Katie Rye

Interviewer: Miss Sallie C. Miller

Person interviewed: Katie Rye, Clarksville, Arkansas

Age: 82

"We lived in Greenbrier, Faulkner County, Arkansas. All stayed at home

and got along very well. We had enough to eat and wear. Mistress was

awful mean to us but we stayed with them until after the war. After the

war master moved us off to another place he had and my father farmed for

his self, master and his pa and ma, and mistress' pa and ma. They awful

good to us, but mistress was so high tempered she would get mad and whip

some of the slaves but she never whipped any of us. She worried so over

the loss of her slaves after the war she went crazy. We had two white

grand pas and grand mas. We colored children called them grandpa and ma

and uncle and aunt like the white children did and we didn't know

the difference. The slaves was only allowed biscuit on Christmas and

sometimes on Sundays but we had beef and plenty of honey and everything

after we moved from the big house. Mistress used to come down to see

us an' my mother would cook dinner for her and master. He was such a

good man and the best doctor in the State. He would come in and

take the babies up (mother had nine children) and get them to sleep for

my mother. His mother would come to the kitchen and ask for a good cup

of coffee and mother would make it for her. The master and his family

were Northern people and my mother was given to the mistress by her

father and mother when she married.

"After my father bought his own farm about ten miles from the big house,

father would put us all in an ox wagon and take us back to see our white


"The mistress claimed to be a Christian and church member but I don't

see how she could have been she was so mean.

"I think the present day generation mighty wicked. Seems like they get

worse instead of better, even the members of the church are not as good

as they used to be. They don't raise the children like they used to.

They used to go to Sunday School and church and take the children, now

the children do as they please, roam the streets. It is sad to see how

the parents are raising the children, just feed them and let them go.

The children rule the parents now.

"We sang the old hymns and 'Dixie', 'Carry Me Back to Old Virginia',

'When You and I Were Young, Maggie'."

Katie Rowe Katie Sutton facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail