Jeff Metcalf

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person interviewed: Jeff Metcalf

R.F.D., Brinkley, Arkansas

Age: 73

"My mother's name was Julia Metcalf and my father's name was Jim

Metcalf. They belong to an old bachelor named Bill Metcalf. I think I

was born in Lee County, Mississippi. They did not leave when the war was

over. They stayed on the Bill Metcalf place till they died. I reckon I

do remember him.

"I can't tell you 'bout the war nor slavery. I don't know a thing 'bout

it. I heard but I couldn't tell you it been so long ago. They didn't

expect nothing but freedom. They got along in the Reconstruction days

about like they had been getting along. Seemed like they didn't know

much about the war. They heard they was free. I don't remember the Ku

Klux Klan. I heard old folks talk 'bout it.

"I don't know if my father ever voted but I guess he did. I have voted

but I don't vote now. In part I 'proves of the women votin'. I think the

men outer vote and support his family fur as he can.

"I come here in 1914 from Mississippi. I got busted farmin'. I knowed a

heap o' people said they was doing so well I come too. I come on the


"I ain't got no home, no land. I got a hog. No garden. Two times in the

year now is hard--winter and simmer. In some ways times is better. In

some ways they is worser. When a trade used to be made to let you have

provisions, you know you would not starve. Now if you can't get work you

'bout starve and can't get no credit. Crops been good last few years and

prices fair fur it. But money won't buy nothin' now. Everything is so

high. Meat is so high. Working man have to eat meat. If he don't he get


"The young folks do work. They can't save much farmin'. If they could do

public work between times it be better. I had a hard time in July and

August. I got six children, they grown and gone. My wife is 72 years

old. She ain't no 'count for work no more. The Government give me an'

her $10 a month between us two. Her name is Hannah Metcalf.

"I wish I did know somethin' to tell you, lady, 'bout the Civil War and

the slavery times. I done forgot 'bout all I heard 'em talkin'. When you

see Hannah she might know somethin'."

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