Mildred Thompson





[HW: (COPY)]

El Dorado Division

FOLKLORE SUBJECTS (Ex-Slave)

Mrs. Mildred Thompson

Federal Writers' Project

Union County, Arkansas

[TR: hand dated Nov. 6, 1936]



[TR: Ellen Crowley]





Ellen Crowley an old Negress of Jefferson county, known as "old Aunt

Ellen" to both white and colored people. She was quite a character; a

slave during Civil War and lived in Mississippi. She later married and

moved to Arkansas.



Aunt Ellen was much feared and also respected by the colored race owing

to the fact that she could foretell the future and cast a spell on those

she didn't like. This unusual talent "come about" while on a white

plantation as a nurse. She foretold of a great sorrow that would fall on

her white folks and in the year two children passed away. One day soon

after she was being teased by a small negro boy to whom she promptly put

the 'curse' on and in later years he was subject to "fits."



She said she was "purty nigh" 200 when asked her age, always slept in

the nude, and on arising she would say: "I didn't sleep well last night,

the debil sit at my feet and worried my soul" or vice versa "I had a

good rest the Lord sit at my head and brought me peace."



She was immaculate about her person and clothes and always wore a red

bandana around her head.



Her mania was to clean the yard. When asked about her marriage she would

say: "I been married seven times" but Jones, Brown and Crowley were the

only husbands she could remember by name. She said the other "four no

count Negroes wasn't worth remembering."



She was ever faithful to those she worked for, and was known to walk ten

and twelve miles to see her white folks with whom she had work. Would

come in and say: "Howdy, I'se come to stay awhile. I'll clean the yard

for my victuals and I can sleep on the floor." She would go on her way

in a few days leaving behind a clean yard and pleasant memories of a

faithful servant.





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