The following data is extracted from Arkansas Slave Narratives.
Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Person interviewed: Isabella Duke Little Rock, Arkansas (towards Benton) Visiting in Hazen Age: 62
[HW: Father Wore a Bonnet]
"My own dear mother was born at Faithville, Alabama. She belong to Sam Norse. His wife was Mistress Mai Jane. They moved to Little Rock years after my mother had come there. After seberal months they got trace of one another. I seed two of the Norse girls and a boy. Master Norse was a farmer in Alabama. Mother said he had plenty hands in slavery. She was a field hand. She had a tough time during slavery.
"Pa said he had a good time. 'Bout all he ever done was put on old mistress' shoes and pull her chair about for her to sit in. He built and chunked up the fires. Old mistress raised him and he had to wear a bonnet. He was real light. He said the worse whoopings he ever got was when he would be out riding stick horses with his bonnet on. The hands on the place would catch him and whoop him and say, 'Old mis' thinks he's white sure as de worl'.' The hands on the place sent him to the big house squalling many a time.
"After he got grown he could be took for a white man easy. He was part French. He talked Frenchy and acted Frenchy. Every one who knowd him in Little Rock called him Pa Frazier and called my mother Ma Frazier, but she was dark. Pa said he et out his mistress' plate more times than he didn't. She raised him about like her own boy.
"Mother had a hard time. Alex Norse bought my mother and a small brother from some people leaving her own dear mother when she was fifteen years old. Her mother kept the baby and the little boy took sick and died. But there had been an older boy sold to some folks near Norse's place before she was sold. The brother that was two years old died. There were other older children sold. My mother never saw her mother after she was sold. She heard from her mother in 1910. She was then one hundred and one years old and could thread her needles to piece quilts. Her baby boy six months old when mother was sold come to visit us. Mother wanted to go back to see her but never was able to get the money ready. Mother had good sight when she died in 1920. She was eighty-seven years old and didn't have to wear glasses to see. Mother's father was on another place. He was said to be part or all Indian.
"Mother said once a cloth peddler come through the country. Her older brother John lived on a place close to the Norse place. John told the peddler that ma took the piece of goods he missed. But John was the one got the goods mind out. The peddler reported it to Master Norse. He give my mother a terrible beating. After that it come out on John. He had stole the piece of cloth. John then took sick, lay sick a long time. Master Norse wouldn't let her go nigh John. She knowd when he died and the day he was to be buried. Master Norse wouldn't let her go nigh there, not even look like she wanted to cry.
"Mother married before freedom, jumped the broom she said. Then after freedom she married my father. My parents named Clara and George Frazier. She had twelve children. Pa was a cripple man. He was a soldier. He said he never was shot and never shot no one. He was on a horse and going this way (reeling from side to side dodging the shooting) all time. A horse throwed him and hurt his hip in the army. After that he limped. He drew a pension. I limps but I'm better as I got grown. I'm marked after him. One of my children I named after him what died was cripple like him. My little George died when he was ten. He was marked at birth after his grandpa. I had ten, jus' got five living children.
"My husband's father's father was in the Civil War. He didn't want to go out on battle-field, so in the camps he cut his eyeball with his fingernail so he could get to go to the horsepital. His eye went out. He hurt it too near the sight. He said he was sorry the rest of his life he done that. He got a pension too. He was blind and always was sorry for his disobedience. He said he was scared so bad he 'bout leave die then as go into the battlefield.
"In some ways times is better. People are no better. Children jus' growing up wild. Their education is of the head and not their heart and hands.
"I was raised around Little Rock is about right. I gets a pension. I'm sixty-two years old but I was down sick with nerve trouble several years. I'm better now. I've been gradually coming on up for over a year now.
"Mr. Ernest Harper of Little Rock takes out truckloads of black folks to work on his place in the country every day. They can get work that way if they can work."
Source: Arkansas Slave Narratives