Title: Ike Ward
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00005871/00001
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Title: Ike Ward
Series Title: Ike Ward
Physical Description: Book
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Bibliographic ID: UF00005871
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
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FB106A 1 Mayhew



DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

I: We and...we are here in Seville, Florida on August 2, 1978 to interview

Mr. Ike Ward, who is 116 years old, was born in 1862 as a slave.

And he is going to share with us this morning some of his experiences

and life.
Mr. Ward, where/you born?

W: Richmond, Virginia.

I: In Richmond, Virginia, in 1862.

W: Yes.

I: Do you uh, could you tell us a little bit about the house and your


W: Well, I can tell you as far as I know, you know. See, I was Sh (Ac
1,P he 1 (t$ ? and brought to Savanna, Georgia, and sold.

Well, you see, at that time, I wasn't large enough, you know, I

understand,pure nothing because I was took to 9 c6I'- Georgia, ~Oyf
My was.
a slave. NcO people RKHIEI

I: Right. Do you remember,as you got a little older, your.family talking

at allabout the Civil War, do you remember any of those experiences?

W: Well, I I heard the people talking about it, that's all I can

explain to you.

I: What, what did they tell You?

W: Well, they told about my father, and my bossman, and -T v i

and/told me how f O l-ON 'C h a' 4 TX W A after hele shot over

here at the monument in Florida. See, there was more Indians up

there.So, he mentioned only that. Going back to his dad, nowX?),

of course, I wouldn't even try to explain nothing much about it,

Florida Bhack 106A 2 Mayhew



DARE: May 2., 1979

W: because I was, knew too much about it.

I: Right, all right. You were sold from Richmond to Savanna?

f: My daddy and them was not, no, I was not-- I was a child.

I: You were just a child, but you went with them to Savannah?

W: Why, sure,

I: Uh-huh, and how long did you stay in Savannah?

W: Well, I I couldn't tell you that.

I: Okay.

W: Cause I, I don't know nothing about that, I had to go /ik \J\

tLIPIN cff Clfrc'fir
I: So you went to where in Georgia?'

W: In Batchelor, Georgia.

I: Batchelor, Georgia.

W: Yeah!

I: Oh!

T: I'm from Batchelor. My people came, my peoplejre in LA.

/ u a the white 4e took. x_-_ _

I: So it was that house in Batchelor, Georgia that you grew up.

W: Yes.

I: What was this r-ar's ) name o you remember?

W: Yes. The white leader.

I: Yes. M

W: y What kind of a house was that?

I: Jr" n What kind of a ^ house was that?


FB106A 3 Mayhew


DATE: August 2, 1978'

W: tL *KX4^ll, it was a old log house, you know how back then,
you know, there wasn't much (IM;l there wasn't much lumber.

you had to cut down trees -d=a i, &w I wasn't large enough to

do that. But you had to cut down trees and notch 'em, you know,

stick knife tt hat's the way, You could
you see
scareg)somebody with that same thinghanging up there.

I: Mm-hm.

R: Know what that is?

I: No, sir, I sure don't. Why don't you describe it?

W: You Want me to give it a try?

I: Sure, I'd appreciatethat very much.

W: This is what you, you peel that log with, you see?

I: Uh=huh.
W: A round log,XMKK we'd peel you standing over it thisaway,freaching

the bark.

I: I see. What it is, in physical description, is a kind of a straight

metal bar with a fairly sharp edge on it, and two handles. That's

what you scrape the bark with.
f r-) 5k4. J + tularg and them
W: Lea aeXXXXXxxy KKSKKs what my father/ised to have. I keeped it.

I: I see.

W: Now, that's that's, that's over what, 150 years old.

I: Well, that's quite a prized possession, I'm sure of that. How old

were you when you started doing that kind of work?

W: Well, see, they raised me up on a child and I, I didn't

do this, people hade done this. All I done was tend to the house

and ring the bell for the hands to come in. I was a houseboy.






Aug. 2, 1978

I: Oh, I see! I see. So you worked around inside the house.

W: Inside.

I: Did you live in the house, or did you live in a cabin near it?

W: See,They kept me in the house, right with the children.

I: I see.

W: I was reased up right with them/

I: Did you, what kinds of food did you eat?

W: Peas, heans, and... I ate what the white folks ate at that time.

But the outside people didn't do that. They didn't have it to

eat. They had to eat what you could get, what the mastered give


I: So you ate pretty well? '/ i .1

W: Yes. You could tell I ate pretty well tieam"- as-vefy. J

I: I guess you're still eating pretty well, huh? Yes!
with the f)
W: Well, I had a, a lots of friends, you know, when we were about 'TW3


I: What kinds of games did you play with those kids?

W: Well, we'd, we'd tease them... I think I've got...if they're only

pushing buttons, you know, an a thing e---------- jA

Jvs(4C- 9i/\\ I've got a bag upstairs that, of M A J rlC.f. I'd like

to show you, but I couldn't get to them now. And so we'd pick and

when we'd want to bet, you know, we'd go and get a whole lot of

straw, and make some short ones, some long ones-- if you grabbed you
kke long one, you win.

I: Oh!

R: That's the only kind of game.

FB106A 5 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

I: That's the games you played. C.

W: Uh-huh. Now )C pCel g1f O.lde'd peel you for having a fa -

Z:=ai didn't have no matches, I don't know here you'd put


I: You saved it for building fires.

W: Yes...I've got to have me a fire, and then you could strike

fire on that f in in your kitchen.

I: And you got paid for that. Do you remember how much you got

you know,
W: Oh, yes, a penny, a nickel,/ a week.

I: Big money in those days! Oh, yeah, sure.

W: Nickel was a big figure. And then you have your half-pennies

you know, them big pernies, half-pennies, thenft- w

I: Did you get to get any kind of an education as a young child,

Mr. Ward?

W: Not a bit, not a bit. I got all, I didn't get any education until

I was 105, right here.

I: Well, ah, you, living that long, with all due respect, is an education
in itself, but I meant in / formal sense did you--you got no reading

or writing--

W: That's right--no--wouldn't let me.

I: ...any of that when you were a young child?

W: I can get out there on the ground right now and make marks, and you

CAN HAVE YOUR PENCILS and {t -i 0 C './ f / p/

\ O.':!/ 4OY r/ tPIk, fgive me enough stringA,

I'll tell you, right on the ground.

FB106A 6 Mayhew


DATE: Aug.2,1978

I: That's very interesting.

W: I never knowed how to read and write. You'd, you read that there,

and it'd show you how, how old I was,...105.

I: Mn-hm, when you started to do that, huh?

W: Yep.

I: Well, Mr. Ward, when you were a young child then, in your earliest

years, your parents--did you stay in close contact with your parents?
B ta i S! >l
even though you lived in the eal(.) abuse?
W: Well, I /I with the white folks, I told you that of course, but

thev ra 9 t(c about once a month to visit my people,

they was no, you know, about a mile and a half from the house. I

stayed in the house up here, and I kept that house clean...
I: Well, when you went to visit your people,/who was there? I mean,

S well, did you have brothers and sisters--

W: Oh, yes!

I: --and cousins?

W: Why sure!

I: Uh-huh. How big a family was it, do you think?

W: Well, it was a pretty large family,it was over--

I: How many brothers and sisters did you have?

W: I had 5 brothers.

I: Uh-huh. p 4
W: I had 5 brothers. I've got another living now that's older than me.

I: My word! Where is he?

W: Down south, Lloyd, Florida. That's the fellow you hear tell of, old-

est man in the world, aftd-t-eakes'yearqsT v

I: Where is he living?

FB106A 7 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

W: He's living there down in Ofade_ _, Bartow.

I: Bartow--Charlie Smith!

W: Charlie Smith, that's my brother.

I: He is your brother!

W: Oldest brother.

I: Well, that's very interesting, I didn't know that. I didn't know that.

Is that common knowledge?

W: What's that(?)?

I: That Charlie Smith is your brother?

W: Yes, everybody, everybody in the state can tell you that, I've even got

his pictures and everything, from when I was down to visit him.

I: How come his name is Smith and yours is Ward?
there with(?)
W: Well, he was owned by another company, he was owning slaves down/ this

same man,Carter When he got, he, Carter give it to him. My master

started me off: I bought land for twenty cents a nickel after slavery,

through(?) my father and my brother-in-law. .

I: Did you, did you have any sisters?

W: Had 2.

I: Two sisters.

W: Normabelle and Edith. They all dead. .L rf[t'.' .

I: Any aunts and uncles and cousins live with you?

W: Oh, not live with me!

I: Or lived in that, when you say you went off for a, once a month to

go visit your people-

W: Oh, yeah, oh yeah, down there.

I: And did they all work in the fields?

W:See, some of them worked in the fields, some of them worked different

FB106A 8 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2,1978

W: places, you know, in slavery time. -( .And white folks

had them out there cutting logs and different things, you know, and

building. Rolling logs, cut and build to make farms. Didn't have

what all we've got now, had to do it by hand.

I: What did you sleep on?

W: Well,--

I: When you were a kid?

W: Well, I slept pretty well, now, about me sleeping, but my people, they
slept pretty bad, some of them. Some didn't, and/some they had good
masters C)' and some/didn't.

I: Well, what I mean is, what kind of mattresses did they have?

W: Oh, let me get these out here--you see this moss on the trees?

I: Uh-huh.

W: Well, they went and got that, and took this bagging cotton which you

bag up cotton with? Wellthat was your mattress at that time.

I: Did you, could you remember--and you would have been very young, you

would have been about 3 years old, but I'm sure you must have heard

stories about it--

W: Oh, yes.

I: --did you remember, or did your parents ever tell you anything about

how they felt when Abraham Lincoln died--

W: Oh, yes, mm-hm.

I: --and freedom came?

W: Yes, mm-hm.

I: What kind of storied did you hear?

W: Well, we heat, I heard talking 'bout how nice 'j:1y; I can remember

FB106A 9 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

W: when they come to free us. They give ui, give them two years, the

Yankees give them two years, they'EEE~C. use them. And when those

two years was out, there was, and Mr. Marsh come--I remember they coming
down, several of them/d~mS V-I lf1 they'll free us. And the

people wouldn't turn us loose, wouldn't turn the people loose. And

so they told them, "You turn them loose," and said, "Now, I'll be
going off and be coming back, and if you ain't turned them/loose

when I come back, we'll turn y'all loose." I seen all of that.

And then some of them turned them loose, some didn't, some, some
wouldn't, some of the colored people like me wouldn't 4ERE0Mturn

loose. And you know, I, I think more of slavery i right now

than I do now G) .

I: You think more about it now?

W:Y Yes!

I: Why is that?

W: Well, in a way, you look at the people out here meeting you on

the road and killing you, and doin any kind of way fd~i I

traveled, I traveled some and spent some time in countries with

a government. And every country that we've been into, I took real

good notice of it. Everything old enough to vote and register,

they register. Look at this state--you know I'm telling you the
d I
truth! It;s 60% of your people living have not registered.
I: So you think people A more involved in a simpler life, even though
it was slavery. Do you think it wasApreferable to living today?

W: Why sure! They treat you more nicer, and they're back to me, and


FB106A 10 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

W: I, I wouldn't say S as much, you know, coming to colored

people. It's, I hate to see it, but you look at this young race,
I r
white and black. 1 They're now in slavery time. ThRX X If
wa.=&rried) Lo
Ufr'e 40"4 two people that are in slaverytime in 12 months, mister, I'll

give you money Now look here! Them C C it's here.

I: Yeah, a lot more violence is what you're saying.

W: Yeah, that's right.

I: Yes. As a matter of fact, I noticed what you were talking about,

traveling, it said in that newspaper clipping that I read about you

that right after the Civil War you went to Africa.

W: Oh, yes!

I: Tell me about that, how did you, how did that happen?

W: I stayed in Africa two years.

I: Well, how did it happen that you went to Africa?

W: Well, I went to Bishop Turner, '- )Bt. a Georgia. He

carried about 5000 over. he was on the ship.

I: Bishop Turner.
g /1
W: One year, that's right. It was one year of traveling, ~ r _

I: How did you manage to meet him?

W: Well, he was taking up the hands, taking up people, you know, to go

over with him. You had to have so much--that's, that'll do--they

had, they had so much, you know, of people up on the boat before it

could tur n loose.

I: Where in Africa did you and Henry McNeil '~ ?

W: The nonen V Swas called the southern part of Africa, as you

go up-- it wasn't named like it is now.

FB106A 11 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

I: Uh-huh.

W; So where you are, I couldn't explain that to you.

I: Right
the wild(?)
W: B because it was all part ofthe southland. ANd a lot of people

was up in the mountains..

I: Well, did you plan on settling there, in Africa?

W: Yes, we did--my daddy and them--

I: Your people--

W: --that's where they come from.

I; Yeah.
W: Had one brother had to jump qyet" -bill before he come to the

United States.

I; You had one--?
I: Brother! overboard(?)
W: One brother of mine,ne of my brothers jumpedApeav A .Ws before

he got to Liverpool, England.

I: Uh huh.

W: Well, they couldn't name him until they got to Liverpool, England.
They stole / white folks went over there and took him

My daddy told me, and my mother,. .")P 't / ., h that ship,

you know, and had all kinds of eats, you know, and you know people,

you know, XI over in that part of the world at that time, they I"tf

didn't have enough to eat. I just wanted to go over with them; I aim-', C


I: So your daddy was born in Africa?

W: Yes, sir!

FB106a 12 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

I: I see.

W: And mother.

I: And they were going back to Africa after the war?

W: No! No, I'm the one--

I: You--oh, you're the one who went away, I see.

W: Yes! I'm--

I: I'm getting a little confused here7 I'm sorry, sir.

W: That's all right, I'm the one.

I: You went back.

W: My people's all dead when I was over there.

I: I see. And you, and, when you went back to Africa and you stayed

two years?

W: Two years.

jI: Two years. What did you do when you were there?

W: Well, I'll tell what I done. I used a machine that I get over there

to make different things, you know, where--

I: Like what things?

W: What you eat with--spoon, and what you plow with.

I gh, I see, farm machinery and things like that, tools.
W/ Yeah, yas, right. /I've got some of the stuff that I made, where you

eat and stir and all, that's knives and forks.

I: Uh huh.

W: It's over to the house over there.

I: I see.

W: If you'd like to see them,I'll show them to you before you go.

I: Oh, yes, I'd like that very much, thank you.

FB106A 13 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

W: Yeah, I have a whole lots of stuff.

I: So you planned on sort of staying and making those kinds of tools in

C ,you know,
W: Well, I AtS +CA t'' but I couldn't catch no wife/over there and

so I came back.

I: You couldn't catch no wife!

W: Yeah.

I: Why not?
They was just wild, I tell you(?) they'd they'd
W; You want to know why, I'll tell you(?), they'll eat you, they'll kill

you, they was wild people at that time in Africa.

I: And a charming man like yourself, you couldn't catch a wife over

I got
W/ No, man, #MH couldn't get to talk to them, you KMX to run them down!

Chase 'em. In town, too, boy, they'd get teams64

I: Now how was that?

W: Well, you, at that time, we uh, we had apples, you know, we had

taken over with us, we'd get them apples and If you couldn't

get to them, maybe you could play music.

I: Mm-hm. So that's how you did it, was playing music.

W: Sure, you'd catch one of them, but it'd take about 4 or 5 of us to

hold her.

I: Just to get one, huh?

W: Mm-hm/

I: Yeah. How old were you? when you--

W: Well, when I went over?

I: Yeah.

FB106A 14 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

W: I was 17 years old.

I: 17 years old...so that would have been in 1879 that you went to

Africa and you stayed through that period.

W: Yeah.

I: Did you have much news from the United States when you went? I mean,
when you were in Africa did you ever know/about what was going on in

the United States?

W: No, hm-mm, no. I had some picturesver therelAi (?)...

I: So when you were there, you were just sort of KEi~K out of touch

with what was going--

W: Well, we were just out of, out of community(?) with anything but

what went there.

I: Right.

W: See what I'm saying by that?

I: Right. Well before you went--

W: No church, no church or nothing.
you were,
I: Well before you went to Africa, and/before you met Bishop Henry Tur-
ner, didyou, living in Georgia, did you ever come acrost problems
with the Ku Klux Klan? when you were, say, 13 or 14, or any--did you

ever see them?

W: Never see inonr o- a ."t rfNNo sir, there wasn't nothing

back then that I knowed of.

I: Were you at all interested in politics as a young child KKXX fiX2X

growing up?

W: Well, some things.

I: Like what?

FB106A 15 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

W: I believe in one thing, I don't know whether it's right or wrong,

I was raised, I as raised on these white people, they're the ones

btha.t-coud-talk-how-anyone please 1). And look at me now-- I can

go anywhere.

I: Mm-hm, I can see that, I can see that.

So you stayed and came back in 1881, you would have been 19

when you came back, right? r ,

W: Well, I couldn't tell you_-- things like that, 'cause
and I didn't know,
I wasn't having no education,/I might tell you one thing and it'd be
another, see; Well, I wouldn't miss seeing(?), all I can RKXXXKXKMl

)UM is what--

I: What went on?

W: Yeah.

I: We.. what caused you to leave Africa after two years, the fact that

you couldn't get a wife?

W: That's all.

I; That's all. So you just came on back.

W: Yeah. Well, I had to pay to come back, I give Captain Gilligan a

piece of diamond that I found-- at that time you could find diamonds

over there.

I: Diamonds.

W: Yeah. You know what a diamond is!

I: Yes, sir, oh, yes'

W: And I found a piece the second year I went over there. See, I went

over there where my father, I mean, my mother was born and raised

there. I was only ----------- I got a-eended up being dead,

FB106A 16 Mayhew


DAT:E Aug. 2, 1978

W: I couldn't tell you. I ought to have an uncle over there now in

some of them. But I can't tell because I never gotten over there

to do nothing.

I: Yeah, sure, I can see--
W: I just / my father say my brother and ^ was over there.

I: What did you do when you came back? Where did you go?

W: Lived in my plantation.

I: And where was that?

W: Batchelor, Georgia.

I: You went back to Batchelor, Georgia, I understand.

W: Yeah, man, I went back there and my people, they give me a oxen, and
A l 4 (c
40 acres of land. t/nd they told them Mr.-Mat, they told them Mr.

John Bcr, if he had anything they wanted, that they could have it.

I: Who uas John-oz?

W: White nan, running a big business. And uh,Richard and I(?)didn't ask

him for nothing at all, but my master and them told us, and 1-s
44 them
r ^ told t K that whatever I wanted, they'd let me have

it. But I didn't use it; I came back and I C('- f t6'- : (,'''fi.

I: Oh, you found a woman over here? Right.

W: Boy! and I married d that woman, too. Even went and bought a license.

What you think about it? I married like the Lord want me to marry,

and we had to pick that woman and jump over that boom.

I: You did that, jumped over the boom?

W: Yeah,man, I married her% That's the onliest marriage I ever had. See,

I bought license for a whole lot of them. Well,...
I: Can you describe/that, do you know how that ceremony of jumping over

FB106A 17 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

I: the broom backwards got started?

W: Well, it's 0lin the beginning I could go back and get the Bible and,

and find it out.

I: Is that where you think it comes from, the Bible?

W: Yeah, I think so.
Uh huh
I: XMXK, but everybody did it in those days, didn't they?

W: Oh, yes'

I: Yeah. Whitepeopledid that as well as blacks, didn't they?

W: Oh, yeah, oh my God, man, you ought to have seen the white folks

'mad(?). He couldn't jump over backwards, and he'd come on over to

get married today. I've seen them marry 5 and 6 times, wasn't happier.

But if you see her jump over that broom and you couldn't, that,

another KKKX ten,ten months after, you could court her again. I

got the young woman's broom broke on me one time. Well what did I

do with that broom? I: ...at the same time, uh hhh.
I: This XK just a regular broom, right?

W; KXKKX Yeah.

I; I mean, we're not--

W: Yeah... a regular...

I: --you just sort of lay it on the ground and then jump over it?

W: Yeah, lay it over on the ground and the man be standing there, no

book; only a blue-back speller. And he'd be reading that mye,

and he'd read, "So-and-so-and-so," and .CP r/ '1, S

all right now? You're going to take this for your wife, do you?"

"Yes, sir!" "yOu going to take care of her?" __._I : yes'.
4api now, walk right up here." They had a place, you know, just

FB106A 18 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978'

W: like that, you know, where you's jump, and you stand there. "and I

know, Bucky"--just like this here. He'd say, "How, all y'all got to

jump, you got to jump over the broom, both of you at thethate time."
So we'd go back and we'd train that before we'd get to KKXKX, I'd

go back and get my gal rW( Vl Il We'd train jumping over that


I: Oh, you practiced jumping over the broom, trained for it, I see!

W: Oh, yeah, man, ___--

I: To make sure you didn't goof it up.

W; That's the way we courted.

I: Yeah.

W: That's just the way we courted.

I: Jumping over--

W; Both learned that.

I: And you just had to make it over the broom?

W: Yes.

I: That's all, and then you wer e married.

W: We was married. Then you could go home, and that's your wife, you

could do anything you want to do.

I: I see.

W: But you better not do--

I, Nothing bad, right? yeah, I can understand that.

W: Your wife'll beat the skin off you, man!

TI: /Well, what, what, when you and your wife got married by jumping over

the broom, and--did you build a cabin?

W: Yes.

FB106A 19 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

I: Set up to farming, right?

W: Yeah, I had done, I had done built it.

I: Oh, you'd already built the cabin.

W: OH, yes.--

I: Way in advance.

W: --you had to prepare for a woman at that time before you'd get her.

I: I See.

W: 'Fore you married her, you had to have a home, you'd have everything
/ 0,".,
in there Thst your mother-in-law and everything could go in there

and fix the house 8= o'* for you and your wife. That's where

you went; that's where the '(' is.

I: I see.

W: I don't know about the white folks, KEKX < r ( S '' /:

but they had to marry just like us.

I: And when you uh, when you started farming, what kinds of things did

you grow?

W: Well, we grew peas, your _CS peanuts, peas...

I: What did you do about meat and fish and things like that, did you


W/ Well, oh yeah, we, you you could kill t4 could see deers and bea

bears add panthers, everything, right around you r place. You can
,iT{io r
get all the meat like that you want to ahwen. slave KKXX time.

B you had the gunpowder to kill them.
I: What kind of/gun did you have

W: We had, we had a, an old T breechloader.

I: Breechloader, I see.

FB106A 20 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

W: N6, .. w~n. no guns.

I: Mm hm. But you could use that for hunting.

W: Yes.

I: I see.

W: All them big hunters, tfy.gt-map went out, and they killed

him. Bring him and have him and throw him in the wagon, give him

to them, cut up, you'd go home and skin him.

I: Mm hm. When you, when you first got married, Mr. Ward- and you were

farming and hunting and sort of providing for yourself and your wife,

do you think you were, you were pretty well off, or did you rec--did

you think you were poor compared to other people, now how di d you

sort of think of yourself and your family in those days?

W: Well, I tell you how all of us feel e feel hat-1 like t

--~e_________ 1 going to .h~m- And uh, money, we

didn't have. I worked all, I, I worked a whole, I worked a whole

month for $5.

I: Mm hm. That's not very much money.

W: f'Jf INq Jie4a)':4 ----l--i I had)always something

to eat, and get anything I wanted.
I: What did you do for entertainment, when t9U=X rested and relaxed,

what did people get together and do?

W; Well, we got togetherand prayed(?).

I: Did you ever go to dances and things like that, did you get to--?

W: Was no, man, there wasn't no dances--

I: No dances or anything like that, uh huh.

W: --no, sir, no dance at all, brother. And uh, we'd alWays meet in

FB106A 21 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978'

W: one place, and were praying and the/white folks went in and tore t

that down. I don' \4

I: They tore your church down.

W: Wasn't no church.

I: Or, what's the--

W; Where we had, where we had--

I: Where you had your service?

W: Yeah. Some of them were r 1 and I think...

I: One of the things that I had heard about slavery with regard to reli-
is that, ,now,
gion/ and this of course is going back again/to when you were a ver y

young child, uh, is that many slaves prayed around a tub of water.

Did you ever see anything like that, or practice that?

W: WHy, sure.! iXeEB~iX XKX Had to pray there, they came in then,

kneeling in the next yard then with their head bent, people owned

us, then they'd pray in the yard, go with us, they had a place.
They was mighty/to us, where we was owned.

I: Did they ever let you in the white churches?

W: No.
I: Never.

W: No, sir, we didn't go there! You might make your, drive your mule

and wagon, get him to turn there, but Lfr)\ got away from there,

you could not go back there and ge t him. (. C '.'

I: Well, when you were uh, then when you first got married, you and

you r wife had children?

W: Yes.

I: How many did you have?



DATE: Aug. 2, 1978


W: I didn't have but 5 boys and 1 girl, that's all. And my wife did
I" f
that, I didn't have (tC"i\

I: Well, you're right about that! 5 boys and 1 girl, uh huh. And did

they all live right around you, too, as they grew up, or--?
and got killed over" rl' iC-
W: Oh, yeah, left here and went into the army, F]MWXFXHKOIXg~XKIaXXKX

XXXXY Well, two of my boys .:' )> / France. I was in

France when they got killed.

I: In World War I.

W: That's right. I was a horse (e-%_t put in there.

I: Did you get involved in the Spanish-American War in 1898 with Cuba?

Did you get involved in that war?

A: I stayed there 2 years solid.

I; In--Cuba?

W: In-- yeah, I went to Cuba, fighting.

I: Oh, you di d fight in the Spanish-American War!

W: Oh, yes sir, mm hm. Vfieverything in my regiment but ' Of

I: Who was your commanding officer?'

W: Oh, uh, I've got his name, too, but I can't--

I: Well, that's okay if you don't remember, that's, tha'ts no problem.

So you went in the army--

W: Yeah, left right here. Left from over there, Batchelor, and went o

over there and walked out in the fields and volunteered in Batchelor,


I: Uh huh. so you enlisted then.

W: Yes.

I: I see, to go fight in th e Spanish-American War. And you left your,

FB106A 23 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

I: your wife and your family in Batchelor while you, while you did


W: Yes.

I: I see. What was that like, being in Cuba in the War?'
-I 'v. 5*-
W: Well, I can't do--it's been so long and different things... .wd I

can remember, I had all my papers, but they got burned up, and I

didn't have sense enough to go back to Batchelor. And have--see.,

I got burnt out, and if I tW1iatr9 had new papers made, why of course

i might have got something, but after you burn them all up, you need

new papers, in Washington they burn up everything. Tell me, I don't

know, know where it is.

I: How didyou get burned down?

W: Hm?

I: How did you get burned down, how did the papers get burned, do you


W: Uh, me and another fellow 2 and I went to the field to set to work.

And my wife come down to the field, we went together. And she was

up at the gate, and I was plowing, I'plowing oxen. And ,\' '..~a ,

"John has mWS set our house afire, look at the smoke!" cf :s

I: You've no idea how it got started?

W: N--he uh, --yes. I've got that in me(w, we ,.Cr ___ oh

he used to work with me in the field, and he felt bad that morning.

And I told him, I said, "John," I said, "We're going to leave you
here at the house." He wouldn't XE&n nothing. And he went out in

the lot and got up tomatoes and things he said he'd cooked them.

And he left a piece of wood in the stove, and you know, and it was

FB106A 24 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

and he burnt it,
W: too long,/and he forgot to, he said he forgot to shove it up, and

it fell over.

I: So did you rebuild your cabin and all of that, have to start over?

W: oh, yes, oh, yes.

I: Boy, that must have been discouraging, to watch your house go up


W: yeah, yeah.

I: --smoke...that type of business.
W; Yeah, I went, I went by the white people,/to the white folks' church(?),

'\f you know. And said, "Ike," and I said, "Yes."

Said, "Well, we are all going to put in, and give you some money.
and he'll do the building,
and we're going to send Mr. Morris down tiere, nd all you've got

to do is just KRSX '- ""' .

So I fixed the stove and everything,so he came down, built home, .

I'm well-thought of white people, you know.

I: I have a question for you, it just, just popped into my head, and

we've passed the subject, but I'd sort of like to go back to it

real quickly, um, it concerns your, your early, early, early years,

when you were a boy--who named you 'Ike"?

W: My master did.

I; Your K2BM master named you Ike.

W: My master did.

I: Do ydu have any idea why he chose "Ike"?

W: Well, I don't know, but he had, me and he named me, and people tried

to ga-e-mme-ntew--changing my name=-

I: After the War, after freedom.


25 Mayhew

DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

W: Yes, mm hm.

I: Mm hm, but you didn't want to do that.

W; I'm not going to do it. I'm going to die with this name.

I: Well, I thing that's--if you've kept it this long, you might just'

as well keep it a while longer, yeah, I can understand how you feel

about that!

W: Yeah. And the reason whey he named me, his wife told him one day,

she said, "John," she said uh, "They're naming all--I'd asked another

one--", she said,"They're naming all the niggers now, and /.o -'

keep our name," and he said, "Well, they don't care where he is,

as longas we've lived and helped take care of him." _C_ ,_ /(_

told him, said, "Well," he said, "I've owned a lot of them. Some of
to Morris(?) to you to
them I gave ~EK MYX, some of them I gaveAKEWie name, SN3K and I'm
A /
going to name some." And they had this man who owned all j ; .

He was b t___, a white fellow. He wanted to name some

of them, so my master told him, "No," he said "You with your millions

of niggers here, and you can't even name them. Now you get on back

up--" Boy, that tickled me. And oh, they had fights, you know, oh,

yeah, and they'd r'OwT niggers. Wanted--

I: Wanted them, huh?

W: Wanted to name them, you know.

I: Well, if your master's last name was Melton, why "Ward"?

W: John Melton was his name.

I: Was his name.Well, how di dyou get the Ward?
-- L'

FB106A 26 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

W: Well, I came r-'f. -.t.ha wauf I couldn't tell you more than one
.thing C6 my daddy's XIXK name.

I: Your daddy's last name was Ward.

W: yeah,my daddy's last name, that's all I can tell you. That's P

I: Uh huh, and your master named you IKe, I see. Very interesting.
Okay, ao you enlist ed/the Span ish-American War--i

W: Yes.
I: --and you fought in Cuba--

W: Yes.

I: While you were there, did you uh, did you ever uh, see Teddy Roosevelt?

W: Mm, oh, yeah!

I: Can you describe what he was like in Cuba?

W- Well, I'm going to tell you something--I, I, to tell you the

truth of it, I wouldn't try to start because I might make a mistake

you know, see.

I: Mm hm.
I 0 f)
w; (J- I wouldn't, I don't think I'll make' on that.

I: But you weren't part of the Roughriders.

W: Oh, yes!

I: You were part of the Roughriders! I s that what you're saying?

W: Yes, uh, seen a million men go down.

I: Uh huh. And did you make that charge up San Juan Hill? WEre you

a part of that?

W: Yeah, some of it.

I: Mm hm. Well, that's very interesting.

FB1l6A 27 Mayhew


DATE: Aug. 2, 1978

I: And then you came back from Cuba, and then, and went back to

Batchelor, back to farming, I guess.

W; Yes.

I: Okay. And then what happened to you?

W: Well, I stayed there until about two years after my marriage. And

me and my wife, I asked her one morning, I said,"Missus, sit down~." .f

She said, "No, Ike -I ge E.h.-w ,___s "e

I{t aid, "Well, we S1 t 'h I said, "I want

to get where I can make some money, sure enough." So right there--

I'll show you where I paid, sold out right over there if you read

it. Let your wife read it, she --there, Vv 5s your wife.

I: And you moved here in 1913.

W: Mm hm.

I: Now how did you wind up in Seville?

W: Well, the kids (?), I'll tell you how I come to came down inthis

part of the country... somelgi" ______ I used to

work in f t a4 hO And uh, there was a man that was down

here named Coward. I met him. He said, "Nigger!" I said,"Yes,"

ou see, I had to talk, you know, because during that time ttpey

would be Cffft:r 7I 'I- t'(CC, ""- 'white folks.

He say, uh, "They tell me you knows all about horses'! I told him

I did. He said, "I see in your records where your master learned

you how to rope horses." See, I can catch a horse or cow, you know,

i'get me a horse. He said, "I want to hire you." I go, "Well,

I'll come down with you." so I came on down here with him and I
/in the woods. Stayed two years.
.lA.C ('." ,'\ t' -'( in the woods. Stayed t two years.

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