Slave Narrative of Henry Anthony

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson
Person Interviewed: Henry Anthony
Location: Biscoe, Arkansas
Age: 84

“I was born at Jackson, North Carolina. My master and mistress named Betsy and Jason Williams but my pa’s name was Anthony. My young master was a orderly seargent. He took me wid him to return some mules and wagons. He showed me what he want done an I followed him round wid wagons. The wagons hauled ammunition and provisions. Pa worked for the master and ma cooked. They got sold to Lausen Capert. When freedom come they went back and stayed a month or two at Williams then we all went back to John Odom. We stayed round close and farmed and worked till they died. I married and when I had four or five children I heard ob dis country. I come on immigration ticket to Mr. Aydelott here at Biscoe. Train full of us got together and come. One white man got us all up and brought us here to Biscoe. I farmed for Mr. Aydelott four or five years, then for Mr. Bland, Mr. Scroggin.

“I never went to school a day in my life. I used to vote here in Biseoe right smart. I let the young folks do my votin. They can tell more about it. I sho do not think it is the woman’s place to vote an hold all the jobs from the men. Iffen you don’t in the Primary cause you don’t know nuf to pick out a man, you sho don’t know nuthin er tall bout votin in the General lection. In fact it ain’t no good to our race nohow.

“The whole world gone past my judgment long ago. I jess sets round to see what they say an do next. It is bad when you caint get work you able to do on that’s hard on the old folks. I could saved. I did save right smart. Sickness come on. Sometimes you have a bad crop year, make nuthin, but you have to live on. Young folks don’t see no hard times if they keep well an able to work.

“I get commodities and $6 a month. I do a little if I can.

“One time my son bought a place fo me and him. He paid all cept $70. I don’t know whut it cost now. It was 47 acres. I worked on it three years. He sold it and went to the sawmill. He say he come out square on it. I didn’t wanter sell it but he did.”

Federal Writers' Project. WPA Slave Narratives. Web. 2007.

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