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Interviewer                             lira* Boss B. Ingram
Person interviewed  Lissle Barnett; Conway. Arkansas
Age  100?
I was born a slave* My old mammy was a slave before as*
She was owned by ay old Kiss, fanny Pennington, of Nashville, Ten-
nessee* I was born on a plantation near there* She is dead new* I
shore did love Miss Fanny* fi “Did you have any brothers and sisters*
Aunt Liz.?”^/”sTiy, law yes, honey, ay mammy and Miss Fanny raised dey
ehillun together* Three each, and we was Jos’ like brothers and
sisters, all played in de same yard* Ho, we did not eat together*
Dey sot us niggers out in de yard to eat, but many a afcee I*se slept
with Miss Fanny*
vv Mr* Pennington up and took de old-tine Consumption. Bey calls it
T. B. now. My nanny nursed him and took it from him and died before
Mr* Abe Lincoln ever sot her free*
* I have seen hard tines, Miss, I shore have*
\vIn dam days when a man owned a plantation and had children and
they liked any of the little slave niggers, they were issued out to
’em just like a horse or cow.
\x •Member, honey, when de old-time war happened between the
North and South, The Slavery War. It was so long ago I just can
‘member it* Dey had us niggers scared to death of the Bluejackets*
One day a man came to Miss Fanny’s house and took a liking to me*
s<
He put od up on a block an9 he aay. <*Eow old is die nigger?* An9 ate
aay *tive* when she know wall an1 good I waa ten. No, ha didn11 get
me* Bat I thought my tine had cone*
% Yes, siree, I was Miss Fanny child. Why would’9t I love her
whan I sucked titty from her breast when my mammy waa working in the
field? I shore did love Miss Fanny*
v Whan da nigger war waa over and day dldnft fit [fight]} any longer,
Abe Lincoln aot all de niggers free and den got •sassinated far doin it#
vVMias, you don’t know what a hard life wa slaves had, causa you
ain’t old enough to ‘member it* Many a time I heard the bull whips
a-flying, and heard the awful cries of the slaves. The flash would be
out in graat gapa and the maggita jitapflfi+frt would gat in than and they
would aquixm In misery.
\VI want you to know I am not an Arkansas born nigger. I come from
Tennessee. Be sure to put that down. I moved to Msmphis after Mias
Fanny died.
\\While I lived in Memphis, de Yellow Fever broke out. You have
never had the like. Everything was under quarantine. The folks died
in piles and de coffins waa piled as high aa a house. They burled
them in trenches, and later they dug graves and buried them. Whan
they got to looking into the coffins, they discovered some had turned
over in dey coff ina and acme had clawed dey eyas out and acne had
gnawed holes in dey hands. Day waa buried alive!
^ Miss, do you believe in ha9nta [haunted houses]? fell, if you had been in Memphis
den you would* Dey was jea9 pared in1 de streets at nite and you’d
meet dem comin at you round da dark corners and all de houses every-
where waa hafnted [haunted houses]. I’ve seen plenty of ’em wid ay own eyes, yea, siree.
**  114
Yes, the times were awful in Memphis endurin the plague, Women
dead lying around and babies sucking their breasts* la soon as the
frost earns and the quarantine was lifted, I came to Conway, 1867.

 

[Blog Editor’s Note: This is a truly sickening and chilling account of the Yellow Fever quarantine and burial]

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