Texas Slave Narratives

Texas Slave Narrative

  Marie Aurelia Green

Marie Aurelia Green , a tall and slim woman, dressed in a purple print calico garment, showed a considerable amount of interest and pride in her appearance. She was seated in a chair on the porch as she told the story of her life. Her speech shows French influence. She was quite young when freedom came, and is particular in her accuracy, hence her story is largely confined to those things of which she feels she can speak with certainty, either of her own knowledge, or a few things which her mother told her, and of the correctness of which she feels assured.

I was bo'n in Gran' Coteau over in Lou'siana, jis' a few years befo' freedom come. Dey uster call de place Sunset, but dat and Gran' Coteau is de same place. My pa and ma was Isaac and Therese Pelche . De ol' marster was Jameil Prejean . My ma she was a nurse. She nurse ol' marster's ol'es' son. He live over in St. Peter, Lou'sana now. He a doctor today. I was bo'n out on de edge of de town. I neber did see de house where ol' marster live. I 'member de time when de Yankees come. My gran'father he git kill in de war. When dem Yankees come my gran'mother and gran'father dey up and went off wid 'em. I don't 'member eber seein' 'em. Dey neber come back. I 'member my ma she say she so lonesome for her ma what lef' and gone wid de Yankees. She go up to de big house right smart den 'cause she so lonesome for her ma. She stay wid de mistus lots den. Dey didn' uster hab marriage license den like dey does now. Now you git de license and you kin keep de paper to show you married. But den you give de pries' de license, but he give you a receipt to show you pay him to marry you. I got de receipt for $10.00 what de pries' git for marryin' me and my husban'. Dey got my marriage license dere in de chu'ch. You find my name in de big book dere, and at de White House in Washington, D.C. I tuk my firs' communion and was confirm' in Gran' Coteau. I come here in 1908, me and my husban' and us daughter. Mrs. Barry she brought us here. I done house work, cook, nurse, wash and iron. I cook in de boardin' house for Mrs. Barry in 1910 and 1911. My husban' and daughter dey both die here in Beaumont. I brung 'em back to Gran' Coteau and bury 'em dere. I suffers from asthma. Lots of time when de wedder change it git me wizzlin. I married Boris Green back in 1887, on de twenty-fo'th of January. He die here in Beaumont in December of 1922, on de 16th day. Us daughter Onezie , she die' befo' dat when she 'bout grown. I was growed up when de Klu Kluxers come 'roun'. Dey go 'roun' and mek de cullud people leave de place, leave dey crop and sometime dey whip 'em half dead. Dey shoot my uncle Sostan dead in his house. I dunno what dey done it for. I dunno who done it. Dey mask demselfs and put sheets on dey hosses and ain't nobody know who dey was or what hosses dey ride. I stay here wid a man what's a cousin of my husban'. He say I could stay here wid his family 'till I kin better my condition. I been livin' wid 'em t'ree year' goin' on fo'. I ain't got no people, no parents, no brudder, no sister, no chillun, no nobody.