Nathan Jones

Federal Writers' Project

of the W.P.A.

District #6

Marion County

Anna Pritchett

1200 Kentucky Avenue



409 Blake Street

Nathan Jones was born in Gibson County, Tennessee in 1858, the son of

Caroline Powell, one of Parker Crimm's slaves.

Master Crimm was very abusive and cruel to his slaves. He would beat

them for any little offense. He took pleasure in taking little children

from their mothers and selling them, sending them as far away as


Nathan's stepfather, Willis Jones, was a very strong man, a very good

worker, and knew just enough to be resentful of his master's cruel

treatment, decided to run away, living in the woods for days. His master

sent out searchers for him, who always came in without him. The day of

the sale, Willis made his appearance and was the first slave to be put

on the block.

His new master, a Mr. Jones of Tipton, Tennessee, was very kind to him.

He said it was a real pleasure to work for Mr. Jones as he had such a

kind heart and respected his slaves.

Nathan remembers seeing slaves, both men and women, with their hands and

feet staked to the ground, their faces down, giving them no chance to

resist the overseers, whipped with cow hides until the blood gushed from

their backs. "A very cruel way to treat human beings."

Nathan married very young, worked very hard, started buying a small

orchard, but was "figgered" out of it, and lost all he had put into it.

He then went to Missouri, stayed there until the death of his wife. He

then came to Indiana, bringing his six children with him.

Forty-five years ago he married the second time; to that union were four

children. He is very proud of his ten children and one stepchild.

His children have all been very helpful to him until times "got bad"

with them, and could barely exist themselves.

Interviewer's Comment

Mr. and Mrs. Jones room with a family by the name of James; they have a

comfortable, clean room and are content.

They are both members of the Free Will Baptist Church; get the old age

pension, and "do very well."

Submitted December 15, 1937

Indianapolis, Indiana

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