The following data is extracted from Arkansas Slave Narratives.
Pine Bluff District FOLKLORE SUBJECTS Interviewer: Martin - Barker Subject: Ex-Slave Story.
Information by: Tom Windham Place of Residence: 1221 Georgia St. Age: 87 [TR: Information moved from bottom of first page.]
My master was an Indian. Lewis Butler of Oklahoma. I was born and raised in Muskogee, Okla.
All of marse Butler's people were Creek Indians. They owned a large plantation and raised vegetables. They lived in tepees, had floors and were set on a lot and a wall boarded up around them. This was done so that they could hide the slaves they had stolen.
I was twelve or thirteen years old, when the Indians had a small war. They wouldn't allow us to fight. If we did, we were punished. They had a place and made us work. I went to school two months also a little at night. Cant read nor write. I am all alone now here in America. I have a daughter in Ethiopia, teaching school, also two sisters.
I served in several wars and I have been to Ethiopia. We left Monroe, La., took water, then went back by gun-boat to Galveston. The Government took us over and brought us back. After the Civil war was over the Indians let the slaves go.
I had an Indian wife and wore Indian dress and when I went to Milford, Tenn., I had to send the outfit home to Okla. I had long hair until 1931.
My Indians believed in our God. They held their meetings in a large tent. They believed in salvation and damnation, and in Heaven and Hell.
My idea of Heaven is that it is a holy place with God. We will walk in Heaven just as on earth. As in him we believe, so shall we see.
The earth shall burn, and the old earth shall pass away and the new earth will be created. The saints will return and live on, that is the ones who go away now.
The new earth is when Jesus will cone to earth and reign. Every one has two spirits. One that God kills and the other an evil spirit. I have had communication with my dead wife twice since I been in Pine Bluff. Her spirit come to me at night, calling me, asking whar wuz baby?
That meant our daughter whut is across the water.
My first wifes name was Arla Windham. My second wife was just part Indian. I have seen spirits of friends just as they were put away. I shore believe in ghosts. Their language is different from ours. I knew my wife's voice cause she called me "Tommy".
Source: Arkansas Slave Narratives