Larkin Payne

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person Interviewed: Larkin Payne

Brinkley, Ark.

Age: 85

"I was born in North Carolina. I don't recall my moster's name. My

parents was Sarah Hadyn and John Payne. They had seven children. None of

them was sold. My pa was sold. He had three sons in the Civil War. None

of em was killed. One was in the war four years, the others a good

portion of two years. They was helpers.

"Grandma bought grandpa's, freedom. My great grandma was an Indian

woman. My mother was dark brown. My father was tolerable light. When I

was small child they come in and tell bout people being sold. I heard a

whole lot about it that way. It was great grandma Hadyn that was the

Indian. My folks worked in the field or anywhere as well as I recollect.

"When freedom come on my folks moved to East Tennessee. I don't know

whether they got good treatment or not. They was freedom loving folks.

The Ku Klux never bothered us at home. I heard a lot of em. They was

pretty hot further south. I had two brothers scared pretty bad. They

went wid some white men to South Carolina and drove hogs. The white men

come back in buggies or on the train--left them to walk back. The Ku

Klux got after them. They had a hard time getting home. I heard the Ku

Klux was bad down in Alabama. They had settled down fore I went to

Alabama. I owned a home in Alabama. I took stock for it. Sold the stock

and come to Arkansas. I had seven children. We raised three.

"When my folks was set free they never got nothing. The mountain folks

raised corn and made whiskey. They made red corn cob molasses; it was

good. They put lye in the whiskey; it would kill you. They raised hogs

plenty. My folks raised hogs and corn. They didn't make no whiskey. I

seen em make it and sell it too.

"I heard folks say they rather be under the home men overseers than

Northern overseers. They was kinder to em it seem like. I was jes

beginnin' to go to the field when freedom come on. I helped pile brush

to be burned before freedom. I farmed when I was a boy; pulled fodder

and bundled it. I shucked corn, slopped pigs, milked, plowed a mule over

them rocks, thinned out corn. I worked twenty days in East Tennessee on

the section. I cut and haul wood all winter.

"My parents both died in Arkansas. We come here to get to a fine farmin'

country. We did like it fine. I'm still here.

"I have voted. I vote if I'm needed. The white folks country and they

been runnin' it. I don't want no enemies. They been good to me. I got no

egercation much. I sorter follows bout votin'. We look to the white

folks to look after our welfare.

"I get $8.00 and commodities. I work all I can git to do."

Landy Rucker Larnce Holt facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail