Sudie Campbell





CHRISTIAN CO.

(Mamie Hanbery) [HW: Ky 3]



Story of Easter Sudie Campbell,

(age about 72, Webber St., Hopkinsville, Ky.)





Born in Princeton, Caldwell Co., Kentucky, her parents were slaves, the

property of Will and Martha Grooms of Princeton.



Aunt Easter as she is called has followed the profession of a mid-wife

for forty years. She is still active and works at present among the

negroes of Hopkinsville.



"Yes, sho, I make my own medicines, humph, dat aint no trouble. I cans

cure scrofula wid burdock root and one half spoon of citrate of potash.

Jes make a tea of burdock root en add the citrate of potash to hit.

Sasafras is good foh de stomach en cleans yer out good. I'se uses yeller

percoon root foh de sore eyes.



"Wen I stayed wid Mrs. Porter her chaps would break out mighty bad wid

sores in de fall of de year and I'se told Mrs. Porter I'se could core

dat so I'se got me some elder berries en made pies out of hit en made

her chaps eat hit on dey war soon cored.



"If twont foh de white folks I sho would hev a hard time. My man he jes

wen erway en I haint neber seed him ergin en I'se had five chilluns en

de white folks hev heped me all dese years. Dese trifling niggers dey

wont hepe dey own kind of folks. If youse got de tooth ache I makes a

poultice of scrape irish pertatoes en puts hit on de jaw on de side de

tooth is aching en dat sho takes de fever out of de tooth. I'se blows

terbacco smoke in de ear en dat stops de ear ache.



"Wen I goes on er baby case I jest let nature hev hits way. I'se alays

teas de baby de first thing I does is ter blow my breath in de baby's

muff en I spanks it jes a little so hit will cry den I gives hit warm

catnip tea so if hit is gwine ter hev de hives dey will break out on

hit. I alays hev my own catnip en sheep balls foh sum cases need one

kind of tea en sum ernother. I give sink field tea ter foh de colic. Hit

is jes good fuh young baby's stomach. I'se been granning foh nigh unter

forty year en I'se only lost two babies, dat war born erlive. One of

dese war de white man's fault, dis baby war born wid de jaundice en I

tolds dis white man ter go ter de store en git me sum calomel en he

says, "whoeber heard of givin a baby sech truck", an so dat baby died.



"Of course youse can tell wheder the baby is gwine ter be a boy er girl

fore tis born. If de mother carries dat child more on de left en high up

dat baby will be a boy en if she carries hit more ter de middle dat will

be a girl. Mothers oughter be more careful while carrying dar chilluns

not ter git scared of enthing foh dey will sho mark dar babies wid

turrible ugly things. I knows once a young wooman war expecting en she

goes black-berry hunting en er bull cow wid long horns got after her en

she was so scairt dat she threw her hands ober her head en wen dat baby

boy war born he hed to nubs on his head jes like horns beginning ter

grow so I'se hed her call her doctor en dey cuts dem off. One white

wooman I'se waited on like hot choclate en she alays wanted more she

neber hed nuff of dat stuff en one day she spills sum on her laig en it

jes splotched en burned her en wen dat gal war born she hed a big brown

spot on her laig jes like her Mammy's scar frum de burn. Now you see I

noes yer ken mark de babies.



"Dar war a colored wooman once I'se waited on dat hed to help de white

folks kill hogs en she neber did like hog liver but de white folks told

her ter take one home en fix hit foh her supper. Well she picked dat

thing up en started off wid hit en hit made her feel creepy all ober en

dat night her baby war born a gal child en de print of er big hog-liver

war standing out all ober one side of her face. Dat side of her face is

all blue er purplish en jes the shape of a liver. En hits still dar.



"I'se grannied ober three hundred chilluns en I noes wat I'se talking

about.



"Hee! Hee! Hee! One day dar war a circus in Hopkinsville en er black

wooman I'se war ergoing ter wait on war on de street to watch foh de

parade en wid de bands er playing en de wild varmits en things dis woman

give birth ter dat girl chile on de corner of Webber and Seventh St. Dat

gal sho got er funny name 'Es-pe-cu-liar'. (I did not get the drift of

the story so I asked her what was so funny about the name. Of course it

is a name I have never heard before so the following is what the girls

Mother said about it to Aunt Easter. M.D. Hanbery)



"Well the gals Mammy thought hit war jes peculiar dat, dat happened wen

she war er looking at the parade. (So this woman Especuliar is still in

Hopkinsville and her story is known in quite a few of the older

circles.)



"Yah! Yah! I sho remember how de ole folks uster dress. De women wore

hop skirts en de men wore tight breeches. De night gowns war made on er

yoke aufull full en big long sleeves wid a cuff at de hand en a deep hem

at de bottom of de gown, dese gowns war made of domestic en wen dey war

washed en starched en ironed dey wur be so stiff dey could stand

erlone." De men en de women both wore night caps. If de gown war a dress

up gown why dey war home made knit en crochet lace in de front en lots

en lots of tucks some of dem had deep ruffles on dem at the bottom.



"Wen my Pappy kum home from de war, he war on de "Govmint" side he brung

a pistol back wid him dat shot a ball dey hed caps on hit en used dese

in de war. De Ku Klux jum after him one night en he got three of dem wid

dis pistol, nobody eber knowed who got dose Kluxes.





Ghosts----



"Sho dar is ghosts. One night es I war going home from work de tallest

man I eber seed followed me wid de prettiest white shirt on en den he

passed me, en waited at de corner I war a feeling creepy en wanter run

but jes couldn't git my laigs ter move en wen I'se git ter de corner war

he war I said 'Good Ebening' en I seed him plain es day en de did not

speak en jes disappeared right fore my eyes.



"Den ergin I went ter de fish pond one day fishing en cotched two or

three big fish wen I went home thot I'd go back dat night en I begun to

dig sum fishing worms en my boss he saw me en axed, 'Wot I doing'. I

told him I war ergoing ter de pond ter fish dat night. He said 'don you

go ter dat pond ternight Easter foh if you does something will run you

erway.' I jes laughed at him en dat night I en my boy wese goes ter de

pond en as we war er standing in dar quiet like we heared something

squeeching like er new saddle en er horses er trotting. We listened en

waited wen something wen inter dat pond right twixt us liker er ball er

fire. Weums sho did leave dar an de next morning my boss axed me if we

cotched enthing en we told him wot we saw en he said he knowed weums

would be run erway foh he war run erway hisself.



"Course dar is hainted houses dese haints in dese places jes wont leave

you erlone. Wen I'se war er living in Princeton, Uncle Lige my Mammy's

brother en I'se moved in er cabin one Christmas day en war ergoing ter

stay dar en dat night we war er setting bore de fire en de fire light

war es bright as day, wen I looks up at de wall foh I hears er

scratching noise en dar war er big white cat on de wall wid all he's

hair standing on dat cat jos jumps from wall ter de nother en Uncle Lige

en me jes open dat cabin door en started ter de tother cabins on de

place en we deed dat thing dat war bigger den eny cat I eber seed jes

come thru dat door in de air en hit de front gate, dis gate hed er iron

weight on hit so hit would stay shot en dis thing hit at de top den wen

erway. No I neber seed whar hit went. Dis gate jes banged en banged all

night. We could heat from de tother cabin. Uncle Liga en me moved erway

next day en other people moved in dis cabin en dey saw de same thing en

nobody would stay dar. Dem some time after dis diz cabin war torn down.



"Once I hed a dream I knowed I ner bout saw hit. I alays did cook ebery

night er pot er beans on de fire foh de chilluns ter eat next day while

I war at work en Lizzie my daughter uster git up in de night en git her

some beans en eat dem en dis dream war so real dat I couldn't tell if

hit war Lizzie er no but dis wooman jes glided by my bed en went afore

de fire en stood dar den she jes went twixt my bed en went by de wall. I

jes knowed wen I woke up dat my child was sick dat lived erway from home

en wanted my son ter take me ter see her. He said he would go hisself en

see so he wen en wen he come back he hed a headache en fore morning dat

nigger war dead. So you see dat war de sign of da dream. I war jes

warned in de dream en didn't hev sense nuff ter know hit."





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