Liza Jones Cookie

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden

Person interviewed: Liza Jones (Cookie)

610 S. Eighteenth Street, Pine Bluff, Ark.

Age: 88

"Come in, this is Cookie. Well, I do know a heap about slavery, cause

I worked. I stayed in the house; I was house girl. They called me

Cookie cause I used to cook so much.

"That was in Madison County, near Jackson, Tennessee. My mistress was

good to me. Yes'm, I got along all right but a heap of others got

along all wrong.

"Mistress took care of us in the cold and all kinds of weather. She

sho did.

"She had four women and four men. We had plenty to eat. She had hogs

and sheep and geese and always cooked enough for all of us. Whatever

she had to eat we had.

"We clothed our darkies in slavery times. I was a weaver for four

years and never done nothin' else. Yes ma'm, I was a house woman and I

am now.

"Yes ma'm, I member seein' different kinds of soldiers. I member once

some Rebels come to old mistress to get somethin' to eat but before it

was ready the Yankees come and run em off. They didn't have time to

eat it all so us colored folks got the rest of it.

"Old mistress had a son Mac and he was in the war. The Yankees

captured him and carried him to Chicago and put him in a warehouse

over the water.

"Old mistress was a good old Christian woman. All the darkies had to

come to her room to prayermeetin' every night. She didn't skip no

nights. And her help didn't mind workin'. They'd go the length for

her, Miss.

"After I was grown I went most anywhere, but when I was little I sho

set on old mistress' dress tail. I used to go to church with her.

She'd say, "Open your mouf and sing" and I'd just holler and sing. I

can member now how loud I used to holler.

"Aint no use in talkin', I had a good mistress. I never was sold. Old

mistress wouldn't sell. There was a speculator come there and wanted

to buy us. When we was free, old mistress say, "Now I could a sold you

and had the money, and now you is goin' to leave." But they didn't,

they stayed. Some stayed with old mistress till she died, but I

didn't. I married the first year of freedom.

"My mistress and me spin a many a cut of cotton together. She couldn't

beat me neither. If that old soul was livin' today, I'd be right with

her. I was gettin' along. I didn't know nothin' but freedom.

"I had freedom then and I ain't been free since, didn't have no

sponsibility. But when they turned you loose, you had your doctor bill

and your grub bill--now wasn't you a slave then?

"My mammy was a cook and her name was Katy.

"After I was married we went to live at Black Ankle. I learned to cook

and I sho did cook for the white folks twenty-one years. I used to go

back and see old mistress. If I stay away too long, she send for me.

"How many childen I had? You want the truth? Well, fifteen, but never

had but three to live any length of time.

"Well, I told you the best I know and the straightest I know. If I

can't tell you the truth, I'm not goin' to tell you nothin'.

"Yes, honey, I saw the Ku Klux."

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