Pauline Fakes

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person interviewed: Pauline Fakes, Brinkley, Arkansas

Age: 74

"My mama come from Virginia. Her owner was Moses Crawford. He had a

bachelor son Prior Crawford. My papa's owner was Step Crawford. They was

in Arkansas during the Civil War I know because I was born close to

Cotton Plant. Papa's folks had lived in Tennessee but grandma and

grandpa was raised in Indian Nation; they called it Alabama afterwards.

She was a full blooded Creek and he was part Cherokee.

"Mama had twelve sisters and they was all sold. They took them to Texas.

She never seen one of them again. Mama had scrofula and her owners let a

woman take her North. She cured her. She wanted to keep her but they

didn't let her. They kept her till freedom.

"The owners told them they was free. Stayed on a while. We never have

got very fur off from where I was born. I had thirteen children of my

own. Three living now.

"I know times was mighty hard when I was a child. Biscuits was big

rarity as cake is now. I don't have much cake. Little cornbread and

meat, molasses and proud to get that. We didn't have much clothes but we

had plenty wood. We had wood to keep up the fire in the fireplace all

night. They saw the back sticks in the woods and roll em up. In the

coldest part of the winter they throw on a back log of green wood and

pull the seats, had benches, didn't have chairs, way back in the middle

of the room. It be snow and ice all over the ground. I got wood many a

day. Yes, I plowed many a day. I done all kinds of field work, cook and

wash and iron. Mid-wife is my talent. I been big and strong and work was

the least of my worries.

"I can barely recollect seeing soldiers. They must have just got home

from the war. The shiny buttons is about all I can recollect.

"I recollect the Ku Klux. They rode at night, some dressed in dark and

some white clothes. They come through our house one time. I got under

the cover. I was scared nearly to death.

"Near Cotton Plant there was a log cabin (Methodist?) church--Negro

church two and one-half miles northeast direction. They had a Negro

preacher. When they went to church they whooped and hollowed along the

road. White people lived close to the road. The Ku Klux planned to break

it up. They went down there and went in during their preaching, broke up

and scattered their seats. One was killed. He may have acted 'smarty' or

saucy or he may have been the leader."

Paul Smith Pauline Grice facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail