Hatty Haskell


Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden

Person interviewed: Hatty Haskell

1416 W. Pullen, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Age: 85

"Yes'm, I reckon I was about twelve when the Civil War ended. Oh, I

could nurse a little.

"No ma'am, I wasn't born in Arkansas. I was born in Tennessee, but I was

brought here when I was a baby. Come here before the war. The old master

had sold 'em.

"We was bought by Will Nichols. You ever hear of this here Dick Lake?

Well, that's the place.

"They taken my father and my sister to Texas and stayed till after

freedom. My mother was sick and they didn't carry her and I was too

little, so they left me. They was pretty good to us as far as I know.

"I remember when the Yankees come through. Oh, yes'm, I was scared. I

used to hide under the bed. I wouldn't give 'em a chance to talk to me.

"Our folks stayed on the Nichols' place about two years. Then they

farmed on the shares till he got able to buy him a mule, then he rented.

"After the war the cholera disease come along. My mother and sister died

with it.

"Somebody said if you would hang up some beef outdoors between the road

and the house, it would stop the disease. I know old master hung up

about a half a quarter and it seemed to work. The meat would turn green.

"The Yankees took things to eat but the Rebels would take the women's

clothes--and the men's too. I guess they just took 'em 'cause they


"Biggest work I've done is farm work.

"My daddy said I was sixteen when I married. I had thirteen children but

they ain't all livin'.

"I remember when they said they was free. Some of the folks left the

place and never come back and some of 'em stayed.

"Sometimes I had a pretty good time and sometimes pretty tough.

"I'm gettin' along all right now. I stay here with my son part of the

time and then I go to the country and stay with my daughter."

Hattie Thompson Hecter Hamilton facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail