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.