Cat Ross





Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person interviewed: "Cat" Ross

Brassfield, Ark.

Age: Born 1862





"I was born in Releford County on old Major Ross place. I was born

durin' a battle between the North and South at Murfreesboro. The house

was on the battle ground. Mama had five children. Her name was Susanna

Wade. Papa's name was Amos Ross. He belong to Major Bill Ross. Major

Ross had ten houses houses--one at the edge of the thicket, two on Stone

river, and they was scattered around over his land. Major Ross never

went to war. Papa went with Major Billy to bury his gold. It stayed

where they put it till after the war they went and dug it up. I seen

that. When they brought it to the house, it was a pot--iron pot--full of

gold. I didn't know where they had it buried nor how they fixed it.



"My folks was all field hands. They muster been blessed cause

they didn't get mixed up with the other nations. Grandfather's

mother--Grandma Venus--come from Africa. She'd been in bondage about

a hundred years. I recollect her well. My folks all lived to be old

people, over a hundred years old. They was all pretty well, all

Africans.



"I have seen the Ku Klux quarter mile long and two breasted on horses.

They scared me so bad I never had no experiences with them. They run my

uncle in. He was a big dancer. One time they made him dance. He cut the

pigeon-wing for them. That was the name of what he danced.



"I never was sold. I was give way. One of the Wades married into the

Mitchell family. Mama belong to the Wades. They give me and Mama and

Aunt Sallie--she wasn't my aunt but I called her that--to Wade's

daughter. She was the young mistress. The Wades wasn't so good to their

slaves. When freedom was declared, Papa come and got me and Mama and

took us on over to his place agin. We started sharecroppin' at Major

Ross's place. In 1881 Chick McGregor paid my way. I come to Arkansas.

I farmed all my life till 1922 to 1933 I been here in Brassfield

sawmilling. They took the mill away from here. I cain't plough, I'm not

able. I pick and hoe cotton. I work day labor. I never have got on the

Welfare."





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