Sallie Newsom

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person Interviewed: Sallie Newsom

Brinkley, Ark.

Age 75?

"Miss, I don't know my age, but I know I is old. I'm sick now.

"My grandma's mistress and mama's mistress and my mistress was Miss

Jennie Brawner at Thomasville, Georgia. Me and my oldest sister was born

in Atlanta. Then freedom come on. My own papa wanted mama to follow him

to Mississippi. He had a wife there. She wouldn't go. She stayed on a

while with Mr. Acy and Miss Jennie. They come from Virginia. Her name

was Catherine.

"Grandma toted her big hoop dresses about and carried her trains up off

the floor. Combed her long glossy hair. Mama was a house girl too, but

then grandma took to the kitchen. She was the cook then.

"Old Miss Jennie wanted mama to give her my oldest sister Lulu, so mama

gave her to her. Then when we started to come to Holly Grove,

Mississippi, Miss Jennie still wanted her. Mama didn't want to part from

her. She was married again and brought me but my aunts told mama to

leave her there, she would have a good home and be educated, so she

'greed to leave her two years. She sent back for her at the end of two

years; she wrote and didn't want to come. She was still at Miss

Jennie's. I haben seen her from the day we left Atlanta till this very

day. A woman, colored woman, was here in Brinkley once seen her. Said

she was so fine and nice. Had nice soft skin and was well to do. I have

wrote but my letters come back. I know Miss Jennie is dead, and my

sister may be by now.

"My papa was Abe Brooks. His master was Mars Jonas Brooks. Old master

give him to the young master. He was rich, rich, and traveled all time.

His pa give him a servant. He cooked for him, drove his carriage--they

called it a brake in them days--followed him to the hotels and

bar-rooms. He drink and give him a dram. When he was freed he come to

Mississippi with the Brooks to farm for them. I went to see my papa at

Waterford, Miss.

"When we was at Holly Springs, Mississippi my cousin was a railroad man

so he helped me run away. He paid my way. I come to Clarendon. I cooked,

washed and ironed. In two or three years I went back to see mama. They

was glad to see me. They had eight children.

"I couldn't guarantee you about the eight younger children, but there

ain't a speck of no kind of blood about me and Lulu Violet but African.

We are slick black Negroes. (She is very black, large and bony.)

"Miss Jennie Brawner had one son--Gus Brawner--and he may be living now

in Atlanta.

"My uncle said he seen the Yankees come through Thomasville, Georgia. I

never seen an army of them. I seen soldiers, plenty of em. None of the

Brooks or Brawners went to war that I heard of. I was kept close and too

young to know much of what happened. I heard about the Ku Klux but I

never seen them.

"I know Miss Jennie Brawner come from Virginia but I don't brought

grandma with her or bought her. She never did say.

"I don't vote. My husband voted, I don't know how he voted.

"Since I been sick, I get a check and commodities."

Sallie Crane Sally Banks Chambers facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail