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Slave Narrative of Katie Arbery

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden Person Interviewed: Katie Arbery Location: 815 W. Thirteenth, Pine Bluff, Arkansas Age: 80 “I am eighty years old. My name ‘fore I was a Arbery was Baxter. My mother was a Baxter. Born in Union County. “My mother’s first people was Baxter and my grandmother was a Baxter and they just went by that name; she never did change her name. “The boss man—that was what they called our master—his name was Paul McCall. He was married twice. His oldest son was Jim McCall. He was in the War. Yes ma’am, the Civil War. “Paul McCall raised me up with his chillun and I never did call him master, just called him pappy, and Jim McCall, I called him brother Jim. Just raised us all up there in the yard. My grandmother was the cook. “There wasn’t no fightin’ in Union County but I ‘member when the Yankees was goin’ through and singin’ ‘The Union forever, hurrah, boys, hurrah We’ll rally ’round the flag, boys, Shouting the battle cry of freedom.’ (She sang this—ed.) And I ‘member this one good: ‘Old buckwheat cakes and good strong butter To make your lips go flip, flip, flutter. Look away, look away, look away, Dixie land.’ “Pappy used to play that on his fiddle and have us chillun tryin’ to dance. Used to call us chillun and say, ‘You little devils, come up here and dance’ and have us marchin’. “My cousin used to be a quill blower. Brother Jim would cut fishin’ canes and plat ’em together—they called ’em a pack—five in a row, just like my...

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