The following data is extracted from Arkansas Slave Narratives.
Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden Person interviewed: Sam Word, 1122 Missouri Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas Age: 79
"I'm a sure enough Arkansas man, born in Arkansas County near De Witt. Born February 14, 1859, and belonged to Bill Word. I know Marmaduke come down through Arkansas County and pressed Bill Word's son Tom into the service.
"I 'member one song they used to sing called the 'Bonnie Blue Flag.'
'Jeff Davis is our President And Lincoln is a fool; Jeff Davis rides a fine white horse While Lincoln rides a mule.'
'Hurrah! Hurrah! for Southern rights, Hurrah! Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag That bears a Single Star!'" (The above verse was sung to the tune of "The Bonnie Blue Flag." From the Library of Southern Literature I find the following notation about the original song and its author, Harry McCarthy: "Like Dixie, this famous song originated in the theater and first became popular in New Orleans. The tune was borrowed from 'The Irish Jaunting Car', a popular Hibernian air. Harry McCarthy was an Irishman who enlisted in the Confederate army from Arkansas. The song was written in 1861. It was published by A.E. Blackmar who declared General Ben Butler 'made it very profitable by fining every man, woman, or child who sang, whistled or played it on any instrument twenty-five dollars.' Blackmar was arrested, his music destroyed, and a fine of five hundred dollars imposed upon him.")
"I stayed in Arkansas County till 1866. I was about seven years old and we moved here to Jefferson County. Then my mother married again and we went to Conway County and lived a few years, and then I come back to Jefferson County, so I've lived in Jefferson County sixty-eight years.
"In Conway County when I was a small boy livin' on the Milton Powell place, I 'member they sent me out in the field to get some peaches about a half mile from the slave quarters. It was about three o'clock, late summer, and I saw something in the tree-a black lookin' concern. Seem like it got bigger the closer I got, and then just disappeared all of a sudden and I didn't see it go. I know I went back without any peaches.
"And another thing I can tell you. In the spring of the year we was hoein' and when they quit at night they'd leave the hoes in the field, stickin' down in the ground. And next morning they wouldn't be where you left 'em. You'd have to look for 'em and they'd be lyin' on top of the ground and crossed just like sticks.
"I'll tell you what I do know. When we was livin' in Conway County old man Powell had about ten colored families he had emigrated from Jefferson County. Our folks was the only colored people in that neighborhood. And he had a white man that was a tenant on the place and he died. Now my mother and his wife used to visit one another. In them days the white folks wasn't like they are now. And so mother went there to sit up with his wife. And while she was sittin' up the house was full of people-white and colored. They begin to hear a noise about the coffin. So they begin to investigate the worse it got and moved around the room and it lasted till he was took out of the house. Now I've heard white and colored say that was true. They never did see it but they heard it.
"I don't think there is any ghosts now but they was in the past generation.
"I know many times me and my stepfather would be pickin' cotton and my dog would be up at the far end of the row and just before dark he'd start barkin' and come towards us a barkin' and we never could see anything. He'd do that every day. It was a dog named Natch-an English bull terrier. He was give to me a puppy. He was a sure enough bulldog and he could whip any dog I ever saw. He was an imported dog.
"I remember a house up in Conway County made out of logs-a two-story one just this side of Cadron Creek on the Military Road. Then they called it the Wire Road because the telegraph wire run along it. The house was vacant after the people that owned it had died, and people comin' along late at night would stop to spend the night, and in the middle of the night they'd have to get out. Now I've heard that with my own ears. There was a spring not far from the house. It had been a fine house and was a beautiful place to stop. But in the night they'd hear chairs rattlin' and fall down. It's my belief they had spooks in them old days.
"Now I'll tell you another incident. This was in slave times. My mother was a great hand for nice quilts. There was a white lady had died and they were goin' to have a sale. Now this is true stuff. They had the sale and mother went and bought two quilts. And let me tell you, we couldn't sleep under 'em. What happened? Well, they'd pinch your toes till you couldn't stand it. I was just a boy and I was sleepin' with my mother when it happened. Now that's straight stuff. What do I think was the cause? Well, I think that white lady didn't want no nigger to have them quilts. I don't know what mother did with 'em, but that white lady just wouldn't let her have 'em.
"Now I'm puttin' the oil out of the can-I mean that what I say is true. People now will say they ain't nothin' to that story. At that time the races wasn't 'malgamated. But people are different now-ain't like they was seventy-five years ago.
"Visions? Well, now I'm glad you asked me that. I'll take pleasure in tellin' you. Two years before I moved to this place I had a vision and I think I saw every colored person that was ever born in America, I believe. I was on the east side of my house and this multitude of people was about four feet from me and they was as thick as sardines in a box and they was from little tots up. Some had on derby hats and some was bareheaded. I talked with one woman-a brown skinned woman. They was sitting on seats just like circus seats just as far as my eyes could behold. Looked like they reached clear up in the sky. That was when I fust went blind. You've read about how John saw the multitude a hundred forty and four thousand and I think that was about one-fourth of what I saw. They was happy and talkin' and nothin' but colored people-no white people.
"Another vision I had. I dreamed that the day that I lived to be sixty-five, that day I would surely die. I thought the man that told me that was a little old dried-up white man up in the air and he had scales like the monkey and the cat weighed the cheese. I thought he said, 'That day you will surely die,' and one side of the scales tipped just a little and then I woke up. You know I believed this strong. That was in 1919 and I went out and bought a lot in Bellwood Cemetery. But I'm still livin'.
"Old Major Crawley who owned what they called the Reader place on this side of the river, four miles east of Dexter, he was supposed to have money buried on his place. He owned it during slavery and after he died his relatives from Mississippi come here and hired a carriage driver named Jackson Jones. He married my second cousin. And he took 'em up there to dig for the money, but I don't know if they ever found it. Some people said the place was ha'nted."
Source: Arkansas Slave Narratives