Margret Hulm

Interviewer: Mrs. Annie L. LaCotts

Person interviewed: Margret Hulm, Humphrey, Arkansas

Age: 97

(Story of Abraham Lincoln as a spy)

In the west edge of Humphrey in a small house beneath huge old trees

lives an aged Negro woman with her boy (61 years old) and his wife. This

woman is Margret Hulm who says she was born March 5, 1840 in Hardeman

County, Tennessee. When asked if she remembered anything about the war

and slavery days she said:

"Oh yes mam. I was 24 years old when the slaves were set free. My folks

belonged to Master Jimmie Pruitt, who owned lots of other slaves. When

they told him his niggers were free, he let them go or let them stay on

with him and he'd give them a place to live and some of the crops. I

guess that's what folks call a share crop now. I was what folks called a

house girl. I didn't work in the field like some of the other slaves. I

waited on my mistress and her chillun, answered the door, waited on de

table and done things like that. I remember Mr. Lincoln. He came one day

to our house (I mean my white folks' house). They told me to answer the

door and when I opened it there stood a big man with a gray blanket

around him for a cape. He had a string tied around his neck to hold it

on. A part of it was turned down over the string like a ghost cape. How

was he dressed beneath the blanket? Well, he had on jeans pants and big

mud boots and a big black hat kinda like men wear now. He stayed all

night. We treated him nice like we did everybody when they come to our

house. We heard after he was gone that he was Abraham Lincoln and he was

a spy. That was before the war. Oh, yes, I remember lots about the war.

I remember dark days what we called the black days. It would be so dark

you couldn't see the sun even. That was from the smoke from the

fighting. You could just hear the big guns going b-o-o-m, boom, all day.

Yes, I do remember seeing the Yankees. I saw 'em running fast one day

past our house going back away from the fighting place. And once they

hung our master. They told him they wanted his money. He said he didn't

have but one dollar. They said 'we know better than that.' Then they

took a big rope off of one de Yankee's saddle and took de master down in

de horse lot and hung him to a big tree. The rope must a been old, for

it broke. Our master was a big man though. Then they hung him again. He

told 'em he didn't have but one dollar and they let him down and said

'Well, old man, maybe you haven't got any more money.' So they let him

go when the mistress and her little chillun come down there. He didn't

have but one dollar in his pockets but had lots buried about the place

in two or three places."

While Margret was giving this information she was busily sewing together

what looked like little square pads. When examined they proved to be

tobacco sacks stuffed with cotton and then sewed together which would

make a quilt already quilted when she got enough of them sewed together

to cover a bed.

Margaret Thornton Margrett Nickerson facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail