Lula Taylor

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person Interviewed: Lula Taylor, R.F.D., east of town,

Brinkley, Arkansas

Age: 71

"My mother was sold five times. She was sold when she was too little to

remember her mother. Her mother was Charity Linnerman. They favored. She

was dark and granny was light colored. My mother didn't love her mother

like I loved her.

"Granny lived in a house behind the white church (?) in Helena. After

freedom we kept writing till we got in tetch with her. We finally got

granny with us on the Jefferies place at Clarendon.

"A man (Negro) come by and conjured my mother. She was with Miss Betty

Reed (or Reid) up north of Lonoke. They was my mother's last owners.

That old man made out like she stole things when he stole them his own

black self. He'd make her hide out like she stole things. She had a

sweetheart and him and his wife. She had to live with them. They stole

her off from her last owner, Miss Betty Reed. They didn't like her

sweetheart. They was going to marry. He bought all her wedding clothes.

When she didn't marry him she let him have back all the weddin' clothes

and he buried his sister in them. This old man was a conjurer. He give

my mother a cup of some kind of herbs and made her drink it. He tole her

all her love would go to Henry Deal. He liked him. He was my papa. Her

love sure did leave her sweetheart and go to my papa. He bought her some

nice clothes. She married in the clothes he got her. She was so glad

to let go that old man and woman what conjured her 'way from her white

folks to wait on them.

"Granny's head was all split open. I lived to see all that. White folks

said her husband done it but she said one of her old master's struck her

on the head with a shoe last.

"My papa said he'd hit boards and stood on them all day one after

another working cold days.

"Master Wade Deal at freedom give papa a pair of chickens, goats, sheep,

turkeys, a cow; and papa cleared ten acres of ground to pay for his

first mule. He bought the mule from Master Wade Deal.

"Old Master Deal used to run us from behind him plowing. We tease

him, say what he'd say to the horse or mule. He'd lock us up in the

smokehouse. We'd eat dried beef and go to sleep. He was a good old man.

"Grandpa Henry Pool went to war. Papa was sold from the Pools to the

Deals. Grandpa played with us. He'd put us all up on a horse we called

Old Bill. He said he got so used to sleeping on his blanket on the

ground in war times till he couldn't sleep on a bed. He couldn't get off


"Grandpa found a pitcher of gold money been buried in old Master Pool's

stable. He give it to them. They knowed it was out there.

"Mother was with Miss Betty Reed in most of war times. Miss Betty hid

their jewelry and money. She spoke of the Yankees coming and kill pretty

chickens and drink up a churn of fresh milk turned ready for churning.

It be in the chimney corner to keep warm. They'd take fat horses and

turn their poor ones in the lot. They never could pass up a fat hog.

They cleaned out the corn crib.

"All my kin folks was field hands. I ploughed all day long.

"Papa said his ole mistress Deal was out under an apple tree peeling

apples to dry. A white crane flew over the tree and fluttered about over

her. Next day she died. Then the old man married a younger woman.

"It is so about the pigeons at Pigeon Roost (Wattensaw, Arkansas). They

weighted trees down till they actually broke limbs and swayed plenty of

them. That was the richest land you ever seen in your life when it was

cleared off. Folks couldn't rest for killing pigeons and wasted them

all up. I was born at Pigeon Roost on Jim High's place. I seen a whole

washpot full of stewed pigeon. It was fine eating. It was a shame to

waste up all the pigeons and clear out the place."

Lula Jackson Lula Washington facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail