From: More Arkansas
Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden
Person interviewed: Frank Greene
2313 Saracen Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
"Yes'm, I can remember the Civil War and the Yankees, too. I can really
remember the Yankees and my old boss. I can't remember everything but I
can remember certain things just as good.
"Dr. Ben Lawton was my old boss. That was in South Carolina. That was
what they called Buford County at that time.
"Had a place they called the Honey Hill Fight. I used to go up there and
pick up balls.
"I can remember the Yankees had little old mules and blue caps and the
folks was runnin' from 'em.
"I remember old boss run off and hid from 'em--first one place and then
"I remember the Yankees would grab up us little folks and put us on the
mules--just for fun you know. I can remember that just as well as if
'twas yesterday--seems like.
"They burned old boss's place down. He had five or six plantations and I
know he come back and rebuilt after peace declared, but he didn't live
"He wasn't a mean man. He was good to his folks. We stayed there two
years after surrender and when I come to this country, I left some of my
uncles on that same place.
"I remember a white gentlemen in South Carolina would just jump his
horse over the fence and run over the folks, white and black, cotton and
all. He was a rich man and he'd just pay 'em off and go on. He wouldn't
put up the fence neither. He was a hunter--a sporting man.
"Me? Yes ma'am, I used to vote--the Republican ticket. We ain't nothin'
now, we can't vote. I never had any trouble 'bout votin' here but in the
old country we had some trouble. The Democrats tried to keep us from
votin'. Had to have the United States soldiers to open the way. That was
when Hays and Wheeler was runnin'.
"Here in the South the colored folks is free and they're not free. The
white folks gets it all anyway--in some places.
"But they ain't nobody bothered me in all my life--here or there.
"I went to school some after the war. Didn't have very much, but I
learned to read and write and 'tend to my own affairs.
"I have done farm work all my life and some public work. I got the same
ambition to work as I used to have but I can't hold it. I start out but
I just can't hold it.
"Just to pass my opinion of the younger generation, some of 'em
level-headed, but seems to me like they is a little rougher than they
was in my day.
"I think every one should live as an example for those coming behind."
Next: George Greene
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