Charles Hinton


Pine Bluff District

Name of interviewer: Martin--Barker

Subject: Ex-Slave


"Son of Martha and Peter Hinton. Came from N.C. about 12 years ago, at

close of Civil War. Mother had nine children, she belonged to Mr. Sam


"At close of war mistis called us to her, said we were free and could

go. So we went away for about a year, but came back. Sorry we were free.

"We saw about 2000 soldiers. Never went to school. Went to white church

on plantation. White preachers said, servants, obey your marster. I was

valued at $800.00.

"When I was a small boy I lay at marsters feet and he would let us play

with his feet. He always had shiny shoes and we niggers would keep

rubbing them so they would shine more. As I grew older, I cleaned the

yard, later helped pick cotton.

"I am a Baptist. Have behaved myself. Have prayer meeting at my home.

"During the war we had prayer meetings at the different houses on the

plantations. We prayed to be set free. Turned wash pots down in the

house to keep the sound down so white folks wouldn't hear us singing and

praying to be set free.

"Overseer would whip neggers when out of humor. Miss Mary would always

tell them not to mistreat her help.

"Times were so hard during slave times, white marster took them into the

bottoms and hid them, so they wouldn't run off with the Yankee soldiers.

"Talk of war got so hot, brought us out of the woods and put us in

wagons and took us and de older people off to Texas.

"We got up at 4 AM, work all day until 9 or 10 at night. On Sunday we

worked if it was necessary.

"I was tough and strong. I could outrun a wild animal, barefooted and

bare headed.

"We would have a country dance once in awhile. Someone would play the


"Miss Mary, white mistis called us all in one day and opened a large

trunk. She showed us money, gold and silver, saying that we had all

helped to make it for them. Thats the first money I ever saw.

"Before Christmas we killed hogs.

"Our white folks didn't like any one wearing blue clothes. Thought they

were Yankees, and that meant freedom for us niggers. Men in blue clothes

came and put a rope around my marsters neck, took him all around the

nigger cabins and asked where he hid them. He told them, Texas. They

said, get them and free them or they would hang him.

"He sent after them and everything was alright.

"I though my white marster was God. He took sick and died.

"I heard the other slaves saying he committed suicide because he had

lost all his money.

"In those times my father saw my mother, decided he wanted her for his

woman. He tol his white folks and they fixed up a cabin for them to live

in together. Was no ceremony. Had nigger midwives for babies.

"I knows every lucky silver pieces of money. I believe in lucky pieces

of silver. I is a dreamer, always been dat way. I have seen my bright

days ahead of me, in dreams and visions. If I hears a woman's voice

calling me, a calling me in my sleep I is bound to move outa dat house.

I dont keer wher I goes, I is got to go some whars."

Information by: Charles Hinton

Place of residence: RFD 5 Old riv. Rd.


Age: 83

Charles H Anderson Charles Lee Dalton facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail