Violet Shaw

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person interviewed: Violet Shaw, West Memphis, Arkansas

Age: 50

"I heard Grandma Katie Williams say she was put up on a high stump and

auctioned off. She told how great-grandma cried and cried and never

seen her no more. Grandma come from Oakland, Tennessee to Mississippi.

Grandma took the two young children and left the other two with

great-grandma. They took her from her husband. She never seen none of

them again.

"After freedom she didn't know how to find them. She never could get

trace of them. She tried. She never married no more. I was born at

Clarksdale, Mississippi. I have seen Tom Pernell (white), the young

master, come and spend the night with Henry Pernell. Henry had once been

Tom's father's slave and carriage driver. I was too small to know the

cause but I remember that several times mighty well. They fixed him up a

clean bed by hisself. Henry lived in town. But he might have been drunk.

I never seen no misbehavior out of him. It was strange to me to see


"Freedom--Aunt Mariah Jackson was freed at Dublin, Mississippi. She said

she was out in the field working. A great big white man come, jumped

up on a log and shouted, 'Freedom! Freedom!' They let the log they was

toting down; six, three on a side, had holt of a hand stick toting a

long heavy log. They was clearing up new ground. He told them they was

free. They went to the house. They cooked and et and thanked God. Some

got down and prayed, some sung. They had a time that day. They got the

banjo and fiddle and set out playing. Some got in the big road just

walking. She said they had a time that day."

Violet Guntharpe Virginia Bell facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail