The following data is extracted from Arkansas Slave Narratives.
Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden Person interviewed: Cresa Mack 1417 Short Indiana St., Pine Bluff, Ark. Age: 85
"I can tell you something about slavery days. I was born at South Bend, Arkansas on the old Joe Clay place. I 'member they used to work 'em scandalous. They used me at the house and I used to wait on old mistress' brother. He was a old man named Cal Fletcher.
"I 'member when they said the Yankees was comin' the boss man put us in wagons and runned us to Texas. They put the women and chillun in the wagons but the men had to walk. I know I was something over twelve years old.
"Old mistress, Miss Sarah Clay, took her chillun and went to Memphis.
"My white folks treated us very well. I never seed 'em whip my mother but once, but I seen some whipped till they's speechless. Yes ma'm I have.
"I can 'member a lot 'bout the war. The Lord have mercy, I'se old. I 'member they used to sing
'Run nigger run, The paddyrollers'll ketch you, Run nigger run.' "Corse if they ketch you out without a pass they'd beat you nearly to death and tell you to go home to your master.
"One time I was totin' water for the woman what did the washin'. I was goin' along the road and seed somethin' up in a tree that look like a dog. I said 'Look at that dog.' The overseer was comin' from the house and said 'That ain't no dog, that's a panther. You better not stop' and he shot it out. Then I've seen bears out in the cane brakes. I thought they was big black bulls. I was young then-yes mam, I was young.
"When the Yankees come through they sot the house afire and the gin and burned up 'bout a hundred bales a cotton. They never bothered the niggers' quarters. That was the time the overseer carried us to Texas to get rid of the Yankees.
"After the surrender the Yankees told the overseer to bring us all up in the front yard so he could read us the ceremony and he said we was as free as any white man that walked the ground. I didn't know what 'twas about much cause I was too busy playin'.
"I didn't know what school was 'fore freedom, but I went about a month after peace was declared. Then papa died and mama took me out and put me in the field.
"I was grown, 'bout twenty-four or five, when I married. Now my chillun and grand chillun takes care of me."
Source: Arkansas Slave Narratives