Sloan, Peggy

Sloan, Peggy

2450 Howard Street, Little Rock, Arkansas
Age About 80, or more Occupation Farming

"I was born in Arkansas in Tulip, in Dallas County I think it is, isn't it?

"Charlotte Evans was mother's name and my father's name was Lige Evans. Gran'daddy David was my mother's father, and Cheyney was my mother's mother.

"Mr. Johnnie Summer was the name of my young master, and the old man was Mr. Judge Summer. The old people are all dead now. Mr. Judge Sumner was Johnnie Sumner's father. Me and Mr. Johnnie suckled together. Mr. Johnnie came to Fordyce they say looking for the old slaves. I didn't know about it then. I never would know him now. That is been so long ago. I sure would like to see 'im.

"My mother ain't told me much about herself in slave times. She was a nurse. She lived in a log cabin. You know they had cabins for all of them. The colored lived in log houses. The white people had good houses. Them houses was warmer than these what they got now.

"My grandma could cut a man's frock-tail coat. These young people don't know nothin' 'bout that. Grandma was a milliner. She could make anything you used a needle to make.

"Lige Evans was the name my father took after the surrender. He wasn't named that before the surrender---in the olden times. My mother had fifteen children. She was the largest woman you ever seen.She weighed four hundred pound. She was young Master Johnnie's nurse. Mr. Johnnie said he wanted to come and see me. I heard he lives way on the other side of Argenta somewheres

"I was my mama's seventh girl, and I got a seventh girl living. I had fifteen children. My mother's children were all born before the surrender.

"Mr. Judge Sumner and his son were both good men. They never whipped their slaves.

"They didn't feed like they do now. I et corn bread then, and I eat it now. Some people say they don't. They would give them biscuits on Sundays. They had a cook to cook for the hands. She got all their meals for them.

"They had a woman to look after the little colored children, and they had one to look after the white children. My mother was a nurse for the white children. My mother didn't have nothing to do with the colored children.

"I didn't never have no trouble with the pateroles. Sometimes they would come down the lane running the horses. When I would hear them, I would run and git under the bed. I was the scaredest sould you ever seen. I think that's about all I can remember.

"I was the mother of fifteen children. I had one set of twins, a boy and a girl. The doctor told me you never raise a boy and a girl twin. My boy is dead. All of my children are dead but two.

"I was raised on the farm. I want a few acres of ground now so bad.

"I never was married but once. My husband's name was David Sloan. I don't know exactly how long he and me were married. It was way over twenty years. My license got burnt up.

"You know I couldn't be nothin' but a Christian."

Interviewer's Comment
Peggy Sloan's memory is going. She is not certain of the number of children her mother had although she knows there were more than seven because she was the seventh.

She remembers nothing about her age, but she knows definitely that all of her mother's children were born before the War---that is before the end of the War. Since the War ended seventy-three years ago and she was the seventh child with possibly seven behind her, I feel that she could not be younger than eighty. She remembers definitely running at the approach of men she calls pateroles during "slavery time."

Her mind may be fading, but it is a long way from gone. She questioned me closely about my reason for getting statements from her. She had to be definitely satisfied before the story could be gotten.

Source Information:

Works Project Administration. Federal Writers Project. Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. Washington, D.C.: n.p.

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