Ike Mccoy

Interviewer: Mrs. Irene Robertson

Person Interviewed: Ike McCoy, Biscoe, Arkansas

Age: 65

[TR: Illegible words indicated by "----",

questionable words followed by "?".]

"My parents named Harriett and Isaac McCoy. Far as I knew they was

natives of North Kaline (Carolina). He was a farmer. He raised corn and

cabbage, a little corn and wheat. He had tasks at night in winter I

heard him say. She muster just done anything. She knit for us here in

the last few years. She died several years ago. Now my oldest sister was

born in slavery. I was next but I came way after slavery.

"In war time McCoys hid their horses in the woods. The Yankees found

them and took all the best ones and left their [----] (nags). Old boss

man McCoy hid in the closet and locked himself up. The Yankees found

him, broke in on him and took him out and they nearly killed him

beating him so bad. He told all of 'em on the place he was going off.

They wore him out. He didn't live long after that.

"Things got lax. I heard her say one man sold all his slaves. The War

broke out. They run away and went back to him. She'd see 'em pass going

back home. They been sold and wouldn't stay. Folks got to running off to

war. They thought it look like a frolic. I heard some of them say they

wish they hadn't gone off to war 'fore it was done. Niggers didn't know

that[TR: ?] war no freedom was 'ceptin' the Yankees come tell them

something and then they couldn't understand how it all be. Black folks

was mighty ignant then. They is now for that matter. They look to white

folks for right kind of doings[?].

"Ma said every now and then see somebody going back to that man tried to

get rid of them. They traveled by night and beg along from black folks.

In daytime they would stay in the woods so the pettyrollers wouldn't run

up on them. The pettyrollers would whoop 'em if they catch 'em.

"Ma told about one day the Yankees come and made the white women came

help the nigger women cook up a big dinner. Ma was scared so bad she

couldn't see nothing she wanted. She said there was no talking. They was

too scared to say a word. They sot the table and never a one of them

told 'em it was ready.

"She said biscuits so scarce after the War they took 'em 'round in their

pockets to nibble on they taste so good.

"I was eighteen years old when pa and ma took the notion to come out

here. All of us come but one sister had married, and pa and one brother

had a little difference. Pa had children ma didn't have. They went

together way after slavery. We got transportation to Memphis by train

and took a steamboat to Pillowmount. That close to Forrest City. Later

on I come to Biscoe. They finally come too.

"I been pretty independent all my life till I getting so feeble. I work

a sight now. I'm making boards to kiver my house out at the lot now. I

goiner get somebody to kiver it soon as I get my boards made.

"We don't get no PWA aid 'ceptin' for two orphant babies we got. They

are my wife's sister's little boys.

"Well sir-ree, folks could do if the young ones would. Young folks don't

have no consideration for the old wore-out parents. They dance and drink

it bodaciously out on Saturday ebening and about till Sunday night. I

may be wrong but I sees it thater way. Whan we get old we get helpless.

I'm getting feebler every year. I see that. Times goiner be hard ag'in

this winter and next spring. Money is scarce now for summer time and

craps laid by. I feels that my own self now. Every winter times get


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