File District #6
1-15-41 Racial Group
Ex-slave, age estimated as 90.
"Fact is, I doan reely know my right age, but I was bawn en
slavery times, en I was big ernuff ter wuk when freedom come. I
come fum Paris, Tennessee, whar I'se bawn en lived en de home er
Benjamin Brown en he's wife Grace."
"Marse Brown he owned my mother en lots er slaves, but when
de war broke out, en dey all thought de ud lose all dey slaves when
freedom come, why, dey done jes' pack em off down ter Mississippi en
sol' em. Some o' de slaves got'er way ter war fore dey cid git er
chanct ter sell em."
"I member my mother sayin' she aint nebber goan see me ergin,
en she diden'. Dey kep' me, en made me leave de cabin en sleep en
de big house, en do de washin', ironin', cookin', fannin' flies offen
de table while de white folks et, en slep en er dining room."
"Eben ef I stayed en er house with em, dey diden' wan' me ter
eat what det et. Dey mak me eat ole fat meat en cawnbread 'thout no
butter ner syrup. Dey give me shoes en wool stockin's fer de winter,
but soon as de weather wua hardly warm det tul off dem shoes en made
me go bar'footed."
"One day I made up my mind I wuz goin' ter try en git erway,
ef I died en doin' it, kaze I done got ter whar I'd ruther be daid den
keep on so. Do you know dat hard treatment mek you feel dat way? ell,
I got jes' like dat inside, but I done act sweet en deceitful like."