Wash Ford

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person interviewed: Wash Ford, Des Arc, Arkansas

Age: 73 or 75?

"I was born close to Des Arc and Hickory Plains, seems like about half

way. Mama's master was named Powell. Papa's master was Frank Ford. My

parents was Fannie and Henry Ford. I was the oldest child. There was 6

boys, 4 girls of us.

"They didn't get anything after freedom. They kept on farming. They

started working on shares. That was all they could do. If they expected

anything I never heard it.

"I heard my mother say when I was small Papa was bouncing me up and

down. He was lying on the floor playing like wid me. She looked up the

road or 'cross the field one, and said, 'Yonder come some soldiers. What

they coming here for?' Papa put me down and run. He hid. They didn't

find him. It was soldiers from De Valls Bluff I judge. They made the

colored men go wait on them and fight too, if they run up on one. That

is what I heard.

"My father voted. He voted a Republican ticket. I do cause he did I

reckon. I still vote. If the colored man could vote in the Primary it

wouldn't be no better. They know better who to put in office, to run the

offices right. I think it is right for a woman to vote.

"I been farming all my life. I was a section hand much as six months in

all my life. I work at the veneer mills but they never run no more. I am

having a hard time. I have high blood pressure. I can't pick cotton. I

can't even get a mess of turnip greens. The Social Welfare helps me a

little and I am janitor up town in two offices. They hand me a little

pocket change. It amount to maybe $2 a month. I had that job four years.

If I could work I would be on the farm. I could make a living there. I

always did. I had plenty on the farm.

"Young folks don't take on no manners. The young folks take care of

themselves. It is the old ones seeing a hard time now."

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