Annie Hill



Circumstances of Interview


NAME OF WORKER--Samuel S. Taylor

ADDRESS--Little Rock, Arkansas

DATE--December, 1938


1. Name and address of informant--Annie Hill, 3010 Izard Street, Little


2. Date and time of interview--

3. Place of interview--3010 Izard Street, Little Rock.

4. Name and address of person, if any, who put you in touch with


5. Name and address of person, if any, accompanying you--

6. Description of room, house, surroundings, etc.--



Personal History of Informant


NAME OF WORKER--Samuel S. Taylor

ADDRESS--Little Rock, Arkansas

DATE--December, 1938


NAME AND ADDRESS OF INFORMANT--Annie Hill, 3010 Izard Street,

Little Rock.

1. Ancestry--father, Richard Hill; mother Hulda Bruce.

2. Place and date of birth--Nashville, Arkansas in 1877.

3. Family--

4. Places lived in, with dates--Nashville, Benton and Little Rock. No


5. Education, with dates--

6. Occupations and accomplishments, with dates--Laundry work.

7. Special skills and interests--

8. Community and religious activities--

9. Description of informant--

10. Other points gained in interview--



Text of Interview (Unedited)


NAME OF WORKER--Samuel S. Taylor

ADDRESS--Little Rock, Arkansas

DATE--December, 1938


NAME AND ADDRESS OF INFORMANT--Annie Hill, 3010 Izard Street, Little Rock

"My mother lived to be one hundred years old. She died in 1920. Her name

is Hulda Bruce. She belonged to a man named Leslie during slavery. I

forget his name--his first name. She come from Mississippi. She was sold

there when she was eleven years old. That is where all her people were.

There might be some of them here and I don't know it. She said she had

three sisters but I don't know any of them. The folks raised her--the

Leslie white folks. It was the Leslies that brought her and bought her

in the old country. I don't know the names of the people that sold her.

She wasn't nothing but a kid. I guess she would hardly know.

"The Leslies brought her to Arkansas when she was eleven. That is what

she always told us kids. She was eleven years old when they sold her.

Just like selling mules.

"I don't know what is the first place they come to here. Benton,

Arkansas was the first place I knowed anything about. That is where her

folks were and that is where the young generation of them is now. The

old ones is dead and gone.

"I was born in Nashville. And she had come from Benton to Nashville. She

was living In Benton, Arkansas when she died. She was never able to

send me to school when I was young. When the white folks first turned

them loose they weren't able to do for them as they are now. Children

have a chance now and don't appreciate it. But when I was coming up my

folks weren't able. Mother knew she was one hundred eight years old

because her white folks told her what it was. When her old white folks

died, the young ones hunted it up for her out of the old family Bible

and sent it to me. The Bible was so old that the leaves were yellow and

you could hardly turn them. They were living in Benton, Arkansas and I

guess they are still living there because that is the old home place.

That is the kids is still there, 'cause the old folks is dead and gone.

One girl is named Cora and one of the boys is called Bud, Buddy. Leslie

is the last name of them both.

"I got one of her pictures with her young master's kids--three of

'em--in there with her. Anybody that bothered that picture would git in

it with me, 'cause I values it.

"Mother farmed right after the surrender. She married after freedom but

went back to her old name when her husband left. He was named Richard

Hill. He was supposed to be a bishop down there in Arkadelphia. But he

wasn't no bishop with mama. All them Hills in Arkadelphia are kin to me.

She had four children--one boy and three girls. The boy died before I

was born. She was just married the one time that I know about.

"Her white folks were good to her. You know there was so many of them

that weren't. And you know they bound to be because they were always

good to her. They would be looking for her and sending her something to

eat and sending her shoes and clothes and things like that, and she'd go

to them and stay with them months at a time so they bound to 've been

good to her. All the young kids always called her their Black Mammy.

They thought a heap of her. That is since freedom. Since I been born.

That is somethin' I seen with my own eyes.

"I spect my mother's white folks is mad at me. They come to see her just

before she died and they knew she couldn't live long. They told me to

let them know when there was a chance.

"That was about three days before she died. There come a storm. It broke

down the wire so we couldn't let them know. My boy was too small; I

couldn't send him. He was only nine years old. And you know how it is

out in the country, you can't keep them long. You have to put them away.

You can't keep no dead person in the country. So I had to bury her

without letting 'em know it.

"I do laundry work for a living when I can get any to do. I am living

with my boy but I do laundry work to help myself. It is so good, and

nice to kinda help yourself. I'll do for self as long as I am able and

when I can't, the children can help me more. I have heard and seen so

many mothers whose children would do things for them and it wouldn't

suit so well up the road. You see me hopping along; I'm trying to work

for Annie.

"My mother told me about seein' the pateroles before the War and the Ku

Klux Klan afterwards. She knowed them all right. She never talked much

about the pateroles. It was mostly the Ku Klux. Neither of them never

got after her. She said the Ku Klux used to come in by droves. She said

the Ku Klux were dressed all in white--white caps and white hoods over

their faces, and long white dresses. They come out mostly at night. They

never did bother her, but they bothered others 'round her that she

knowed about. Sometimes they would take people out and beat them and do

'round with them. But she never did know just what it was they did and

just what they did it for. You see, her white folks was particular and

didn't talk much before her. So many colored folks learnt things

because they eavesdropped their white folks, but mother didn't do that.

She didn't learn nothin' but what they talked before her, and they were

careful. But they protected her. They never did allow nobody to bother

her no way.

"She was a Baptist. She belonged to the white folks' church before she

was freed. Then she joined the Methodist church at Benton because there

wasn't no other church there. But she was a full-blood Baptist."

Annie Hawkins Annie Huff facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail