Williamson, Callie Halsey
The following data is extracted from Arkansas Slave Narratives.
Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Person interviewed: Callie Halsey Williamson, Biscoe, Arkansas Age: 60?
"Mother was born in Alabama during slavery. Her name was Levisa Halsey. Neither of my parents were sold. Mother was tranferred (transferred) to her young mistress. She had no children and still lived in the home with her people. Her mother, Emaline, was the cook. Master Bradford owned grandmother and grandfather both and my own father all. Mother was the oldest and only child.
"I don't know whether they was mean to all the slaves or not. Seems they were not to my folks. The old man died sometime before freedom. The young master went to get a overseer. He brought a new man to take his own place. He whooped grandma and auntie and cut grandma's long hair off with his pocket-knife.
"During that time grandpa slip up on the house top and take some boards off. Grandma would sit up in her bed and knit by moonlight through the hole. He had to put the boards back. She had to work in the field in daytime.
"During the War they were scared nearly to death of the soldiers and would run down in their master's big orchard and hide in the tall broom sage. They rode her young master on a rail and killed him. A drove of soldiers come by and stopped. They said, 'Young man, can you ride a young horse?' They gathered him and took him out and brought him in the yard. He died. They hurt him and scared him to death.
"Another train come and loaded up all the slaves and somehow when freedom come on, my folks was here at Arkadelphia. They said they lived in fear of the soldiers all the time.
"Mother said a woman come first and stuck a flag out a upstairs window and the Yankees shot the guns off and some of them made talks on freedom to the Negroes and white folks. They seen that at Arkadelphia.
"Mama, grandma, and grandpa started on their way back home following soldier camps. They never got back to their homes. They never did like the Yankees and grieved about the way they done their young master. He was like one of my father's own children. They seen hard times after freedom. It was hard to live and they was used to work but they had a good living. They had to die in Arkansas. How come I'm here now."
Source: Arkansas Slave Narratives