Betty Coleman

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden

Person interviewed: Betty Coleman

1112-1/2 Indiana Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Age: 80

Occupation: Cotton Picker

[Dec 31 1937]

"My father belonged to Mr. Ben Martin and my mother and me belonged to

the Slaughters. I was small then and didn't know what the war was about,

but I remember seein' the Yankees and the Ku Klux.

"Old master had about fifteen or twenty hands but Mr. Martin had a

plenty--he had bout a hundred head.

"I member when the war was goin' on we was livin' in Bradley County. We

was goin' to Texas to keep the Yankees from gettin' us. I member Mr. Gil

Martin was just a young lad of a boy. We got as far as Union County and

I know we stopped there and stayed long enough to make two crops and

then peace was declared so we cane back to Warren.

"While the war was goin' on, I member when my mother took a note to some

soldiers in Warren and asked em to come and play for Miss Mary. I know

they stood under a sycamore and two catawba trees and played. There was

a perty big bunch of em. Us chillun was glad to hear it. I member just

as well as if 'twas yesterday.

"I member when the Yankees come and took all of Miss Mary's silver--took

every piece of it. And another time they got three or four of the

colored men and made em get a horse apiece and ride away with em

bareback. Yankees was all ridin' iron gray horses, and lookin' just as

mad. Oh Lord, yes, they rid right up to the gate. All the horses was

just alike--iron gray. Sho was perty horses. Them Yankees took

everything Miss Mary had.

"After the war ended we stayed on the place one year and made a crop and

then my father bought fifty acres of Mr. Ben Martin. He paid some on it

every year and when it was paid for Mr. Ben give him a deed to it.

"I'm the only child my mother had. She never had but me, one. I went to

school after the war and I member at night I'd be studyin' my lesson and

rootin' potatoes and papa would tell us stories about the war. I used to

love to hear him on long winter evenings.

"I stayed right there till I married. My father had cows and he'd kill

hogs and had a peach orchard, so we got along fine. Our white folks was

always good to us."

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