Lyttleton Dandridge

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden

Person interviewed: Lyttleton Dandridge

2800 W. Tenth Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Age: 80

"I was told I was born in '57 in East Carroll Parish, Louisiana.

"Oh, I can remember before the War broke out. Yes ma'am, I had good

owners. Old master and mistress was named James Railey and Matilda

Railey. I called her mistress.

"I remember one time my father carried me to Natchez on Christmas to

spend with his people. His parents were servants on a plantation near


"I remember two shows I saw. They was the Daniel Rice shows. They was

animal shows but they had em on a boat, kind of a flatboat. We didn't

have trains and things like that--traveled on the big waters.

"I remember when we refugeed to Texas in '63. They raised tobacco there.

"We got free in '65 and the Governor or somebody ordered all the owners

to take all the folks back that wanted to go.

"All the young folks, they had them in Tyler, Texas makin' bullets. My

father had the care of about fifty youngsters makin' bullets.

"Old master had two plantations in Louisiana and three in Mississippi.

He was a large slaveholder.

"When we got back to Louisiana from Texas, ever'thing was the same

except where the levees had been cut and overflowed the land.

"Old master died before the War broke out and my mistress died in '67.

"My father died in Texas. That left my mother a widow. She spent about

two weeks at the old home place in Louisiana. She pulled up then and

went to Natchez to my father's people. She made two crops with my young

master. His name was Otie Railey. Help her? Well, I was comin'. I had

one brother and one sister.

"In '68 she worked with a colored man on the shares.

"I started to school in '67. A colored man come in there and established

a private school. I went in '67, '68, and '69 and then I didn't go any

more till '71 and '72. I got along pretty well in it. I know mine from

the other fellows. I can write and any common business I can take care


"We had two or three men run off and joined the Yankees. One got drowned

fore he got there and the other two come back after freedom.

"My mother worked for wages after freedom. She got three bales of cotton

for her services and mine and she boarded herself.

"In '74 she rented. I still stayed with her. She lived with me all her

life and died with me.

"I come over to Arkansas the twenty-third day of December in 1916.

Worked for Long-Bell Lumber Company till they went down. Then I Just

jobbed around. I can still work a little but not like I used to.

"I used to vote Republican when I was interested in politics but I have

no interest in it now.

"The younger generation is faster now than they was in my time. They was

more constrictions on the young people. When I was young I had a certain

hour to come in at night. Eight o'clock was my hour--not later than

that. I think the fault must be in the times but if the parents started

in time they could control them.

"I remember one time a cow got after my father and he ran, but she

caught up with him. He fell down and she booed him in the back. My

grandfather come up with a axe and hit her in the head. She just shook

her head and went off.

"Outside of my people, the best friend I ever met up with was a white


Lydia Jones Mack Brantley facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail