Cora L Horton


Interviewer: Samuel S. Taylor

Person interviewed: Cora L. Horton

918 W. Ninth Street, Little Rock, Arkansas

Age: Between 50 and 60?

"My grandfather on my mother's side was a slave. After my mother had

been dead for years, I went to Georgia where he was. I never had seen

him before and I would always want to see him, because I had heard my

mother speak of him being alive and he would write to her sometimes. I

said if I ever got to be grown and my grandfather stayed alive, I was

going to Georgia to see him. So the first opportunity I got I went. That

was a long time ago. If I'd waited till now he'd a been dead. He's been

dead now for years. He lived a long time after I visited him. His name

was John Crocker. He lived in Marshallville, Georgia.

"I couldn't tell how he and my mother got separated. I don't know. I

don't believe I ever heard her say. In Georgia when she was quite a

girl, I think she said some of her people left Georgia and went to

Covington, Tennessee. Some of the white people that was connected with

them in slavery were named Hollinsheds and my auntie went in that name.

That is, her husband did. My mother's name was Adelaide Crocker. She was

never a slave. Her mother was.

"My mother and father had children--twelve of them. I don't know how

many children my grandparents had. I know three uncles--William, Harmon,

and Matthew. They were all my grandmother's children and they were

Flewellens. She married a Flewellen. Those were my father's brothers. My

auntie's husband was named Dick Hollinshed. They all come from Georgia.

"It comes to me now. I remember hearing my mother say once that her

father was sold. I think she said that her father was sold from her

mother. She didn't seem to know much about it--only what she heard her

father say.

"A man came through the country when I was a girl before my mother died.

She died when I was young. He came to our house and he said he was a

relative of my mother's and he went on to tell what he knew of her folks

in slave times. By him telling so much about her folks, she thought he

really was related to her. But after he left, she found out that he was

just a fraud. He was going 'round throughout the country making it by

claiming he was related to different people. I don't know how he found

out so much about the different people he stopped with. I suppose there

was a lot of people made it that way.

"I don't know what my grandparents did in slavery time. When I did see

my grandfather, he wasn't able to do anything. He didn't live so

long after I seen him. My mother's mother was dead and he had married

another woman. I never did see my grandmother. I do remember seeing one

of my granduncles. But I was so small I don't remember how he looked.

"I used to hear my grandma say that they weren't allowed to have a

church service and that they used to go out way off and sing and pray

and they'd have to turn a pot down to keep the noise from going out. I

don't know just how they fixed the pot.

"I had one auntie named Jane Hunter. When she died, she was one hundred

and one years old. She married Rev. K. Hunter over here in North Little

Rock. She had been married twice. She was married to Dick Hollinshed the

first time. She's been dead ten years. She was thirty-eight years old

when Emancipation came. She baked the first sacrament bread for the

C. M. E. Church when it was organized in 1870.

"My grandmother lived a hundred years too. That was my father's mother.

I knew both of them. My grandmother lived with us. That is, she lived

with us a while when my mother died. She lived here a while before she

died, and then she went back to Georgia because she had a son there

named William Flewellen. He is a presiding elder in the C. M. E. church,

in Georgia.

"My father was a railroad man and when my mother did anything at all,

she worked in the field. My father farmed during the time when he was

working on the railroad.

"I have heard my grandmother talk about slaves being put on the block

and sold and then meeting way years after and not knowing one another.

She told me about a woman who was separated from her son. One day, years

after slavery, when she had married again and had a family, she and her

husband got to talking about old slave times. She told him about how she

had been sold away from her baby son when he was a little thing. She

told him how he had a certain scar on his arm. Her husband had a similar

scar and he got to talking about slave times, and they found out that

they were mother and son. He left her and went on his way sad because he

didn't want to stay on living as husband with his mother. I don't think

those people were held accountable for that, do you?"

[HW: Omit]

Interviewer's Comment

Cora Horton is the first president of the Woman's Missionary Society

composed of the societies of the three Arkansas C. M. E. Conferences.

She has been president of the Annual Conference division of the Woman's

Home Missionary Society of the Little Rock Conference for about seven

years. She visits all meetings of the General Conference and the General

Board of the C. M. E. church as well as all connectional meetings of the

Little Rock Conference, and such meetings of the Arkansas and Southwest

Conferences as relate to the discharge of her duties as president of the

State Woman's Home Missionary Society organization.

She has been president of the N. C. Cleves Club of Bullock Temple

C. M. E. Church of Little Rock for seven years and is a most active

church worker as will be seen from this comment. In her worship she

represents the traditional Negro type, but she buys the current issue of

the C. M. E. Church Discipline and is well acquainted with its

provisions relating to her specific church work as well as to all

ordinary phases of church work and administration.

There is a lot of drama in her story of the mother who unwittingly

married her son.

There is an interesting sidelight on slavery separations in this

interview. Never had it occurred to me that imposters among Negroes

might seize upon the idea of missing relatives as the basis for a

confidence scheme.

There is also an interesting sidelight on C. M. E. Church history in the

naming of Jane Hunter as the woman who baked the first sacrament bread

at the organization of that Church in 1870.

Cora Gillam Cora Scroggins facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail