Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson
Person Interviewed: Tom Stanhouse
"I was born close to Greenville, South Carolina. I lived down close to
Spartanburg. My mother was named Luvenia Stanhouse and Henry Stanhouse.
They had nine children. Grandma belong to Hopkins but married into the
Stanhouse family. Grandpa's name was Tom. They set him free. I guess
because he was old. He lived about mong his children.
"When they was set free old man Adam Stanhouse was good to em. He
treated em nice but they never got nothing but their clothes. They moved
on another place and started working sharecropper.
"Before freedom old man Adam Stanhouse would give my pa a pass or his
pocket knife to show to go to see my ma. She lived at Dr. Harrison's
farm five miles apart. They all knowed Adam Stanhouse's knife. I don't
know how they would know it. He never let his Negroes be whooped unless
he said so. Owners didn't 'low the Ku Klux whoop hands on their place.
"Adam Stanhouse brought my pa from Virginia with him. Some of them men
thought might near much of his slaves as they did their children. Or I
heard em say they seem to. My pa married my ma when she was thirteen
years old. They had nine children.
"I heard ma say Dr. Harrison practiced medicine. His wife was named Miss
Lizzie. They had two boys and three girls.
"Ma was a house girl. Pa was a field hand. One time traders come round
and ma's owner wanted to sell her and his wife objected. She wasn't sold
that time. I don't know if she was sold or not.
"I don't know no more about that war than I do about the German war
(World War). I was a little boy when it was all over. I left South
Carolina in 1888. Ma was a part Red Indian and pa was a half Black Creek
Indian. I had two children before I left South Carolina. I was married
back there. I paid my own way and come to Fargo. I was trying to better
my condition. In 1896 I come to Brinkley. Before that I lived at Dark
Corner eight years. In 1920 ma and pa come to me and died with me. I
paid $25.00 for my second class ticket to Fargo--in 1888.
"Since 1864 to 1937 I farmed, sawmilled, threshed, run a grist mill, run
a cotton gin and worked about em. I farmed eight or nine years across
the bayou here.
"I own a home. My wife is living. I get 'demodities', no money. I got
two girls living. One girl is in New Jersey and one in Michigan. They
make their living.
"I think the world is going on worse than ever I seen it. Folks can't
live without money. They don't try to raise their living no more. I
ain't no prophet. The world going to nothing way I see it."
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