Mary Brown

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person interviewed: Mary Brown, Clarendon, Arkansas

Age: Born in 1860

"Mama was born in slavery but never sold. Grandma and her husband was

sold and brung eleven children to Crystal Springs. They was sold to Mr.

Munkilwell. I was born there. Grandma was born in Virginia. Her back was

cut all to pieces where she had been beat by her master. Both of them

was whooped. He was a hostler and blacksmith.

"When grandma was a young woman she didn't have no children, so her

master thought sure she was barren. He sold her to Taylors. Here come

'long eleven children. Taylor sold them. After freedom she had another.

He was her onliest boy. That was so funny to hear her tell it. I never

could forgit it long as I ever know a thing. Grandma's baby child was

seventy-four years old, 'cepting that boy what was a stole child. She

died not long ago at Carpendale, Mississippi. I got the letter two weeks

ago. But she had been dead a while 'fore they writ to me. Her name was

Aunt Miny. She didn't have no children.

"Grandma said the first time she was sold--the first day of July--they

put her in a trader yard in Virginia. She was crying and says, 'Take me

back to my mama.' An old woman said, 'You are up to be sold.'

"Aunt Helen, her sister, was taking her husband something in the field.

They fooled her away from her five little children. Grandma said she

never was seen no more. She was much older than grandma. Grandma stayed

with her slavery husband till he died.

"Since freedom some people tried to steal my mama. She was a fast runner

and could dance. They wanted to make money out of her. They would bet on

her races. At Lernet School they took about thirty-six children off in

wagons. Never could get trace of them. Never seen nor heard of a one of

them again. That was in this state at Lernet School years ago but since


"I was born during the War soon after Master Munkilwell took mama over.

He didn't ever buy her. Mama died young but grandma lived to be over a

hundred years old. She told me all I know about real olden times.

"I just looks on in 'mazement at this young generation. They is happy

all right. Times not hard for them glib and well as they seems. Times

have changed a sight since I was born in this world and still changing.

Sometimes it seems like they are all right. Ag'in times is tough on old

folks like me. This is all in the Bible--about the times and folks


Mary Belle Dempsey Mary Colbert facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail