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Slave Narrative of John W. H. Barnett

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Location: Marianna, Arkansas Age: 81 “I was born at Clinton Parish, Louisiana. I’m eighty-one years old. My parents and four children was sold and left six children behind. They kept the oldest children. In that way I was sold but never alone. Our family was divided and that brought grief to my parents. We was sold on a block at New Orleans. J.J. Gambol (Gamble?) in north Louisiana bought us. After freedom I seen all but one of our family. I don’t recollect why that was. “For three weeks steady after the surrender people was passing from the War and for two years off and on somebody come along going home. Some rode and some had a cane or stick walking. Mother was cooking a pot of shoulder meat. Them blue soldiers come by and et it up. I didn’t get any I know that. They cleaned us out. Father was born at Eastern Shore, Maryland. He was about half Indian. Mother’s mother was a squaw. I’m more Indian than Negro. Father said it was a white man’s war. He didn’t go to war. Mother was very dark. He spoke a broken tongue. “We worked on after freedom for the man we was owned by. We worked crops and patches. I didn’t see much difference then. I see a big change come out of it. We had to work. The work didn’t slacken a bit. I never owned land but my father owned eighty acres in Drew County. I don’t know what become of it. I worked on the railroad section, laid crossties, worked in...

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