Sarah Smiley

Pine Bluff District


Name of Interviewer: Martin & Barker

Subject: Negro Customs

This information given by: Sarah Smiley (Colored)

Place of Residence: Humphrey, Arkansas

Age: 76

[TR: Information moved from bottom of first page.]

I was born the 10th of May, 1860. My home was in Charleston, S.C. I was

not a slave, but my parents were.

My mother was a seamstress and my father, Edward Barnewill, was butler

for their white folks.

I looks the door at sundown, and me and God are all by ourselves, and I

am not afraid.

I came to Sherrill when I was a schoolgirl, and married when I was 14.

Lived here after I was married. Taught school before I was married.

Had seven children by my first husband. My three husbands were Ike

Williams, Eli Treadvan, and Calvin Smiley.

When asked about her books standing on her shelves--namely Golden Gems,

arithmetic, and the Bible, also a blue back speller--said she just loved

her books.

Young folks of today don't love like they did in the olden days. Now it

is hot love, minute love, free love.

When my first child was born, I begged the midwife not to cut me open to

get the baby out. The midwife told me the same place it went in the same

place it will come out.

When my breasts began to grow (adolescence) I didn't want those bumps on

me, and tied them down with wide rags.

Cures--I uses gasoline and cedar, soak it and rub on affected places for


I believe that you must not let your left hand know what your right hand

is doing.

Heaven is a place of rest. If we are faithful to God, you can ride death


Hell is below--also here on earth.

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