McDaniel, Richard H.
The following data is extracted from Arkansas Slave Narratives.
Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Person interviewed: Richard H. McDaniel, Brinkley, Arkansas Age: 73
"I was born in Newton County, Mississippi the first year of the surrender. I don't think my mother was sold and I know my father was never sold. Jim McDaniel raised my father and one sister after his mother died. One sister was married when she died. I heard him say when he got mad he would quit work. He said old master wouldn't let the mistress whoop him and she wouldn't let him whoop my father. My father was a black man but my mother was light. Her father was a white man and her mother part Indian and white mixed, so what am I? My mother was owned by people named Wash. Dick Wash was her young master. My parents' names was Willis and Elsie McDaniel. When it was freedom I heard them say Moster McDaniel told them they was free. He was broke. If they could do better go on, he didn't blame them, he couldn't promise them much now. They moved off on another man's place to share crop. They had to work as hard and didn't have no more than they had in slavery. That is what they told me. They could move around and visit around without asking. They said it didn't lighten the work none but it lightened the rations right smart. Moster McDaniel nor my father neither one went to war.
"From the way I always heard it, the Ku Klux was the law like night watchman. When I was a boy there was a lot of stealing and bushwhacking. Folks meet you out and kill you, rob you, whoop you. A few of the black men wouldn't work and wanted to steal. That Ku Klux was the law watching around. Folks was scared of em. I did see them. I would run hide.
"I farmed up till 1929. Then I been doing jobs. I worked on relief till they turned me off, said I was too old to work but they won't give me the pension. I been trying to figure out what I am to do. Lady, could you tell me? Work at jobs when I can get them.
"I allus been voting till late years. If they let some folks vote in the first lection, they would be putting in somebody got no business in the gover'ment. All the fault I see in white folks running the gover'ment is we colored folks ain't got work we can do all the time to live on. I thought all the white folks had jobs what wanted jobs. The conditions is hard for old men like me. I pay $3 for a house every month. It is a cold house.
"This present generation is living a fast life. What all don't they do?"
Source: Arkansas Slave Narratives