J. W. Stinnett - Creek Freedman
This very brief interview with J.W. Stinnett was made in the winter of
1937-38. It was never forwarded to Washington the first time of the WPA
interviews being collected. Perhaps because it is seemingly incomplete. Mr.
Stinnet speaks of the family till the war, but little of how he returned to
Indian Territory or when, giving the reader the impression that the interview
might not have been completed, or that the notes concluding the interview may
have been lost.
What with raising nine grandchildren whose mammy is dead, this old head of mine
has too many troubles to remember much about thems slave days, but anyways I was
born in 1863, at a place in Grayson County Texas, name of Prairie Grove.
My mammy come from Virginia, where pappy come from. I don't know where he went I
don't know, because he take off to the north during the war and never came back.
His name was George Stinnett and mammy's name was Mary Stinnett. They belonged
to a big and fat Creek Indian name of Frank Stinnett who one time lived right
around Muskogee here. That was before the War I guess, for mammy told me when
the fighting begun the old master bundled up a tent with some food stuffs and
moved down to Texas, taking mammy and pappy with him. They was his only slaves,
and they said he treated them good and fed them good.
That old Indian live in a tent during the summer and cook everything on the open
fire, but in the winter he go into his log cabin, coming out once in a while to
hunt squirrels, and rabbits for the stew. Mammy said he didn't have much of a
farm, just a little patch of garden ground. After they moved to Texas my mammy
said she broke the planting ground with oxen, then when pappy run off she had
all the work to do in the house and in the field.