Mullins, S. O.
The following data is extracted from Arkansas Slave Narratives.
Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Person interviewed: S.O. Mullins, Clarendon, Arkansas Janitor for Masonic Hall He wears a Masonic ring Age: 80
"My master was B.F. Wallace-Benjamin Franklin Wallace and Katie Wallace. They had no children to my recollection.
"I was born at Brittville, Alabama. My parents' names was George W. Mullins and Millie. They had, to my recollection, one girl and three boys. Mr. Wallace moved to Arkansas before the Civil War. They moved to Phillips County. My mother and father both farm hands and when my grandmother was no longer able to do the cookin' my mother took her place. I was rally too little to recollect but they always praised Wallace. They said he never whipped one of his slaves in his life. His slaves was about free before freedom was declared. They said he was a good man. Well when freedom was declared all the white folks knowed it first. He come down to the cabins and told us. He said you can stay and finish the crops. I will feed and clothe you and give you men $10 and you women $5 apiece Christmas. That was more money then than it is now. We all stayed on and worked on shares the next year. We stayed around Poplar Grove till he died. When I was nineteen I got a job, porter on the railroad. I brought my mother to Clarendon to live with me. I was in the railroad service at least fifteen years. I was on the passenger train. Then I went to a sawmill here and then I farmed, I been doing every little thing I find to do since I been old. All I owns is a little house and six lots in the new addition. I live with my wife. She is my second wife. Cause I am old they wouldn't let me work on the levy. If I been young I could have got work. My age knocks me out of 'bout all the jobs. Some of it I could do. I sure don't get no old age pension. I gets $4 every two months janitor of the Masonic Hall.
"I have a garden. No place for hog nor cow.
"My boys in Chicago. They need 'bout all they can get. They don't help.
"The present conditions seem good. They can get cotton to pick and two sawmills run in the winter (100 men each) where folks can get work if they hire them. The stay (stave) mill is shut down and so is the button factory. That cuts out a lot of work here. The present generation is beyond me. Seems like they are gone hog wild."
The next afternoon he met me and told me the following story:--
"One night the servants quarters was overflowin' wid Yankee soldiers. I was scared nearly to death. My mother left me and my little brother cause she didn't wanter sleep in the house where the soldiers was. We slept on the floor and they used our beds. They left next mornin'. They camped in our yard under the trees. Next morning they was ridin' out when old mistress saw 'em. She said they'd get it pretty soon. When they crossed the creek-Big Creek-half mile from our cabins I heard the guns turn in on 'em. The neighbors all fell out wid my master. They say he orter go fight too. He was sick all time. Course he wasn't sick. They come and took off 25 mules and all the chickens and he never got up. They took two fine carriage horses weighed 2,000 pounds apiece I speck. One named Lee and one Stone Wall. He never went out there. He claimed he was sick all time. One of the carriage horses was a fine big white horse and had a bay match. Folks didn't like him-said he was a coward. When I went over cross the creek after the fightin' was over, men just lay like dis[A] piled on top each other."
[A: He used his fingers to show me how the soldiers were crossed.]
Source: Arkansas Slave Narratives