Mary A Crawford





[HW: Dist. 6]



Mary A. Crawford

Re-Search Worker



LEWIS OGLETREE--Ex-Slave

501 E. Tinsley Street

Griffin, Georgia



August 21, 1936

[Date Stamp: MAY 8 1937]



[TR: Numerous handwritten changes were made in this interview. Where a

word appears in brackets after a HW entry, it was replaced by that

handwritten entry.]





Lewis Ogletree was born on the plantation of Mr. Fred Crowder of

Spalding County, Georgia [HW: Ga], near Griffin. [HW: He] [Lewis] does

not know exactly when he was born, but says that [TR: "he knows that"

crossed out] he was maybe 17 years old at the end of the war in '65.

This would make him 88 now.



Mr. Crowder was the owner of a large number of slaves and among them

was Lettie Crowder, [TR: "(married an Ogletree) the" crossed out]

housekeeper and head servant in the home of Mr. Fred Crowder. Lettie was

Lewis' mother.



Lewis remembers standing inside the picket fence with a lot of other

little pick-a-ninnies watching for Sherman's Army, and when the Yankees

got close enough to be heard plainly, they hid in the bushes or under

the house.



The Yankees poured into the yard and into the house, making Lettie open

the smoke-house and get them Mr. Crowder's best whiskey and oftentimes

they made her cook them a meal of ham and eggs.



Mr. Crowder, Lettie's master, was ill during the war, having a cancer on

his left hand.



Lewis reports that Mr. Crowder was a very hard master but a good one

saying, "That it wasn't any use for the "patty-role" (the Patrol) to

come to Marse Crowder's, 'cause he would not permit him to "tech one of

his darkies."



Mrs. Crowder, the "ole mistis", had died just before the war broke out

and Mr. Crowder lived alone with his house servants.



There were two young sons in the war. The oldest son, Col. Crowder, was

in Virginia.



Lewis said that his Master whipped him only once and that was for

stealing. One day when the old master was taking a nap, Lewis "minding

off the flies" and thinking his "marster" asleep slipped over to the big

table and snatched some candy. Just as he picked up a lump, (it was

"rock candy,") "Wham! Old [HW: Marster] [mastah] had me, and when he got

through, well, Lewis, didn't steal anymore candy nor nothin'." "Mastah

nevah took no foolishness from his darkies."



Lewis remembers very clearly when Mr. Crowder gave his darkies their

freedom. "Mastah sont me and my mammy out to the cabin to tell all de

darkies to come up to de "big house". When they got there, there were so

many that [HW: they] [some] were up on the porch, on the steps and all

over the yard."



"Mr. Crowder stood up on the porch and said, "You darkies are all free

now. You don't belong to me no more. Now pack up your things and go on

off." My Lord! How them darkies did bawl! And most of them did not leave

ole mastah."





Martin Jackson Mary A Crawford facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Feedback