Silas Abbott Rfd Brinkley Interviewed By Irene Robertson
Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson
Person Interviewed: Silas Abbott
"I was born in Chickashaw County, Mississippi. Ely Abbott and Maggie
Abbott was our owners. They had three girls and two boys--Eddie and
Johnny. We played together till I was grown. I loved em like if they was
brothers. Papa and Mos Ely went to war together in a two-horse top
buggy. They both come back when they got through.
"There was eight of us children and none was sold, none give way. My
parents name Peter and Mahaley Abbott. My father never was sold but my
mother was sold into this Abbott family for a house girl. She cooked and
washed and ironed. No'm, she wasn't a wet nurse, but she tended to Eddie
and Johnny and me all alike. She whoop them when they needed, and Miss
Maggie whoop me. That the way we grow'd up. Mos Ely was 'ceptionly good
I recken. No'm, I never heard of him drinkin' whiskey. They made cider
and 'simmon beer every year.
"Grandpa was a soldier in the war. He fought in a battle. I don't know
the battle. He wasn't hurt. He come home and told us how awful it was.
"My parents stayed on at Mos Ely's and my uncle's family stayed on. He
give my uncle a home and twenty acres of ground and my parents same
mount to run a gin. I drove two mules, my brother drove two and we drove
two more between us and run the gin. My auntie seen somebody go in the
gin one night but didn't think bout them settin' it on fire. They had a
torch, I recken, in there. All I knowed, it burned up and Mos Ely had to
take our land back and sell it to pay for four or five hundred bales of
cotton got burned up that time. We stayed on and sharecropped with him.
We lived between Egypt and Okolona, Mississippi. Aberdeen was our
"I come to Arkansas railroading. I railroaded forty years. Worked on the
section, then I belong to the extra gang. I help build this railroad to
"I did own a home but I got in debt and had to sell it and let my money
"Times is so changed and the young folks different. They won't work only
nough to get by and they want you to give em all you got. They take it
if they can. Nobody got time to work. I think times is worse than they
ever been, cause folks hate to work so bad. I'm talking bout hard work,
field work. Jobs young folks want is scarce; jobs they could get they
don't want. They want to run about and fool around an get by.
"I get $8.00 and provisions from the government."
Shepherd Rhone Silas Dothrum