Pinkie Kelly

Aunt Pinkie Kelly, whose age is a matter of conjecture, but who says she was "growed up when sot free," was born on a plantation in Brazoria Co., owned by Greenville McNeel, and still lives on what was a part of the McNeel plantation, in a little cabin which she says is much like the old slave quarters.

"De only place I knows 'bout is right here, what was Marse Greenville McNeel's plantation, 'cause I's born here and Marse Greenville and Missy Amelia, what was his wife, is de only ones I ever belonged to. After de war, Marse Huntington come down from up north and took over de place when Marse Greenville die, but de big house burned up and all de papers, too, and I couldn't tell to save my life how old I is, but I's growed up and worked in de fields befo' I's sot free.

"My mammy's name was Harriet Jackson and she was born on de same plantation. My pappy's name was Dan, but folks called him Good Cheer. He druv oxen and one day they show me him and say he my pappy, and so I guess he was, but I can't tell much about him, 'cause chillen then didn't know their pappys like chillen do now.

"Most I 'members 'bout them times is work, 'cause we's put out in de fields befo' day and come back after night. Then we has to shell a bushel of corn befo' we goes to bed and we was so tired we didn't have time for nothin'.

"Old man Jerry Driver watches us in de fields and iffen we didn't work hard he whip us and whip us hard. Then he die and 'nother man call Archer come. He say, 'You niggers now, you don't work good, I beat you,' and we sho' worked hard then.

"Marse Greenville treated us pretty good but he never give us nothin'. Sometime we'd run away and hide in de woods for a spell, but when they cotch us Marse Greenville tie us down and whip us so we don't do it no more.

"We didn't have no clothes like we do now, jes' cotton lowers and rubber shoes. They used to feed us peas and cornbread and hominy, and sometime they threw beef in a pot and bile it, but we never had hawg meat.

"Iffen we took sick, old Aunt Becky was de doctor. They was a building like what they calls a hospital and she put us in there and give us calomel or turpentine, dependin' on what ailed us. They allus kep' the babies there and let de mammies come in and suckle and dry 'em up.

"I never heered much 'bout no war and Marse Greenville never told us we was free. First I knows was one day we gwine to de fields and a man come ridin' up and say, 'Whar you folks gwine?' We say we gwine to de fields and then he say to Marse Greenville, 'You can't work these people, without no pay, 'cause they's as free as you is.' Law, we sho' shout, young folks and old folks too. But we stay there, no place to go, so we jes' stay, but we gits a little pay.

"After 'while I marries. Allen Kelley was de first husban' what I ever owned and he die. Houston Edmond, he the las' husban' I ever owned and he die, too.

"Law me, they used to be a sayin' that chillen born on de dark of de moon ain't gwineter have no luck, and I guess I sho' was born then!"