From: More Arkansas
Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden
Person interviewed: Nellie Dunne
3900 W. Sixth Avenue, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
"Yes ma'am, I was slavery born but free raised. I was half as big as I
is now. (She is not much over four feet tall--ed.) Born in Silver Creek,
Mississippi. Yes ma'am. They give ever'body on the place their ages but
mama said it wasn't no 'count and tore it up, so I don't know what year
I was born.
"Cy Magby--mama was under his control. He would carry us over to the
white folks' house every morning to see Miss Becky. When old master come
after us, he'd say, 'What you gwine say?' and we'd say, 'One-two-three.'
Then we'd go over to old Mis' and courtesy and say, 'Good morning, Miss
Becky; good morning, Mars Albert; good morning, Mars Wardly.' They was
just little old kids but we had to call 'em Mars.
"What I know I'm gwine tell you, but you ain't gwine ketch me in no
"I 'member they was gwine put us to carryin' water for the hands next
year, and that year we got free. My mother shouted, 'Now I ain't lyin'
'bout dat.' I sure 'member when they sot the people free. They was just
ready to blow the folks out to the field. I 'member old Mose would blow
the bugle and he could blow that bugle. If you wasn't in, you better
get in. Yes ma'am! The day freedom come, I know Mose was just ready to
blow the bugle when the Yankees begun to beat the drum down the road.
They knowed it was all over then. That ain't no joke.
"I was a full grown woman then I come to Arkansas; I wasn't no baby.
"I went to school one month in my life. That was in Mississippi.
"My Joe" (her husband) "just lack one year bein' a graduate. He went up
here to that Branch Normal. That boy had good learnin'. He could a
learnt me but he was too high tempered. If I missed a word he would be
so crabb'y. So one night I throwed the book across the room and said,
'You don't need try to learn me no more.'"
Next: William L Dunwoody
Previous: Lizzie Dunn