Fanny Nix

[HW: Dist. 6

Ex-Slave #79]


Mary A. Crawford

Re-Search Worker



[Date Stamp: MAY 8 1937]

Fanny was born in slavery and was "a great big girl" when the slaves

were freed but does not know her exact age, however, she thinks that she

was "at least twelve when the War broke out." According to this method

of estimating her age, Fanny is about eighty-seven.

The old woman's parents were John Arnold and Rosetta Green, who were

married 'away befo de wah' by steppin' over the broom' in the presence

of "old Marse," and a lot of colored friends.

Fanny does not know where her parents were born, but thinks that they

were born in Upson County near Thomaston, Georgia, and knows that she

and her two brothers and other sister were.

Fanny and her family were owned by Judge Jim Green. Judge Green had a

hundred or so acres of land Fanny 'reckon', and between twenty-five and

seventy-five slaves.

"The Marster was just as good as he could be to all the slaves, and

especially to the little chillun." "The Judge did not 'whup' much--and

used a peach tree limb and done it hisself. There wuzn't no strop at

Marse Green's big house."

Rosetta Green, the mother of Fanny, "cooked and washed for Judge Green

for yeahs and yeahs." Fanny "found her mammy a cookin' at the big house

the fust thing she knowed."

As Fanny grew up, she was trained by "ole Miss" to be a house girl, and

did "sech wuk" as churning, minding the flies "offen de table when de

white folks et, gwine backards and forads to de smoke-house for my


She recalls that when she "minded the flies offen the table she allus

got plenty of biscuits and scraps o' fried chicken the white folks left

on their plates." "But," Fanny added with a satisfied smile, "Marse

Green's darkies never wanted for sumpin t'eat, case he give 'em a

plenty, even molasses all dey wanted." Fanny and her mammy always ate in

"de Missis kitchen."

"Yes," said Fanny, "I remembers when de Yankees come through, it tickled

us chillun and skeered us too! Dey wuz mo'n a hundred, Miss, riding

mighty po' ole wore out hosses. All de men wanted wuz sumpin' t'eat and

some good hosses. De men poured into de smokehouse and de kitchen (here

Fanny had to laugh again) an how dem Yankee mens did cut and hack "Ole

Marse's" best hams! After dey et all dey could hol' dey saddled up "ole

Marse's" fine hosses an' away dey rid!"

When asked why the white folks did not hide the horses out in the swamps

or woods, Fanny replied, "case, dey didn't have time. Dem Yankees

pounced down like hawks after chickens!" "Ole Marse jost did have time

to 'scape to de woods hisself." The Judge was too old to go to the war.

John Arnold, Fanny's daddy, was owned by Mr. John Arnold on an adjoining

plantation to Judge Greene, and when he and Fanny's mother were married,

John was allowed to visit Rosetta each week-end. Of course he had to

carry a pass from his "Marster."

John and Rosetta "never lived together year in and year out," according

to Fanny's statement, "till long after freedom."

Fanny relates that Judge Green's slaves all went to "meetin" every

Sunday in the white folks church. The darkies going in the after-noon

and the white people going in the forenoon.

The white preacher ministered to both the white and colored people.

If the Negroes were sick and needed mo [HW: den] "old Marse" knowed what

to give em, he "sont the white folk's doctor." "You see, Miss," said old

Fanny with pride, "I wuz owned by big white folks."

She tells that Judge Green had two young sons (not old enough to fight)

and three daughters, 'jest little shavers, so high', (here Fanny

indicated from three, to four or five feet at intervals, to indicate

small children's height,) then added, "We allus said, 'Little Miss

Peggy', 'Little Miss Nancy', and 'Little Missz Jane', and 'Young Marse

Jim' and 'Little Marster Bob'". "Did you ever forget to speak to the

children in that way?" the interviewer asked. "No, Miss, we sho didn't,

we knowed better dan to fergit!"

Fanny is very feeble in every way, voice is weak and her step most

uncertain, but she is straight of figure, and was ripping up smoking

tobacco sacks with which her daughter is to make 'a purty bed spread'.

Fanny and her husband, another ex-slave, live with Fanny's daughter. The

daughter supports her mother.

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