Mom Hagar

Project #1655

Mrs. Genevieve W. Chandler

Murrells Inlet, S. C.

Georgetown County


(Verbatim Conversation)

Mom Hagar Brown lives in her little weathered cabin on forty odd acres

left by her husband, Caleb Brown. Caleb died in Georgia where he had

been sent to the penitentiary for stealing a hog that another man stole.

Aunt Hagar has grands settled all around her and she and the grands

divide up the acreage which is planted in corn, sweet potatoes, cotton,

and some highland rice. She ministers to them all when sick, acts as

mid-wife when necessary, and divides her all with her kin and

friends--white and black. She wages a war on ground-moles, at which she

laughs and says she resembles. Ground-mole beans almost a foot long

protect and decorate her yard. She has apple and fig trees, and

scuppernong grape vines grow rank and try to climb all her trees.

(Monday morning she hobbles up on a stick--limping and looking sick.)

Comes in kitchen door.

Lillie: "Aunt Hagar, how you?"

Hagar: "Painful. Doctor tell me I got the tonsil. Want to represent me

one time and take them out. I say, 'No Doctor! Get in hospital, can't

get out! Let me stay here till my change come.' Yeddy? I ain't wuth!

Ain't wuth! Ain't got a piece o' sense. Yeddy? Ellen say she want God to

take she tomorrow? When you ready it's 'God take me now! All right

son!" (Greeting Zackie who enters kitchen.)

Zackie: "Aunt Hagar, how you feel?"

Hagar: "I ain't wuth son. How's all?"

Zackie: "Need a little more grits!"

Lillie: "Hear Zackie! Mom Hagar, that ain't hinder him ordering

another!" (The fact that food is scarce doesn't limit Zackie's family.)

Hagar: "You hear bout this Jeremiah broke in somewhere--get all kinds

likker and canned things and different thing?"

Zackie: "Must a broke in that place call 'Stumble Inn!' (Very

seriously.) That Revenue man been there."

Hagar: "I yeddy last night! Say he there in news-paper. Mary say, 'see

'em in paper!' Mrs. White gone to child funeral. That been in paper too.

Mary see that in paper. Easter say old lady gone dere. Doctor say better

go. Child sick. Child seven years old. Fore they get there tell 'em say,

'Child dead!'

"People gone in patch to pick watermillon. Ain't want child to go. You

know chillun! Child gone in. Ain't want 'em for go. You know. Child pick

watermillon. Ketch up one--I forgotten what pound they say. Roll. Roll

duh watermillon. Roll 'em on snake! They say, 'Snake bite 'em?' Child

say, 'No. Must a scratch.' See blood run on boy leg. Child get

unconscion that minute. Gone right out. Jess so. Ease out so. I cry. I


Lillie: "You know 'em, Mom Hagar?"

Hagar: "No! No! Lill, fever got me! Cold get me till my rump dead. Got

hospital boy rouse one time say, 'Ma, less go home! Red stripe snake

bite me.'"

* * * * *

Hagar: "Klu Klux?" (Chin cupped in hand--elbow on knee--looking way


"Reckon that the way them old timey people call 'em. Have to run way,

you go church. Going to come in to ketch you or do any mischievous

thing--come carry you place they going beat you--in suit of white. Old

white man to Wilderness Plantation. Parish old man name. Treat his wife

bad. Come to house, ain't crack. Come right in suit of white. Drag him

out--right to Woodstock there where Mr. Dan get shoot. Put a beating on

that white man there till he mess up! Oman never gone back to him yet!"

"A man wuz name (I forgot what the man name wuz)--wuz a white man mess

round wid a colored woman and they didn't do a God thing but gone and

put a beating on you, darling! Come in. Grab you and go. Put a beating

on you till you can't see. Know they got a good grub to lick you wid.

They git done you can't sit down. Ain't going carry you just for play


"Mom Hagar, you wanter vote?"

Hagar: "Oh my God!"

"Aunt Hagar are the colored people happier now than the old timey

slavery time people?"

Hagar: "Young people now got the world by force. Don't care. Got more

trick than law low. Tricky! Can't beat the old people. Can't equal to

'em. Some the young people you say 'AMEN' in church they make fun o'

you. Every tub stand on his own bottom. Can't truss 'em.

"Ma say some dem plan to run way. Say, 'Less run! Less run!' Master

ketch dem and fetch dem in. Lay 'em cross barrel. Beat dem till they

wash in blood. Fetch 'em back. Place 'em cross the barrel--hogsket

barrel--Christ! They ramp wash in blood! Beat Ma sister. He sister

sickly. Never could clear task--like he want. My Ma have to work he self

to death to help Henritta so sickly. Clear task to keep from beat. Some

obersheer mean. Oaks labor. (Meaning her Ma and ma's family were

laboring on Oaks Plantation--the plantation where Gov. Joseph Allston

and Theodosia his wife lived on Waccamaw.) Mother Sally Doctor. Ma got

four chillun. One was Emmeline, one Getty, one Katrine one Hagar! I

older than Gob (Katrine). Could a call doctor for Gob if I had any

sense." (Big nuff to gone for doctor when Gob born.)

"Stay in the field!

Stay in the field!

Stay in the field till the war been end!"

(This is Aunt Hagar's favorite song)

Mom Hagar Brown--age 77

Murrells Inlet, S. C.

July 4th, 1937.

Mom Ellen Godfrey Mom Hester Hunter facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail