Mary Tabon

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person interviewed: Mary Tabon, Forrest City, Arkansas

Age: 67

"Pa was sold twice to my knowing. He was sold to McCoy, then to

Alexander. He was Virginian. Then he was carried to Alabama and brought

to Holly Grove by the Mayos. I have wore four names, Alexander, Adams,

Morgan, and Tabon.

"My mother's owners was Ellis from Alabama. She said she was sold from

the Scales to Ellis. Her father, sister, and two brothers was sold from

Ellis. She never seen them no more. They found Uncle Charles Ellis dead

in the field. They never knowed how it come.

"My parents had hard times during slavery. Ma had a big scar on her

shoulder where the overseer struck her with a whoop. She was chopping

cotton. She either wasn't doing to suit him or wasn't getting along fast

enough to suit him.

"Ma had so many little ones to raise she give me to Nancy Bennett. I

love her soul in her grave. I helped her to do all her work she taught

me. She'd leave me with her little boy and go to church and I'd make

cakes and corn bread. She brag on me. We'd have biscuits on Sunday

morning. They was a rarity.

"One day she had company. She told me to bake some potatoes with the

jackets on. I washed the potatoes and wrapped them up in rags and boiled

them. It made her so mad she wet the towel and whooped me with it. I

unwrapped the potatoes and we had them that way for dinner. That was the

maddest she ever got at me. She learned me to cook and keep a nice house

and to sew good as anybody. I rather know how to work than be educated.

"Mr. Ash give me a lot of scraps from his garment factory. I made them

up in quilts. He give me enough to make three dresses. I needed dresses

so bad." (One dress has sixty-six pieces in it but it didn't look like

that. They sent it to Little Tock and St. Louis for the county fairs.

Her dresses looked fairly well.)

"I was born at Holly Grove, Arkansas. Alexander was the name my pa went

by and that was my maiden name."

Mary Smith Mary Teel facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail