The following data is extracted from Arkansas Slave Narratives.
Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden Person interviewed: Jordan Davis 306 Cypress Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas Age: 86
"I was a boy in the house when the war started and I heard the mistress say the abolitionists was about to take the South. Yes ma'm. That was in Natchez, Mississippi. I was about nine or ten.
"Mistress' name was Eliza A. Hart and master's name was Dave A. Hart.
"I guess they was good to me. I lived right there in the house with then. Mistress used to send me to Sunday School and she'd say 'Now, Jordan, you come right on back to the house, don't you go playin' with them nigger chillun on the streets.'
"My daddy belonged to a man named Davis way down the river in the country and after the war he came and got me. Sure did. Carried me to Davis Bend. I was a good-sized boy about twelve or fifteen. He took me to Mrs. Leas Hamer and you know I was a good-sized boy when she put me in the kitchen and taught me how to cook. Yes'm, I sure can cook. She kept me right in the house with her children. I did her cooking and cleaned up the house. I never got any money for it, or if I did I done forgot all about it. She kept me in clothes, she sure did. I didn't need any money. I stayed five or six years with her, sure did. I thought a lot of her and her children-she was so kind to me.
"Yes ma'm, I went to school one or two years in Mississippi.
"When I come here to Arkansas on the steamboat and got off right here in Pine Bluff, there was a white man standin' there named Burks. He kept lookin' at me and directly he said 'Can you cook?' I was married then and had all my household goods with me, so he got a dray and carried me out to his house. His wife kept a first-class boarding house. Just first-class white folks stayed there. After the madam found out I had a good idea 'bout cookin' she put me in the dining room and turned things over to me.
"Miss, it's been so long, I don't study 'bout that votin' business. I have never bothered 'bout no Republican or votin' business-I never cared about it. I know one thing, the white people are the only ones ever did me any good.
"Mrs. J.B. Talbot has been very good to me. My wife used to work for her and so did I. She sure has been a friend to me. Mrs. J.B. Talbot has certainly stuck to me.
"Oh I think the colored folks ought to be free but I know some of 'em had a mighty tight time of it after the war and now too.
"Ain't nothin' to this here younger generation. I see 'em goin' down the street singin' and dancin' and half naked-ain't nothin' to 'em.
"My wife's been dead five or six years and I live here alone. Yes ma'm! I don't want nobody here with me."
Source: Arkansas Slave Narratives