Lillie Baccus Interviewed By Irene Robertson
Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson
Person interviewed: Lillie Baccus, Madison, Arkansas
"I'll tell you what I heard. I was too little to remember the Civil War.
Mama's owner was ---- Dillard. She called him 'Master' Dillard. Papa's
owner was ---- Smith. He called him 'Master' Smith. Mama was named Ann
and papa Arthur Smith. I was born at West Point, Mississippi. I heard ma
say she was sold. She said Pattick sold her. She had to leave her two
children Cherry and Ann. Mama was a field hand. So was grandma yet she
worked in the house some she said. After freedom Cherry and Ann come to
mama. She was going to be sold agin but was freed before sold.
"Mama didn't live only till I was about three years old, so I don't know
enough to tell you about her. Grandma raised us. She was sold twice. She
said she run out of the house to pick up a star when the stars fell.
They showered down and disappeared.
"The Yankees camped close to where they lived, close to West Point,
Mississippi, but in the country close to an artesian well. The well was
on their place. The Yankees stole grandma and kept her at their tent.
They meant to take her on to wait on them and use but when they started
to move old master spicioned they had her hid down there. He watched out
and seen her when they was going to load her up. He went and got the
head man to make them give her up. She was so glad to come home. Glad to
see him cause she wanted to see him. They watched her so close she was
afraid they would shoot her leaving. She lived to be 101 years old. She
raised me. She used to tell how the overseer would whip her in the
field. They wasn't good to her in that way.
"I have three living children and eleven dead. I married twice. My first
husband is living. My second husband is dead. I married in day time in
the church the last time. All else ever took place in my life was hard
work. I worked in the field till I was too old to hit a tap. I live wid
my children. I get $8 and commodities.
"I come to Arkansas because they said money was easy to get--growed on
bushes. I had four little children to make a living for and they said it
"I think people is better than they was long time ago. Times is harder.
People have to buy everything they have as high as they is, makes money
scarce nearly bout a place as hen's teeth. Hens ain't got no teeth. We
don't have much money I tell you. The Welfare gives me $8."
Lila Rutherford Lily Perry