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Laura Ramsey Parker




From: Tennessee

INTERVIEW
LAURA RAMSEY PARKER
715 Gay St.
Nashville, Tennessee


"I'se 87 y'ars ole. Wuz bawn in slavery. Wuz freed w'en de slavery
stopped. Mack Ramsey wuz mah marster en he wuz sho good ter his
slaves. He treated dem as human bein's. W'en he turned his slaves
'loose he gib dem no money, but gib dem lands, clothin' en food 'til
dey could brang in dere fust crop. Mah daddy rented a strip ob land
'til he wuz able ter buy de place. He lived on de same fer menny
y'ars."

"W'en I wuz ole er'nuff I wuz taught ter spin en weav. I bucum de nuss
ter de marster's onlies' chile. Soon atter I wuz freed, I went ter
Wisconsin, but only wuz dere fer a y'ar, den I kum back ter Tennessee
en Nashville. I settled in dis house en I'se bin livin' in hit fer
ovuh fifty y'ars. Dere wuz no uther houses 'round 'yer at de time. I
own de place. Hab wuk'd all mah life seem ter me. At one time I wuz a
chambermaid at de Nicholson House now de Tulane en later 'kum a sick
nuss, a seamstress, dressmaker but now I pieces en sells bed quilts. I
does mah own housekeepin' en washin'."

"I don't member now, very much 'bout de Ku Klux Klan. I do member dat
one nite dey passed our home en I grab'ed a shotgun en said dat I wuz
gwine ter shoot dem ef dey kum on de place. I members de Battle ob
Murfreesboro, but I'se got no membrances ob any slave uprisin'."

"I think very lettle ob de younger ginerashon. Dere's many things ter
day dat should be changed, but I'se 'yer en can't do nuthin' ter
change hit. I's min'in mah own business. I puts mah faith en trust in
Gawd's han's; en treats mah nabers right; en lives honest. I 'longs
ter de Christian Chuch, but don't wan'ter be called a "Campbellite."

"De songs I members ez:

Am I a Soldier ob de Cross.
Am I Bawn ter Die?
'Tis 'Ligion Dat Can Gib."





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