Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson
Person Interviewed: Lula Taylor, R.F.D., east of town,
"My mother was sold five times. She was sold when she was too little to
remember her mother. Her mother was Charity Linnerman. They favored. She
was dark and granny was light colored. My mother didn't love her mother
like I loved her.
"Granny lived in a house behind the white church (?) in Helena. After
freedom we kept writing till we got in tetch with her. We finally got
granny with us on the Jefferies place at Clarendon.
"A man (Negro) come by and conjured my mother. She was with Miss Betty
Reed (or Reid) up north of Lonoke. They was my mother's last owners.
That old man made out like she stole things when he stole them his own
black self. He'd make her hide out like she stole things. She had a
sweetheart and him and his wife. She had to live with them. They stole
her off from her last owner, Miss Betty Reed. They didn't like her
sweetheart. They was going to marry. He bought all her wedding clothes.
When she didn't marry him she let him have back all the weddin' clothes
and he buried his sister in them. This old man was a conjurer. He give
my mother a cup of some kind of herbs and made her drink it. He tole her
all her love would go to Henry Deal. He liked him. He was my papa. Her
love sure did leave her sweetheart and go to my papa. He bought her some
nice clothes. She married in the clothes he got her. She was so glad
to let go that old man and woman what conjured her 'way from her white
folks to wait on them.
"Granny's head was all split open. I lived to see all that. White folks
said her husband done it but she said one of her old master's struck her
on the head with a shoe last.
"My papa said he'd hit boards and stood on them all day one after
another working cold days.
"Master Wade Deal at freedom give papa a pair of chickens, goats, sheep,
turkeys, a cow; and papa cleared ten acres of ground to pay for his
first mule. He bought the mule from Master Wade Deal.
"Old Master Deal used to run us from behind him plowing. We tease
him, say what he'd say to the horse or mule. He'd lock us up in the
smokehouse. We'd eat dried beef and go to sleep. He was a good old man.
"Grandpa Henry Pool went to war. Papa was sold from the Pools to the
Deals. Grandpa played with us. He'd put us all up on a horse we called
Old Bill. He said he got so used to sleeping on his blanket on the
ground in war times till he couldn't sleep on a bed. He couldn't get off
"Grandpa found a pitcher of gold money been buried in old Master Pool's
stable. He give it to them. They knowed it was out there.
"Mother was with Miss Betty Reed in most of war times. Miss Betty hid
their jewelry and money. She spoke of the Yankees coming and kill pretty
chickens and drink up a churn of fresh milk turned ready for churning.
It be in the chimney corner to keep warm. They'd take fat horses and
turn their poor ones in the lot. They never could pass up a fat hog.
They cleaned out the corn crib.
"All my kin folks was field hands. I ploughed all day long.
"Papa said his ole mistress Deal was out under an apple tree peeling
apples to dry. A white crane flew over the tree and fluttered about over
her. Next day she died. Then the old man married a younger woman.
"It is so about the pigeons at Pigeon Roost (Wattensaw, Arkansas). They
weighted trees down till they actually broke limbs and swayed plenty of
them. That was the richest land you ever seen in your life when it was
cleared off. Folks couldn't rest for killing pigeons and wasted them
all up. I was born at Pigeon Roost on Jim High's place. I seen a whole
washpot full of stewed pigeon. It was fine eating. It was a shame to
waste up all the pigeons and clear out the place."
Next: Millie Taylor
Previous: Anthony Taylor