Elizabeth Hines

Interviewer: Samuel S. Taylor

Person interviewed: Elizabeth Hines

1117 W. Fourteenth Street, Little Rock, Arkansas

Age: 70

"I was born January 10, 1868, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I came here. I

can't read or write. My brother-in-law told me that I was born three

years after the War on January tenth.

"My mother's name was Sara Cloady. My father's name was Square Cloady. I

don't remember the names of any of my grand people. Yes I do; my

father's mother was named Bertha because I called my daughter after her.

She must have been in the Square family because that was his name.

"I had four brothers and sisters. Three of them I don't know anything

about. I have never seen them. My sister, Rachael Fortune, suckled me on

her breast. That is her married name. Before she was married her name

was Rachael Bennett. Her father and mine was not the same. We was just

half-sisters. We have the same mother though. My father was half Indian

and hers was pure-blooded Indian. They are all mean folks. People say I

am mean too, but I am not mean--unless they lie on me or something. My

mother died when I was three years old. Children three years old didn't

have as much sense then as they do now. I didn't know my mother was laid

out until I got to be a woman. I didn't have sense enough to know she

was dead. My sister was crying and we asked her what she was crying


"I don't know the name of my mother's old master. Yes I do, my mother's

old master was named Laycock. He had a great big farm. He was building

a gas house so that he could have a light all night and work niggers day

and night, but peace came before he could get it finished and use it.

God took a hand in that thing. I have seen the gas house myself. I used

to tote water home from there in a bucket. It was cool as ice-water. The

gas house was as big 'round as that market there (about a half block).

"My father served in the army three years and died at the age of one

hundred ten years about twenty years ago as near as I can remember. That

is the reason I left home because he died. He served in the War three

years. He was with the Yankees. Plenty of these old white folks will

know him by the name of Square Cloady. The name of his company was

Company E. I don't know the name of his regiment. He got his pension as

long as he lived. His last pension came just before he died. I turned it

back to the courthouse because it is bad to fool with Uncle Sam. They

wrote for my name but when I told them I was married they wouldn't send

me anything. I didn't know to tell them that my husband was dead.

"I was married when I was about twenty-seven and my husband died more

than three years before my father did. My father lived to see me the

mother of my last child; my husband didn't. When my husband was dying, I

couldn't see my toes. I was pregnant. My husband died in the year of the

great tornado. The time all the churches were blown down. I think it was

about 1915. (Storm time in Louisiana.)

"I don't know what my mother did in slavery. I don't think she did

anything but cook. She was fine in children and they buys women like

that you know. My sister was a water toter. My father raised cotton and

corn and hogs and turkeys. His trade was farming before the War. I don't

know how he happened to get in the army but he was in it three years."

[HW: cf. p. 3]

House, Furniture and Food

"Laycock's farm was out in the country about four miles from Baton

Rouge, Louisiana. Some of the slaves lived in log houses and some in big

old boxed houses. Most of them had two rooms. They had nothing but four

post beds and chairs like this I am settin' down in (a little cane

chair). I reckon it is cane--looks like it is. They had homemade chairs

before the War, boxes, and benches. The boards were often bought. But

nothing else.

"They et greens and pickled pork. My father got tired of that and he

would raise hogs. Pickled pork and corn bread!

"My father never told me what his master was to him, whether he was good

or mean. He got free early because he was in the army. He didn't run

away. The soldiers came and got him and carried him off and trained him.

[HW: cf. p. 2] I just know what my father told me because I wasn't born.

He served his full time and then he was discharged. He got an honorable

discharge. He had a wound in the leg where he was shot.

"I got along all right supporting myself by planting cotton until last

year when the doctor stopped me.

"I took care of my father and the Lord is taking care of me. I am weak

and still have that giddy head but not as bad as I used to have it."


"Some of the young people do very well but some of them ain't got no

manners and don't care what they do. I am scared for them. The Man above

ain't scared and he is going to cut them down."

Elizabeth Brannon Elizabeth Jones facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail