William Jackson

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden

Person interviewed: William Jackson

Route 6, Box 81, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Age: 84

"Me? Well, I was born July 12, 1853. Now you can figure that up.

"I was sold four times in slavery times. I was sold through the nigger

traders and you know they didn't keep you long.

"I was born in Tennessee, raised in Mississippi, and been here in

Arkansas up and down the Arkansas River ever since I was fifteen.

"A fellow bought me in Tennessee and sold me to a fellow named Abe

Collins in Mississippi. He sold me to Dr. Maloney and then Winn and

Trimble in Hempstead County bought me. They run a tanyard.

"I went to school one day in my life. My third master's children

learned me my ABC's in slavery times. I'm not educated but I can read.

Read the Bible and something like that.

"The Ku Klux run me one night. They come to the door and I went out

the window. They went to my master's tanyard in broad open day and

took leather. Oh, I been all through the roughness. But the Lord has

blessed me ever since I been in this world. I can see good and hear

good and get about.

"I come here to Arkansas with some refugees, and I been up and down

the river ever since.

"In slavery times I had plenty to eat, such as 'twas. Had biscuits on

Sunday made out of shorts.

"I lived with one man, Dr. Maloney, who was pretty cruel. I run away

from him once, but he caught me fore night. Put me in a little house

on bread and water for three or four days and then he sold me. Said he

wouldn't have a nigger that would run away. Otherwise I been treated

pretty well.

"I come to Pine Bluff in '82. Last place I farmed was at what they

call the Nichol place.

"I used to vote Republican--wouldn't let us vote nothin' else. In this

country they won't let niggers vote in the primary 'cause they can

vote in the presidential election. I held one office--justice of the


"If the younger generation don't change, the Lord goin' to put curses

on em. That's just what's goin' to come of em. More you do for em the

worse they is. Don't think about the future--just today."

William J Stevens William Kirk facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail