Oklahoma Slave Narrative
Frances BanksI was born on a farm near Doaksville, east of Hugo, Oklahoma befo' de Civil War. My parents belonged to an Indian fambly, an' we moved to Boggy Depot when I was jest a little chile. After the 'rebellion' we stayed on wid de fambly an' I lived near de fambly of Govenor Allen Wright for sixty years. I 'nussed' all of his chillun an' then later along come dey's chillun an' I nussed dem an' I'ze even nussed de great gran'chillun. After de war I was what yo call a freedman. De Indians had to give all dey slaves forty acres of land. I'ze all'us lived on dis land which jines dat of Ole Massa's an' I'ze never stayed away from it long at a time. I'ze all'us been willin' to go an' nuss de sick an' 'flicted, but I all'us come back home for a while. Aunt Frances spent much of her time in the home of Dr. W.N. Wright , a leading physician and learned what she knows of medicine and nursing from him. She has had plenty of opportunity to practice this in the farming community in which she lives. She showed a bottle of liniment, a formula of her own which she always carries with her. I makes diz liniment an' it is good for nearly everthing. A while back a man an' a boy got snake bit an' I put diz liniment on 'em an' day was well in no time a'tall. I has no real record of my bein' bawn but I thinks I'ze 82. I'ze all'us had good health an' can do mos' any kind of work I
wants to. My gran'father, Uncle Wallace , was a slave of the Wrigh t family when dey lived near Doaksville an' he an' my gran'mother would pass de time by singin' while dey toiled away in de cotton fields. Gran'father was a sweet singer. He 'made up' songs an' sung 'em. He made up Swing Low Sweet Chariot an' "Steal away to Jesus". He made up lots more'n them but a Mr. Reid , a white man liked dem de best an' he could play music an' he helped gran'father to keep these two songs. I loves to hear 'em don't you? I don't remember much about slavery days, cep'n us chillun had a right good time playin'. We ain' never had no jobs to speak of 'cause Ole Massa wanted all his young slaves to grow up strong an' natchel like an' none of us never done no hard work 'till we was plumb grown an' matured. Ole Massa was all'us good an' kind to us. I'ze all's lived aroun' white folks. I guess I'ze the lone sentinel aroun' here. I'ze about all dats lef' of de ole days. Everybody have gone an' lef' me. I loves my home here, dese hills an' valleys never change. I loves to hear de Bible read. No Ma'am I never did learn to read. Some day I'ze gwine to be with my ole frien's an' if our skins here are black dey won't be no colors in Heaven. Our souls will all be white. Yes'sum, Abe Lincoln sho' was a good man.