Tony Piggy

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person Interviewed: Tony Piggy

Brinkley, Ark.

Age: 75

"I was born near Selma, Alabama, but I was raised in Mississippi. My

grandpa was sold from South Carolina to Moster Alexander Piggy. He

didn't talk plain but my papa didn't nother. Moster Piggy bought a gang

of black folks in South Carolina and brought em into the state of

Alabama. My papa was mighty near full-blood African, I'll tell you. Now

ma was mixed.

"I'm most too young to recollect the war. Right after the war we had

small pox. My uncle died and there was seven children had em at one

time. The bushwhackers come in and kicked us around--kicked my uncle

around. We lived at Union Town, Alabama then.

"Aunt Connie used to whip us. Mama had no time; she was a chambermaid

(housewoman). The only thing I recollect bout slavery time to tell is

Old Mistress pour out a bushell of penders (peanuts) on the grass to see

us pick em up and set out eating em. When they went to town they would

bring back things like cheese good to eat. We got some of what they had

most generally. She wasn't so good; she whoop me with a cow whip. She'd

make pull candy for us too. I got a right smart of raisin' in a way but

I growed up to be a wild young man. I been converted since then.

"Well, one day pa come to our house and told mama, 'We free, don't have

to go to the house no more, git ready, we all goin' to Mississippi.

Moster Piggy goiner go. He goner rent us twenty acres and we goner take

two cows and a mule.' We was all happy to be free and goin' off

somewhere. Moster Piggy bought land in Mississippi and put families

renters on it. Moster Piggy was rough on the grown folks but good to the

children. The work didn't let up. We railly had more clearin' and fences

to make. His place in Alabama was pore and that was new ground.

"There was all toll nine children in my family. Ma was named Matty

Piggy. Papa was named Ezra Piggy. Moster Alexander Piggy's wife named

Harriett. I knowed Ed, Charley, Bowls, Ells, and Liza. That's all I ever


"I have done so many things. I run on a steamboat from Cairo to New

Orleans--Kate Adams and May F. Carter. They called me a Rouster--that

means a working man. I run on a boat from Newport to Memphis. Then I

farmed, done track work on the railroad, and farmed some more.

"The young generation ain't got respect for old people and they tryin'

to live without work. I ain't got no fault to find with the times if I

was bout forty years younger than I is now I could work right ahead."

Tom Wylie Neal Tw Cotton facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail