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Slave Narrative of Matilda Bass

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Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden
Person Interviewed: Matilda Bass
Location: 1100 Palm Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Age: 80
Occupation: Farmed

“Yes ma’am, I was eight years old when the Old War ceasted.

“Honey, I’ve lived here twenty years and I don’t know what this street is.

“I was born in Greenville, Mississippi. They took my parents and carried ’em to Texas to keep ’em from the Yankees. I think they stayed three years ’cause I didn’t know ’em when they come back.

“I ‘member the Yankees come and took us chillun and the old folks to Vicksburg. I ‘member the old man that seed after the chillun while their parents was gone, he said I was eight when freedom come. We didn’t know nothin’ ’bout our ages—didn’t have ‘nough sense.

“My parents come back after surrender and stayed on my owner’s place—John Scott’s place. We had three masters—three brothers.

“I been in Arkansas twenty years—right here. I bought this home.

“I married my husband in Mississippi. We farmed.

“The Lord uses me as a prophet and after my husband died, the Lord sent me to Arkansas to tell the people. He called me out of the church. I been out of the church now thirty-three years. Seems like all they think about in the churches now is money, so the Lord called me out.”

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