mostly would cross that road at night, and by me gettin' out early
next mornin' and findin' that trail, I could tell pretty much how old it
was. I reckon that place wasn't over thirteen miles from Brownsville and
our camp was thirty-five miles, I guess it must have been twenty-five
miles from our camp to where we had that battle. We sure went there to
get 'em. I trailed them horses and I knowed from the direction they was
takin' that they was goin' to those big lakes called Santa Lalla. They
was between Point Isabel and Brownsville and that made us about a
forty-five mile ride to get to that crossin', to a place called Bagdad,
right on the waters of the Rio Grande.

"We got our lunch at Brownsville and started out to go to this crossin'.
I knowed right about where this crossin' was and I says to the cap'n,
'Don't you reckon I better go and see if they was any sign?' We stayed
there about three hours and didn't hear a thing. And then the cap'n
said, 'Boys, we better eat our lunch'. While we was eatin', we heard
somebody holler, and he said, 'Boys, there they are.' And he said to me,
'Ben, you want to stay with the horses or be in the fun?' And I said, 'I
don't care.' So he said, 'You better stay with the horses; you ain't
paid to kill Meskins! I went out to where the horses were. The rangers
were afoot in the brush. It was about an hour from the time we heard the
fellow holler before the cattle got there. When the rangers placed
themselves on the side of the road, the Meskins didn't know what they
was goin' to get into!

"The Meskins was all singin' at the top of their voices and they was
comin' on in. The cap'n waited till they went to crossin' the herd, he
waited till these rustlers all got into the river behind the cattle, and
then the cap'n opened fire on the bandits. They didn't have no possible
show. They was in the water, and he just floated 'em down the river.
They was one man got away. I saw 'im later, and he told me about it. The
way he got away, he says he was a good swimmer and he just fell off his
horse in the water and the swift water took 'im down and he just kep'
his nose out of the water and got away that way. They was fo'teen in
that bunch, I know.

"The echo of the shootin' turned the cattle back to the American side.
The lead cattle was just gettin' ready to hit the other side of the
river when the shootin' taken place and the echo of the shootin' turned
'em and they come back across. Now, in swimmin' a bunch of cattle, if
you pop your whip, you are just as liable to turn 'em back, or if you
holler the echo might turn 'em back. It'll do that nearly every time.

"After the fight, the cap'n says to the boys, 'Well, boys, the fun is
all over now, I guess we'd better start back to camp.' And they all
mounted their horses and begun singin':

  "O, bury me not on the lone prairie-e-e
    Where the wild coyotes will howl o'er me-e-e,
  Right where all the Meskins ought to be-e-e!"


[Illustration: Mary Kindred]

     MARY KINDRED was a slave on the Luke Hadnot plantation in Jasper,
     Texas. She does not know her age but thinks she is about 80. She
     now lives in Beaumont, Texas.

"My mind don't dwell back. The older I gits the lessen I thinks 'bout
the old times. I ain't gittin' old. I's done got old. I not been one of
them bad, outlawed fellers, so de good Lawd done 'low me live a long
time. Some things I knows I heered from my mother and my grandma. They
so fresh to them in that time, though, I mostly sure they's truth.

"My mother name was Hannah Hadnot and my daddy was Ruffin Hadnot and he
used to carry the mail from Weiss Bluff to Jasper. They waylay him 'long
the road in 1881 and kill him and rob the mail.

"Luke Hadnot was our old massa. He good to my grandma and give her
license for a doctor woman. Old massa must of thought lots of her,
'cause he give her forty acres of land and a home fer herself. That
house still standin' up there in Jasper, yet.

"Grandma used to sing a li'l song to us, like this:

  "'One mornin' in May,
  I spies a beautiful dandy,
  A-rakin' way of de hay.
  I asks her to marry.
  She say, scornful, 'No.'
  But befo' six months roll by
  Her apron strings wouldn't tie
  She wrote me a letter,
  She marry me then,
  I say, no, no, my gal, not I.'

"Grandma git de bark offen de thorn tree and bile it with turpentine for
de toothache. She used herbs for de medicine and they's good.

"Old missy was tall and slim, a rawbone sort of woman. Her name was
Matilda Hadnot. Massa have as big a still as ever I seed and dey used to
make everything there. They has it civered with boards they rive out the
woods. There wasn't no revenuers in dem days.

"Us gits de groceries by steamboat and the wagons go down the old
Bevilport Road to the steamboat landin'. That the Ang'leen River. One
the biggest boats was own by Capt. Bryce Hadnot, the 'Old Grim.'

"I 'member back durin' the war the people couldn't git no coffee. They
used to take bran and peanuts and okra seed and sich and parch 'em for
coffee. It make right drinkable coffee. They gits sugar from the store
or the sugar cane. When they buy it, it's in a big, white lump what they
calls 'sugar loaf.' When they has no sugar they uses the syrup to
sweeten the coffee and they call syrup 'long sweetenin' and sugar,
'short sweetenin'.

"Us has lots of dances with fiddle and 'corjum player. Us sing, 'Swing
you partner, Promenade.' Another li'l song start out:

  "'Dinah got a meat skin lay away,
  Grease dat wooden leg, Dinah.
  Grease dat wooden leg, Dinah.
    Shake dat wooden leg, Dinah,
    Shake dat wooden leg, Dinah.'

I 'members this song:

  "'Down in Shiloh town,
  Down in Shiloh town,
  De old grey mare come
  Tearin' out de wilderness.
  Down in Shiloh town,
    O, boys, O,
    O, boys, O,
  Down in Shiloh town.'

"I's seed lots of blue gum niggers and they say iffen they bite you dey
pizen you. They hands diff'rent from other niggers. Now, my hand's right
smart white in the inside, but blue gum nigger hand is more browner on
the inside.

"I used to have a old aunt name Harriett and iffen she tell you anythin'
you kin jes' put it down it gwineter come out like she say. She have the
big mole on the inside her mouth and when she shake her finger at you it
gwine happen to you jes' like she say. That what they call puttin' bad
mouth on them and she sho' could do it.

"I's had 12 chillen. My first husban was Anthony Adams and the last
Alfred Kindred. I only got three chillen livin' now, though. One of the
sons am the outer door guard of the lodge here in Beaumont.


     NANCY KING, 93, was born in Upshur County, Texas, a slave of
     William Jackson. She and her husband moved to Marshall, Texas, in
     1866. Nancy now lives with her daughter, Lucy Staples.

"I was borned and raised on William Jackson's place, jus' twelve miles
east of Gilmer. I was growed and had one child at surrender, and my
mother told me I was a woman of my own when Old Missie sot us free, jus'
after surrender, so you can figurate my age from that.

"My first child was borned the January befo' surrender in June, and I
'members hoeing in the field befo' the war come on. Massa William raised
lots of cotton and corn and tobacco and most everything we et. I never
worked in the field, 'cept to chase the calves in, till I was most
growed. Massa was good to us. Course, I never went to school, but Old
Missie sent my brother, Alex, two years after the war, with her own

"I was married durin' the war and it was at church, with a white
preacher. Old Missie give me the cloth and dye for my weddin' dress and
my mother spun and dyed the cloth, and I made it. It was homespun but
nothin' cheap 'bout it for them days. After the weddin' massa give us a
big dinner and we had a time.

"Massa done all the bossin' his own self. He never whipped me, but Old
Missie had to switch me a little for piddlin' round, 'stead of doin'
what she said. Every Sat'day night we had a candy pullin' and played
games, and allus had plenty of clothes and shoes.

"I seed the soldiers comin' and gwine to the war, and 'members when
Massa William left to go fight for the South. His boy, Billie, was
sixteen, and tended the place while massa's away. Massa done say he'd
let the niggers go without fightin'. He didn't think war was right, but
he had to go. He 'serts and comes home befo' the war gits goin' good and
the soldiers come after him. He run off to the bottoms, but they was on
hosses and overtook him. I was there in the room when they brung him
back. One of them says, 'Jackson, we ain't gwine take you with us now,
but we'll fix you so you can't run off till we git back.' They put red
pepper in his eyes and left. Missie cried. They come back for him in a
day or two and made my father saddle up Hawk-eye, massa's best hoss.
Then they rode away and we never seed massa 'gain. One day my brother,
Alex, hollers out, 'Oh, Missie, yonder is the hoss, at the gate, and
ain't nobody ridin' him.' Missie throwed up her hands and says, 'O,
Lawdy, my husban' am dead!' She knowed somehow when he left he wasn't
comin' back.

"Old Missie freed us but said we had a home as long as she did. Me and
my husban' stays 'bout a year, but my folks stays till she marries

"My brother-in-law, Sam Pitman, tells us how he put one by the Ku
Kluxers. Him and some niggers was out one night and the Kluxers chases
them on hosses. They run down a narrow road and tied four strands of
grapevine 'cross the road, 'bout breast high to a hoss. The Kluxers come
gallopin' down that road and when the hosses hit that grapevine, it
throwed them every which way and broke some their arms. Sam used to
laugh and tell how them Kluxers cussed them niggers.

"Me and my husban' come to Marshall the year after surrender, and I is
lived here every since. My man works on farms till he got on the
railroad. I's been married four times and raised six chillen. The young
people is diff'rent from what we was, but diff'rent times calls for
diff'rent ways, I 'spect. My chillen allus done the best they could by


     SILVIA KING, French Negress of Marlin, Texas, does not know her
     age, but says that she was born in Morocco. She was stolen from her
     husband and three children, brought to the United States and sold
     into slavery. Silvia has the appearance of extreme age, and may be
     close to a hundred years old, as she thinks she is, because of her
     memories of the children she never saw again and of the slave ship.

"I know I was borned in Morocco, in Africa, and was married and had
three chillen befo' I was stoled from my husband. I don't know who it
was stole me, but dey took me to France, to a place called Bordeaux, and
drugs me with some coffee, and when I knows anything 'bout it, I's in de
bottom of a boat with a whole lot of other niggers. It seem like we was
in dat boat forever, but we comes to land, and I's put on de block and
sold. I finds out afterwards from my white folks it was in New Orleans
where dat block was, but I didn't know it den.

"We was all chained and dey strips all our clothes off and de folks what
gwine buy us comes round and feels us all over. Iffen any de niggers
don't want to take dere clothes off, de man gits a long, black whip and
cuts dem up hard. I's sold to a planter what had a big plantation in
Fayette County, right here in Texas, don't know no name 'cept Marse

"Marse Jones, he am awful good, but de overseer was de meanest man I
ever knowed, a white man name Smith, what boasts 'bout how many niggers
he done kilt. When Marse Jones seed me on de block, he say, 'Dat's a
whale of a woman.' I's scairt and can't say nothin', 'cause I can't
speak English. He buys some more slaves and dey chains us together and
marches us up near La Grange, in Texas. Marse Jones done gone on ahead
and de overseer marches us. Dat was a awful time, 'cause us am all
chained up and whatever one does us all has to do. If one drinks out of
de stream we all drinks, and when one gits tired or sick, de rest has to
drag and carry him. When us git to Texas, Marse Jones raise de debbil
with dat white man what had us on da march. He git de doctor man and
tell de cook to feed us and lets us rest up.

"After 'while, Marse Jones say to me, 'Silvia, am you married?' I tells
him I got a man and three chillen back in de old country, but he don't
understand my talk and I has a man give to me. I don't bother with dat
nigger's name much, he jes' Bob to me. But I fit him good and plenty
till de overseer shakes a blacksnake whip over me.

"Marse Jones and Old Miss finds out 'bout my cookin' and takes me to de
big house to cook for dem. De dishes and things was awful queer to me,
to what I been brung up to use in France. I mostly cooks after dat, but
I's de powerful big woman when I's young and when dey gits in a tight
[Handwritten Note: 'place?'] I helps out.

"'Fore long Marse Jones 'cides to move. He allus say he gwine git where
he can't hear he neighbor's cowhorn, and he do. Dere ain't nothin' but
woods and grass land, no houses, no roads, no bridges, no neighbors,
nothin' but woods and wild animals. But he builds a mighty fine house
with a stone chimney six foot square at de bottom. The sill was a foot
square and de house am made of logs, but dey splits out two inch plank
and puts it outside de logs, from de ground clean up to de eaves. Dere
wasn't no nails, but dey whittles out pegs. Dere was a well out de back
and a well on de back porch by de kitchen door. It had a wheel and a
rope. Dere was 'nother well by de barns and one or two round de
quarters, but dey am fixed with a long pole sweep. In de kitchen was de
big fireplace and de big back logs am haul to de house. De oxen pull dem
dat far and some men takes poles and rolls dem in de fireplace. Marse
Jones never 'low dat fire go out from October till May, and in de fall
Marse or one he sons lights de fire with a flint rock and some powder.

"De stores was a long way off and de white folks loans seed and things
to each other. If we has de toothache, de blacksmith pulls it. My
husband manages de ox teams. I cooks and works in Old Miss's garden and
de orchard. It am big and fine and in fruit time all de women works from
light to dark dryin' and 'servin' and de like.

"Old Marse gwine feed you and see you quarters am dry and warm or know
de reason why. Most ev'ry night he goes round de quarters to see if dere
any sickness or trouble. Everybody work hard but have plenty to eat.
Sometimes de preacher tell us how to git to hebben and see de ring
lights dere.

"De smokehouse am full of bacon sides and cure hams and barrels lard and
'lasses. When a nigger want to eat, he jes' ask and git he passel. Old
Miss allus 'pend on me to spice de ham when it cure. I larnt dat back in
de old country, in France.

"Dere was spinnin' and weavin' cabins, long with a chimney in each end.
Us women spins all de thread and weaves cloth for everybody, de white
folks, too. I's de cook, but times I hit de spinnin' loom and wheel
fairly good. Us bleach de cloth and dyes it with barks.

"Dere allus de big woodpile in de yard, and de big, caboose kettle for
renderin' hawg fat and beef tallow candles and makin' soap. Marse allus
have de niggers take some apples and make cider, and he make beer, too.
Most all us had cider and beer when we want it, but nobody git drunk.
Marse sho' cut up if we do.

"Old Miss have de floors sanded, dat where you sprinkles fine, white
sand over da floor and sweeps it round in all kinds purty figgers. Us
make a corn shuck broom.

"Marse sho' a fool 'bout he hounds and have a mighty fine pack. De boys
hunts wolves and painters (panthers) and wild game like dat. Dere was
lots of wild turkey and droves of wild prairie chickens. Dere was
rabbits and squirrels and Indian puddin', make of cornmeal. It am real
tasty. I cooks goose and pork and mutton and bear meat and beef and deer
meat, den makes de fritters and pies and dumplin's. Sho' wish us had dat
food now.

"On de cold winter night I's sot many a time spinnin' with two threads,
one in each hand and one my feets on de wheel and de baby sleepin' on my
lap. De boys and old men was allus whittlin' and it wasn't jes'
foolishment. Dey whittles traps and wooden spoons and needles to make
seine nets and checkers and sleds. We all sits workin' and singin' and
smokin' pipes. I likes my pipe right now, and has two clay pipes and
keeps dem under de pillow. I don't aim for dem pipes to git out my
sight. I been smokin' clost to a hunerd years now and it takes two cans
tobaccy de week to keep me goin'.

"Dere wasn't many doctors dem days, but allus de closet full of simples
(home remedies) and most all de old women could git med'cine out de
woods. Ev'ry spring, Old Miss line up all de chillen and give dem a
dose of garlic and rum.

"De chillen all played together, black and white. De young ones purty
handy trappin' quail and partridges and sech. Dey didn't shoot if dey
could cotch it some other way, 'cause powder and lead am scarce. Dey
cotch de deer by makin' de salt lick, and uses a spring pole to cotch
pigeons and birds.

"De black folks gits off down in de bottom and shouts and sings and
prays. Dey gits in de ring dance. It am jes' a kind of shuffle, den it
git faster and faster and dey gits warmed up and moans and shouts and
claps and dances. Some gits 'xhausted and drops out and de ring gits
closer. Sometimes dey sings and shouts all night, but come break of day,
de nigger got to git to he cabin. Old Marse got to tell dem de tasks of
de day.

"Old black Tom have a li'l bottle and have spell roots and water in it
and sulphur. He sho' could find out if a nigger gwine git whipped. He
have a string tie round it and say, 'By sum Peter, by sum Paul, by de
Gawd dat make us all, Jack don't you tell me no lie, if marse gwine whip
Mary, tell me.' Sho's you born, if dat jack turn to de laft, de nigger
git de whippin', but if marse ain't makeup he mind to whip, dat jack
stand and quiver.

"You white folks jes' go through de woods and don't know nothin'. Iffen
you digs out splinters from de north side a old pine tree what been
struck by lightnin', and gits dem hot in a iron skillet and burns dem to
ashes, den you puts dem in a brown paper sack. Iffen de officers gits
you and you gwine have it 'fore de jedge, you gits de sack and goes
outdoors at midnight and hold de bag of ashes in you hand and look up
at de moon--but don't you open you mouth. Nex' mornin' git up early and
go to de courthouse and sprinkle dem ashes in de doorway and dat law
trouble, it gwine git tore up jes' like de lightnin' done tore up dat

"De shoestring root am powerful strong. Iffen you chews on it and spits
a ring round de person what you wants somethin' from, you gwine git it.
You can git more money or a job or most anythin' dat way. I had a black
cat bone, too, but it got away from me.

"I's got a big frame and used to weigh a hunerd pounds, but day tells me
I only weighs a hunerd now. Dis Louis Southern I lives with, he's de
youngest son of my grandson, who was de son of my youngest daughter. My
marse, he knowed Gen. Houston and I seed him many a time. I lost what
teeth I had a long time ago and in 1920 two more new teeth come through.
Dem teeth sho' did worry me and I's glad when dey went, too.

List of Transcriber's Corrections:

List of Illustrations: 285 (#290#)

Page 2: come (wooden dishes. Some de knives and forks was make out of
bone. Dey had beef and pork and turkey and #some# antelope.)

Page 4: bit (all through dat house. I takes de lantern and out in de
hall I goes. Right by de foot de stairs I seed a woman, #big# as life,
but she was thin and I seed right through her. She jes' walk on down dat
hall and pay me no mind. She make de sound)

Page 7: was that a (slavery, 'cause massa give me a sack of molasses
candy once and some biscuits once and that #was a# whole lot to me

Page 9: kepps (daren't tell them 'cept on the sly. That I done lots. I
tells 'em iffen they #keeps# prayin' the Lord will set 'em free. But
since them days I's done studied some and I preached all over Panola and
Harrison County and)

Page 18: bit (piles, one for de big house and de bigges' pile for de
slaves. When dey git it all hauled it look like a #big# woodyard. While
dey is haulin', de women make quilts and dey is wool quilts. Course, dey
ain't made out of shearin' wool,)

Page 19: sich (Course, I hears some talk 'bout bluebellies, what dey
call de Yanks, fightin' our folks, but dey wasn't fightin' round us. Den
one dey mamma took #sick# and she had hear talk and call me to de bed
and say, 'Lucinda, we all gwine be free soon and not)

Page 24: neber ("I seem jes' punyin' away, de doctors don' know jes'
what's wrong wid me but I #never# was use to doctors anyway, jes' some
red root tea or sage weed and sheep)

Page 29: was ("After #war# was over, old massa call us up and told us we
free but he 'vise not leave de place till de crop was through. Us all
stay. Den)

Page 30: suddent (for justice. One man, he look jus' like ordinary man,
but he spring up 'bout eighteen feet high all of a #sudden#. Another say
he so thirsty he ain't have no water since he been kilt at Manassas
Junction. He ask)

Page 42: (what lives at West Columbia. Massa Kit on one side Varney's
Creek and Massa Charles on de other side. Massa Kit have a #African#
woman from Kentucky for he wife, and dat's de truth. I ain't sayin'
iffen she a)

Page 43: goiin' (Where you gwine to go? I's #goin'# down to new ground,
For to hunt Jim Crow.')

Page 71: hus' ("We lived in a log house with dirt floors, warm in winter
but sho' hot in summer, no screens or nothin', #jus'# homemade doors. We
had homemade beds out of planks they picked up around. Mattresses
nothin', we had shuck beds.)

Page 72: bit (whole sack of pure gold and silver, and say bury it in de
orchard. I sho' was scart, but I done what she said. Dey was more gold
in a #big# desk, and de Yanks pulled de top of dat desk and got de gold.
Miss Jane had a purty gold ring on)

Page 79: of (the place, they still go up to the big house for a pass.
They jus' can't understand 'bout the freedom. Old Marse #or#Missus say,
'You don't need no pass. All you got to do is jus' take you foot in you
hand and go.')

Page 84: ahd ("They had a church this side of New Fountain #and# the
boss man 'lowed us to go on Sunday. If any of the slaves did join, they

Page 99: of (cornmeal mush and corn hominy and corn grits and parched
corn for drink, 'stead of tea #or# coffee. Us have milk and 'lasses and
brown sugar, and some meat. Dat all raise on de place. Stuff for to eat
and wear, dat)

Page 114: Pennslyvania (my sister and got in the soldier business. The
gov'ment give me $30.00 a month for drivin' a four-mule wagon for the
army. I druv all through #Pennsylvania# and Virginia and South Carolina
for the gov'ment. I was a——what)

Page 116: Sue ("My mother sold into slavery in Georgia, or round dere.
#She# tell me funny things 'bout how dey use to do up dere. A old white
man think so much of)

Page 123: turpentime (doctor. When us chillun git sick dey git yarbs or
dey give us castor oil and #turpentine#. Iffen it git to be a ser'ous
ailment dey sen' for de reg'lar doctor. Dey uster)

Page 130: Missisippi (Hedwig, Bexar Co., Texas, the son of slave parents
bought in #Mississippi# by his master, William Gudlow.)

Page 133: Hallejujah! (crossin' and walkin' and ridin'. Everyone was
a-singin'. We was all walkin' on golden clouds. #Hallelujah!#)

Page 140: tey ("I's too old to make any more visits, but I would like to
go back to Old Georgia once more. If Missy Mary was 'live, I'd #try#,
but she am dead, so I tries to wait for old Gabriel blow he horn. When
he blow he)

Page 141: 1959 ("When I's a gal, I's Rosina Slaughter, but folks call me
Zina. Yes, sar. It am Zina dat and Zina dis. I says I's born April 9,
#1859#, but I 'lieve I's older. It was somewhere in Williamson County,
but I don't)

Page 145: mercy me (when we got a chance to see young folks on some
other place. The patterrollers cotched me one night and, Lawd have
#mercy on me#, they stretches me over a log and hits thirty-nine licks
with a rawhide loaded with rock, and every time they hit)

Page 147: ot ("I's farmed and makin' a livin' is 'bout all. I come over
here in Madison County and rents from B.F. Young, clost #to# Midway and
gits me a few cows. I been right round here ever since. I lives round
with my chillen now,)

Page 158: Whnen ("#When# surrender come massa calls all us in de yard
and makes de talk. He tells us we's free and am awful sorry and show
great worryment. He say)

Page 166: live (is cared for by a married daughter, who #lives# on
Lizzie's farm.)

Page 171: nand (to tell the people to be prepared, 'cause the tides of
war is rollin' this way, #and# all the thousands of millions of dollars
they spend agin it ain't goin' to stop it. I live to tell people the
word Gawd speaks through me.)

Page 195: wuarters ('bout fightin' and the overseer allus tended to her.
One day he come to the #quarters# to whip her and she up and throwed a
shovel full of live coals from the fireplace in his bosom and run out
the door. He run her all over)

Page 199: tann ("After breakfast I'd see a crew go here and a crew go
dere. Some of 'em spin and weave and make clothes, and some #tan# de
leather or do de blacksmith work, and mos' of 'em go out in de field to
work. Dey works till dark and den)

Page 200: botin' ("No, I's never voted, 'cause I done heared 'bout de
trouble dey has over in Baton Rouge 'bout niggers #votin'#. I jus' don't
like trouble, and for de few years what am left, I's gwine keep de
record of stayin' 'way from it.)

Page 221: be ("Old massa he never clean hisself up or dress up. He look
like a vagrant thing and #he# and missy mean, too. My pore daddy he back
allus done cut up from the whip and bit by the dogs. Sometime when a
woman big)

Page 235: stockn's (and I come in with two li'l pickininnies for flower
gals and holdin' my train. I has on one Miss Ellen's dresses and red
#stockin's# and a pair brand new shoes and a wide brim hat. De preacher
say, 'Bill, does you take dis woman to be you lawful)

Page 236: dey (jes' kep' right on livin' in de old home after freedom,
like old Marse done 'fore freedom. He pay de families by de #day# for
work and let dem work land on de halves and furnish dem teams and grub
and dey does de work.)

Page 242: iplot ("My daddy am de gold #pilot# on de old place. Dat mean
anything he done was right and proper. Way after freedom, when my daddy
die in Beaumont,)

Page 254: wat ("I never heered much 'bout no #war# and Marse Greenville
never told us we was free. First I knows was one day we gwine to de
fields and a man)

Page 258: Bermingham ("My company am moved to #Birmingham# and builds
breastworks. Dey say Gen. Lee am comin' for a battle but he didn't ever
come and when I been back)

Page 258: to (a three hundred pound hawg in de pen, what die from de
heat. We done run to Massa Rodger's house. De riders gits #so# bad dey
come most any time and run de cullud folks off for no cause, jus' to be
orn'ry and plunder de home. But one)

Page 273: coudn't (through a crack and pull the calf's head down nearly
to the ground where he #couldn't# suck. Of course, the old cow would
hang around right close)

Page 278: McNeely ("I was in the Ranger service for about a year with
Captain #McNelly#, or until he died. I was his guide. I was living
thirty-five miles)

Page 287: whay (have the big mole on the inside her mouth and when she
shake her finger at you it gwine happen to you jes' like she say. That
#what# they call puttin' bad mouth on them and she sho' could do it.)

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves. - Texas Narratives, Part 2" ***

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