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Title: Interview with Edgar Rackard (July 31, 1973)
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 Material Information
Title: Interview with Edgar Rackard (July 31, 1973)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: July 31, 1973
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: Creek County (Fla.) -- History.
 Notes
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00007517
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Creek County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: CRK 42

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Interview
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Full Text



COPYRIGHT NOTICE


This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of
Florida.

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.

This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
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Fair use limts the amount of material that may be
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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida











CRK 42A

SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES

DATE: JULY 31, 1973

SIDE: ONE

PAGE: ONE












I: The date is July the first, 1973. And I'm interviewing Mr. Edgar Rackard,

in Pop. Switch, Alabama. Go ahead.

S: Well, my name is Edgar Rackard, I was born in Huxford. I was born in 1919,

May...May the twenty-second. I've been living in and around about the place

all...all my life. From Huxford moved to around in the P rch Community.

I: Now when you say Huxford do you mean what's Huxford now, or...?

S: Yes.

W: I guess they used to call it Whetheffofd.

I: Used to be called Loqum.

W: Loqum.

S: Uh huh...Loqum in the 14s.

I: After you were born, your folks moved to Bell Creek, is that right?

S: Bell Creek, uh huh. And I was quite young when mother moved me.

I: Can you remember living in Huxford?

S: Yes sir...uh huh...yeah.

I: What was Huxford like back then when you were a boy?












SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: Well it was...it was just a little country town you know...and the cotton

gins about all it was you know, and just a...maybe a...one or two stores,

a post office...about all.

I: Uh, what was...what was life like for Indian folks up there at that time?

S: Well it...the Indian people was...was uh...Huxford especially was...well,

they were just all for uh...a settlement of Indian people. It was...was

not right in the original part of town see...it was kind of back out in

the country...suburbs of...of the town part you know. Kind of like it is

here, you know, now...from Atmore out here. You know...of course it

wasn't...wasn't quite that far, but we lived...uh, we lived over on...on
a+
the harbbr...settlement was where we lived there...you know, a house

back...back in there you know.

I: Now the Colbert settlement, was that near the McGhee grant land up

there in Huxford, or...?

S: Well it was about three miles from where...where the McGhee's grant lands

was.

I: Now in the Colbert settlement...was...did each individual family own

their own land, or was that common land of some families?

S: It was just common land...uh huh. And of course old man Jim Colbert, now

he did own a pretty good place there at one time. And Dave Colbert, he
1 /lrehgood p(a-e. 7
owned oai there...but just a small...small

I: Was your mother a Colbert, or...?

S: No, my mother was not a Colbert. My dad was.

I: Your dad was...uh huh.

2










SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: My...my...my dad's grandmother was a Colbert. See he...and she married

a Rathbun.

I: And was she still living at that time when you were...?

S: No, she wasn't. My grandmother wasn't...I don't remember my grandmother

at all.

I: How did the Indians and whites get along up there in Huxford?

S: Well, they didn't get along.

I: They didn't?

S: They didn't. They....

I: Could you be more specific on that?

S: Uh, of course I...I was not old enough to...to start to school when we

left Huxford, and...and move to Bell Creek. But uh...some of the old...

older children than I was was not permitted...the Indians wasn't permitted

to go to the-Huxford school. In fact they didn't...see, they didn't have

a...didn't even have a school to go to.

I: There was no Indian school?

S: There was no Indian school at all.

W: 7

I: I'm going to aim this over to you. Here...I'll sit on the floor, and you

all just sit right...go ahead Mrs. Rackard.

W: Well, there just wasn't no...they didn't...we didn't have...they didn't

have any school houses. We just had to...what little schooling you got

just had to go in a...in a dwelling house you know. And the uh ..- _

Agnes, she tried to teach some you know. She didn't have too much

education, but she'd get them together a little you know, and try to

teach them...a little learning.

3











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: That was your aunt? What was her name?

W: Heddy.

S: Heddy.

I: Heddy?

W: Heddy McGhee.

S: She was a McGhee. She married a McPhee, she was a-Colbert.

I: Heddy Colbert McGhee?

S: Uh huh.

I: Uh, what about uh...other than schooling, was there any other uh, example

of Indians being mistreated in the Huxford area?

S: Well the Ind...no social building...well the Indians wasn't never welcome

in none of them. See they...anything that was, you know, any...any

building at all...other words, the Indians at that time was...was just

pushed aside you might say. And...and uh...and...and...and they...they

didn't...they didn't...the white people didn't even have no dealings with

them. They might, just a very few...on a very few things they was.

I: What about...say working, and that kind of thing. Was there any problem

there?

S: Well usually, the...they...if the Indians worked...well uh, well, they'd

work for...for the white people you know. Because they didn'" have...

they wasn't able to be self employed theirselves.

I: What kind of work did they do?

S: Well farm work, and...and uh...hewing cross ties, and sawing logs, and

different things like that.


4










SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: Uh, the other night you were talking about how it...years ago, about all

the entertainment people had was...how did you say it?

S: Well...they...they...the boys would just get up...the Indian boys would

just get up around, and build big log.lolog piles out...you know, out

in the woods somewhere or another, and just get up and rassle, and

tussle you know, and things like that. And of course now they did...see,

later years...well, the Indians began to have dances. And now she could

tell you more about that than I could, cause my dad he was, you know,

he was pretty strict on us boys coming up, and he...he wouldn't hardly

let us get out too much...and dances you know.

I: Well these rassling...was it just in fun, or did it ever get serious?

S: Oh yeah, we, just...sometime it would get serious too you know. If...if

one out done the other, and maybe, and then get mad, sometimes it would

turn out to be real fights. Fighting you know, instead of just rassling

and tussling. Of course that's...that's about...you know most of the

time...you know, it would just be...it'd be just a friendly rassle. And

maybe...and everybody would...you know, after they got through, well then

they'd just return home. They had...had...could turn out serious you know.

I: Back when you were a boy, were uh, there...was there much of people

getting in trouble with the law...Indian people getting in trouble with

the law?

S: Not too much, because...now the one...the one thing is...now see my

dad, my dad he...he lived to be...well, he died in '57...wasn't it? I

believe it was. But any way, why my dad, he never had trouble...no

trouble at all with the law. In fact -ft- loSTnSS t S,, now...none,

none of the Indian people...I never knowed of the Indian people...was

5










SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: Anever bad to steal, or, you know, or get into anything. Excepting if

they...you know, if the white people pushed them too far...well then...you

know...when they got mad with them...well, all they knowed to do was just

murder...you might say...is about...about it.

I: Well had there ever been any cases of murder/ f Indians around here

murdering anybody?

S: Well now this was...was before my time. Well see my...

W:

S: Uh huh. My uncle, Will Colbert, you know uh, him and uh, Zeb Rol/in...uh,

Zeb Rollin, you know they was at a dance...at that time at Huxford...well

then they uh, you know, they got into a fight, so they just...he just cut

his head off. just taken his pocket knife

out and cut his head off. That was it. My uncle...my...my...Zeb Rollin

cut my uncles head off you know.

I: Gracious!

S: That...you know that...that's just the way it was.

I: And this happened before you were born?

S: Before I was born...uh huh. Before.

I: Uh...and I guess the law got involved in that one?

S: Well...I really...I really don't remember exactly how that turned out.

I'm...I'm...but I'm pretty sure that they did.-You know, at that time, cause

you know when murder was commited...well usually, it was a pretty bad crime.

I: And that happened in Huxford you say?

S: Uh huh.


6











SUBJECT: EDGAR ROLLIN

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: Uh, what about now a days...are...is there any problem with juvenile

delinquincy or anything like that with the Indian children today?

S: Well there's not as much. Let me say this. There's not as much in...in

the Indian community I don't believe as there is outside of it. Now

there...there is a little, but just a few...few uh, uh, people that

has come in. I mean has growed up in the settlement now. But uh, you

know jqst...I was talking to a lawyer, of course I had a case, I might

say this you know, uh, you know, just talking. But I had a case one

night. We'd went to church, not,last year, and there was some boys in

the community had come in the house, and got my gun. And I got involved

with the law. But a little after...you know, after...after I got my

guns back and everything. Well then I went to the law, and asked the law

that I didn't think none of them was a hardened criminal you know...yet,

you know. And if you would, just to let them be on probation, you know,

for awhile, to kind of keep watch over them. But there...there ..there is

some of the people in...in the community now...that...it's the older heads

has...has moved in...seems like, and is leading some of the younger boys.

There's more than there used to be. Now the Indian people used to be

afraid of the law. Now what I'm talking about...they'd...they would

always try to regard the law. And about the biggest crimes they would

commit...was...was this. They would work all the time, but then...when...

if they...they'd just get them for drunkness or something like that you

know. When they got too much whiskey or something like that, well, you

know, they just....

I: Well, what about drunkenness...is that more in the past than now?

7










SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: Well yeah...that...that...that used to be more than it is now. I mean,

you know, that's about...there used to be a...a good many people around

about with bootleg whisky in your community you know. And you know...

I: Back in the...in the past, uh, I've wondered about this. Did most of the

Indian people that were heavy drinkers, did they do that mainly in their

home community, or would they go to town to do it?

S: Well...but most of the time...they would just do it in the community.

They...they wouldn't...I don't think that they...the Indian people ever

caused very much trouble in the town. Because one thing, see that they,

you know, they'd want to be with people that would talk with them, and,

you know, and entertain them, and different things you know. You know how

a fellow is when he gets full of whisky. But see...most of the time, white

people wouldn't have nothing to do with them. Cause...now I'd like to say

this...you know, a lots of the white people was...was afraid of the

Indian whenever he got...started to drinking you know, because naturally,

why he'd let the whisky get the best of him...you know.

I: I've...I've heard uh, many people say that the whites werelafraid:oflthe

Indians. Do you know of any specific examples that illustrates that?

S: Well uh...not...not particularly I don't reckon;.-Icouldn't...couldn't

right now think...recall none...none...know exactly.

I: The other day, you were talking...this is kind of off the subject, but you

were telling a funny kind of thing you told some men at work recently. I

wish you'd repeat that.


8











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: Well, we were...they were just all talking one day.....night...around the,

uh, around the heater, when we was off from work...while we was eating

lunch at supper time. And I was on the second shift. And they was bragging

about the Indians said...the way that the Indians got the...Creek...Creek

Nation of Indians got their name, was because when the white people got

at them...why they would run off into the uh...creek you know, and think

that they were safe. That...said that was the way that the Indians got the

name. So I let them talk on awhile, and then after they t "red on awhile,

well, I asked them was they finished talking, and he said...the boy that

was doing the most of the talk.said yes, that he reckoned he said all he

could say about the Indians. I told him, I said, "Well, there's one thing

that I could say." I said, "We might have been cowards, and we might have

run for the creek to...to get in the creek...is the reason they called us

Creek Indians." And I said, "There's one thing I'd like to say in regard

to all of you all." I said, "We might have run for the creek, and jumped

in the creek to get our name." But I said, "There's one thing about it,"

well I said, "We fought the white people till...till...till they whooped

us/, or they won the land." And uh...and then...I said, "In fact the

business is after you all had taken the land away from us, now you're

going to turn right around and give it to the niggers, and not even fire

a shot." And so he spoke up then, and he said, "Well, you had the federal

Government backing you all." Said...said, "We...they got the...niggers has

got the federal government backing them on." And so..Iitdrned aroundd, and

I said, "Well you white people had the federal government backing them up

too." I said, "When...whenever they were starting against the Indians."

9










SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: And he...then he went on to say of course...uh...like I said you know, when

...when I'd get tired...started talking...uh...with something like that,

well I always had to kind of you know, watch myself a whole lots, because

...like I said... See my dad was a...when he was coming on, my dad,.he

was a...was a big farmer. My dad, he had a...he always had a big farm.

And of course in the community...well...he was working with a white man,

that seemed like, you know, was...was...he did...he was renting land.

But he...you know, he had a fellow would back him up. And you know, and

take care of him, and finance him in different things. And he was just

more able to go forward. And...and he didn't have no education, but you

know, he had a good...other words, a good management dispos $ion...uh,

disposition.

I: Did...did your father grow up in the Colbert settlement, up at Hunt's

Creek?

S: Yes sir, he did. Uh huh. He was...he was there, and around Uriah, from,

from what I can find out.

I: Well getting back to your early life now...what was the reason he moved

your family down here to Bell Creek? Do you remember that?

S: Yes sir...uh...I do. Now...what...the reason that we moved from...from

uh...there. Well, there's an old gravel pit over here. When this Frisco

Railroad- was being put through here...well see, the...the company was

buying gravel from...from this. Uh, this place...well my daddy moved

here...well he rented a little farm house. Just a small farm house up

here about a couple of miles from here. Then he worked there as a...as

a forman at the...taking that gravel out. See? You know...what is grading
a
that gravel out and shipping it off on cars, and hauling out on wagons,

10










SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: P and different things you know.

I: So...did he have that job before he moved down here?

S: No, he...he come in and taken the job after he come.

I: Oh...

S: He...he...uh, before he moved here, well he was...he...he used to drive

oxens and different things you know. Just worked at a log camp over here.

I: Uh huh...well, as a...as a child, about how old were you when you moved

to Bell Creek?

S: Well, I'd say between six and eight years old.

I: Do you remember...that was pretty young...but do you remember your

feelings about moving from where you'd lived so far to Bell Creek?

S: Oh yeah. I can remember when we uh...when we moved. And I can remember,

you know, how we moved, and different things...you know about it. Well we....

I: Tell me about it.

S: Well, we just...we just...we didn't have all that much to move you know,

all that much furniture. Of course it was old fashioned stuff# you know.

And uh...and...so they...my dad would stack it up on a wagon...a one horse

wagon, and it moved...see...they'd...sometimes from Huxford...and down

here and back in a day's time was a...was a whole...long ways. Sometimes

you know, when they'd bring a load of stuff on a small wagon, well, at

that time uh...well it...it had to make...make...dad had to bring the family

and spend the night where he was moving to, you know, and go back the next

day, and maybe spend the night there. Of course he wouldn't have over two

or three loads, you know, it wouldn't be over two or three days it would

be like that, you know, but that's...that's the way you had to do to move.


11











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: What happened to your family house that was left behind then?

S: Well they...they...some...somebody else rented it.

I: Uh huh.

S: Rented it...see we were just renting from...from old man Jim Colbert,

the best I remember. Is when we...of course...the...the house that we

moved from when we moved here...well we wasitotin' water..I imagine...

from an old spring...there where the head of a branch...where the spring

just sprung up...but we was toting water I imagine...maybe as far as half

a mile you know. But when we come here...well this fellow that my dad

rented from...he had a bored well, you know. So then we had to draw the

water out...out of it,

I: Uh, before you moved to Bell Creek, did your dad know many of the

families that were living there already?

S: Well there wasn't many families living here then.

I: They weren't?

S: No they was way apart. But...but uh...I had a uncle that lived...he had

a place...a little place over here. Now he was a...a...kind of a

mechanic you know, and uh...all of his life you know...he worked

mechanic work. And 'T'...old 'T' model mechanic you know.

I: Uh huh. But you say there weren't many folks living around Bell Creek?

S: Wasn't...no, wasn't many folks living there. I believe it was...if I'm

not mistaken it was...was only four families at that time. Of course there's

not...there's not too many people now living right in that community.

See none of this settlement through here...there wasn't nothing through

here. The closest place in was where my wife was raised...ain't that...that

12











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: .-was back over here where she...

I: At Hog Fork?

S: Hog Fork.

I: There wasn't any community here at Porch Switch at that time?

S: No...no, not at that time. Wasn't even no roads or nothing...all was

timber. Just...all of these fields and things here there wasn't...there

wasn't nothing like that then.

I: Uh...I've heard that uh...for a number of years in this area where

Porch Switch is now...that there were a lot of people share cropping, or
A
working on halves for Charlie Hall, and different ones. When did that all

start in here?

S: Well...

W: That was after then wasn't it?

S: Um huh...that was a good while after then.

W: Yeah

S: See the...Charlie Hall, he, the Federal Land Bank I believe bought the

land up, and...and Charlie Hall had it in possession. And they was, most

of the Indians here farmed for Charlie Hall.

I: Uh huh.

S: Well see, my dad, he lived over here at Bell Creek now, and my dad was

farming for-

I: For who?

S: Ia..m, old man 4Og MY

I: Joe Day?

S: 7PMzmy ..J-h-d...was his name. And of course I stayed with

13










SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: ,. ^ A AA /after my dad left him...well...then my dad moved, or

bought a place and moved back to Uriah...the other side of Uriah, to

Jeddo. And then I stayed on...after me and my wife married, well, we

stayed on over there on Jhday's then until he...

I: How do you spell his last name?

S: J-h- -a-y. rAdo

I: Oh! That's his...that's all his.. J.R&it...that's his whole last name. I

thought you were saying Joe Day. f., Tkh y- .

s: aae 3k
I: And could you more or less uh, to give some idea when people started

farming for Charlie Hall...about how old were you when people started

doing that?

S: Well, let's see now...Ruthf fQ ...you remember when...the time that

Charlie Hall put the old cotton'gin to running. Haven't you got a

picture of that thing? Uh, but I can't...uh, we couldn't...probably

couldn't tell what year that was from that.

I: Was that before you were married?

S: Yes sir...um huh....

W: Yeah...that was a longtime before we were married.

I: Well, you said he got the land from the Federal Land Bank didn't you?

S: Well I...I think that who had it financed, because whenever he got ready

to sell it. Now the reason I said what I said...well, the reason why I

said that was because when he got ready to sell it...well, he tried to

get some of the boys...to take up, you know...with the Federal Land Bank

...where, you know, he'd let them take up, and just give him part of his

interest in it...in the land back to him. But you know, these...these

14











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: ...colored people...you know they...then they bought it and Bill Brown

...different ones beS_______

I: I've heard several people talk about it...I don't quite understand what,

what you're saying about it...trying to get people to take his...take it

up, and how does that...explain that to me again.

S: Well, you see the...the place that I've got here now, I'm not making

payments. Now when...when I...when I first moved here...we moved...we

...when we...we left old man.3e- .in...in uh...what...what year was

that we left in...do you know? I don't know. But anyway...well...

well, my brother...my brother...well, younger than I was...well, he had...

W: It must have been about '51...

S: My brother...he...he had taken this place...he had bought this first

twenty acres over here, and he bought it from uh, Carny Mill Company.

It was all in woods. See noth...and he...and he built a...uh...well, a

lumber house I believe it was...what he was built...but there was a log

house that was on this other place here. Well, my brother...then he...he

decided....

I: Who is your brother by the way?

S: Bill Rackard...Bill Rackard. And...and then he uh...then he uh...he

decided that he'd uh...that he didn't want to locate in here, and so he

just told me if I'd just take up the payments, and pay him a little bit

of his money back...well...we didn't...we didn't give but thirty dollars

an acre for the land when we bought it. See...and then I...I give...he...

after he had built up the house...I don't remember just exactly what I...

it seemed like I give him maybe a couple of hundred dollars back, and then

15











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: -he'd take...not taken up the payments from uh...on the rest of the

land, and you know, finished paying for it. And uh, in the meantime,

well uh, that's the way it was with...with a lots of other people. See,

when the...when the panic come on, well a lots of people had land. Uh,

some money invested in it...kind of like a person buying a house now

with equity in it, and when they get ready to sell it...they just sell

it, you know, and get part of their money back, and maybe let somebody

else take up the payments. Well, that's the way it was at that time with

...with the land.

I: And this was back in the fifties now your talking about?

S: Yeah...that was back in the fifties...uh huh.

I: Now you sald the panic...do you mean something specific by that?

S: Well, it...see, back in them times now...we;;.when we...we married in

1937. Me and my wife married in 1937. And alright I started to work on

a farm. On the farm with old man jy. After we got married...well, I

started to work with him. Well, he furnished us a...a one room house,

you know, well, it was a one bedroom, you know, and the kitchen and

dining room. Well then after he...he done that, well then he uh...we

uh...he furnished the house, and give me three dollars and a half a week.

That was for five days and a half of work...a...a week of work, you know.

Work...work five days and a half for three dollars and a half. And that

was...that was the way that we got started off.

SJust a moment, you've got company there.

S: And uh...

I: He was paying you strictly on a salary, or were...?

16











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: Weekly salary.

I: Uh huh. You didn't get any uh...share of the...?

S: No...well, no share of the crop or anything. But anyway...well uh...I...I

worked for...that...that way one year, and the next year, well, well then

I...I...I...I, you know I...I quit, and went and signed up on the W.P.A.

I mean there wasn't no jobs, you know, you just couldn't get a job. In

fact the business is when he played by that year, well then I didn't have

nothing to do you might of said. We just...you know, just round about...

with nothing you might say. And uh...so then when uh, we...when we uh,

went back to work, well uh...well uh, then I went and signed up on the

W.P.A., and when...then we moved, we rented...we rented a little house

over here, and we stayed over in this house on...on the W.P.A. over here

at Hog Fork. We moved-overethere, and stayed in a little old one room

house you know, and maybe a kitchen...not even a side room or nothing else.

I: Well, who did you rent that from?

S: We...I rented it from Calvin McGhee, her brother. Calvin McGhee at that

time, he, you know he had...he got this place ___. Well then, I worked

there until, you know, until...for a few years, and then I...after...then,

well I signed up to go to Mobile to a welding school. And when uh...

I: Was this during the war?

S: No...yeah...itlwas during'the war. And then I...then I...when I...when

I went over...no, I believe this was before the war now. This was before

the war. See we were...because we were married in '37, and the war wasn't

until '42...in '41 and '42.

I: Alright, this was only about three years after you were married?

17











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: That's right.

I: Uh huh.

S: And...and...and I. Now we're backing...we're backing up some anyhow,

because I didn't buy the place until '50 see?

I: Uh huh.

S: This, what I'm telling you about...when I worked on the W.P.A. was

before this time...time. And...and...and uh...we...and we might of called

...kind of come from the...

I: O.k.

S: ...from the bottom to the...

I: Start at the bottom.

S: But anyway when...when we was working for three and a half...days...well

then...then I went on the W.P.A. and I worked there awhile, and then I

come away from there, and I went...went to.,..worked around, first one job

and another. Just what we could pick up you know. Then I...but then I went

back with old man -S. See when I went back with old man $ and then

I began to...you know, I bought part interest in his cows. He had a big

farm, and I bought part interest in his cows. And then I bought part

interest in his tractor, and...and...and he had the land in other words,

and I was just managing his farm. And he had a gin at McCll1, you know,

and I was running the farm, and he was running the gin. And we was selling

cows you know, and different things. And uh...and then after, when he

got in bad health, then well...then...and he uh...when...when he decided

...you know, he...he wasn't going to be able to uh, run the gin no more,

well then he decided he...he'd get sheF V the farm you know.

18











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: In other words, he...he...well, me and...we signed an agreement for

nobody not to disturb me off the place for six years, you know. Then I

went to uh...the uh... Credit Production Association in

Bay Minette. I borrowed three thousand dollars. But then his son, you k

know, after the old man had signed this petition; well then his son

decided he didn't want to do that. You know, after the old man died,

passed out. You know...well his son...and so he just come back, and he

kept uh, you know, nagging until best I just take the money back to the

Bay-'Minette Credit.-Production Association, and give it back to them, and

paled them for the expense, you know, what it was fixing up a loan, and

then released the contract off the place. And that's when I bought this

place here. See when I sold out....

I: Where you are right now?

S: That's right...now. Uh, when I...when I sold my cows and things that we

was half interest in, and give him his half of the money, well then I

bought this place here.

I: Before we get too much further ahead again...uh, were you one of the last

Indian people to leave the Bell Creek area then, or were there others

still living there after you left?

S: No, I was one of the last people. I was practically the last one I believe

it was...that...that did leave there.

I: Uh huh. Why did the others leave there?

S: Well just because that they began to buy little places. Old man Jim

Presser was the next to the last one...so he bought this place over here
A
where Gadis Presser lives right now. But uh see...and...and, but...now

19











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: -.-that's the reason I left. And old man Lynn McGhee...well, see he was

farming for old man Jhday, you know, but he left earlier because he
No ko m;s
bought a place over here in Geeme. See...and when they bagan to, you know,

get up a little bit, well then naturally they began to buy places, you

know, when they got a little bit of money ahead.

I: Was that Lynn McGhee...uh...Issac's brother...or...?

S: That's right. That boy is Issac's brother.

I: Uh...was there...when you were growing up at Bell Creek, was there a

school there?

S: No there wasn't...not at...was not a school...there was never a school

at Bell Creek.

I: There wasn't?

S: Never no school. What schooling we went to Bell Creek, and all the

education I got...well, we went in an old church building...old Baptist

Church building. And...and when it got too crowded...well, we set on

benches with our feet...benches so high like this, and our feet, you know,

if they didn't touch the ground, well that's just the way we had to sit,

you know, to study.

I: Uh huh.

S: In fact...the business is...we didn't have even any desks to write on,

or anything else. We had to hold what we were...reding...writing in our

lap. And there wasn't a partition in the church building. And eventually,

well after...after years, when we got so many children going to school,

then the people from Hog Fork began to walk from Hog Fork over here to

school one year...and then there was so many of us in the...in the church


20










SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: ..,building until we uh...we'd taken just curtains, and stretched a piece-
7
of wire from...from uh... you know,

and let the higher grades be on...be on one side of the curtain, and...

and the lower grade on the other side. And uh, had the teachers...uh...

a teaching...two teachers...one in one end...one in the other end.

I: Do you know whether those teachers were hired by the county, or where

did they come from?

S: Well yeah...they...they were hired by the county.

I: Did the...but the church was where school was held?

S: Yes, the church was where school was held.

I: Uh...at that time was there a regular minister for the church?

S: Yeah. Uh...old man uh...let me think of his name now...the...I...I...it

was kersher But he was a kind of a -errymoN you know, Germ nv fellow,
-7
but it was uh...I... don't remember his other name, but he was kersher

I know.

I: Did he live in Bell Creek?

S: No...he lived way over here across uh...he lived in Monroe County. But

he would drive a wagon over on weekends, and have service. See...and,

and then...then somebody'would take him back, or either on Sunday...

Sunday night or Monday morning...something like that. But that's the way

the way he trans...

I: He came every Sunday?

S: Yeah...every Sunday he come.

I: And he was...what...what denomination of Baptist was he?

S: A missionary Baptist.


21












SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: Missionary Baptist?

S: Missionary Baptist.

I: Uh...did he have a uh...uh...was he a licensed preacher, or..."

S: Well now that I don't know, cause see...I...I...at that time I didn't...I

can't remember...I can't remember.

I: I've heard that uh...when the Holiness religion first came in...it came

in to Bell Creek. Is that correct?

S: That's right...uh huh. To ,rush rbor...over...over across...across Bell

Creek...that's where it come in.

I: About what year was that? Do you recall? About how old were you, maybe

that's easier.

S: Well now this...this was when I was in my teenages. Ruthy Mae...maybe she,

maybe she could...might remember. When...Holiness meeting come into that

old rush ftrbor out there...do you remember what year that was? You was

about ten then.

W: Well, we've...me.and you hadn't even married then.

S: No, I said I...well, I was about...I believe I was about twelve years old.

W: Probably...something like that...it must have been about...

S: Well, I just don't remember what year, and you know....it was shortly

after twenty six...cause I remember well the '26 storm. The storm I believe

it was when...when the...you know it come up, a big storm...in '26. You

know, and blowed down lots of timber, but it was...it wasn't too many

years after that. It might have been '28.

I: Did everybody living in Bell Creek just all of a sudden change over to

the Holiness religion then?

22











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: No, they didn't.

W: No they didn't.

S: Uh uh...see, they didn't...they didn't uh...the...the Holiness religion

was...was not too popular in Bell Creek...till all the Indian people left

there. See...my...my dad...now my dad, he was...like I said, my dad he

was a...he...he belonged to the Missionary Baptist. And he stayed with

hte Missionary Baptist until.... Well, my dad never did...never did

change. He...he...whenever he died he was still a Missionary Baptist.
4-
And my mother, she...she come into the Holiness...the United Penacostal
A
urch after we...after we moved here even. And then of course me and

my wife...when I got...I got licensed with the...with the United

Penacostal church for ministr...in...let me see now...I can't even---

remember what...what year that was. But anyway, well...well they...they

...see the United Penacostal church...well they uh...they are organized,

see they...they got missionaries in every field. But anyway...well, us

as ministers...well, we had to uh...go before...or test, you know, and

take a...fill out a form you know and take a test,/ Cause...now naturally

of course we don't have a diploma, or a degree, or you know a college

degree...or nothing like that. But we do...we have to...we have to have

license...see, to keep up with different things. Otherwords...what...

really what it's mostly meant for is not letting somebody come in, you

know, it's just...that's unlawful, or un fodly, or something or other,

and you know, and just take over, and you know, like that.

I: So you yourself...when did you become a member of the Holiness religion?


23











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: Back in 19...no, I believe it was back in 1946...or '47...something...

something along there...somewheres along there. But uh, I don't...I

remember just exactly the date see.

I: Could you t Ak about the occasion that came about your conversion, or

converting to Holiness?

S: Well, that the thing was about it...well see the...at that time...well,

they...there wasn't no...there wasn't no uh...fa4h of the church that

I had...uh...at we was really raised in around. But then after we come

in conviction with it. Well, I began to study the Bible and...you know,

and different things. And then I began to, you know, approve of...find

out where-it-was...where that they did have a lots of the truth, that

you know, that we wasn't partaking of in the church that we...we come

out of. See...what I'm talking about there...uh, now....

I: Well had you stayed in the Baptist church until '46 then?

S: Well...see, after the...after the Bell Creek church broke up...now I

don't...I don't even what year it broke up. But then there wasn't no

Baptist church.

I: What happened to the German fellow? The preacher from Monroe County...what

happened to him?

S: Well the...the...the.... Well, well he died. The old man Kersher, he

died. And uh....

I: Kirsher...is that the way you say it?

S: Uh huh.

I: Kersher.

S: But then...then there...there was not no Baptist church at that time.

24











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: There wasn't this Baptist church up here thn?

S: No, there wasn't no...no such thing as a...of course the white people had

Baptist churches now.

I: Well where was the closest white Baptist church ?

S: Well they...they was one at McCullough, and there was one over here at

this Jetson Baptist...

I: Jetson. Did the Indians ever go to those churches?

W: No.

S: Not...not at that time...they wasn't allowed to go.

I: They didn't let them come in the church?

S: Uh uh...no...uh uh.

I: Did any Indians ever try?

S: Well, not as I know of...uh uh.

I: They just knew not to?

W: not that I know of....

S: I don't imagine they did.

W:

S: See...see the...I don't...I doubt whether there's...I doubt whether

there's any Indians in that church...goes there now.

W: None....that I know of.

I: I don't know of any.

W: Um uh I don't either

I: Well what;about say back in those days...say a revival...could Indians

go to a revival held by a white church?

S: No.

25












SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



W: No, they didn't.

S: Uh uh...they didn't mix no...no way, shape, or form.

I: Did the white churches ever have rush /rbors that you know of?

S: Not as I know of. I haven't ever knowed of one. I never knowed of the

ptist people having a $rush rbor.

I: What uh...when...when did the Baptist church really break up over in

Bell Creek?

S: What year did we finish school? It...it broke up the same year that me

and you finished the sixth grade in school.

W: It must have been about '36.

S: Well that...that's about right. That's about right.

I: You finished the sixth grade when you were about sixteen years old?

S: That's right...uh huh. That's right. I went....

W: That's how I was wed...they wouldn't let me into school no more.

And my brother, see he got in

behind me...so he...after his boys got old enough to uh...get in high

school, and he got in behind it...and see why they couldn't.

I: You're talking about Calvin now?

W: Yeah, that's right.

I: Um huh.

W: And that's where the ball began to roll. That's when he got the school

built up here.

S: Yeah, our children were still going to grammar school...uh, even Hazel,

and she's not but thirty-five years old. But she was still going to

grammar school before they...she was...she was pretty well up in school

26











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: A"before they'd ever let the Indians go to high school...or...and I,

I can tell about what that was...Hazel finished...what year did Hazel

finish school Ruthy? We've got...all of them is finished excepting

one...but I can't remember what year they finished in. I mean she, you

know she's already had a class stay back after I school I believe it

was. But five of them's finished anyhow. And Hazel was the first one

that finished. I...I don't remember...I don't remember it off hand you

know, just what...what year that she finished in.

I: But getting back to the Bell Creek situation...uh...was there ever a

Holiness church built over at Bell Creek?

S: I don't know why...there wasn't. All the worship that they had...they

ever had was that they...they built a arbor. And then when they moved i

the arbor from...and when that arbor was rotted down there. The arbor

at that time was not as...as uh...proper as the one that we got down

here. 'Cause I just...I just was resembling the arbors at that time.

But they would just cut forked poles and lay poles in there you know,

and lay brush across it or...to worship in, and then uh...and then uh,

uh...then they would uh...you know, just get poles...little poles, and

cut and lay on blocks to sit on. Even if they...if they had any place

to sit. Now in...in...in the meantime now the Episcopal church come...did

come in at Poprch. You know, directly after this...this. Now the Episcopal

church come and put up a church up here, and then one over further on

after the Baptist hurch...went down at Bell Creek.

I: And when the Episcopal church built this church, uh well it's not there

anymore...built the church in P9rch Switch...by that time were there quite

a few people living around here?
27












SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



W: Yeah...they _

S: They...it was begining...they...no...as they began to marry and build

up you know, and they began to sell...sell different ones land. A little

bit of land, you know, a little piece...spot of land here, and a little

spot of land there, and they began to buy it, you know. When they'd get

a little money they'd buy a acre of ground. Of course some of them would

just buy...
-7
W: It was a little _

S: Build...build them a little log house...some of them had log houses,

and some of them uh...now....

I: Now this was uh...during the time when a lot of people were working for

Charlie Hall...is that right?

S: That's right. That's right...that's during the time....

I: The others were already...even at that time buying little pieces of land

for themselves?

S: That's right...uh huh.

I: At the...at the peak of people working on halves for Charlie Hall, how

many families of Indians do you think there were working for him?

S: Well that would be pretty hard to say, because the whole neighborhood
3
in the Poorch community just about...worked for him.

W: For Charlie, and Dave Cressi...who was that guy...

S: And the people at Bell Creek...now the people that worked for Charlie

Hall...well they was...they was at least six or eight, or maybe ten

families. And so these people in Po rch worked for Charlie Hall. Well

old man G.K. Fountain...now he was the one that...you know he used to be

28











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: '-aywarden at the prison farm. Well a lots of these people around Hog Fork

worked for old man Fountain.

I: Fountain?

S: That's right. And...and the people around Bell Creek now...old man

Lynn McGhee and my dad and all them...well, they worked for Jhday.

and so...Jim Pressley and them was living at Bell Creek...well, they

worked for Dr. Sellers out at McCullough. See Jhday and Dr. Sellers

lived at McCullougland Fountain lived over here at the Fountain place

now, and uh...and uh Charlie Hall, he lived in Atmpre. Of course you know

he had his farm right here. But that's...that's about the way it was.

W:

I: Pardon?

S: That was....

W: That's the white men they worked for.

I: You said it was the white man they worked for?

W: Yeah...it was the white men they worked for.

I: How...how were these uh various landowners in their treatment of the

people that worked for them?

S: Well...all I could say what was...it...it...old man Jhday, now he was,

he was honest for my dad...but now these other fellows back in here...well,

I don't...I couldn't say about them. Like I said, Mr. Day was a...he was

a...he was a good man. And my dad had built up confidence in him, and he'd

built up confidence in my dad. My dad could...well even after I got grown

I'll tell you...that old man he's been...he's been a daddy to me. I mean

after I got, you know, well on my own...after my dad moved off and bought

a place in Monroe County.
29












SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: But old man Joe Day...like I said, my dad didn't have much education,

but you couldn't hardly...I mean you couldn't hardly crook him. Because

he didn't...he just didn't go like that. He wanted you to have what was

yours, and in other"words, and he wanted what was his.

I: But uh...did you ever hear other people who worked for Fountain, or

Sellers, or Charlie Hall...ever complaining about the way they...he

treated them?

S: No, I didn't. I didn't ever hear them complaining about it. But I know

this one thing, the majority of them that did work for them...well,

you know, at the end of the year, well, they'd come up real short of,

uh, I mean of different things, you know. I mean to tell you they...they

didn't have anything. Of course most...most, or a lots that worked for

Fountain...worked kind of like I did for old man Joe Day the first year

that we worked for him...I believe. Or, you know....

I: You mean working on salary...on wage salary...something like that?

S: Uh...just on salaries...weekly salaries.

I: You know you say they came up short...you mean they didn't come out with

as much money, or as much of what?

S: Well, it seemed...it seemed like that they wouldn't come out with as

much money, or they didn't come out with as much uh...uh shares as they

were supposed to...or someway or another they might have just didn't

have good management...I don't know. I couldn't say about that, you Laoc-,

I: Uh, did Ay of these people who owned land, that uh the Indian people

were working for...did any of them have stores...like general stores, or

anything that people traded in?

30











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: Well, Fountain did. But Joe...old man Joe Day, he didn't. But he had a

brother Barney Day that did have...Butler Street, you know that was up

by Huxley. But old man Joe Day, he didn't.

I: If you worked for Fountain were you supposed to trade at his store?

S: Uh she...I imagine she could answer that question more than...a little

more than I could.

I: I was asking about people that owned all this land, that had Indian

people working for them. About having stores, and Mr. Rackard said

Fountain had a store...and I just asked whether if you worked for him

you had to trade at his store.

W: Well most of the time they did trade at the store because he just let

them, and uh...back then it was hard times. And uh...they'd just let

uh...he would just work maybe one out of the family. He'd let my daddy

work, and then sometimes when he wouldn't be able to work, well, he let

my oldest brother work. And lots of times he'd have to pay them off in

uh...he had a grist mill...he'd have to pay them off in meal, or syrup,

or something like that. He'd grow vegetables in his garden...they could

get all of that. And then when he'd let them tra...uh...get a few

groceries, you know, they had to get it through the little old store.

I: So he paid them off with...with food and things rather than money?

W: That's right...he sure did. Because it was hard times...back then.

I: Well uh, back in those days, was there much other kind of work besides

share cropping that people could do...was there any...?

W: Not too much.

S: There was not.

31










SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: Was there much timber work to be done then?

S: Not...not all that much.

W: A little but not very much. It was a hard time

S: The R.J. Sullivan Lumber Company they had a log camp over here, and

there was a few of the boys that had strolled off and got on at that

camp. And...and you know...and at that time...well...back in that time,

well there was...mostly there was mules ...they would just...and oxens,

and you know, and some of the older heads knowed how to drive oxens, or

break the oxens you know, the younger...younger generation didn't...didn't

know how to handle the oxen.

I: Now this was back in the '30s and 40s or when?

S: Yeah...it was back in the '30s. Of course now back in the '40s when...

when the war come along, well most of them left out and got better

jobs. See, like I said, they went from Mobile and got...lots of them

got in. Now my brother did. I believe he started to work in Mobile

in '41. What...I went to Mobile you know the first time, and then I got

married and quit. But I don't even remember what year that was...I worked

for seven months there. And I quit and come back and went to farming.

I: That's when you went back to Joe Day?

S: Came back-for the wedding and Joe Day.

I: When did you finally end up,starting your job that you have now?

S: Well I...I...I've been a...February in '51 wasn't it? February in '51.

I: And where is that by the way?

S: At Alabama Goddard Shipjard Company.

I: And you're a welder?

32










SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: No...I'm a sheet metal worker.

I: A sheet metal worker.

S: Sheet metal worker.

I: So you've been here since '51?

S: Since '51.

I: Commuting every day ?

S: Every day...every day. Every day.

I: When you go...

W: And on top of that he used to farm...work at night in:M6bile, and farm

on the farm here.

I: Though...at this place here?

W: That's right...uh huh.

S: Til I, you know, til I got it under control, where I could...on payments

from uh....

I: In '51 when you started...how many people from this community were

working down at Mobile at that time...would you guess?

S: Well in...in this community...well, there was only five of us.

I: Who were they?

S: Woodrow Rollin, Kenzie McGhee, And A.C. McGhee, and Terry Sagus, and

uh...and myself.

I: What about over at H4dae- Pdi.d...were there any from there working?

S: No I don't believe...I don't believe...L...I don't remember any of them

was working there at that time.

W: I don't remember any.

S: Now....

W: I don't remember any.

33










SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: Not at that time.

I: How many are working at Mobile at this time, from the Indian community?

S: Well there...there's not many more of them working at the shipyard

than that now. But uh...A.C. is still there, and I'm still there, and

Woodrow is still there. And Kenzie...of course Kenzie quit after he got his

hand shot off, and passed you know after he retired. And that....

I: Now...now what about Faye Jackson...he doesn't work at the shipyard

does he?

I: Yes, he does he works at the same place I do. But he's a crane

operator now. Well, Faye...he...Faye...it was...it was later on, you

know, before Faye went there, but now he is at the same place that I

am.

I: Uh...through the years...uh...how have...how have you managed commuting,

is it by car pool, or was there a bus at one time, or what?

S: We just...we just...some individual just takes uh...uh...one automobile.

Now we...for...the past few years...I used to...I use...I had a '46

CheArolet, and I hauled a bunch of hands. But some of them come from

Monroe County, and I picked up the boys through here, and picked, finished

picking up the other load. They'd meet me over here at Fountain's store,

and we'd go down there...in an old '46 Chevfrolet. And I hauled them for a good

while, and then after then, well we got in with different ones you know,

what would haul. Seemed like Kenzie, he hauled a while you know, and then,

then maybe Woodrow hauled awhile. You know, just when...who had the best

automobile...that would just....


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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: Would you charge the other people money for rides?

S: Yes...charge them so much a week to go with you. And you know, of

course not no big lump sum...we'd just almost share the expenses,

about what it's been amounting to you know.

I: Well, you say it was about that time that uh people started getting out

and working in other kinds of jobs... When was the time, and this is

something that I haven't been able to pin down a good date on...when

did people first start uh...going out to other areas...working in the

fields. Like picking potatoes, and going to North Carolina, and all of

those kind of things...when did that all start ?

S: Well now that...the first time that we went out to pick....

W: Mast have-been along in theb'40s;:.before-Hazel was:.born. She was born

in '40. Remember we went to Baldwin and gathered potatoes right before

she was born.

S: It...it was...I believe it...it was between...we married in December in

'37, but it was between December...uh...uh...uh...and...and...and uh,

and...and '40. It was between '37 and 46.

I: And you went to Baldwin County?

S: Went to Baldwin County and began to pick up potatoes you know and get

aquainted with different people and...in other words out of the...out

of you might say...out of the circle, and began to mix and mingle, and

see what other people had, and then see, began to find out that there wasn't

no separation between the Indians and the white people. And they began to

get out and get jobs.

I: Who...who was the contractor that took you over to Baldwin County?


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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES





p
S: Well, we juat went and picked up potatoes for...for Jim Cambell is the one

that we went and picked up potato%....

I: It wasn't some person that...in the community here that gathered up hands?

S: No, not at that time. When we were...did it....

W: Who was it that drove the big truck? Do you know?

S: No, I...

W: We went in a big truck.

S: Well, I don't...no...Jim Cambell came and picked us up when we went down
A
there.

W: Yeah, that's it with a big truck.

S: It was his truck...he just come and picked us up, and then you had to....

I: He was the owner of the place or what?

S: Owner of the place in Baldwin County I think.

I: Do you happen....

W: Uh huh...yeah.

S: His dad it was.

I: Do you happen to remember when uh Jack Daughtry started hauling hands...

about what time...what year was that?

W: I can't remember.

S: No...I can't remember that either.

I: Was it about that time, or later...or...?

S: It was...it was....

W: Probably later.

S: Probably a little later on ...maybe in years...because I...I believe at

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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: ...that time...well uh...I was trying to think about...Ruthy Mae, you know

when...when they were first beginning to kind'ofispredd-out....do you

remember when Riley...and got that bonus, you know, and they got that

old paper wood truck. You know, he bought that truck, and then he, and

then Jack and them...and Adam and them bought that truck from him I

believe it was...and they started papet]wooL and digging potatoes. But I
bow, S
can't remember when that w ta-hatit was paid off.

You know there was several of them that got bonuses, you know, back pay

from the service you know. Noah, and Riley, and different ones...of course

Riley is dead now.

I: Uh after they got out of the service...the extra money...and uh...you

call that bonus...uh, was that used for uh, and you say now...a lot of

people used that to buy them a truck or something like that?

S: Um huh...and you know and different things to work with. Cars mostly.

When they first started farming uh Jim Presser was renting land from

Dr. Sellers...well he...he had an old mule and aox he worked together,

and a wagon. You know, a mule on one side, and an ox on the other side.

I: So you...you...can remember people using oxen yourself?

S: Oh yeah...sure. I've...in fact the business is I've been...
3-
I: On the same teem a mule and an ox.

W: Yeah...that's it. Yeah...the ox...they used to plow oxen.

S: And...and...and...and talking about...now...we-was talking about aclellow

thetother day You know...I was'telling you about what ...I asked her...

and it was Jessie Rollin that was operated on down here. You know where

that old gravel pit is here...there used to be an old house sitting back

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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: "yoover there. Well, they spread his sheets up around and operated on

him there.

I: The doctor came from where to operate on him?

S: Doctor Wells I believe it was...was from Atmore.

I: And he came out and operated on him in the house? What kind of operation,

do you remember what it was?

S: No, I don't remember what it was for. Uh uh.

W: _, but they did operate

on him. They'd had to...they'd put, you know, spread them sheets and

-7
things afOLu to keep things from falling in .

I: Hmmm.

S: Put one over the top you know...kind of make a, you know, trying keep dust

and things from falling in.

W: But I can't remember...I just heard her say it...but I do remember the

old house but I can't remember....

I: Well, talking about different kinds of jobs again, uh when did people

first start paper wooding around here? Do you...can you tell me about

that?
I
S: Yeah...old man Will McGhee, he...he had a contract over here at Perdido.

And he...he began to take the boys...most of the boys around and about,

but I never did paper wood, because my dad, later on...in the later years,

well when I got married in '37...well he did have a truck and he was

paper wooding...or we was paper wooding for him. But our...but back when

they first started to paper wooding, well I didn't know too much about

that paper wooding.

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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: And that was...that was in the '30s some time when they started that?

W: Um huh...the '30s...uh huh.

S: That was...yeah...uh huh. It was...it was probably in the '30s when he

started out, and I know it was in '37 because my dad...we had just had

the truck maybe...it was a '35 Chev/rolet, I remember. The first truck

that we bought...was in thirty-five.

I: What were the worst years of the depression around here do you think?

S: Well now, for the....

W: Well, what year was that when Hoover was president...do you remember

that? I've-heard told about the Hoover times. It was...it got worse.

S: Well now that...the worst year of our time, was...was in '38. For me

and her I'm talking about. But see...well, like I said...now she...she

could probably tell you more about that than I could because her...see

that...her daddy was...he didn't have a job, and my daddy was...was

operating a farm and we had a bunch of cows and things, and so therefore,

I mean we had...uh you...we wasn't rich, but we always had plenty to eat

I'm talking about. And...and they was just on a small farm, and they...

her daddy didn't have a job all the time. So she could probably tell you

more about...if it was worse before we got married than...it was. But...

but me and her now...well it was worse in '38...I know.

I: Now you...you say, for example, you remember your...your uh father had

a car...for...when you were a young boy...is that right?

S: That's right...first I remember...the first car he...uh...owned...he

got.

I: How old were you?


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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: Well I was...I was only about six...fifteen...fifteen...between fifteen

and sixteen years old when he first got a automobile. And in fact the

business is...there wasn't many cars around at that time...you know.

I: I guess most folks still had wagons and things like that they went around

in.

S: Yeah, things like that...uh huh. And buggies...a lots of times, you know,

when people went...went...well they...they'd have a buggy. And of course

I...I can ...I can't quite remember when the mail used to come on...on

buggies, but I imagine you can can't you?

I: There was a time when the mail came on buggies?

S: That's right.

W:

I: Do you...do you remember many Indian people that had buggies instead of

wagons...that...that did have a buggy?

S: Well yeah...my dad...he had...he had a buggy, and he had a wagon too.

I: I always had sort of the idea that a buggy was something for rich folks

back in those times.

S: Well it...it....

W: No, it was...my folks had buggies too...they...they

S: The...at...at that...back in that time, well, you know, uh there wasn't

many people even had wagons...I'm talking about. They...you know, they

might have a cart and a oxen...hooked to it.

I: A cart and an ox?

S: Oxen...uh huh. Now...used to...when...when a...when the Holiness meeting

was back over here...in...back.of the'field in arbors, well they'd...

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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES





S: 4qAthey'd drive oxens you know...carts. Drive carts and take the kids

to service on a ox cart.

I: When you say a cart, now how is that different from a wagon?

S: Well it's uh...a cart is just a thing with two wheels.

W: It's got two wheels.

S: See it's got two wheels, and...and it's got a tounge in...to put in the

ox yoke. And uh...in otherwords it had a platform on it just like a trailer.

It's something similar to a trailer now you know, but....

I: But some people didn't even have wagons...they just had carts?

S: Had carts....carts...and lots of people...they would just walk you know.

I: And this was...you can remember this back when...in the '30s you say?

S: Yeah, it was...it was in the '30s alright, because that's the first time

I...I remember well enough. That's the first time I walked home with her,

was back from a brush arbor.

I: Yeah, you were talking about that the other night.

S: So that's where I met her...at a brush arbor.

I: Well uh...

W:

I: That...that sounds like uh...that even though people lived...my standards

today...pretty close together they just didn't meet...meet up with each

other all that often...is that right?

S: Well now...certain people did...whenever they'd have a hog killing...in

which a hog...well...uh see they...they'd all come to my house...uh at

my dads house, and I've seen him butcher as many as maybe...maybe he'd


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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: sshave eight or ten head of hog, you know, in one day's turn. Maybe

it would be several families at...at home. You know, and everybody

would just jump in, and whenever it come time for them to go home, well,

everybody would just...instead of just getting a small mess of meat,

well everybody would just...then maybe next week then somebody else over

here would, and maybe next month, or when somebody else got ready to

kill, everybody would go there. And the only way they had of curing the

meat then was...was salting it down. See, they didn't have no way of

keeping fresh pork, or nothing like that you know. They had to expose

of what they was going to eat right then, and salt the rest of it

down, you know.

I: And each person who came got some of the meat to take home with him then?

S: That's right. So what they would get they would...they would help us

you know, and then they'd get a sack of meat and take home with them.

And then uh...then maybe when we'd go help them, well they'd...we'd get

a fresh mess of pork, you know and...for ...for payback. You see that's

all we'd...all there was to get.

I: But like yourself...uh...you had...as a youngster had not been over in

the Hog Fork area, so that you didn't meet your wife till much later on?

S: Not...not very much...of course we went to school together now. See...

over here at Bell Creek, but she was...she was...they would walk from

over here at...at Hog Fork...right here to where the church was, you know,

for school...for school at that time. But I had saw her then.

W: That was a long walk for .

S: I mean...you know...I've seen...not...not her, but some of her cousins

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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: thatt would come, and they didn't have shoes to wear...and something

else, the ice would be spewed up like that. And one of her cousins I

remember real well, you know, when he come in one morning...well he...

that...that...just that ice...would...you know, how ice will spew up

when real...fre...when the ground really freezes. Well I've seen him,

at times he'd come in with his...with his bare feet, and that...the ice

would just be sticking between his...between his toes at school. You know,

and...and uh...of course now...back in that time, well they...people

had began to kind of pick up a...just a little bit you know, cause they

had a car...and her brother would meet them if it was real bad weather,

you know. He'd meet them out here by, you know, and take her...take her

and the smaller kids on...on in...you know. Of course we lived up here

then...it wasn't so...too far for us, you know, to go across it.

Of course it was just across a branch, you know, we had to get over too.

I: But other than school, was there any other ocastions when people from

Bell Creeek would get together with people from Hog Fork?

S: Not...not very...very...very much. Until this arbor began to start out

here, and then...

I: The one at Bell Creek, or the one...?

S: The one at Bell Creek.

I: Um huh.

S: See, then...then the people would come from Hog Fork over here...here to

Bell Creek you know. And then...you know...and then...then they'd come

from Huxford down here too.


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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: Uh huh. Well before the arbor, did people from Hog Fork go to the

Baptist Church up there?

S: No...they didn't.

I: Where did they go to church before that?

W: We didn't go to much church, if im .s.r Baptist.

I: Hog Fork didn't have a church before the Holiness came in?

W: No there were no Baptist churches _

S: Episcopal was the first church there o o____

W:

S: There was never a church down here in this settlement here. But this...

this...here. Now she...she was...she used to belong to the Episcopal

church here after it come here. Well, then they'd come from down there

up here.

I: Uh, I've been rambling with a lot of different kinds of questions. One

thing I've been meaning to ask you is...as a youngster growing up in

Huxford, Bell Creek...any place...uh, did you remember there was ever

anything that the older people did that was particularly Indian, or

served to remind youngsters that they were Indians...in a positive sort

of way?

S: No..the...the...there wasn't...there wasn't much that they would...they

wouldn't. I mean...excepting one thing. You know you could always notice

whenever the Indians would...they...they just wouldn't...they just

wouldn't associate and mingle with them. And the Indian people ain't

never been bad about picking a conversation. They usually...right now if

you...if you...if you get a conversation out of one of them, well you're

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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES






S: Itnear about going to have to pick it. I mean up...up until now...

they're bad about it. I know myself...a lots of times, you know if

a...for just getting out and talking...well...well the Indian people

never was bad about that.

I: I was talking about, or wanted to get across the idea...did the older

people, when you were a youngster...did they...did they tfa about the

fact that they were Indians, or ever talk about what had happened to

their forefathers before them, or anything like that?

S: No...not...not very much.

W: Not that I remember.

S: Because one...one...one of the reason...reasons why...because I believe

that they felt like if...you know, eventually well the Indians and the

white people would come together. And I believe that the reason that they

didn't talk about it no more than they did...was to try to get the hatred

out of the young people's hearts, so they...you know, so they wouldn't

hold it against the...right on down through the ages.'Cause now you

know that's one way that a person can...can just keep on stirring up

injury, and hatred, and strife, and a lot of different things you know,

if they...if uh...if they just keep repeating it down through the years.

Now you could take...well actually I could say...where I've been mis-

treated. Now my children has got a pretty good education. Well see, if

I was...if I repeat too much about my complaint before my children, well

see then...I'm...they'll say...well I don't see why dad didn't have a

chance...and so....

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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: Do you...do you ever remember any of the older people in your own

immediate family...uh talking in Indian language at all...even a

word or two, or anything like that?

S: It...none excepting the...the two old Indians that / t ked about up in

Monroe County They were...Simpsons I believe they was.

But they...but now they...they talked...they talk in Indian...in the

regular Indian language.

I: When did you have ocassion to hear them talking?

S: Well see...see that was out of a graveyard... at Poplar Springs, that's

where my dad and all was burried...at Poplar Springs. Whenever they was

buried up there, why...well they uh...they uh...they you know, they

lived right down back of the cemetery. And then times, you know, when

dad would go there...well naturally, well he'd...want go see them

and talk with them you know. And...and you know we'd just...us boys,

we'd just go along to hear them...what they had to say, and....

I: But your dad would talk to them in English?

S: Yeah, he'd talk to them in English, but they could understand see,

anrd then they'd talk back in Indian...Indian language.

I: Their names were 5impsons...is that right?

S: Yeah. Let's see...Norman...I believe the old man was named Norman...and...

W: Alice.

S: Alice...Alice was the old....

I: And when you say Poplar Springs...excuse me what would you say now?

W: Norman and Alice Simpson.

S: Simpson...uh huh...that's right.

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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: You said that your graveyard was at Poplar Springs...you mean your family's

graveyard or what?

S: That's right...uh huh. See;..my dad and all my folks was ...was...is

buried in Monroe County.

I: How did that come to be your family graveyard, rather than one at

Huxford?

S: Well...the...the reason it did...see the...the old family graveyard

at Huxford now...well, it just eventually growed up. And if I...I'm not

mistaken, well it's completely gone away now. And there's not....

I: I was there last summer, and that's the way it was.

S: Uh huh. And uh...and...and so then...then uh...uh...we begin to work
f
with the Baptist church ...in...there was a Baptist church at Poplar

Springs. And the Indians and the white...I mean you know, it was just

a community church you know, and therefore, when the funeral come, well,

then my dad was...begin to bury there...and ...and...and...I mean his

...his...his daddy, and you know, began to bury there, and...and that's

the reason why we...we used to just have a working you know, and we'd

come together once a year and work the graveyard over...see. Course

now at this...uh at the...at the Poplar Springs graveyard...well there's

;..there...it's not no Indian graveyard, it's just allowed any Indians,

and see there in Monroe County...well they did mix...and Uriah at

different times. Of course I...it might have been....

I: What's the reason for that difference...that...I've heard many say that.

In Monroe County in schools and other things they did mix, but not in

Escambia County...wh.y...why do you think that?

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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: Well this is...this is the only place that they didn't mix. In fact

that the business is there was a few people in this...this county

that...whenever they did mix didn't like it. I mean they...there was

a few people....

I: You mean since 1950 when they....?

S: Oh yes...yes sir.

I: Well my...my question is...what is your theory, or your opinion about

why in Monroe County the Indians and the whites did mix always...well...

and they didn't here?

S: Well that...

I: Especially when you had some who spoke the Indian language still.

S: That...that's a question now it would kind of be hard for me to

answer because...really, and truly,,>I don't..Idon't even know why

that they...it wasn't...it never did happen here. I don't...in fact the

business is I don't even know why that my dad never did try to send us

to...to the white school. Unless he just didn't want to get involved.

I mean...talking about...you-:know. .because he was ,,,

W: Your pa sent them because they didn't want them there, and so he didn't

want to send them.

S: Well now that...that....

I: What was that again Mrs. Rackard?

W: I said they didn't-want to send-tHem becauseithey-didn't want the

children to go there, and I guess they just...just felt like they didn't

want them...so they didn't want to send them.

I: Well you say your younger brothers and sisters, after your father moved


48











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: .-r.up to Monroe County...did go to school up there...is that it?

S: Yes...finished school...they finished school.

W: Yeah...they went up there.

S: I got...

I: On through the twelfth grade you mean?

S: Um huh. Let's see...Lois, and Maurice, and Iniya...did Iniya finish

school...do you know? It might have been just the two baby sisters

that finished school there. But uh...see my...my baby brother got,

next to my baby brother...well my baby brother died when he was real

young, before my dad went to Monroe County...but my baby brother then...

he got killed in the Korean War. And I don't think he had finished school.

I don't believe he did. It seems like...I believe it was two of them

that did finish school.

I: Do you remember...back to my earlier question...uh...eating sofkee,

or anything like that?

S: No...I...I don't...I really don't. And most of the time what...what we

had, we...see we had a...my dad always...after I got big enough to

remember what I was eating and everything ... well, we had a...we

had...we had rice that we...you know, that we whoop the heads off over

a barrel, and take it and have it cleaned. We had a little old mill

that would clean rice. You know, and we'd...we'd...I remember eating

that. Now I do remember uh...at different times...when my mother...

making...well she called it big corn, because I liked that you know.

She'd boil it in a pot you know, and...and just...whole grains of

corn, and season it up real good...and it was...it was good. But I

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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: 1Hdon't reckon that's what you'd call sfkee. I....

I: Had you ever heard people talking about sofkee before?

W: Yes, I...I can't remember it, but I've heard mama talk about it. They

used to, but I guess that was before my time. I can't remember.

/S: Of course my dad....



S: My dad, he did have a...a block that uh, you know, that the Indians

had hewn out at different times, and they...uh...uh he...he never did

show me how it operated, but they had a maul, or something that would...

and it was a hickory block, you know, it was real hard, and it was

kind of round out on the end where they would, you know...they would

grind their own meal, or chop it up or something...some way or another

he...he said they'd do. But, you know, he kept it for a long time, and

then, you know, it would have been good if I could have kept it on but

you know...but you know...but now, well, I don't even remember what it,

what it could be like.

I: Well talking strictly about the present and the future...uh...what do

you think of uh...various activities that are going on now a days,

like the Land'Claims, and the uh.. .owUWows they have on Thanksgiving,

all of that...all those Indian doings...what do you think of all that?

S: Well really I...I think it's just a...a formality...it...all it does,

it just brings back the rememberance of olden times. But...you might

say that all the young generation of people has got...it's just got

history of what has happened. They don't...they haven't ever seen it in

action. I mean none of us...uh...even me, at my age, well I hadn't ever

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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: -,seen, you know, I hadn't ever seen...I...now, to me...now, well we

just...now it's just like we always was. But...what I'm talking about,

uh, the younger generation, like my children, has got a better education

you see, and they're just putting things back in...uh, they're just

putting things back in action that was once in history. See what I'm

talking about?

I: What would you think about uh...them studying more about the more

recent history, like your time, and your grandparents times, and the

hard times they had...how do you feel about the young people learning

about that?

S: Well I think it would be good for them to know about it if...providing

that they would take it real...real serious. Well, like I made mention

while ago...now the...the...the....there........ the...the...there's some

times, that...at others... it.,.young people, you can...you can get to

viewing back over things...see, and some of us...now...'some...some of

the older...some of the older people can get started to viewing back over

the things that they was cheated out of, and...and was mistreated out of,

and see, it would...it might would make them to think a little better,

to come up...to try to come up to the standard of now...of being smart

in education and different things. Now see that's one reason I said...I,

I'm...I would...if I ever had a chance for my children of coming up, well,

...well I would...well naturally ...well I...if I had to eat bread and

drink water, well I'd want them to have...where some day that they wouldn't

have to be like I was...see? Cause I always wanted them to...to be, you

know, have a better chance than I had.

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SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: Well let me ask you one final....what do you think is in the...in the

future for this community, and the...and the Indian people of this

particular area of Escambia County?

S: Well...I migh...I might say this. If the Indian people could ever

build up courage to trust somebody...if they could raise some Indian

that had enough uh...education to lead the Indian people. And the...the

leader could build up enough courage, to where the people would have

confidence in him...well...it...it would...it would pro...prosper.

But you see...now there's so many things...now of course you probably

was to attend the meeting up here the other day...but uh...the...the

first thing that you noticed...the-first thing that popped into mind

whenever they began to try to build a...see a...a com...center, you

know, for the...for the Indian people...a recreation center for the

Indian people. Well the first thing that popped into the majority of

thems mind...you'remember what...what...what the answer was to the first

question....?

I: Something about is it going....

S: Yeah...is...is it going to continue on. See...is it going to continue

on. See...see..what I'm fixing to tell you now...now there's a lots of

people that....in...in this community that has...has built up great

ambitions, and been let down. Now I might say this...while we're talking

about... Calvin, if it hadn't been for Calvin McGhee...standing up like

he stood up...if they could of...if they...when...whenever they built

this school up here, if they could of...if they could of...uh...uh...

disencouragedACalvin, -y a bit, well they...they would have done it.


52












SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: The leaders I'm talking about...of...of...of this county...I'm talking

about...is what I'm talking about. Now...well...well that's what I'm

going to tell you now. They...they been uh led up to it so many times,

see, built up so many times, and then dropped, til it's...it's hard to

gain the confidence of the people. That's the reason there's so many

different churches in here.

I: Uh huh.

S: See, the white people has come in here, and un...and...and...and they'd

get something built up, and the first thing you know... Of course now

I'm going to say this...that's the reason I'm in the organization...

And the first thing you know, well...some...some minister come in here,

and built up a whole lots of confidence, and get a group of people to

follow him. And then as soon as he got a group of people to follow him,

maybe he'd get in with some of these Indian girls... .

And that's...that's exactly where it's at today.

I: And that has happened?

S: That has happened. And that's...and it's not only happened in that, you

take lots of the young girls...the white men would come in you know, and

lead these young girls, and of course that's the reason that there's so

many...you know...different children in here.

I: Uh huh.

S: Of course now...now...

I: Is that a problem that...that goes on today, or is it...?

S: Well it's not as bad now. I'll put it like this, it's not as bad now as

it was, you know. Well see, like I'm telling you now...see you take a...

53











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: ...uh...the young girls now...well, see they...they're more educated,

and they no more how to handle thegself, and conduct the itself in

different things.

I: I know that is a kind of touchy subject, but uh...but you say that has

been a problem in the past...of white men coming and taking advantage

of Indian girls?

S: That's right...uh huh.

I: Did they uh...uh...ever marry them afterwords, or did they just take

advantage of them?

S: No uh uh.

I: Well, you were saying to lead the people. What kind of things do you

think the community still needs, that would follow a leader to get?

S: Well, that's what I'm saying now...if...if we had...if...if they had

some of their own people...now, you know, that could be educated, and

then they could get some good...good man, that would have...really have

confidence in it, and get some of the educated men to stand behind...

Uh, say if a fellow had a good education, and he had ...get some educated

men and boys to stand with him, well then...and...and lead them...well,

til they gained confidence, well then he could probably clear...clear

them on. Or you could probably...you could probably settle them down.

You could probably build a recreation center, or you could probably

build anything you wanted to. But as long as it...that they...that they

got any...Now...now you know yourself that Calvin...of course maybe

you don't know about this, Aut Thompson...whenever Thompson got this

money. When he...he'd taken this case for ten per cent.


54











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES





S: Well, the Indians paid...while he was fighting the case, the Indian

bureau...or the Indian...uh...committee men...or something or other

furnished him about somewhere up in the thirty something thousand

dollars, you know...to fight the case. But he'd taken it for ten per

cent. Well then whenever he'd won the case...well, in the meantime,

well then he'd taken Calvin over here at Bay Minette, and then he'd

just tried his very best to take Calvin...to take a pay-off, and just

let...let that...way up in the thousand dollars go ahead ...and then for

Calvin to take so many thousand dollars you know, and him take so many

thousand dollars, and let that...not take it out of his ten per cent.

His ten per cent was what he'd taken taken and fight it for you know,

and after he'd got it won, well then he...he was going...he was going to

get his whole ten per cent you know, and let the Indians be back up for

the finance to fight the case. Was...do you see what I'm talking about?

But Calvin wouldn't do it see, and that's when him and Calvin fell out.

So...so there...therefore, you can tell just about by that. If Calvin

had been so a mind to now...now Calvin stood a lots of things...lots of

people don't realize see. Of course he was never one that would complain,

or mumble, and tell everybody about his business. But see right...that

one particular thing right there. Now Calvin didn't get but about a

hundred and...he couldn't have got if he had a lived just the same

amount as I got. See?

I: Um huh.


55











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: But..but yet still now...he'd taken a big cut there for not just

selling his...selling the Indian out, see, and letting them get a lot

less while him got a lot more. But Calvin wouldn't do it...see he

wouldn't do it. See he just thought too much of his brothers to sell

out to him. And so therefore, that they...that the Indian people today,

there's a very few people that they've got confidence in.

I:; You don't feel they have the confidence in the council that they did

Ihen Calvin was alive?

S: Well, I...I wouldn't...I wouldn't be afraid to say that but...but see

Dewey has...Houston has got a long ways to go before he'll ever gain

as much confidence as Calvin did. Of course the councilmens...I...

wouldn't be afraid to say...but here...here's what you've got in the

councilmens...even with...witha...this...this uh...Rollin boy up here

that's got the education. Well what you've got in the council...you,

you've got to...you...you've got a bunch of...maybe it's got a high

school education, but whenever they got a high school education...they

ain't got the, you know, the... in the mind. They,

they...they...they'd had...a lots of them has got a high school education.

They...they've just got book knowledge is all.

I: You don't feel they have the kind of...of ability to get things done,

or...?

S: Well that...that's what I'm talking about. Uh huh. See...now...now really,

you.. whe...when you go talking about getting things done, you need

somebody that...that don't mind getting on in there and telling you just

how...how it is. I mean, you know, it's...it's just...it's just that

56












SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: .-.way, and that's the way it's been. Well, see that...that's...that,

that's...that's been the...that's been the era all along through the

times. Of course you know...what I'm talking. Now of course...you know

I...I...naturally I wouldn't like for all...all this to be put on

history against me, but you take...there's some of the Indian people

right in the community has, you know, has built up a lots of courage,

and you know, and thought that they could just be lord over...overthe-

Indians, and just get them to do. Now, you might...say...I'll just

bring in one...for instance...right now. Jack Daughtry, you can...you

can notice, if he's for a road commissioner, or somebody in this community,

and he...he tries to get him elected. Well see he...he's done people so

dirty, and...and they haven't got any confidence in him. Now the...most

of the people are just changed the other way. Uh, I mean talking about,

and they...they won't even...don't even vote that way. They're...they're

just...they're afraid, you know, that he's got something see...see....

--D Because...because of his working,with.*.workingsthem in the past?

S: Um huh, you know, and different...different things, because...you know,

you could...you could go...way back for that you know...different...it

could be caused by lots of different things, and maybe just...this and

that and something or other else that you know...maybe me and you don't

know all about.

I: Yeah...right...right. Well, in other words you're saying that...that

sometimes the Indian people don't trust each other very much?

S: Not...not very much, uh uh. That's true.


57












SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: Well anything else you want to add, we're about out of tape here?

S: Well uh...

I: Anything you'd like to say that I haven't asked you about?

S: Well, that...that is about all. But uh...and that is about the biggest

thing I'm talking about you know. About the...you know, about the people

that uh...that don't...that the reason they don't pull together. Cause

I never have seen them pull together, you know, not...not since I've

been big enough to...I mean they just won't stick together, and that,

and that's exactly what it is.

I: Well, I've heard many people say that, and I've wondered what was it,

that made them for...no matter how briefly it was...stick together for

fighting the Land Claims, and pushing to get the school.

S: Well you see, what...what they...really...what they really done...he

just...you might say dalvin, he just stood against them. Now there was

some of the people that you know, walked away that day up there and said.

Do you know what they said? fThey said, "Well, I don't think my young

ones no better than I am." Said, "I didn't get no education, so why do

they want to get theirs?" But thS...that's what Calvin...Calvin...

I: Now what day was that?

S: That s..'.when....whenever they was having the meeting about the

school. I mean they had a...they had a meeting, and Calvin just...he...

he just told uh, what you call them...that...uh...we...at Brewton, that

...that they was going to have a school, or they was going to Atmore's

school. And just whichever one that they...they could do about it. See,

he done woke up to the fact, you know, it could be done. And so he was

58











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



S: Qarjust going to enforce it. But that's what I said, whenever they met,

we were up here at the...at the community house, back of the school,

where the school is built now. Well...well that...he was talking that

time, and...and a lots of the...the Indian people said the same...said

the same thing. Well, my child is not no better than I am, and so he

didn't get no education, and so I didn't get no education...so why

should he. Well see that...that's what I said, but Calvin just...he

just stood...stood for.... I mean he...he was just determined of the

fact. And he was going to go through, and...and therefore...of course

he's...uh, you know that's probably his worries part...probably what

caused him to have a heart attack. But he still stay...stayed true, I'll

say that.

I: Yeah.

S: If he...if they was going...uh, you know, uh, taking right now...uh, take

my life...well I'd still say to Calvin...if Calvin had a been...gone

crooked ., ,,,, .when Thompson offered him the two thousand do

dollars. Of course you might could find out real sure about that, but

I'm just...I'm just talking what...what he told me his self...see.

But I said...uh...if he...if you...if Calvin was been going to trick

anybody, well...well he'd uh...he'd of ...he'd jumped at several thousand

dollars. But he...he just wasn't that type of fellow. He...no sir...

whenever...whenever he was...strictly...he...

I: Uh...

S: He is strictly...was..for...for his...for his...his...his...his...his race

of people.


59











SUBJECT: EDGAR RACKARD

INTERVIEWER: PAREDES



I: Were you in that group that went with him to the governor's that time

about the school situation?

S: No, I wasn't. uh uh. I didn't go.

I: Do you recall who some of the men were that went with him?

S: No...offhanded I don't believe I do.

I: But that was about the same time...was that before or after that

meeting?

S: That...that was before...I believe it was...that...before the meeting.

Uh...I'm pretty sure it was, because I think Calvin...from, you know,

just from the action and things...I...the best I can remember, he knew

pretty well which way he was going. I mean talking about before he said,

because if he didn't, well he wouldn't have...probably wouldn't have

stood like he did stand. Because...in other words, he didn't...he

didn't...he just didn't have the education, you know, the....

I: I understand, that at that time, a lot of people more or less boycotted

the school, and kept their children out of school for awhile? Did you

go along with that?

S: Well, you mean up...up here?

I: Up here...yeah.

S: Uh huh. Well, see/I...










END

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