The following data is extracted from Arkansas Slave Narratives.
Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Person interviewed: Anna Washington, Clarendon, Arkansas (Back of Mrs. Maynard's home in the alley) Age: 77
"I've forgot who my mother's owner was. She was born in Virginia. She was put on a block and sold. She was fifteen years old and she never seen her mother again after she left her. Her master was George Birdsong. He bought my papa too. They was onliest two he owned. He wanted them both light so the children would be light for house girls and waiting boys. Light colored folks sold for more money on the block.
"The boss man over grandpa and grandma in Virginia was John Glover. But he was not their owner. My grandpa was about white. He said his owners was good to him but now grandma had a pided back where she had been whooped. Grandpa come down from the Washington slaves so my papa said. That is the reason I holds to his name and my boy holds to it. Papa said he had to plough and clean up new ground for Master Birdsong. He was a young man starting out and papa and mama was young too.
(She left and came back with some old scraps of yellow and torn papers dimly written all over: Anna Washington, born 1860 at Hines County at Big Rock. Mother born at Capier County. Father born at White County, Virginia-ed.)
"This is what was told to me by my papa: His grandmother was born of George Washington's housemaid. That was one hundred forty years ago. His papa was educated under a fine mechanic and he help build the old State-house at Washington. Major Rousy Paten was the Washington nigger 'ministrator.
"I had a sister named Martha Curtis after his young wife. I had a brother named Housy Patton. They are both dead now. Pa lived to be ninety-eight years old. My mama was as white as you is but she was a nigger woman. Pa was lighter than I is now. I'm getting darker 'cause I'm getting old. My pa was named Benjamin Washington.
"I heard my pa talk about Nat Turner. (She knew who he was o.k.-ed.) He got up a rebellion of black folk back in Virginia. I heard my pa sit and tell about him. Moses Kinnel was a rich white man wouldn't sell Nellie 'cause of what his wife said. She was a housemaid. He wrote own free pass book and took her to Maryland. Father's father wanted to buy Nellie but her owner wouldn't sell her. He took her.
"My mother had fourteen children. We and Archie was the youngest.
"Moses Kinnel was a rich white man and had lots of servants. He promised never to sell Nellie and keep her to raise his white children. She was his maid. He promised that her dying bed. But father's father stole her and took her to Maryland.
"Pa run away and was sold twice or more. When he was small chile his mother done fine washing. She seat him to go fetch her some fine laundry soap what they bought in the towns. Two white men in a two-wheel open buggy say, 'Hey, don't you want to ride?' 'I ain't got time.' 'Get in buggy, we'll take you a little piece.' One jumped out and tied his hands together. They sold him. They let him go to nigger traders. They had him at a doctor's examining his fine head see what he could stand. The doctor say, 'He is a fine man. Could trust him with silver and gold-his weight in it.' They brung him to Mississippi and sold him for a big price. He had these papers the doctor wrote on him to show.
"Then he sent for my mama after they sat him free. His name was Ben Washington.
"He never spoke much of freedom. He said his master in Mississippi told them and had them sign up contracts to finish that year's crop. He took back his old Virginia name and I don't recollect that master's name. Heard it too. Yes ma'am, heap er times. My recollection is purty nigh gone.
"I don't get no younger in feelings 'cause I'm getting old."
Source: Arkansas Slave Narratives