Vergil Jones





Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person interviewed: Vergil Jones,

Brinkley, Arkansas

Age: 70





"My parents was Jane Jones and Vergil Jones. Their owner was Colonel

Jones in Alabama. Papa went to the war and served four years. He got a

$30 a month Union pension long as he lived. He was in a number of

places. He fought as a field man. He had a long musket he brought home

from the war. He told us a heap of things long time ago. Seem lack

folks set down and talked wid their children more'n they do nowdays.



"Papa come to this State after the surrender. He married here. I am

the oldest of seven children. Mama was in this State before the war.

She was bought when she was a girl and brought here. I don't know if

Colonel Jones owned her or if papa had seen her somewhere else. He

come to her and they married. My mama was a house girl some and she

washed and ironed for Miss Fannie Lambert. They had a big family and a

big farm. Their farm was seven miles this side of Indian Bay, eight

miles to Clarendon. They had thirteen in family and mama had seven

children made nine in her family. She had a bed piled full of starched

clothes white as snow. Lamberts had three sets of twins. Our family

lived with the Lamberts 23 or 24 years. We started working for Mr. B.

J. Lambert and Miss Fannie (his wife). Mama nursed me and R. T. from

the same breast. We was raised up grown together and I worked for R.

T. till he died. We played with J. L. Black too till he was grown. He

was county judge and sheriff of this county (Monroe).



"Folks that helped me out is about all dead. I pick cotton but I can't

pick very much. Now I don't have no work till chopping cotton times

comes on. It is hard now. I would do jobs but I don't hear of no jobs

to be done. I asked around but didn't find a thing to do.



"I heard about the Ku Kluxes. My papa used to dodge the Ku Kluxes. He

lay out in the bushes from them. It was bad times. Some folks would

advise the black folks to do one way and then the Ku Kluxes come and

make it hot for them. One thing the Ku Kluxes didn't want much big

gatherings among the black folks. They break up big gatherings. Some

white folks tell them to do one thing and then some others tell them

to do some other way. That is the way it was. The Ku Kluxes was hot

headed. Papa wasn't a bad man but he was afraid they did do so much.

He was on the lookout and dodged them all the time.



"I haven't voted for a long time. I couldn't keep my taxes up.



"I don't own a home. I pay $4 rent for it. It is a cold house--not so

good. I have farmed all my life. I still farm. Times got so that

nobody would run you (credit you) and I come here to get jobs between

farming. I still farm. They hire mostly by the day--day labor. Them

two things and my dis'bility is making it mighty hard for me to live.

I work at any jobs I can get.



"I signed up for the Old Age Pension. They said I couldn't work, I was

too old. I wanted to work on the government work. I never got nothing.

I don't get no kind of help. I thought I didn't know how to get into

the Old Age Pension reason I didn't get it. It would help keep in wood

this wet weather when work is scarce."





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