Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 4
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TEXIAN STOMPING GROUNDS
before The War, few less. The relations between whites and
blacks had been very close before The War; it remained so after
the fighting-and the so-called Reconstruction-were over.
The closeness of this relation can be seen in an incident that
happened as late as the Cleveland administration in the 90's. To
save duplicate efforts on the part of the Negro women, one
Negro family did most of its cooking and eating in our kitchen,
which was separated from our dining room by only a thin,
plank wall and an always-open door. The Negro men ate at
the kitchen table, and the Negro women waited tables in both
rooms. We had an old great-uncle who, by virtue of his
age, always returned thanks. He had a splendid appetite and
was extremely fond of sweet potatoes. He could barely return
thanks before asking my grandmother, Paralee, to pass the
potatoes. His thanks ran in an even, smooth flow of formality:
For more than a score of years old Uncle Mose had
echoed from the kitchen: "Humbly-Lord-we-thank-Thee-for
the-potatoes." One day Uncle Mose failed to appear in time to
"ask the blessing." That honor fell to Henry Gaston, a worthy
Negro field hand, with a keen sense of humor, and well and
proudly known among the Negroes as the biggest sinner in five
counties. We had company that day and what we overheard
sent the whole table tittering in almost uncontrollable laughter:
for-Christ-sake-Rufus-pass-me-them-turnips." Henry, as usual,
was playing to the grand stand. My grandfather had paid four-
teen hundred dollars, in Confederate money, for Henry during
the winter the third Texas Cavalry had quarters in Tupelo,
All trips over the Jefferson Road began before day. Cotton
had been picked, ginned and baled--baled in the high, "compass"
press turned by a mule that knew exactly how many turns it
took to run down the giant wooden screw. Corn had been pulled;
Here’s what’s next.
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/12/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.