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Richard Jackson

From: Texas

RICHARD JACKSON, Harrison County farmer, was born in 1859, a slave
of Watt Rosborough. Richard's family left the Rosboroughs when the
Negroes were freed, and moved to a farm near Woodlawn. Richard
married when he was twenty-five and moved to an adjoining farm,
which he now owns.

"I was born on the Rosborough plantation in 1859 and 'longed to old man
Watt Rosborough. He brung my mammy out of North Carolina, but my pappy
died when I was a baby, and mammy married Will Jackson. Besides me they
was six brothers, Jack and Nathan, Josh and Bill and Ben and Mose. I had
three sisters named Matilda and Charity and Anna.

"I 'members my mammy's father, Jack, but don't know where he come from.
I heared him tell of fightin' the Indians on the frontier, and one
mammy's brothers was shot with a Indian arrow.

"The plantation jined the Sabine river and old man Watt owned many a
slave. The old home is still standin' cross the road from Rosborough
Springs, nine miles south of Marshall.

"They was a white overseer on the place and mammy's stepdaddy, Kit, was
niggerdriver and done all the whippin', 'cept of mammy. She was bad
'bout fightin' and the overseer allus tended to her. One day he come to
the quarters to whip her and she up and throwed a shovel full of live
coals from the fireplace in his bosom and run out the door. He run her
all over the place 'fore he cotched her. I seed the overseer tie her
down and whip her. The niggers wasn't whipped much 'cept for fightin'
'mongst themselves.

"I 'members mammy allus sayin' the darkies had to pray out in the woods,
'cause they ain't 'lowed to make no fuss round the house. She say they
was fed and clothed well 'nough, but the overseer worked the lights out
of the darkies. I wasn't big 'nough to do field work, but 'member goin'
to the field to take mammy's pipe to her. They wasn't no matches in them
days, and I allus took fire from the house and sot a stump afire in the
field, so mammy could light her pipe.

"None of our folks larnt to read and write till after slavery. My oldes'
brother was larnin' to read on the sly, but the overseer found out 'bout
it and stopped him. He found some letters writ on the wall of the
quarter with charcoal and made the darkies tell him who writ it. My
brother Jack done it. The overseer didn't whip him, but told him he
darns't do it 'gain.

"After surrender my folks left the Rosboroughs right straight and moved
clost to Woodlawn. My oldes' hired out in Shreveport. When they asks him
what he's worth, he told them he didn't know, but he was allus worth a
heap of money when anyone wanted to buy him from the Rosboroughs.

"The Ku Kluxers come to our house in Woodlawn, and I got scart and
crawled under the bed. They told mammy they wasn't gwine hurt her, but
jus' wanted water to drink. They didn't call each other by names. When
the head man spoke to any of them he'd say, Number 1, or Number 2, and
like that.

"I thunk I heared ghosts on the Driscoll place once, up in the loft of
the house. I heared them plain as day. My step-pa done die there and
might of been his ghost. We moved away right straight, and old man
Driscoll had to burn that house down after that, 'cause wouldn't none
the darkies live in it.

"The only time I voted was when they put whiskey out. I heared a white
man one time in Marshall, makin' a speech on the square. He said he was
gwine tell us darkies why they didn't low us to vote. He didn't tell us,
'cause the law come out and made him git out the wagon and leave.

"This young race is sho' livin' fast, but I guess they's all right.
Things is jes' different now to when I was a boy. When I was a boy,
folks didn't mind helpin' one 'nother, but now they is in too big a
hurry to pay you any mind.

Next: John James

Previous: Nancy Jackson

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