The following data is extracted from Arkansas Slave Narratives.
Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Person interviewed: Maggie Woods Brassfield, Ark. Deaner Farm. Age: 70
"My parents was Fannie and Alfred Douglas. They had three children, then he died and my mother married a man name Thompson. My parents belong to the Douglasses at Summerville, Tennessee. They had six children in their family.
"I was born the second year of the surrender that make me seventy years old. My folks was all field hands. They was all pure African stock. All black folks like me. Grandma Liney Douglass said she was sold and Grandpa was sold too. My own parents never was sold. The Douglass men-folks whooped the slaves but they was good masters outside of that.
"They would steal off and have preachin' at night. Had preachin' nearly all night sometimes. They'd hurry and get in home fore the day be breakin'. From the way they talked they done more prayin' than preachin'.
"Whenever they be sick they would send to the Douglasses to know what to do. They would take them up to their house and doctor them or come down to the quarters and wait on whoever be sick. They had some white doctors about but not near enough. They trained black women to be midwives.
"I think my folks had enough to eat and clothes too I recken. They eat meat to give them strength to work. My old stepdaddy always make us eat piece of meat if we eat garden stuff. He say the meat have strength in it. Cornbread, meat, peas and potatoes used to be the biggest part of folks livin' in olden days. They had plenty milk.
"Children when I come on didn't have no use for money. We eat molasses. Had a little candy once in a while. That be the best thing Santa Claus would bring me. We get ginger cakes in our new stockings too. Santa Claus been comin' ever since I been in the world. Seem like Christmas never would come round agin. It don't seem near so long now.
"I was too young to know about freedom. We was livin' on Douglas farm when George Flenol (white) come and brought us to Indian Bay. We worked on Dick Mayo's place. I don't know what they expected from freedom but I'm pretty sure they never got nothing.
"When the black folks come free then the Ku Klux took it up and made 'em work and stay at home. I heard that some folks wanted to stay in the road all the time. The Ku Klux nearly scared me to death to see pass by. They never did bother us.
"I don't vote. Don't know nothing about it. I don't like the way that is fixed for us to live now. We pay house rent and works as day laborers. It makes the work too heavy at some times and no work to do nearly all the time. It is making times hard. Cotton and corn choppin' time and cotton pickin' time is all the times a woman like me can work. I raised a shoat. I got no room for garden and chickens.
"I got one girl, she way from here, she sent me $2.00 for my Christmas.
"The young generation is weaker in body than us old folks has been. They ain't been raised to hard work and they don't hold out.
"That is salve I'm making. What do it smell like? It smell like chitlings. In that sack is the inside of the chitlings (hog manure). I boil it down and strain it, then boll it down, put camphor gum and fresh lard in it, boil it down low and pour it up. It is a green salve. It is fine for piles, rub your back for lumbago, and swab out your throat for sore throat. It is a good salve. I had a sore throat and a black woman told me how to make it. It cures the sore throat right now.
"I live on what I am able to work and make. I never have got no help from the government."
Source: Arkansas Slave Narratives