Louise Prayer

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden

Person interviewed: Louise Prayer

3401 Short West Third, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Age: 80

"I can member seein' the Yankees. My mother died when I was a baby and

my grandmother raised me. I'se goin' on eighty.

"When the Yankees come we piled boxes and trunks in front of the doors

and windows. She'd say, 'You chillun get in the house; the Yankees are

comin'.' I didn't know what 'twas about--I sure didn't.

"I'm honest in mind. You know the Yankees used to come in and whip the

folks. I know they come in and whipped my grandma and when they come in

we chillun went under the bed. Didn't know no better. Why did they whip

her? Oh my God, I don't know bout dat. You know when we chillun saw em

ridin' in a hurry we went in the house and under the bed. I specks

they'd a killed me if they come up to me cause they'd a scared me to


"We lived on the Williams' place. All belonged to the same people. They

give us plenty to eat such as 'twas. But in them days they fed the

chillun mostly on bread and syrup. Sometimes we had greens and

dumplin's. Jus' scald some meal and roll up in a ball and drop in with

the greens. Just a very few chickens we had. I don't love chicken

though. If I can jus' get the liver I'm through with the chicken.

"When I got big enough my grandmother had me in the field. I went to

school a little bit but I didn't learn nothin'. Didn't go long enough.

That I didn't cause the old man had us in the field.

"If we chillun in them days had had the sense these got now, I could

remember more bout things.

"I was a young missy when I married.

"I told you the best I could--that's all I know. I been treated pretty


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