Location: Holly Grove Arkansas

Slave Narrative of Laura Abromsom

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Person Interviewed: Laura Abromson, R. F. D. Location: Holly Grove, Arkansas (receives mail at Clarendon, Arkansas) Age: 74 “My mama was named Eloise Rogers. She was born in Missouri. She was sold and brought to three or four miles from Brownsville, Tennessee. Alex Rogers bought her and my papa. She had been a house girl and well cared for. She never got in contact wid her folks no more after she was sold. She was a dark woman. Papa was a ginger cake colored man. Mama talked like Alex Rogers had four or five hundred acres of land and lots of niggers to work it. She said he had a cotton factory at Brownsville. “Mistress Barbara Ann was his wife. They had two boys and three girls. One boy George went plumb crazy and outlived ’em all. The other boy died early. Alex Rogers got my papa in Richmond, Virginia. He was took outer a gang. We had a big family. I have eight sisters and one brother. “Pa say they strop ’em down at the carriage house and give ’em five hundred lashes. He say they have salt and black pepper mixed up in er old bucket and put it all on flesh cut up with a rag tied on a stick (mop). Alex Rogers had a nigger to put it on the place...

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Slave Narrative of Selie Anderson

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Person Interviewed: Selie Anderson Location: Holly Grove, Arkansas Age: 78 Occupation: House girl “I was born near Decatur, Alabama and lived there till I was fifteen years old. Course I members hearin’ em talk bout Mars Newt. I named fur my ma’s old mistress—Miss Selie Thompson and Mars Newt Thompson. Pa died when I was three years old. He was a soldier. Ma had seven children. They have bigger families then than they have now. Ma name Emmaline Thompson. Pa name Sam Adair. I can’t tell you about him. I heard em say his pa was a white man. He was light skinned. Old folks didn’t talk much foe children so I don’t know well nough to tell you bout him. Ma was a cook and a licensed midwife in Alabama. She waited on both black and white. Ma never staid at home much. She worked out. I come to Mississippi after I married and had one child. Ma and all come. Ma went to Tom McGehee’s to cook after freedom. She married old man named Lewis Chase and they worked on where he had been raised. His name was Lewis Sprangle. He looked after the stock and drove the carriage. Daniel Sprangle had a store and a big farm. He had three girls and three boys, I was their house girl. Mama lived on...

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Slave Narrative of Spencer Barnett

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Person Interviewed: Spencer Barnett (blind) Location: Holly Grove, Arkansas Age: 81 Occupation: Brakeman on freight train, Farmed, Worked in timber, He sold “shuck mats” and “bottomed” chairs “I was born April 30, 1856. It was wrote in a old Bible. I am 81 years old. I was born 3 miles from Florence, Alabama. The folks owned us was Nancy and Mars Tom Williams. To my recollection they had John, William, and Tom, boys; Jane, Ann, Lucy, and Emma, girls. In my family there was 13 children. My parents name Harry and Harriett Barnett. “Mars Tom Williams had a tanning yard. He bought hides this way: When a fellow bring hides he would tan em then give him back half what he brought. Then he work up the rest in shoes, harness, whoops, saddles and sell them. The man all worked wid him and he had a farm. He raised corn, cotton, wheat, and oats. “That slavery was bad. Mars Tom Williams wasn’t cruel. He never broke the skin. When the horn blowed they better be in place. They used a twisted cowhide whoop. It was wet and tied, then it mortally would hurt. One thing you had to be in your place day and night. It was confinin’. “Sunday was visiting day. “One man come to dinner, he hit a horse wid a rock and...

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Slave Narrative of Alice Biggs

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Person Interviewed: Alice Biggs Age: “Bout 70” Location: Holly Grove, Arkansas “My mother come from Kentucky and my father from Virginia. That where they born and I born close to Byhalia, Mississippi. My father was Louis Anthony and mama name Charlotte Anthony. “Grandma and her children was sold in a lump. They wasn’t separated. Grandpa was a waiter on the Confederate side. He never come back. He died in Pennsylvania; another man come back reported that. He was a colored waitin’ man too. Grandma been dead 49 years now. “Mama was a wash woman and a cook. They liked her. I don’t remember my father; he went off with Anthony. They lived close to Nashville, Tennessee. He never come back. Mama lived at Nashville a while. The master they had at the closin’ of the war was good to grandma and mama. It was Barnie Hardy and Old Kiss, all I ever heard her called. They stayed on a while. They liked us. He’d run us off if he’d had any bother. “The Ku Klux never come bout Barnie Hardy’s place. He told em at town not to bother his place. “I never wanted to vote. I don’t know how. I am too old to try tricks new as that now. “Honey, I been working in the field all my life. I’m what you call...

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Slave Narrative of Vera Roy Bobo

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Person Interviewed: Vera Roy Bobo (Mulatto, almost white) Location: Holly Grove, Arkansas Age: 68 “My parents come from Macon, Georgia. My mother was Margaret Cobb. Her people were owned by the Cobbs. They reared her. She was a house girl and a seamstress. She sewed for both white and black. She was light color. “My father was St. Roy Holmes. He was a C.M.E. preacher in Georgia and later in Arkansas. He came on the train to Forrest City, 1885. He crossed the Mississippi River on a ferry boat. Later he preached at Wynne. He was light color. “I never heard them say very much about slavery. This was their own home. “My husband’s father was the son of a white man also—Randall Bobo. He used to visit us from Bobo, Mississippi. The Bobo a owned that town and were considered rich people. My husband was some darker and was born at Indian Bay, Arkansas. He was William Bobo. I never knew him till two months before I married him. We had a home wedding and a wedding supper in this...

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