“Us lived in de third house frum de big house in de quarter, an’ when I
was a boy it was my job to set out shade trees. An’ one day de Ku Klux
come ridin’ by an’ dey leader was Mister Steve Renfroe. (Alabama bandit
of Reconstruction days). He wore long hair an’ he call my pappy out an’
ax him a heap of questions. While he sittin’ dere his horse pull up nigh
’bout all de trees I done sot out.
“Atter talkin’ to my pappy, he rode on ’cross Horn’s bridge, ’bout two
miles souf of here, an’ dere he met Ol’ Man Enoch Sledge an’ Frank
Sledge. Dey was darkies whut b’longed to Marsa Simmy Sledge’s father,
Ol’ Doctor Sledge. Slaves on dat plantation was ’lowed pretty good
privilege atter de s’rrender an’ was workin’ on halvens. Uncle Enoch an’
Frank was in town tradin’ some, an’ Mr. Renfroe didn’t want ’em to have
anything. When dey lef’ town, dey pass de Ku Kluxes raght on de slough
bridge. Mister Renfroe ax Enoch to give him a piece of string to fix his
saddle wid; den shot him. Frank run to de river, but de Ku Kluxes
cotched him an’ shot him, too.
“De niggers went down to de river dat night an’ got de bodies an’ buried
’em in de ol’ Travis graveyard. My mammy an’ daddy is buried dere, too.
“Didn’ nobody do nothin’ ’bout Mister Renfroe ’till he went on an’ got
to messin’ wid Marsa Simmy Sledge’s things; stole a pair of mules an’ de
white folks rambled atter him ’till dey foun’ him in Linden. Dey got so
hot atter him dat he went to his camp in de flat woods down on Bear
Creek. Dem was skeery times, ’case dat man never had no mercy for