Charlie Hinton

Interviewer: Bernice Bowden.

Person interviewed: Charlie Hinton (c)

Age: 89

Home: Old River Road--Pine Bluff, Ark.

"Oh Lordy, lady, I was pickin' cotton durin' the war. I was here before

the first gun was fired. When the war came they sent my mother and

father and all the other big folks to Texas and left us undergrowth here

to make a crop.

"My mother's name was Martha and my father was named Peter Hinton. Now

I'm just goin' to tell you everything--I'm not ashamed. I've got the

marks of slavery on me. My old marster and Miss Mary, they was good to

me, but the old cook woman throwed me off the porch and injured my back.

I ain't never been able to walk just right since.

"Now, here's what I remember. Our marster, we thought he was God.

"They pretty near raised us with the pigs. I remember they would cook a

great big oven of bread and then pour a pan full of buttermilk or

clabber and we'd break off a piece of bread and get around the pan of

milk jest like pigs. Yes mam, they did that.

"Let's see now, what else occurred. Old marster would have my father and

Uncle Jacob and us boys to run foot races. You know--they was testin'

us, and I know I was valued to be worth five hundred dollars.

"But my folks was good to me. They wouldn't have no overseer what would

be cruel. If he was cruel he would have to be gone from there.

"One time old marster say 'Charlie how come this yard so dirty?' You

know there would be a little track around. I said, will you give me that

old gray horse after I clean it and he said 'Yes'. So I call up the boys

and we'd clean it up, and then the old gray horse was mine. It was just

the old worn out stock you understand.

"I want to tell you when the old folks got sick they would bleed them,

and when the young folks got sick they give you some blue mass and turn

you loose.

"I remember when old marster's son Sam went to war and got shot in the

leg. Old marster was cryin' 'Oh, my Sam is shot'. He got in a scrummage

you know. He got well but he never could straighten out his leg.

"When freedom come, I heard 'em prayin' for the men to come back home.

Miss Mary called us all up and told us our age and said, 'You all are

free and can go where you want to go, or you can stay here.'

"Oh yes, the Ku Klux use to run my daddy if they caught him out without

a pass, but I remember he could outrun them--he was stout as a mule.

"I been here so long and what little I've picked up is just a little

fireside learnin'. I can read and write my name. I can remember when we

thought a newspaper opened out was a bed-cover. But a long time after

the war when the public school come about, I had the privilege of going

to school three weeks. Yes mam, I was swift and I think I went nearly

through the first reader.

"I am a great lover of the Bible and I'm a member of Mount Calvary

Baptist Church.

"I'm glad to give you some kind of idea 'bout my age and life. I really

am glad. Goodbye."

Charlie H Hunter Charlie Hudson facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail