The following data is extracted from Arkansas Slave Narratives.
Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Person interviewed: Charlotte Willis, Madison, Arkansas Age: 63
"Grandpa said he walked every step of the way from old Virginia to Mississippi. They camped at night, cooked and fed them. They didn't eat no more till they camped next night. They was walked in a peart pace and the guards and traders rode. They stop every now and then for to be cried off and some more be took on.
"Grandpa said he didn't wanter be sold but they never ax 'em no diffurence. Sold 'em and took 'em right along. They better keep their feelings hid, for them traders was same kind er stock these cattle men is today judging from the way he say it was then. Grandpa loved Virginia long as he have breath in him.
"We used to sing
'Old Virginia nigger say he love hot mush; Alabama nigger say, good God, nigger, hush.' (She sang it very fast and in a fashion Negroes only can do-ed.) He wore a big straw hat and he'd get up and fan us out the way.
"Grandma was brought from South Carolina by the Willises to Mississippi. I heard her say her and him was made to jump over the broom. Called that getting 'em married. Grandpa said that was the way white folks had of showing off the couples. Then it would be 'nounced from the big house steps they was man and wife. Sometimes more than two be 'nounced at the gatherin'.
"They had good times sometimes. They talked 'bout corn shuckings, corn shellings, cotton traumpin's, (packing cotton in wagon beds by walking on it over and over, she said-ed.) and dances.
"Mother said she never was sold. She b'long to the Willises in Mississippi.
"I reckon I sure do 'members my grandpa and grandma bof. Seventeen of us all lived at Grandpa Wash Hollivy's home. He was paying on it and died. The house have three rooms in it. In the fall of the year grandma took all the rancid grease and skins and get the drippings from the ash hopper and make soap 'nough to do 'er till sometime next year. She made it in the iron washpot. He raised meat to do us till sometime next year. We never run short on nothing to eat.
"We never had but 'bout two dresses at the same time. When I come on, dresses was scarce. If we tore our dresses, we wore patches. We was sorter 'shamed to have our dresses patched up.
"I heard 'em say grandpa's house was guarded to keep off the Ku Kluck one night. They come all right 'nough but went to another house. They started whooping. The guards left grandpa's house and went down there and shot into them. Some of them was killed and the horses run off. Some run off quick and got out the way. I never caught on to what they guarded grandpa for.
"I had one girl baby what died. I been married once in my life. We rents our house. I never 'plied to the Welfare yit. We been farming my enduring life. Still farming; I says we is.
"Old folks give out and can't run on wid the work. Young folks no 'count and works to sorter git by their own selfs. Way I see it. We got so far off the track and can't git back. Starve 'fore we git back like we used to be. We used to git credit. Now there ain't no place to git it. We down and can't git up. Way I sees it. Young generation is so uneasy, ain't still a minute. They wanter be going all the time. They don't marry; they goes lives together. Then they quits and take up wid somebody else. I don't know what make 'em do thater way. That the way the right young ones doing now.
"My pa looked on me when I was three days old and left us. I ain't never seen him since."
Source: Arkansas Slave Narratives