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قراءة كتاب Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves, Arkansas Narratives, Part 4

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‏اللغة: English
Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves, Arkansas Narratives, Part 4

Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves, Arkansas Narratives, Part 4

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 7

it. They fixed it all up and then they wanted to charge ten dollars, and it wouldn't have been long before they went up to fifteen. So I moved. This place ain't so much. I pays five dollars and a half for it. When it rains, I have to go outside to keep from gittin' too wet. But I cut down the weeds all around the place. I planted some flowers in the front yard, and some vegetables in the back. That all helps me out. When I go to git commodities, I walk to the place. I can't stand the way these people act on the cars. Of course, when I have a bundle, I have to use the car to come back. I just put it on my head and walk down to the car line and git on. Lord, my mother used to carry some bundles on her head."

Interviewer's Comment

According to the marriage license issued at the time of her last marriage in 1922, Andrew Jackson was sixty years old, and sister Jackson was fifty-two. But Andrew Jackson was eighty when sister Jackson married him, she says. Who can blame him for saying sixty to the clerk? Sister Jackson admits that she was six years old during the War and states freely and accurately details of those times, but what wife whose husband puts only sixty in writing would be willing to write down more than fifty-two for herself?

Right now at more than seventy-nine, she is spry and jaunty and witty and good humored. Her house is as clean as a pin, and her yard is the same.

The McGuffy's Primer which she thinks is used now is a modernized McGuffy printed in 1908. The book bought for her by her first husband is an original McGuffy's Second Reader.

Interviewer: Samuel S. Taylor
Person interviewed: Lula Jackson (supplement) [HW: cf. 30600]
1808 Valentine Street, Little Rock, Arkansas
Age: 79
Occupation: Field hand


"Early Hurt had an overseer named Sanders. He tied my sister Crecie to a stump to whip her. Crecie was stout and heavy. She was a grown young woman and big and strong. Sanders had two dogs with him in case he would have trouble with anyone. When he started layin' that lash on Crecie's back, she pulled up that stump and whipped him and the dogs both.

"Old Early Hurt came up and whipped her hisself. Said, 'Oh, you're too bad for the overseer to whip, huh?'

"Wasn't no such things as lamps in them days. Jus' used pine knots. When we quilted, we jus' got a good knot and lighted it. And when that one was nearly burnt out, we would light another one from it.

"We had a old lady named 'Aunt' Charlotte; she wasn't my aunt, we jus' called her that. She used to keep the children when the hands were working. If she liked you she would treat your children well. If she didn't like you, she wouldn't treat them so good. Her name was Charlotte Marley. She was too old to do any good in the field; and she had to take care of the babies. If she didn't like the people, she would leave the babies' napkins on all day long, wet and filthy.

"My papa's mama, Sarah, was killed by lightning. She was ironing and was in a hurry to get through and get the supper on for her master, Early Hurt. I was the oldest child, and I always was scared of lightning. A dreadful storm was goin' on. I was under the bed and I heard the thunder bolt and the crash and the fall. I heard mama scream. I crawled out from under the bed and they had grandma laid out in the middle of the floor. Mama said, 'Child, all the friend you got in the world is dead.' Early Hurt was standin' over her and pouring buckets of water on her. When the doctor come, he said, 'You done killed her now. If you had jus' laid her out on the ground and let the rain fall on her, she would have come to, but you done drownded her now.' She wouldn't have died if it hadn't been for them buckets of water that Early Hurt throwed in her face.

"Honey, they ain't nothin' as sweet to drink out of as a gourd. Take the seeds out. Boil the gourd. Scrape it and sun it. There ain't no taste left. They don't use gourds now."

Interviewer's Comment

Violent death followed Lula Jackson's family like an implacable avenger. Her father's mother was struck and killed by lightning. Her mother's first husband was thrown to his death in a wrestling match. Her own husband was dragged and kicked to death by a mule. Her brother-in-law, Jerry Jackson, was killed by a horse. But Sister Jackson is bright and cheery and full of faith in God and man, and utterly without bitterness.

Interviewer: Thomas Elmore Lucy
Person interviewed: Mary Jackson,
Russellville, Arkansas
Age: 75?

"My name is Mary Jackson, and I was born in Miller Grove, Hunt County, Texas during the War. No sir, I do not know the year. Our master's name was Dixon, and he was a wealthy plantation owner, had lots of property in Hunt County.

"The days after the War—called the Reconstruction days, I believe—were sure exciting, and I can 'mind' a lot of things the people did, one of them a big barbecue celebration commemoratin' the return of peace. They had speeches, and music by the band—and there were a lot of soldiers carrying guns and wearing some kind of big breastplates. The white children tried to scare us by telling us the soldiers were coming to kill us little colored children. The band played 'Dixie' and other familiar tunes that the people played and sang in those days.

"Yes sir, I remember the Klu Klux Klan. They sure kept us frightened and we would always run and hide when we heard they were comin'. I don't know of any special harm they done but we were afraid of em.

"I have been a member of the A. M. E. Church for forty years, and my children belong to the same church.

"No sir, I don't know if the government ever promised our folks anything—money, or land, or anything else.

"Don't ask me anything about this 'new generation' business. They're simply too much for me; I cannot understand em at all. Don't know whether they are coming or going. In our day the parents were not near so lenient as they are today. I think much of the waywardness of the youth today should be blamed on the parents for being too slack in their training."

NOTE: Mrs. Jackson and her son live in a lovely cottage, and her taste in dress and general deportment are a credit to the race.

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson
Person interviewed: Taylor Jackson,
Edmondson, Arkansas
Age: 88?
[Date Stamp: MAY 11 1938]

"I was born two miles from Baltimore, Maryland. I was a good size boy. My father carried me to see the war flag go up. There was an awful crowd, one thousand people, there. I had two masters in this country besides in Virginia. When war was declared there was ten boats of niggers loaded at Washington and shipped to New Orleans. We stayed in the 'Nigger Traders Yard' there about three months. But we was not to be sold. Master Cupps [Culps?] owned father, mother and all of us. If they gained the victory he was to take us back to Virginia. I never knowed my grandparents. The yard had a tall brick wall around it. We had a bunk room, good cotton pads to sleep on and blankets. On one side they had a wall fixed to go up on from the inside and twelve platforms. You could see them being sold on the inside and the crowd on the outside. When they auctioned them off they would come, pick out what they wanted to sell next and fill them blocks again. They sold niggers all day long. They come in another drove they had, had men out