HARRISON BOYD, 87, was born in Rusk County, Texas, a slave of Wash
Trammel. Boyd remained with his master for four years after
emancipation, then moved to Harrison County, where he now lives.
His memory is poor, but he managed to recall a few incidents.
"I was fifteen years when they says we're free. That's the age my Old
Missy done give me when the war stopped. She had all us niggers' ages in
a book, and told me I was born near Henderson. My Old Marse was Wash
Trammel and he brunged me and my mama and papa from Alabama. Mama was
named Juliet and papa, Amos. Marse Trammel owned my grandpa and grandma,
too, and they was named Jeanette and Josh.
"The plantation was two made into one, and plenty big, and more'n a
hundred slaves to work it. Marse lived in a hewed log house,
weather-boarded out and in, and the quarters was good, log houses with
bed railin's hewed out of logs. We raised everything we et, 'cept sugar,
and Marse bought that in big hogsheads. We got our week's rations every
Sunday, and when we went to eat, everybody's part was put out to them on
a tin plate.
"Marse Trammel give a big cornshucking every fall. He had two bottom
fields in corn. First we'd gather peas and cushaws and pumpkins out the
corn field, then get the corn and pile it front the cribs. They was two
big cribs for the corn we kep' to use and five big cribs for sale corn.
My uncle stayed round the sale corn cribs all spring, till ginnin' time,
'cause folks come for miles after corn. Marse had five wheat cribs and
one rye crib. We went ten mile to Tatum to git our meal and flour
"The patterrollers darsn't come 'bout our place or bother us niggers.
Marse Wash allus say, 'I'll patterroller my own place.' Marse was good
to us and only once a overseer beat a woman up a trifle, and Marse
Trammel fired him that same day.
"The sojers 'fiscated lots of corn from Marse and some more owners in
Rusk County piled corn up in a big heap and made me go mind it till the
rest the sojers got there. I was settin' top that corn pile, me and my
big bulldog, and the General rode up. My dog growled and I made him
hush. The General man say to me, 'Boy, you is 'scused now, go on home.'
I got to a fence and looked back, and that General was hewin' him a hoss
trough out a log. The sojers come in droves and set up they camp. I sot
on a stump and watched them pass. They stayed three, four days till the
corn was all fed up.
"While they's camped there they'd cotch chickens. They had a fishin'
pole and line and hook. They'd put a grain of corn on the hook and ride
on they hoss and pitch the hook out 'mong the chickens. When a chicken
swallowed the corn they'd jerk up the line with that chicken and ride
"Marse had six hundred bales cotton in the Shreveport warehouse when war
was over. He got word them Yankees done take it on a boat. He got his
brother to take him to Shreveport and say, 'I'll follow that cotton to
Hell and back.' He followed his cotton to Alabama and got it back, but
he died and was buried there in Alabama 'fore Old Missy knowed it.
"I stayed with her four years after surrender and then went to farmin'
with my folks, for $10.00 a month. After a year or two I went to
railroadin', helping cut the right-of-way for the T.& P. Railroad, from
Marshall to Longview. They paid us $1.50 the day and three drinks of
whiskey a day.
"I marries four times but had only one child, but I never done nothin'
'citin'. I lives by myself now, and gits $11.00 pension to eat on.
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