Lawson Jamar

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person interviewed: Lawson Jamar,

Edmondson, Arkansas

Age: 66

[Date Stamp: MAY 11 1938]

"Papa had twelve children and when he died he lef' two and now I am

all the big family left.

"Mama was born in Huntsville, Alabama. I was born there too. She was

Liza, b'long to Tom and Unis Martin. Papa b'long to Mistress Sarah and

Jack Jamar. They had to work hard. They had to do good work. They had

to not slight their work. Papa's main job was to carry water to the

hands. He said it kept him on the go. They had more than one water

boy. They had to go to the wash hole before they went to bed and wash

clean. The men had a place and the women had their place. They didn't

have to get in if it was cold but they had to wash off.

"They hauled a wagon load of axes or hoes and lef' 'em in the field so

they could get 'em. Then they would haul plows, hoes or axes to the

shop to be fixed up. They had two or three sets. They worked from

early till late. They had a cook house. They cooked at their own

houses when the work wasn't pushing. When they got behind they would

work in the moonlight. If they got through they all went and help some

neighbor two or three nights and have a big supper sometimes. They

done that on Saturday nights, go home and sleep all day Sunday.

"If they didn't have time to wash and clean the houses and the beds

some older women would do that and tend to the babies. They had a hard

time during the War. It was hard after the War. Papa brought me to

this country to farm. He farmed till he started sawmilling for

Chappman Dewy at Marked Tree. Then he swept out and was in the office

to help about. He never owned nothing. He come and I farmed. He helped

a little. He was so old. He talked more about the War and slavery. I

always have farmed. Farmed all my life.

"I don't farm now. I got asthma and cripple with rheumatism. What my

wife and children can't do ain't done now. [Three children.] I don't

get no help but I applied for it.

"Present times is all right where a man can work. The present

generation rather do on heap less and do less work. They ain't got

manners and raisin' like I had. They don't know how to be polite. We

tries to learn 'em [their children] how to do."

NOTE: The woman was black and so was the cripple Negro man; their

house was clean, floors, bed, tables, chairs. Very good warm house.

They couldn't remember the old tales the father told to tell them to


Lawrence Hampton Leah Garrett facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail