Ellis Jefferson





Little Rock District

FOLKLORE SUBJECTS



Name of Interviewer: Irene Robertson

Subject: HISTORY OF ELLIS JEFFERSON--(NEGRO)

Story--Information (If not enough space on this page add page.)



This Information given by: Ellis Jefferson (Uncle Jeff) (C)

Place of Residence: Hazen, Arkansas

Occupation: Superanuated Minister of the M. E. Church

Age: 77

[TR: Personal information moved from bottom of form.]





He has his second eyesight and his hair is short and white. He is a

black skinned, bright-eyed old man. "Uncle Jeff" said he remembered

when the Civil War had ended they passed by where he lived with teams,

wagons filled, and especially the artillery wagon. They were carrying

them back to Washington. His mother was freed from Mrs. Nancy Marshall

of Roanoke, Va. She moved and brought his mother, he and his sister,

Ann, to Holly Springs, Miss. The county was named for his mistress:

Marshall County, Mississippi.



In 1868 they moved to [HW: within] 4 miles of DeWitt and 10 miles of

Arkansas Post. Later they moved to Kansas and near Wichita then back

to Marshall, Texas. His sister has four sons down there. He thinks she

is still living. His Mistress went back to Roanoke, Va., and his

mother died at Marshall. Tom Marshall was his Master's name, but he

seems to have died in the Civil War. This old Uncle Jeff lived in

Alabama and has preached there and in northern Mississippi and near

Helena, Arkansas. He helped cook at Helena in a hotel. He preaches

some but the WPA supports him now. Uncle Jeff can't remember his

dreams he said "The Bible says, young men dream dreams and old men see

visions."



He had a real vision once, he was going late one afternoon to get his

mules up and he heard a voice "I have a voice I want you to complete.

Carry my word." He was a member of the church but he made a profession

and a year later was ordained into the ministry. He believes in

dreams. Says they are warnings.



Uncle Jeff says he has written some poetry but it has all been lost.



When anyone dies the sexton goes to the church and tolls the bell as

many times as the dead person is old. They take the body to the church

for the night and they gather there and watch. He believes the soul

rises from the ground on the Resurrection Day. He believes some people

can put a "spell" on other people. He said that was witchery.



[HW: Marshall County, Miss., named for John Marshall of Virginia,

Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, 1801-35. History of

Marshall (County), Mississippi, by Clayton M. Alexander.]





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