NANCY JACKSON, about 105 years old, was born in Madison Co.,
Tennessee, a slave of the Griff Lacy family. She was married during
slavery and was the mother of three children when she was freed. In
1835, Nancy claims, she was brought to Texas by her owner, and has
lived in Panola Co. all her life. She has no proof of her age and,
of course, may be in the late nineties instead of over one hundred,
as she thinks. She lives with her daughter about five miles west of
"I's live in Panola County now going on 102 year and that a mighty long
time for to 'member back, but I'll try to rec'lect. I's born in
Tennessee and I think it's in 1830 or 1832. I lives with my baby chile
what am now 57 year old and she's born when I's 'bout 'bout 33. But I
ain't sho' 'bout my age, noways.
"Massa Griff fetches us to Texas when I a baby and my brudders what am
Redic and Anthony and Essex and Allen and Brick and my sisters what am
Ann and Matty and Charlotte, we all come to Texas. Mammy come with us
but pappy was sold off the Lacy place and stays in Tennessee.
"Massa had the bigges' house in them parts and a passel of slaves.
Mammy's name was Letha, and we have a purty good place to live and massa
not bad to us. We was treated fair, I guesses, but they allus whipped us
niggers for somethin'. But when we got sick they'd git the doctor,
'cause losin' a nigger like losin' a pile of money in them days.
"Massa sometimes outlines the Bible to us and we had a song what we'd
"'Stand your storm, Stand your storm,
Till the wind blows over,
Stand your storm, Stand your storm,
I's a sojer of the Cross,
A follower of the Lamb.'
"We was woke by a bell and called to eat by a bell and put to bed by
that bell and if that bell ring outta time you'd see the niggers jumpin'
rail fences and cotton rows like deers or something, gettin' to that
house, 'cause that mean something bad wrong at massa's house.
"I marries right here in Panola County while slavery still here and my
brother-in-law marries me and Lewis Blakely, and I's 'bout nineteen. My
husban' 'longed to the Blakely's and after the weddin' he had to go back
to them and they 'lowed him come to see me once a week on Saturday and
he could stay till Sunday. I works on for the Lacy's more'n a year after
slavery till Lewis come got me and we moved to ourselves.
"I 'member one big time we done have in slavery. Massa gone and he
wasn't gone. He left the house 'tendin' go on a visit and missy and her
chillen gone and us niggers give a big ball the night they all gone. The
leader of that ball had on massa's boots and he sing a song he make up:
"'Ole massa's gone to Philiman York
And won't be back till July 4th to come;
Fac' is, I don't know he'll be back at all,
Come on all you niggers and jine this ball.'
"That night they done give that big ball, massa had blacked up and slip
back in the house and while they singin' and dancin', he sittin' by the
fireplace all the time. 'Rectly he spit, and the nigger who had on he
boots recernizes him and tries climb up the chimmey."
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