Calvin Moye
Navarro County, Texas


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Calvin Moye was born in or around Atlanta, Georgia, Dec. 25, 1842. He was the slave of Richmond Ingram, had 2 brothers and 4 sisters. At the age of 10, Calvin's Maser moved from Atlanta to Rural Shade, Texas an inland village some 20 miles distance east and south of Corsicana. His Maser brought about 70 slaves and their children with him, this trip being overland by ox wagon. On this trip they came up on several problems which they were forced to solve themselves.

When Calvin was large enough his Maser put him to work in the blacksmith shop on the plantation making the things from wood and iron that were necessary about the plantation. After he was grown Calvin became an expert smith and actually helped in making the famous sabers that came from Rural Shade, that were used by the Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.

The first year following the Civil War his Maser died, however Calvin continued living on his Maser's plantation for 20 years. At the close of the Civil War there was'nt a single slave to leave the plantation of Richmond Ingram for 3 years, from that time on one to four a year left for the next 20 years until they were all in other locations, Calvin being the last of the slaves to leave his Maser's estate.

Calvin was married at the age of about 30 and is the father of 4 children by this wife. About 1885 Calvin moved his family to Corsicana where a few years later he lost his wife, and later marrying a second time, living with her only a few years till she died. All his children are dead but one daughter which he now lives with. He is the grandfather of 15 grandchildren and great-grandfather of 4.

Calvin has been a member of the Baptist church for the past 24 years. He carries a small insurance which he says will be more than enough to put him away at his death.

Interview:

I was born in Atlanta, Georgia, Dec. 25, 1842. My father and mother's boss told dem to calls me Calvin, so dat was what they named, Calvin Moye.

My father's name was Isom and my mother's name was Mamie Moye. Both of them was born and brought up there by Maser Richmond Ingram's father and later moved to Atlanta, Georgia when they was about grown, dat was before Maser Ingram's father died, and dey married after dey was working for him. Of course dey married like we do now, but dey was married any way as far as Maser Ingram was concerned and dey was bound to each other as much as we is now. Some plantations did'nt see it dat way but Maser Ingram did. Maser Richmond Ingram was our Maser and he was the only one I could ever remember. I says right now that he was one of the best men that ever breathed.

I never did know anything about my grandmamas and granpapas, there wasn't many slaves dat could tells you about their either and plenty of them dat didn't knows anything about dar mothers and fathers. The plantation owners just sold and traded negroes in dem days like de horse and cattle traders do now. A negro did not know any more about where his mama was den a calf does now cause some was lucky like cows now if dey was good workers der Masers would keeps dem generally just like a man keeps a calf if it looks like it is going to be a good milker. Some was lucky ter be with a good Maser like my mother and father was and gets to keeps der chilluns and raise dem.

My mother and father has seven chilluns and dey raised us all ter be grown under de same Maser. My older brothers and sisters remembers a little about Maser Richmond Ingrams father, but I didn't.

I has two brothers older den me. Louis was de oldest and Aaron was de next. I had four sisters, Delia, Adalyn and Mary. The other died when small. We were all born in Georgia and was on a plantation a little way from Atlanta, and it was owned by Maser Ingrams father and handed it down ter him and another brother when he died but dey didn't agrees wid each other so when I was a big boy, maybe eight or ten years old Maser Ingram traded his part ter his brother and we all hits out to Texas. He knew a man out here somewhere so he writes Maser Ingram about this rich country and Maser Ingram sells out and gets some ox wagons fixed up and buys a lots of food and puts in all we can dat we has at de plantation and starts out wid seventy slaves dat is big enough to work and der chilluns. He started once to comes to Texas coast by boat, but he decided we could come by de ox wagons so we starts out. Sometimes we would comes ter creeks and rivers dat we couldn't cross and we would travel up or down de stream huntin a place ter cross, and maybe we couldn't find one so we would either build a pole bridge or put light logs on de side of de wagons and float dem across like boats. We would do this if de stream was very wide but if it was narrow and deep we would build a pole bridge and sometimes we would has ter cut a road up and down de stream, but we were all coming ter Texas a new country and we didn't care. We was seein new things every day. If de streams was very big we would find a ferry. We crossed de Mississippi and Arkansas River of Red Rivers I don't knows which on a ferry boat. Anyway I remembers was two big rivers we crossed, and we would camp in de night and travel in de daytime. Every evening before camp time some of de older men would travel along ahead of us out to the side of the road and kill fresh meat for us to eat or if we came to a river or creek we would stop long enough fer de men folks ter takes a seine and catch some fish.

Dar was always plenty to eat for us when we comes to Texas. Sometimes when we camped in de river bottoms, we could hear de panthers scream and varments of all kinds, but Maser Ingram always had some of de men to stay up all night and watch out fer de stock and de rest of us. We always camped close to water so we could has plenty water for us and de stock. Dem ole oxens would runs ter water when dey begins ter gits thirsty and dey would drag wagon and all right out in de middle of a water hole if dey was pretty thirsty and had been drove pretty hard, you just could'nut hold dem back and dey can smells water a long ways. If we happened ter comes fer a long ways and not run across any water we could always tell when we was getting close ter water by de way dem oxens acted, dey was slow but dey would gits in a hurry when dey was thirsty and was smellin water.

I has had dem ter drag me wagon and all off in more than one hole of water and den tries ter lay down in it or wade in it bettern belly deep.

When we comes ter dese streams and floats de wagons across we would swim de stock across. Maser Ingram rode a hoss, and when we comes ter a warm stream he would let me hold his hosses' tail and swim across and when we was out on de road he would hold his Hosses' tail and run along behind him while de hoss was trottin, sometimes he would kick de hoss in a long fast pace and stand me on my head in de dirt.

One time while we was on de trip out here we comes ter a stream dat was pretty deep out a little piece from de bank. We went off in it gradually got shallow out toward de other bank. Well de logs was'nt put on ter de wheels on one side of one of de wagons and when we got out a piece, one of de logs come loose and de wagons turns over side ways, but it was'nt deep enough ter turn de wagon over and dey had ter take de other log loose and puts some oxens on ter it and pulls it out. Dey did'nt has not trouble cause de bank was'nt steep, but there was some women and chilluns in it and some of dem fell out of de wagon into de creek and dem dat did'nt sho' was hollerin and de chilluns was all crying. Some of de men jumped into de creek and got dem out what fell into de water. Did'nt hurt none of dem, but sho' did scare dem, dey thought dat they was goin ter gits drowned. After dat dey all gets scared when we hads ter float across a stream. But Maser Ingram would look at all de wagons good before he would let dem shove dem off into de water.

We had several dogs dat belonged to some of de slaves dat Maser Ingram lets dem bring along. My father had one and dey helps ter watch at night. De men dat watched at night slept in de wagons in de daytime when we was all traveling. When we camped fer de night we would pulls all de wagons in a big circle and puts de tongue of one wagon under de backend of another, and puts de stock in dis circle and turns dem loose. At first we could'nt sleeps fer dem and de varments hollerin but we finally got use ter dem and got ter where we could sleeps as sound as we could back in Georgia in our log cabins.

Sometimes de varments would gits close ter our camp at night, but de dogs would gits ter barkin and chargin toward dem and de men would throw out dat way and holler and maybe shoot and runs dem away. Maser Ingram was'nt afraid of nothin but de Indians. He was afraid dat we would runs into some of dem when we got out in Texas. And one night after we got out into Texas we was camped and de moon was shinin as bright as day, den something comes up pretty close ter camp and de dogs just barked and barked and de watchman throwed and shot out dat way and de dogs still barked and charged out fer a ways and dey would comes back ter de camp and de men would have the dogs to keep on after it, but de dogs would goes out a little ways and back up ter de wagons again. Dey woke Maser Ingram up and he tried ter make de dogs catch whatever it was, but dey would'nt go and Maser Ingram shot out dat way a few times and somethin begins movin out and de dogs would follow them out futher and then back, dar was two or three of dem, we could tells dar was more than one by de way de dogs acted, so Maser Ingram thought it might be some Indian Scouts and dey might come back about daylight and attack us, so we made evry man gits ter yokin de oxens ter de wagons and we hits de trail futher west. We travels all de rest of dat night and all de next day hard. Maser Ingram leads de way and tells everybody ter keeps a watchout fer de Indians and ter keeps de guns all loaded and if any of dem saw an Indian and was sure of it ter gives de alarm and fer all of us ter stays close together. Well he did'nt has ter tell anyone de second time ter stay up close behind, and we was all scared fer two or three days after dat. We was always lookin fer some of dem Indians ter scalp us, but we never did sees any of dem and we never did know fer sho' what it was dat scared us dat night. But Maser Ingram said a few years later, dat it could have been some wild beast dat was hungry.

We did'nt has no trouble gittin plenty of meat and fish fer us ter eats, but we had trouble gittin feed fer de stock. We graised dem along quite a bit but grass fed stock don't last very long when dey is drove hard. Dey is like people dat don't has much ter eat, dey gits tired and gives out quick. Dey needs lots grain ter makes dem strong and when we could'nt git grain ter feed dem we would drives dem slow and graze dem quite a bit. Grass was good and de futher west we got de better de grass was and de harder de grain was ter git ter feed our stock.

Creeks and rivers back in dem days did not over flow like dey does now, de hills had'nt been plowed up and washed down in de bottom of de streams and half way filled dem up and dey gits de water quicker den dey do now, de creeks and rivers was deeper and de banks was steeper den dey is now. People did'nt use to know what had gone wrong if dey had overflows ever year and washed de crops away.

When we first comes in here, de Trinity River and these creeks round here did'nt overflow like dey is now, and we crossed Trinity River on a ferry, down where Wild Cat Ferry is now, when de river was up and when it was down we could ford it. But these streams did'nt dry up in holes like dey does now in de summer, dey runs all de year round.

When we got to Navarro County dar was'nt no Kerens, no railroads or nothin much in de east end of de county. All dat I knows of was Bazette, Chatfield or Toas at Porters Bluff, dat is what dey calls it now. Dar ain't nothin dar now but there use to be a little town there, it come might near being de state capitol, but Austin beats dem a little and den dar was a little town dat grows up where we settled called Rural Shade, dat is where Maser Ingram stops at and bought about five or six hundred acres of de levelest land dat I ever saw. It was rich and had grass as high as my head on it, some of de best grazin any of us had ever seen and dar was plenty timber round everywhere, ain't like it is now, just timber round de river banks and creeks. Dar was timber most everywhere, of course dar was broken places in de timber or prairies like and de grass would sho' gits high in these places. If a man wants fat stock it was his own fault dat he did'nt has dem cause de grass was here fer everybody's stock to graze. Dar was plenty of nuts fer de hogs ter fatten on and de people dat was here had a good time dem days, always had something ter goes to. Dey was'nt all in a hurry like dey is now.

Dey got to be lots of cowboys around here and dey would ride wild bronco horses and run races and has a good time. What people calls a good time now, is gettin half full of booze and gettin in a good car and startin out spendin money and just thinking dey is having a good time.

But people in dem days was different, dey was most all friendly, cause we had dem patterrollers dat was allus poppin up and askin fer your pass and dey would whips you if you did'nt have one, but we always had a pass, cause when we went anywhere Maser Ingram always gives us a pass and we would show it when a white man asked us what we was doing.

Course dar was whiskey in dat time same as we has it now and people drinks it same as dey does now and dey used it fer sick folks more then dey does now. But when people went out ter picnics and horse races and public gatherings dey did'nt half of dem gits mightly drunk and tries ter raise a racket with ever body dey see like dey does now, if any man gits drunk some men would takes him off and keeps him away till he sobers up or if he was just tryin ter be tough like some of dem does now, some men would goes to him and tells him plainly, "Now you sobers up and behaves yourself or we is goin to gives you a good lesson." And pretty soon you would see him sober up. Cause everything was different what it is now but we had better times than we does now if we did have to ride in a wagon instead a car and de houses now ain't as warm and people ain't as happy now as dey was when dey lived in de ole log cabins, if dey did has de ole puncheon floors in dem.

When we first pulls in and camped, we was camped for three or four days before Maser Ingram found de land he wanted and gets it bought. Den he puts us all to cuttin logs, building rail fences, building houses, barns and other out buildings. We all worked and we worked hard. De first house that was finished was Maser Ingrams and de meat house and smoke house and barn, and den we went to building houses for de slaves. My father was de first one to gits a house and den one by one de cabins was finished until we gits every family a big one room log cabin built. Every house was covered with boards instead of shingles like we has now and dey had very few nails in dem. Den we builds a big blacksmith shop opened to de south and logs standing straight up and down on de other three sides and boards over de north side. In here de beds, chairs, tables and other furniture for all de slaves and Maser Ingram was made. All de blacksmith work was done too, such as shapin plows, makin beams for plows, tongues for wagons, spokes, hubs, fellows for de wagon wheels and everything dat could be made to be used for de farm. All this was made out of oak dat we got on de farm. As soon as de shed was finished Maser Ingram says to me, "Now Calvin dis is where I wants you to start to work." You begins in de mornin, so gits up and come down here ready to goes to work, Uncle Zeke is gettin ole and I'se going to needs a new blacksmith before long and you is de one I needs, Uncle Zeke can learn you how to do everything. You must watch every move he makes and do just what he does and like he does and you will make a good blacksmith some day."

Den he told Uncle Zeke who was an ole slave dat he wants him to learns me the wood work first, dat I was too young to do much blacksmithing yet. So de next morning I was down to de shop befo' Uncle Zeke was cause I sho' was glad to gits out of dat field work and I knows I'se would like dat blacksmith work.

Uncle Zeke comes walkin slow to de blacksmith shop and when he sees me he begins laughing at me and says "I see de new blacksmith is down early to go to work, well son I hopes you like it and makes a good one cause in de spring you is goin to have plenty of hard work and we is got plenty to do right now in wood work making furniture, so roll up your sleeves and lets get ready to go to work, we will start to makin table and chairs first."

Uncle Zeke starts me out to splitting de oak logs. We splits out several and den we starts to smoothin out de boards layin each part in a seperate place for de tables and de same way for de chairs each day till we gits enough made for everybody befo' we puts any of dem together. Uncle Zeke was watchin and tellin me all de time, and befo' we got through he said, I was about as good as he was, already doing this.

We did'nt has as much tools to work with as de cabinet makers do now but we made furniture dat stood more rough treatment dan de ones dey makes now and dey sho' did gets some rough treatment by some of dem I can tells you. We makes de straight back chairs with pegs for nails and raw hide bottom, stead cane bottoms like we all buys now. De raw hide bottom did'nt looks as nice but it lasted three or four times as long as de ones do now.

We made de high back rockin chairs and made our own rockers, and made our own bedsteads and boards for slats but we could'nt makes no springs, we just puts de boards cross de rails and puts our straw and grass mattresses on these boards and sleeps just as good as anybody does on springs now and gets just as much rest. De beds we made in slavery times could be took down and moved aroun just as easy as dey can now. De boards and post was all just as smooth and good lookin as any unpainted bedsteads now. Most of de bedsteads we made was big high ones. Dey was made about six feet high with big heavy posts and we cuts different designs on de head and foot boards and post and specially on de ones dat we made for Maser Ingram. He drawed de designs on a paper and brought dem out to Uncle Zeke and told him he wanted his made exactly like dat, and when we got through with dem, dey was de prettiest beds I'se ever seen. He saw some like dem back east somewhere dat some rich people had and dey was expensive, but I bet dey was'nt any stoughter den de ones dat Uncle Zeke and me made.

De log house dat my mother and father lived in was a big one room with puncheon floors in it. A puncheon floor is a floor made of split logs and hewed down to fit together tight and smoothin de splits sides with a broad ax and turnin it up. It took men dat knowed what dey was doin to make a floor out of dis kind of timber and makes it level, so you would'nt has a table or a bed standing on three legs or having little pockets in de floor. But all of Maser Ingram's houses had de same kind of floors, in dem, even his. My father had a fairly large family I guess dey would be called in dis time, but in dem times it was'nt so large as most of dem has from fourteen to twenty in dem on some plantations, but dey did'nt runs dat high on Maser Ingram's place, but some had more than my father.

We had plenty of room in our cabin for four beds and other furniture. We done all our cookin in a big fire place in one end of de cabin. All dis cookin was done in big cast iron pots and skillets dat we bought our selves. We hads money along all de time as Maser Ingram would pay us a little money for dis or dat. When Maser Ingram would gives me a nickel or a dime for turning out a good piece of work, once in a while, I would gives it to my father and we would all goes to town in de fall and buys us all a good pair of shoes for de winter.

We had plenty to eat all de time, most anything we wanted, mutton, beef, pork, deer, fish, squirrel, rabbit, possum, turkey, chicken and vegetables of all kinds and biscuits every Saturday and Sunday. Maser Ingram kills four sheep a week and I done know how many hogs a year and was killing a beef ever three or four days and dey would hunt deer, turkey or other game so we did'nt ever goes hungry. We would all go seining and catch a wagon load of fish and comes back home and splits dem open, cleans em and cuts de heads off and salts all dem down what we don't wants to eat. Just salts dem down like we would hog meat and takes dem up as we wants dem. We would puts deer away like dat too, never hears of anybody loosing any meat like dey does now. My favorite food was fish and it is yet I will quit eatin beef any time for fish.

We had one big garden, it had about ten acres of beans, peas, cabbage, sweet and irish potatoes, onions and thing like dat and each family was allowed certain things out of it each day. But we had another big field of sweet and irish potatoes, onion, peas and beans and no one was allowed to bother it till dey was ready to gether, den dey gathered and stowed away for de winter use, but we used out of de garden all de time.

We would bank de potatoes away for winter by gittin long keen poles and settin de big ends in de ground aroun a mound of dirt and let de top ends of these poles comes together at de top makin a sort of tepee, den we would puts grass and leaves on top of dem and piles our taters inside of dis leavin a openin big enough for a big boy to get through at de groun, we would puts a board over dis hole. After we puts grass over and aroun these poles den we would pile a lot on dis so de water would not get through to de taters and makes dem rot. We had to watch dem after ever rain and keeps de dirt on dem so dey would'nt freeze. Sometimes dar would be a rat or chicken snake gits in dis place and den we would has hard time gittin a boy to goes in dar and gits some potatoes for us to eats.

Maser Ingram was'nt tight on us like some of de other white folks was. He would lets us go huntin when it was too wet to work or durin a slack time of de seasons and we caught lots of possums and rabbit and some wild turkeys. Wild game was plentiful in de timber and on de prairie we could finds wild prairie chickens. All de food dat we cooked in dem days was cooked on a big rock fire place or a stick and dirt, most people had stick and dirt chimneys. De women folks done all de cookin and dey has big cast iron pots to boil in and big cast iron skillets to do de bakin and fryin in. De skillet dat dey baked in had a big cast iron lid for dem and dey would puts dem over a bed of live coals and puts some hot ashes on de lid, and when dey bakes potatoes dey would bury dem in hot ashes and lets dem cook through and through. All de cookin den was better dan what de womens cooks now on these oil stoves. You kin taste de oil in some of de cookin now and you could'nt taste nothin like dat in de eats in dem days.

People den had a better time dan dey does now. Nobody goes hungry like we does now and goin half naked, tryin to save enough money to pay de rent, dar was'nt any rent den.

Dey can talks about slavery times being a bad time if dey wants to, but lots of de things dat was told was lies. Most all de slaves had place to live, clothes to wear and plenty to eats and dat is more dan we has now. About half de niggers in dis town goes cold and hungry in de winter. When I was with Maser Ingram we hads good strong clothes to wear all de time. Dey was all made on de plantation by de slaves but dey was warm. We always had plenty of clothes to wear in de summer and winter. We wore cotton clothes in summer and wool clothes in de winter and plenty to keeps us warm too, but now we wears summer clothes in winter with plenty of patches on dem to make dem last six or eight years and den we can't live like human folks.

We always had a special made pants and hat to wears on Sunday and to things to do. We had buckskin shoes to wear ever day and we had a pair of shoes made by de shoe maker for us to wear to church and other places. Maser Ingram always seen dat we had plenty of warm clothes to wear and was good to all of his slaves. He was a man about six feet tall and was about average weight and had brown eyes and brown hair. He was never married but he was a kind man and was very smart too.

He made lots of money, nearly every way he turned he made money out of it and he give lots of advice to my father bout makin money.

Maser Ingram did'nt has no overseer, he was his own boss and overseer. He always said if a slave could'nt work he could'nt eat and if he eats he has to work. He would always start de slaves out to work den maybe he would go over to de other side of de place to see 'bout somethin, then he would picks out one of de slaves to leads de others when he was away and he would picks de fastest one, maybe he would picks out one dis time and next time he would picks out another one to lead de field. Dey all liked to be the leader and when dey was de leader dey would works harder den dey would if dey was following de leader.

De plantation of Maser Ingrams had 'bout eight hundred acres in it and every acre was good strong land and would raise anything dat would grow in dis part of Texas and I guess Maser Ingram had 'bout seventy slaves and he bought some good horses and mules and works de land good, did'nt no grass go to seed on Maser Ingram's place.

De slaves woke up every mornin before daylight and all de chores was done and de men folks got in de field before sunup. When de women folks got de house work and dinner done dey comes to de field and brought dinner for dem and de men and dey goes to work little after sunup. Every slave knows what time to git up and he better gits up too, you'se better not lays in bed and be late to git to work, Maser Ingram would tells you one time, but he would tells you in a way dat makes you know dat it would be too bad if you lays there de next time. He told two different ones dat once and he did'nt had to tells dem any more, dey all knows when gettin up times comes without being called out.

When dey all goes to work dey would work till 11:30 and den takes off and eats dinner and go back to work at 1 o'clock by Maser Ingram's watch and work till 'bout an hour by sun and de women folks and chilluns would quit and goes in and do up de chores, and de women folks would cook supper while de chilluns would git in wood and kinlin at de cabins, and a little after sundown de men folks would quit and comes in.

We had plenty of good grass and Maser Ingram had cows, lots of cows and one boy herded dem on de grass all de time in de warm part of de year and in de winter dey would stays 'round de cotton seed pile, and de cowherder would bring these cows in every evening. Dis boy had to bring de cows every evening 'bout time de women folks and chilluns quits and dey done de milkin and each family was given their potion of milk every night of both sour and sweet milk and every other day a man has to churn and each family got their share of de butter.

De churn was a big keg dat holds 'bout twenty gallons of cream and milk and was set up between two poles with a crank on it. De keg was made out of oak with a oak lid and when he starts churnin de keg turns over and over. De lid is fastened down tight with a rag under it and it won't comes off and it won't leaks either, and when dey takes de butter out it was so pretty and yellow. Dey takes it up in a big oak bucket and works it out good and Maser Ingram's house-keeper divides it out to every family. Maser Ingram sho' takes good care of us slaves, he ain't seein nobody going hungry and cold. I tells you there was better times den, den dey is now.

Maser Ingram was good to us and he never did whip any of us unless we needed it. I has seen him hit one or two few licks for gettin a little sassy and most generally dat was in de spring of de year when dey was feelin bad and den he would makes dem go take some quinine or somethin to gits dem straightened out.

Maser Ingram knowed that dar was'nt any of us dat would returns a word when we was feelin like workin for we all sho' loves our Maser, he was so good to us. But he had one negro slave dat was named Charlie and he was a single man, big and stout and did'nt know how much work he could do in a day, but I has seen Maser Ingram whip dat negro and I has heard him begs for money till it was pitiful. Maser Ingram would tie his hands above his head to a pole and feet together, and lay him down and whips him and sometimes whips him every day for stealin. He would'nt steal from us or Maser Ingram, but he would steal from de neighbors, and de padderrollers would try to catch him, dey would lay and waits for him but dey never could catch him. Maser Ingram said he hopes dey would catch him and beat him up good but he always got aroun dem. I has seen him bring in a big cotton basket full of meat he stole from somebody's smokehouse. He would bring it home and Maser Ingram would catch him wid it and whips him and he knowed dat he was goin to steal something dat night sho' as he was turned loose and sho' enough dat night, after everybody had gone to bed and asleep he would slips out and steals a set of harness or just anything he could gits home wid and Maser Ingram would whips him again. De mornin even goes in peoples houses and steals money, clothes and even gits their gun while de people was asleep. It was just born in dat negro to steal and Maser Ingram could not breaks him. Maser got afraid somebody would kill him sometime and he had whole lots of money invested in dat negro and he did'nt wants to take a chance on losing it any more, so he takes him off down close to Houston I thinks and sells him but he did'nt buy one in his place. Dat was de only slave dat Maser Ingram ever sold or whipped very hard, and he done de whippin for dis negro's own good, but he could'nt breaks him from stealin, it was just born in him and it could'nt be took out.

I has seen slaves bought and sold, I has seen dem auctioned off and I has seen dem drove off by de speculators in big long droves from nursin babies to old gray headed men.

De speculators would comes through wid big long droves of slaves dey would buy, sell or trade just like de horse traders did a few years ago, just travel from place to place makin a livin dat way and some of dem made some good money, de ones dat was good traders. Dar was never but one bunch dat stopped by Maser Ingrams, and dis man tried his best to sell Maser some slaves and he would'nt buy none. Dis speculator tried to trade some wid Maser but he would'nt do dat, den he begins askin what he would takes for dis one and dat one and Maser Ingram said he did'nt wants to sell any of us slaves. Den he pointed at me and ask what he would takes for dat boy up dar and I begins backin off and went off aroun de blacksmith shop and says to myself "I don't believe dat Maser Ingram would sells me, but dis man just keep on tryin to do some tradin he might just to gits rid of him." I was just makin up my mind to run off de first chance I got if he did sells me. Dis man just keeps on at Maser so much and Maser told him all de time he did'nt has none for trade or sale and he did'nt wants to buy any and finally Maser Ingram gets mad and tells him to git on down de road and don't stop any more. When I comes round de front side of de shop dey was goin off down de road and I sho' was glad for I sho' did'nt wants to git in any of dem speculator bunches of road slaves. Maser Ingram says "Calvin whats de matter wid you, did you wants to go wid dem? If you does I'll calls dem back and sells you to him." I tells him right quick, "No sah, I sho' don't wants to go, let dat man alone and let him get out of my sight."

Dey was lots of dem speculators coming by de road in front of de plantation after dat, we could see dem but dey did'nt stop, and ever time I see dem coming cold chills run over me till I see dem go on by our lane dat leads up to our place, den I feels better. After dat de speculators kept going on by our place. We all felt like we had a home till we died, and we all worked harder and tried to do our work better for Maser Ingram, and Uncle Zeke and me done all de work dat come into de blacksmith shop such as, repairing and making de furniture and takin care of all de farm tools and making wagons. We did'nt make a whole wagon though, but we could make all de wooden parts and I learns how to get a welding heat on any part of steal or iron and knew when I got a welding heat, and learned to do de welding. In about 4 years Maser Ingram and Uncle Zeke says I could beat Uncle Zeke.

De only thing dat went against me in de blacksmith shop was I did'n"

 


Navarro County TXGenWeb
Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox