Lydia Jones

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden

Person interviewed: Lydia Jones

228 North Oak Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Age: 93

"My name's Lydia--Lydia Jones. Oh my God I'se born in Mississippi. I

wish you'd hush--I know all about slavery.

"I never had but one master. That was old John Patterson. No he want

good to me. I wish you'd hush! I had two young masters--Marse John and

Marse Edward. Marse John go off to war and say he gwine whip them

Yankees with his pocket knife, but he didn't do it. They said the

war was to keep the colored folks slaves. I tell you I've heard them

bull whips a ringin' from sun to sun.

"After the war when they told us we is free, they said to hire

ourselves out. They didn't give us a nickel when we left.

"I heered talk of the Ku Klux and they come close enough for us to be

skeered but I never seen none of 'em. We never had no slave uprisin's

on our plantation--old John Patterson would a shot 'em down. I tell

you he was a rabid man.

"I used to pick cotton and chop cotton and help weave the cloth. My

old mistress--Miss Fannie--used to go to the woods and get things to

dye the cloth. She would dye some blue and some red.

"Only song I 'member is Dixie. I heered talk of some others but God

knows I never fooled with 'em.

"Yes'm I believes in hants. Let me tell you something. My mama seen my

daddy after he been dead a long time. He come right up through the

crack by the fireplace and he said 'Don't you be afraid Emmaline' but

she was agoin'. They had to sing and pray in the house 'fore my mama

would go back but she never seen him again.

"I'se been blind now for three years and I lives with my granddaughter

but lady, I'll tell you the truth--I been around. Yes, madam, I is."

Lula Washington Lyttleton Dandridge facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail