Minnie Johnson Stewart

Interviewer: Samuel S. Taylor

Person interviewed: Minnie Johnson Stewart

3210 W. Sixteenth Street, Little Rock, Arkansas

Age: Between 50 and 60?

"My mother's name was Mahala McElroy. Her master's name was Wiley

McElroy. She was living in Howard County, Arkansas near Nashville. She

worked in the field, and sewed in the house for her mistress. One time

she said she never would forget about slavery was a time when she was

thirteen years old, and the overseer beat her.

"My mother was a real bright woman with great long black hair. Her

master was her father. She told me that the overseer grabbed her by her

hair and wound it 'round his arm and then grabbed her by the roots of it

and jerked her down to the ground and beat her till the blood ran out of

her nose and mouth. She was 'fraid to holler.

"Mother married when she was fourteen. I can't remember the name of

her husband. The preacher was an old man, a faith doctor, who read the

ceremony. His name was Lewis Hill.

"I heard mother say they beat my brother-in-law (his name was Dave

Denver) till he was bloody as a hog. Then they washed him down in salt

and water. Then they beat him again because he hollered.

"She told us how the slaves used to try to pray. They were so scared

that the overseer would see them that early in the morning while they

were going to their work in the field at daybreak that they would fall

down on one knee and pray. They were so 'fraid that the overseer would

catch them that they would be watching for him with one eye and looking

for God with the other. But the Lord understood.

"My mother was seventy years old when she died. She has been dead thirty


Minnie Hollomon Miriam Logan facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail