William Little

Interviewer: Thomas Elmore Lucy

Person interviewed: William Little,

Atkins, Arkansas

Age: 83

"I was born on the plantation of Dr. Andrew Scott, but my old ma'ster

was Col. Ben T. Embry. The 14th of March, in the year 1855, was my

birthday. Yes suh, I was born right here at old Galla Rock! My old

Ma'ster Embry had a good many slaves. He went to Texas and stayed

about three years. Took a lot of us along, and de first work I ever

done after I was set free was pickin' cotton at $2 a hundred pounds.

Dere was seventy-five or a hundred of us freed at once. Yes suh! Den

we drove five hundred miles back here from Texas, and drove five

hundred head of stock. We was refigees--dat's de reason we had to go

to Texas.

"Father and mother both passed away a good many years ago. Oh, yes,

dey was mighty well treated while dey was in slavery; never was a

kinder mas'r anywhere dan my old mas'r. And he was wealthy, too--had

lots of land, and a store, and plenty of other property. Many of the

slaves stayed on as servants long after the War, and lived right

around here at old Galla Rock.

"No suh, I never belonged to no chu'ch; dey thought I done too much of

the devil's work--playin' the fiddle. Used to play the fiddle for

dances all around the neighborhood. One white man gave me $10 once for

playin' at a dance. Played lots of the old-time pieces like 'Turkey in

the Straw', 'Dixie', and so on.

"We owns our home here, and I has another one. Been married twice and

raised eighteen chillun. Yes suh, we've lived here eighteen years, and

had fine health till last few years, but my health is sorter po'ly

now. Got a swellin' in my laigs.

"(Chuckling) I sure remembers lots of happy occasions down here in

days before the War. One day the steamboat come up to the landin'. It

was named the Maumelle--yes suh, Maumelle, and lots of hosses and

cattle was unloaded from the steamer. Sure was busy days then. And our

old mas'r was mighty kind to us."

NOTE: "Uncle Bill" did not know how he came about the name "Little."

Perhaps it was a nickname bestowed upon him to distinguish him from

some other William of larger stature. However, he stands fully six

feet in height, and has a strong, vigorous voice. He is the sole

surveying ex-slave of the Galla Rock community.

William Lattimore William M Adams facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail