Elvie Lomack

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden

Person interviewed: Elvie Lomack

Residence: Foot of King Street on river bank,

no number; Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Age: 78

"Come right in and I'll tell you what I know. I was born in Tennessee

in slavery days. No ma'm I do not know what year, because I can't read

or write.

"I know who my mistress was. She was Miss Lucy Ann Dillard. She come

from Virginia. She was an old maid and she was very nice. Some very

good blooded people come from Virginia. She brought my mother with her

from Virginia before I was born.

"My father belonged to the Crowders and mammy belonged to Miss Lucy

Ann Dillard. They wouldn't sell pappy to Miss Lucy and she wouldn't

sell mammy to the Crowders, so mammy lost sight of him and never

married again. She just married that time by the consent of the white

folks. In them times they wasn't no such thing as a license for the

colored folks.

"I remember my mother milked and tended to the cows and issued out the

milk to the colored folks.

"Miss Lucy lived in town and come out once a week to see to us. When

the overseer was there she come out oftener. We stayed right on there

after the war, till we come to Arkansas. I was betwixt eleven and

twelve years old.

"And we was fooled in this place. A man my mother knowed had been here

two years. He come back to Tennessee and, oh Lord, you could do this

and do that, so we come here.

"First year we come here we all got down sick. When we got well we had

to go to work and I didn't have a chance to go to school.

"I've seen my mother wring her hands and cry and say she wished she

was back in Tennessee where Lucy Ann Dillard was.

"When I got big enough I went to work for Ben Johnson and stayed there

fifteen years. I never knew when my payday was. Mammy come and got my

pay and give me just what she wanted me to have. And as for runnin' up

and down the streets--why mammy would a died first. She's dead and in

her grave but I give her credit--she took the best of care of us. She

had three girls and they didn't romp up and down the big road neither.

"I just looks at the young folks now. If they had been comin' along

when I was, they'd done been tore all to pieces. They ain't raisin' em

now, they're just comin' up like grass and weeds. And as for speakin'

to you now--just turn their heads. Now I'm just fogy nuf that if I

meet you out, I'll say good mornin' or good evenin'.

"If it hadn't been for the Yankees, we'd have the yoke on our necks

right today. The Lord got into their hearts.

"Now I don't feel bitter gainst people. Ain't no use to hold malice

gainst nobody--got to have a clean heart. Folks does things cause

they's ignorant and don't know no better and they shouldn't be crowned

with it.

"But I'll tell you the truth--I've heard my mother say she was happier

in slavery times than after cause she said the Dillards certainly took

good care of her. Southerners got a heart in em."

Elmira Hill Elvira Boles facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail