Person Interviewed: Sallie Carder
Location: Burwin, Oklahoma
I was born in Jackson, Tennessee, and I’m going on 83 years. My mother was Harriott Noel and father Jeff Bills, both of them named after their masters. I has one brother, J. B. Bills, but all de rest of my brothers and daters is dead.
No sir, we never had no money while I was a slave. We jest didn’t have nothing a toll! We ate greens, corn bread, and ash cake. Do only time I ever got a biscuit would be when a misdemeanor was did, and my Mistress would give a buttered biscuit to de one who could tell her who done it.
In hot weather and cold weather dere was no difference as to what we were. We were dresses my mother wove for us and no shoes a tall. I never wore any shoes till I was grown and den dey was old Brogans wid only two holes to lace, one on each side. During my wadding I wore a blue calico dress, a man’s shirt tail as a head rag, and a pair of brogan shoes.
My Master lived in a three-story frame house painted white. My Mistress was very mean. Sometimes she would make de overseer whip Negross for looking too hard at her when she was talking to dam. Day had four children, three girls and one boy.
I was a servant to my Master, and as he had de palsy I had to care for him, feed him and push him around. I don’t know how many slaves, but he had a good deal of ’em.
About four o’clock mornings de overseer or Negro carriage driver who stayed at the Big House would ring de bell to git up and git to work.