The following data is extracted from Arkansas Slave Narratives.
Interviewer: Samuel S. Taylor Person interviewed: Fannie Dorum 423 W. Twenty-Fourth Street North Little Rock, Arkansas Age: 94 [TR: Some word pronunciation was marked in this interview. Letters surrounded by  represent long vowels, and by () short vowels.]
[HW: Church Holds Old Age Contest]
"I was here in slavery time. Know the years I plowed. Ginned cotton in slavery time. My daddy was the ginner. His name was Hamp High. Stayed down in Lonoke County.
"I was here in slavery time. The third year of the surrender (1868), I married-married Burton Dorum.
"I was born in Franklin, North Carolina. My old master's name was Jack Green, Franklin County. He had five boys-Henry, John, James, Robert, and William Henry. And he had a daughter named Mary. My old mistress' name was Jennie Green. They all came from North Carolina and I think they are still there.
"A slave better pick a hundred pounds of cotton in a day. You better pick a hundred. I couldn't pick a hundred. I never was much on picking cotton.
"I weeded corn, planted corn and cotton, cut up wheat, pulled fodder, and did all such work. I plowed before the War about two years. I used to have to take the horses and go hide when the soldiers would go through. I was about nineteen years old when Lee surrendered. That would make me somewheres about ninety-four years old. The boys figgered it all out when they had the old age contest 'round here. They added up the times I worked and put everything together.
"I raised eight children. Have five living. And I reckon about forty children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. You see I have been here right smart time.
"Colored folks didn't get no learning then. I never learned to read or write. Before I married, I learned to spell my name, but I had so much to do I have forgot how to do that.
How Freedom Came
"The Yankees were coming through the place. A great crowd of soldiers. The day the corps of Yankees were to go out, they all went up to the pike and it looked like a dark cloud. There were great big wagons loaded down with everything to eat. They took all the meat, all the whiskey, all the flour. That they didn't take, they give to the slaves or poured on the ground. They took the corn out of the crib.
"The next day, old master called us up to the stand around him. He told us we were all free and that if we would stay with him, he would pay us.
"My old master never whipped me but once and never hit me much then. I said, 'Master, if you don't hit me no more, I'll tell you who's been stealing all your eggs.' He said, 'Will, you tell me, sure 'nough.' I said, 'Yes.' But I never done it.
"I heard about the pateroles catching the colored folks. They would catch them on the road as they were going places and whip them. The pateroles was white folks that was supposed to catch colored folks when they were out without a pass. Sometimes the colored folks would stretch ropes across the road and trip them up. You would hear them laughing about it when they got amongst themselves the next day.
"I was born in a old log house-two rooms. One for the kitchen and one to sleep in. We had homemade furniture. Mighty few of them had bought furniture. Most of then made it themselves. If you had bought furniture, that was called fine. There was no rollers to any bed. Food was kept in the house. Wheat was kept under the bed because they had nowhere else to keep it. Planks were put around it. We children used to jump up and down in it.
"When the white folks got ready to give us milk, they poured it out in a tub and said, 'Come and git it.'
"They would kill hogs and the colored folks' meat would be put back of the white folks' meat in the smokehouse. They put the white folks' meat in the front and the colored folks' meat in the back. When you wanted something, you would go up to old master and say, 'My meat is out,' and they would give you some more out of the smokehouse.
"Brandy was kept in the storehouse too; but they didn't give that to the colored [TR: corrected from 'cullud'] folks-they didn't give any of it to them. My daddy used to make it and buy it from the white folks and slip and sell it to the colored folks. He didn't tell the white folks who he was gettin' it for.
"You didn't have a regular time to git rations. You didn't on my place. You got things any time you needed them. My master was a good man. My dad got anything he wanted because he was the ginner. When he was working and it came mealtime, he would go right by the white folks' house and git anything he wanted and eat it-brandy, meat, anything.
"My daddy not only did the ginning on my place; he did the ginning for other folks. He did the ginning for an old rich man named Jack Green, who lived in Franklin County. Jack Green paid wages for my father's, Hampton High's, work and the money was turned over to his mistress. I don't know whether they paid him and he turned it over to his mistress, or whether they told him about it and paid his mistress. They trusted him and I know he did work for pay. On account of the money my father earned he was considered a valuable slave. That's why he could go and eat and drink anything he wanted to.
Life Since Slavery
"My husband married me in May. He went to his uncle and worked an shares for two or three years. Then my husband took a crop to himself. He bought a cow and hog and stayed there twenty-one years. Raised a great big orchard. All my children were born right there. White people owned the farm. Priestley Mangham and his wife were the white people. When we left that place, my children were all big enough to work. That was in North Carolina. The nearest town was College.
"When the white folks tried to take advantage of us and take our crops, then we left and came here. My husband is dead and has been dead over twenty years.
"My daughters do the best they can to help me along, but they're on relief themselves and can't do much for me.
"The young people of today are in no good at all, except to eat. They are there on mealtime, but that is about all."
About three years ago, there was an old age contest in one of the colored churches of North Little Rock. Sister Hatchett was considered the oldest, Fannie Dorum next. Sarah Jane Patterson was among those considered in the nineties also. It is very probable that all of these three are ninety or more. Stories of Dorum and Patterson are already in, and interview with Hatchett will be completed soon.
This paper fails to record Fannie Dorum's accent with any approach to accuracy. She speaks fairly accurately and clearly and with a good deal of attention to grammaticalness. But she pronounces all "er" ending as "uh"; e.g., nigguh, cullud, fathuh, mothuh, m(o)stuh, daughtuhs.
There are a number of variations from correct pronunciation which I do not record because they do not constitute a variation from the normal pronunciation; e.g., "wuz" for "was", "(e)r" for "[e]r".
The slave pronunciation of "m(o)ster" is more nearly correct than the normal pronunciation of "m(a)" Frequent pronunciations are marse, marsa, m(o)ssa, m(o)stuh, and m(a)ssa.
Source: Arkansas Slave Narratives