“I Was a Stranger Here”

 
    When Edgar Price opened a new ledger for his store in Mulberry, in October 1914, he wrote at the top of page 124 the name of L. T. Steward, “ford old L P443,” (brought forward from old ledger, page 443), and “618.45.” “Inst 51.00” (interest) was added and subsequently erased. No additional charges or payments by L. T. Steward were recorded in the new ledger, though the account of R. H. Steward, paid in 1915 by D. E. Lyday, runs to five pages. 
    L. T. Stewart moved from Mulberry across Caney Creek to Spies Switch.  

    1913 November 18: “Observations by the Way” ... Spies Switch. If there is a more lonesome place on the face of the earth than Spies Switch it would be a good place to send criminals rather than to the penitentiary. I soon gave it the grand bounce and drove twelve miles in a very short time. The norther caught me in Caney Bottom and I soon came a stop at Ollie Bolin’s for the night.... J. K. Luton

    Under the title, “Land Question in the Southwest,” in “Final Report and Testimony” submitted to Congress by the Commission on Industrial Relations, created August 23, 1912, L. T. Stewart was introduced as “a hard-working, honest man.” He had moved to Texas from Arkansas in 1903. Now it is March 17, 1915: 

Chairman Walsh. Where does he live? 
Mr. Noble. He is living in a house that he secured to live in for two weeks across from a little station on the M. K. & T. road, 7 miles from Savoy. It is about a mile from a little switch or siding that runs up there. 
Walsh. What is this man’s name? 
Noble. His name is Stewart. 
Walsh. Did he express a willingness to come voluntarily, or at your suggestion, and state his own private case as being typical? 
Noble. Yes, sir; he said he would come from the fact that he had walked 250 miles hunting a place and could not find one, and that he had this house he was in for only two weeks, and he thought that if this matter was put before you someone might help him to get a home so that he could make a living for his family. 
Walsh. How many children has he? 
Noble. Eight; I brought six. 
... 
Walsh. Mr. Stewart, would you please take the stand?

Walsh. What does the “L” stand for? 
Stewart. Levi. 
Walsh. How old a man are you? 
Stewart. Forty-five last August. 
Walsh. Where were you born? 
Stewart. In Arkansas. 
... 
Walsh. How many children did your father have? 
Stewart. My father had 11 children. 
... 
Walsh. What school did you go to—a country school? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. Until you were how old? 
Stewart. I went to school until I was 18. 
... 
Walsh. Do you follow any form of religion—did you as you went along? 
Stewart. No, sir; I don’t belong to any church. 
Walsh. When were you married? 
Stewart. I was married in 1887. In the fall of 1887. 
... 
Walsh. How old is your oldest child? 
Stewart. He will be 26, I believe. 
Walsh. What is his name? 
Stewart. John Walter. 
... 
Walsh. Where is John? 
Stewart. He is at Mulberry. 
Walsh. What is he doing? 
Stewart. Working on a farm. 
Walsh. Was he a tenant or a laborer on a farm? 
Stewart. A laborer. 

    photo: Levi Thomas (1869-1926) and Beulah Hooks (1871-1922) Stewart. They were married September 8, 1887 in Arkansas.
His father was James Franklin (1826-1885); his mother, Cornelia Ann Blow (1830-1902).
Their ten children were John Walton (1889-1947), Henry Egbart (1893-1972), Thomas Roy (1896-??), Ora Vivian (1898-1910),
Vernon Baxter (1902-1994), Myra Emma (1905-1994), Lyna Lee (1908-1965), Lester (1909-1917), William Henry Luke (1910-1995), Levi Bezaleel (1911-1984)

    Daughter, Myra Emma Gattie, in August 1980, living in Scotsdale, Arizona, recounted the following, “this is what I remember from the time I was five years old, some from memory and some from hearing it told”:

    My folks moved from Chadwick (Faulkner County) Arkansas to Texas before 1905. I was born in Paris, Texas, (Lamar County). They moved from Paris to a little town called Brookston where my father raised cotton, corn and sugar cane, and bred fine carriage horses. After Lyna, Bill and Lorance (L.B.) were born, we moved to High, Texas, which was about five miles from Brookston. The town of High consisted of a general store, a post office, a saloon and a one room school house. We kids attended [this] school where all eight grades were taught by one teacher.
     In 1914, I guess, the bottom dropped out of everything and the farmers could not make a living, for some reason; I don’t know. My father sold everything except what we could take in a covered wagon. There were four teams and eight kids and Mom and Dad. We traveled through Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. We stayed a while on Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Mayville, Texas. We ended up in Elida, New Mexico, where they sold the wagon and teams. Then we went by train to Demming, where my father and older brothers were civilian employees of the government. Then we moved to Columbus, Texas, which wasn’t much more than an army camp.
    We were there when Pancho Villa supposedly raided the town. General Pershing and his troops were sent into Mexico to round up the “banditos”. This was in 1916. My brothers, John Walton and Egbert, signed up and went with them. When they marched back from Mexico, back into Texas, all the school kids and citizens of Columbus were lined up to watch. General Pershing came to our school. We all marched to the cemetery for memorial services for the thirteen cavalry, which was practically wiped out in the raid.
    From there General Pershing went to France to head the A.E.F. in World War One. In 1917 we went to Douglas, Arizona, where my father worked for Phelps Dodge Corp. in the smelter. We bought everything from the company store. My sister, Lyna, suffered from heart trouble. The doctor told us that she would die from the smoke from the smelter if we stayed there. We picked up and moved by train to Phoenix in May 1918.
    My father raised cotton in Phoenix for a while. He bought some property near the Salt River and hauled sand to builders. He loaded the wagons by hand with a shovel and hauled the sand with wagon and team. In March of 1922 my father became ill with pneumonia. He didn’t live long. He died March 7, 1922 [or 1926?]. My mother died from smallpox on June 22, 1922 (same year). That year there was a smallpox epidemic in Phoenix that claimed many lives.
    My two older brothers, John Walton and Thomas Roy, married, so the other six of us struggled the best we could. My brother Egbert gave us financial support and I cooked and kept house and went to high school. The others went to grade school.

    Mrs. Beulah Stewart joined the Methodist church at Mulberry in 1914.

    My grandfather’s name, J. F. Hall, was the first entered in the church’s new register in 1908. He was five years older than Levi Thomas, and lived ten years longer. John Forest, out of Tennessee in 1892, crossed Levi Thomas’ native Arkansas. He also settled in Lamar County, Texas, at a place called Brookston, and was there until 1908, the year of the great flood on Red River, so it is probable that he knew the Stewarts. In November ‘08, another flood of “refugees” who had moved on into “Windy West Texas” was returning to Fannin County: “They claim it a feast or famine for the poor immigrant. The large land owners there have prosperity all the time, selling and taking back their land with cash and teams advanced.... Immigrants from Arkansas, Oklahoma and the West are continually dropping in, hunting homes.” (Bonham News)
    By the time the Stewarts arrived in Mulberry, living on the Tom Roach place, and buying goods at Edgar Price’s store, John Forest Hall had begun to purchase the rich “sandy soil” he would become known for. Then (here’s a glimpse), with cotton prices collapsing, he initiated “landlord’s distress proceedings...” against one J. F. Hickman, on November 19, 1920. 
    August 2, 1930: My father, J. C. Hall, and my uncle Clarence, “assume the balance due on one certain note executed by J. F. Hall and wife to the...Land Bank for the principal sum of $20,000....” 
    September 3, 1975: My mother, Gladys, writing, “Clarence objected to the paragraph about Mr. Hall losing the land. When I had finished reading, he and Clayton confirmed it. They said that Mr. Hall deeded the land to Clarence and Clayton in hopes that they could pay for it, but they couldn’t so it was they who lost the land on the day that John Forest Hall died. Then Clarence went on to say a lot that he had been harboring in his heart for a long time.”
    First, it was Jesse Hope who said to me, “Tenant families always moved at Christmas....” Then, finding and reading the transcript of the Stewarts’ testimony determined the purpose of this book. You will see.
    I am Gregory.

... 
Walsh. And the next one to Ora Vivian, who is dead, what was the name of that child? 
Stewart. Willie Joe. 
Walsh. How old was he when he died? 
Stewart. Five months old. 
... 
Walsh. How old was your wife? 
Stewart. She was 15. 
Walsh. You married a girl in the neighborhood? 
Stewart. Yes. 
Walsh. Where was the first place you went out for yourself? 
Stewart. I was in Arkansas, at Conway. 
Walsh. What did you do there? 
Stewart. I farmed. 
Walsh. Did you rent a place? 
Stewart. Yes; I rented that year.
Walsh. How much of a place did you rent? 
Stewart. I rented about 25 acres that year, the first year. 
Walsh. How did you rent? What sort of a contract did you have? 
Stewart. One-third and one-fourth, a verbal contract. 
... 
Walsh. Tell just what you did now in actual work during those first two years; just describe it fully, because we are perfectly innocent about it; what time you did your work, when you got up in the morning, how much of the year you did work, and how much of the year you did not work, and the whole story. 
Stewart. We got up early and stayed with it late. 
Walsh. Did your wife do any work? 
Stewart. Yes, sir; she helped me work.
Walsh. Did your wife do any work?
Stewart. Yes, sir; she helped me work.
Walsh. What did she do?
Stewart. She hoed cotton and picked cotton.
Walsh. What did you consider early?
Stewart. Getting out in the field by sunup.
Walsh. What time did you leave?
Stewart. At sundown.
Walsh. What did you do?
Stewart. I plowed and hoed.
...
Walsh. What did you do for amusement? Did you have any amusement of any kind?
Stewart. No.
Walsh. No church socials or gatherings in the neighborhood?
Stewart. No, sir. Sometimes we would have church of a Sunday.
...
Walsh. No gatherings of any kind?
Stewart. No, sir; not during the crop time.
Walsh. What is the “crop time”?
Stewart. That is about from the middle of February until the middle of July.
Walsh. What did you do after that—between the middle of July and the middle of February again?
Stewart. We would saw some stove wood, and cut wood, and anything we could get todo.
Walsh. What is the cotton-picking time?
Stewart. It commences from about the 15th of September.
Walsh. Who picked your cotton?
Stewart. I and her picked it along them times.
Walsh. How long did it take you to pick your cotton?
Stewart. It taken us until about the 1st of December.
...
Walsh. How much did you get a bale for the cotton?
Stewart. The second year there we got 4 cents [per pound].
...
Walsh. I wish you would go back and begin right with the first year when you got 5 bales and tell us, as best you can remember, how much you got for your cotton altogether, the total. What did it sell for?
Stewart. I think it sold, as well as I can remember, I think it sold for about 8 or 9 cents the first year.
Walsh. And how much a bale, by the bale, would it be?
Stewart. They averaged about 500, the bales did.
Walsh. About 500 pounds to the bale?
Stewart. Yes, sir; about 500 pounds, I reckon, to the bale.
Walsh. Now, then, at the end of these two years you say your cotton sold down about four?
Stewart. Yes, sir.
Walsh. And you only had 4 bales that year; and how much corn?
Stewart. We made out 75 bushel.
Walsh. Now you say you came out about even?
Stewart. Yes, that year.
Walsh. How about when you came out about even; what do you mean; that you did not have anything before, when you got twice as much for your cotton, now; does that mean that you had to live any scantier, in a scantier way?
Stewart. Yes, sir.
Walsh. Then, I wish you would describe just about how you lived during the years when you got 5 bales and got 8 cents a pound or 8 1/2. Describe it in your own way, if you lived in the same condition, just about what you would get, about what your ordinary meal would be, and what would you get from the store, and what your bills would consist of, and what you would buy at the store.
Stewart. Just buy a little meat and bread.
Walsh. What kind of meat?
Stewart. Bulk pork; and coffee.
Walsh. And coffee?
Stewart. And a little flour.
Walsh. How about fresh meat?
Stewart. I didn’t buy any fresh meat.
Walsh. Did you ever have any fresh meat at all?
Stewart. No.
Walsh. You say bread. Did you buy bread already made?
Stewart. Yes, sir; we bought flour; and I worked up at the mill there to help a fellow on Saturday to get some little meal in them years.
Walsh. You never had—how about vegetables; did you raise any?
Stewart. We raised some; yes, sir.
Walsh. And what kind did you raise; some potatoes?
Stewart. Yes, sir; raised some potatoes.
...
Walsh. What other sorts of vegetables did you have?
Stewart. Cabbage, onions, and tomatoes.
Walsh. And did you try to raise enough to go around the year?
Stewart. Yes, sir; we tried to raise all we could.
Walsh. And you usually would have enough a part of the time so you would have these vegetables?
Stewart. We would have until up about July, and the drought would come and then the garden would be burned up. It was a droughty country, you know.
...
Walsh. Now, about your clothing at that time. Where did you buy your clothing?
Stewart. We bought what we did buy there at Conway.
...
Walsh. And how often did your wife get in to Conway?
Stewart. She never went at all.
Walsh. Who bought her stuff, for instance, her own clothing, and so on?
Stewart. I would whenever I would go.
Walsh. During the two years you were at this place did your wife ever go to a store?
Stewart. I think she went once to a little country store.
Walsh. Only once?
Stewart. Yes.
...
Walsh. Have you been a man of good habits? Do you drink much?
Stewart. No, sir.
Walsh. Drink any at all?
Stewart. I have taken a drink in days gone by.
...
Walsh. How old are the children usually before you can utilize them on a farm for anything?
Stewart. I guess about 7 years old.
Walsh. And what is the first thing a child does at the age of 7?
Stewart. Generally picks cotton.
Mrs. Stewart. And drops corn. We were planting by hand then.
...
Walsh. Now, I am going to have you kind of skip through and tell what the school facilities are that the oldest boy had? Did he go to school any?
Stewart. He went to school some, but not very much.
Walsh. Do you know what reader he was in when he quit?
Mrs. Stewart. Second grade.
Walsh. How did he happen to quit?
Mrs. Stewart. We lived on the farm so far from the school that we couldn’t get to it. We moved to Texas and lived on a rented place far from the school and by the time we got to where we could send him to school he was so old he was ashamed to go, and we could never get him to go. He was 14 years old.
Walsh. How much schooling did that oldest boy have altogether, Mr. Stewart?
Stewart. I do not suppose he went over one year.
Mrs. Stewart. He never went over parts of three sessions.
Walsh. Parts of three sessions?
Stewart. Yes, sir.
Walsh. Did you ever have any ideas about that boy starting in, Mr. Stewart, as to what you would like to have the boy do, what business he should follow? Did you ever have any idea he should follow a profession, or anything of that kind?
Stewart. No; I would rather have him on a farm.
Walsh. It was your desire, then, that he should be a farmer?
Stewart. Yes; I think that is the happiest life if a man can get hooked up right.
Walsh. What was your ambition with respect to that boy—that he should own a farm of his own some day?
Stewart. Yes, sir.
Walsh. And you figured that if he could get in right—get to own land—it was an intelligent and free way for him to live?
Stewart. Yes, sir.
Walsh. And it was your desire that—that was all you knew; that had been your business and your father’s business before you?
Stewart. Sure; yes.
Walsh. All your family as far back as you know anything about?
Stewart. Yes, sir; they were all farmers.
Walsh. Now, during all these years was there any public direction of any kind? Was there anybody from a university or from the school that came to the farmer to teach him improved methods of farming?
Stewart. No, sir; not in them times.
Walsh. Did you in all your life ever receive any suggestions or directions from any other place as to how you might improve your condition by raising better crops or more of what you did raise, or anything of that sort?
Stewart. Not until we got to Texas.
Walsh. Not until you got to Texas?
Stewart. No, sir.
...
Walsh. And you rented again?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. Did you always have a verbal contract with all these folks?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. Never have a written contract?
Stewart. Never did; no.
Walsh. There was an established custom, was there, every place you went?
Stewart. Yes.
...
Walsh. How much—do you remember? What sort of a crop did you have that year? 
Stewart. I had a good crop that year for a one-horse man. I made 8 bales of cotton and about between 200 and 300 bushels of corn.
Walsh. How was cotton selling that year—do you 
remember?
Stewart. It was selling at 10 cents in 1900.
Walsh. That, comparatively, must have been a good year?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. How did you come out that year?
Stewart. I came out about $200 to the good that year.
...
Walsh. What did you do next?
Stewart. Well, I bought here a little place from a fellow. I bought a railroad forty, and then I bought another 40 from an individual.
Walsh. You bought 80 acres of land that year that you had the $200?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. And then that 40 that you bought from the railroad, was it wooded land?
Stewart. Yes, sir; it was woods.
Walsh. What was your personal desire about this matter? Did you want to continue to be a renter or did you want to be a farm owner?
Stewart. I wanted to own my place.
Walsh. You wanted to own a place?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. And you desired to get a place large enough, if you could, so that your children could stay there on it?
Stewart. Yes; sure.
Walsh. Now, then, please just give us the result of that. You bought 40 acres from the railroad?
Stewart. Yes, sir.
...
Walsh. What did you have to pay down on it?
Stewart. I paid the individual $50 and I paid the railroad company $35.
...
Walsh. What was on that? Stewart. A house and barn and well, about 20 acres of land cleared.
...
Walsh. How long did you stay on that place?
Stewart. I stayed there two years.
Walsh. I wish you would describe your experience on that place. Did you have to go in debt when you started there?
Stewart. Yes; I did. That is when I lost my children, you know, when that taken my money in that winter, too.
Walsh. Oh, yes; you paid out $85?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. And if you had not had this misfortune you would have had $115 or something like that to start on?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. And did you lose two children that same year?
Stewart. Yes; that same year.
Walsh. And in a general way what were the expenses of that misfortune—that is, what you had to pay the doctor for attending in their last illness and the funeral, and so on?
Stewart. Of course, my wife had erysipelas during the time, and it cost about $100.
Walsh. It cleaned out what you had on hand?
Stewart. Yes, sir; cleaned me out.
... 
Walsh. You mentioned several times about your self being ill, Mr. Stewart. What was wrong with you, without going into details, if it is not any private matter...?
Stewart. I never had anything except chills and fever.
Walsh. That is typical of the country, folks there have chills and fever?
Stewart. Yes.
...
Walsh. Didn’t it ever occur to you that you could go to a country where there wouldn’t be any chills and fever?
Stewart. Yes, sir.
Walsh. Why didn’t you go?
Stewart. Well, I thought when I got to Texas I would be.
Walsh. You had that in mind all the time then, did you?
Stewart. Yes; sure.
...
Walsh. When you got through there how much did you have, did you say?
Stewart. I think we had $37 to come to Texas on.
...
Walsh. Why did you move to Texas, Mr. Stewart.
Stewart. I thought we could better our condition.
Walsh. And where did you go in Texas?
Stewart. Lamar County.
Walsh. How did you happen to come to that particular place; had anybody told you about it?
Stewart. Yes, sir; I had a brother-in-law there and he had been writing to me about that country.
Walsh. What is the county seat of Lamar?
Stewart. Paris.
Walsh. Did you move on the black or sandy land?
Stewart. Black land the first year.
Walsh. Who was your landlord?
Stewart. Mr. Gilbert.
...
Walsh. How many children did you have then, Mr. Stewart? Do you remember, Mrs. Stewart?
Mrs. Stewart. Had four. Had four boys up there—John, Egbert, Roy, and Vernon.
...
Walsh. I wish you would just describe here what sort of a contract you made, if you can do it verbally. I wish you would say what you said to the man you made the contract with and what he said to you. This is an entirely new arrangement so far as you are concerned, is it not?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. Just tell us.
Stewart. He was to furnish the stock and the feed.
Walsh. Did you go and see him?
Stewart. And the land; yes.
Walsh. How did you get to Lamar?
Stewart. I came on the train.
Walsh. Paid your fare up and your family’s?
Stewart. Yes.
...
Walsh. All right. Just tell us what the deal was, what you said to him, and what he said to you.
Stewart. He was to furnish the stock and the ground and feed them, and I was to work the land and give him half.
Walsh. How much stock was he to furnish?
Stewart. One pair of mules.
Walsh. Anything else?
Stewart. And tools, you know; and mules and tools and feed and a cultivator.
...
Walsh. And starting in Texas, you started with a cow?
Stewart. Yes, sir; I had one to milk from that man, and in the summer we bought it. He let us have one to milk.
...
Walsh. When you went out there did you have any agreement with the landlord as to what you were to raise?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. What did he say about that?
Stewart. He wanted 5 or 6 acres of corn and the balance in cotton.
Walsh. What did you think about it?
Stewart. I thought that was pretty tough, but that is the best I could do.
Walsh. How did you think it ought to be? How would you have done it if the landlord had left it to yourself?
Stewart. Half in corn.
Walsh. Why would you have done that?
Stewart. I would have thought it would have been better, you know. It is not so much work to it to cultivate corn, and a man can have hogs, you know, and some meat.
...
Walsh. Did you do it exactly the way the landlord directed you to do it or did you have some discussion with him?
Stewart. I did it just exactly like he said it.
Walsh. Why didn’t you tell him you would rather have half of it in corn, the advantages of it that you might raise meat, and so on?
Stewart. He was the man, and whenever he told you anything there was no argument to make on it about that place. I had to have the place. We was here—I was here with my family, and if I did not want it the other fellow did, you know.
Walsh. How long did you say you stayed on that place?
Stewart. One year.
...
Walsh. How far were you from Paris; was that your trading point?
Stewart. Yes; Paris was the trading place.
...
Walsh. And did you have to make an agreement or did you make an agreement with the storekeeper to furnish your supply?
Stewart. Yes; I gave him a mortgage on my half of the crop that year.
Walsh. What interest did you pay?
Stewart. He sold the goods and claimed 10 per cent, like I told you.
Walsh. You paid 10 per cent on the note?
Stewart. Sure.
Walsh. Then how did you find the prices there as compared to how they were in Arkansas?
Stewart. They was pretty high, a little higher.
...
Walsh. And did they have a cash price and a credit price?
Stewart. Yes.
[Recess until 2:00 p.m.]
Walsh. When we adjourned, Mr. Stewart, I believe I was just about to ask you to describe your first two years of experience in Texas. How did you come out the first year?
Stewart. Well, I came out just about even the first year.
Walsh. Now, then, the next year.
Stewart. Well, I came out just about even the next year; but I moved, you know.
Walsh. Why did you move?
Stewart. Well, I thought I could better my condition. A fellow had a sandy land place about 3 miles from there. He said if I would go over there and cultivate that, and there was fruit there, and there was good sandy land, and I could raise anything I wanted, and he put some stock there, and I could raise it on halves.
...
Walsh. What year was it you came to Texas? Stewart. 1903.
...
Walsh. And when you started in, what did you have, if anything?
Stewart. I did not have anything but one cow.
Walsh. Did you go in debt?
Stewart. Yes; I went in debt.
Walsh. How did you secure your indebtedness?
Stewart. He furnished me what I had to have, and I cut cordwood and stove wood.
Walsh. You did not give mortgages or notes on anything?
Stewart. No, sir; not any mortgages.
Walsh. What were your experiences the two years you were with Sisson?
Stewart. In the two years I made 11 bales of cotton and about 200—no, about 100 bushels of corn—the last year, and raised about 400 bushels the first year.
Walsh. How did you come out the first year?
Stewart. I came out about even.
Walsh. And the second year?
Stewart. I came out in the hole.
Walsh. How far behind were you?
Stewart. I was somewhere near $200 in the hole.
Walsh. Now, what caused that? Stewart. Well, the land was wet. And it did not dry out, you know—we had floods and sickness.
Walsh. What kind of house did you have to live in there?
Stewart. Didn’t have much of a house.
Walsh. Describe it.
Stewart. It was a two-room house; box house, two 16-foot rooms, and a hall between and to one side a room, and a porch in front.
...
Walsh. You say you came out about $200 in the hole?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. And you owed the money to Mr. Sisson? Stewart. No, sir; I owed some doctor bills and some fellows that went my security for things while I was making the crop on his place.
Walsh. Did you break even with Mr. Sisson?
Stewart. I broke even with Mr. Sisson.
...
Walsh. When you left Sisson’s place, where did you go?
Stewart. Four miles southwest of Paris, on Jim Donegan’s place.
Walsh. When was that, in the spring of 1906?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. How long did you stay on Jim Donegan’s place?
Stewart. One year.
Walsh. What did you make there?
Stewart. Five acres of corn and about 50 acres of cotton.
Walsh. How did you come out that year?
Stewart. About $200 to the good.
Walsh. Why didn’t you stay there?
Stewart. Well, he wanted me to—the house was not very good. We got our house burned up and the house was not very good; and it was down among the niggers, and no school nor nothing, and no convenience, and he would not fix anything, and I didn’t stay.
...
Walsh. To whom did you sell the cotton when you were on Drummond’s place?
Stewart. To MacBeth at High [Town], and I think a little to a fellow by the name of Bays.
Walsh. Were they merchants or cotton buyers?
Stewart. Cotton buyers.
Walsh. What kind of cotton was that—middling?
Stewart. Yes; I suppose it was middling.
Walsh. Did they grade it for you?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. They told you the grade?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. You do not know much about grading cotton?
Stewart. No, sir; I don’t know much about it.
... 
Walsh. After you left Drommond’s—you were there in 1907, and that would take you up to 1909; you were there two years, were you?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. Where did you go from there?
Stewart. I went to Ed Kimball’s place at Brockton 
[Brookston], about 3 miles away.
Walsh. How long did you stay there?
Stewart. One year.
Walsh. Why did you come to leave Drummond’s?
Stewart. This man Kimball had some tools and teams he wanted to sell and move to town, and I bought them and his tools and worked on the third and fourth.
Walsh. How much land did you have there?
Stewart. One hundred and twenty-five acres.
Walsh. You were on halves with Drummond’s?
Stewart. Yes, sir; on the halves with Drummond’s.
Walsh. Then you went with the next man on a third and a fourth?
Stewart. Yes, sir; I bought his teams and tools.
Walsh. How long did you stay there?
Stewart. One year. Then he sold out the place.
Walsh. How did you do the year you stayed there?
Stewart. We made 43 bales of cotton and a thousand bushels of corn.
Walsh. Now, how did you come out in a money way the year you were there?
Stewart. Well, we broke about even, paying for my teams.
...
Walsh. What did you have in the way of property, then?
Stewart. I had them mules and plow tools and two wagons I bought from him.
Walsh. Anything else?
Stewart. And the corn, you know; I didn’t have any money.
Walsh. About how much corn did you have?
Stewart. I have—I had about seven or eight hundred bushels when we left there. We figured we raised about a thousand bushels.
Walsh. What was corn worth then?
Stewart. Sixty-five cents.
Walsh. That was the best year you ever had in your farming operations?
Stewart. Yes.
...
Walsh. Did you have any quarrels with any of these landlords, say, after you came toTexas? Were your personal relations with them friendly when you left them?
Stewart. Me and the preacher, Sisson, had a little round. That is all.
Walsh. He is the only one?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. How long were you on Sisson’s place?
Stewart. Two years.
Walsh. What was your trouble about?
Stewart. That was about some land clearing. We cleared the land, and it overflowed and didn’t get cultivated, and he didn’t want to pay for clearing it, because it didn’t make him anything.
Walsh. How much was the clearing worth, did you claim?
Stewart. It was worth $5 an acre, but I did it for $4 an acre.
Walsh. How many acres?
Stewart. About 8 acres of it.
Walsh. How did you settle your controversy?
Stewart. We just let it go.
Walsh. He allowed you for it, did he?
Stewart. No, sir; he didn’t allow us for it. And I just left.
Walsh. You claim that you were not paid for the acreage you cleared at all?
Stewart. Sure I was not.
Walsh. Why didn’t you insist upon your right? Why didn’t you sue him?
Stewart. I did insist on my rights, but I was a stranger here then, and I didn’t have any money or anybody to go my bond, and no friends, and I couldn’t do anything.
Walsh. Did you talk to a lawyer about it?
Stewart. No, sir; I didn’t. I thought I would let it go.
Walsh. Why didn’t you consult a lawyer about it?
Stewart. Because I didn’t have the money.
Walsh. How long did it take you to do the clearing you claim you were not paid for?
Stewart. Off and on all winter. We didn’t work steady at it all the time, but we put in all the time that we could not plow.
Walsh. Now, then, after you closed out on this place, where you had the corn, which left you with the corn and teams, where did you go?
Stewart. I went with Mr. Smiley.
Walsh. How long did you stay with Smiley?
Stewart. We made four crops.
...
Walsh. How did you come out the first year at Smiley’s?
Stewart. I didn’t come out; I made a good crop. But he had a son-in-law, and the son-in-law had a store, and they had about all of it booked up.
Walsh. How many bales of cotton did you raise?
Stewart. We made 52 that year.
...
Walsh. What was cotton selling for that year?
Stewart. It was selling from 12 to 15 cents.
Walsh. Did you have any sickness or anything of that kind that year?
Stewart. No, sir; not anything to amount to any thing.
Walsh. I wish you would explain what you mean by the store charging it up in accounts.
Stewart. Well, you see, I traded there. There were two stores there—a fellow by the name of Mr. White ran a store, and Mr. Smiley’s son-in-law ran a store, you know, and so I commenced to trade with them. He wanted me to, of course; you know it was his.
Walsh. Did you give a chattel mortgage there?
Stewart. No; I never give anything there.
Walsh. Yes.
Stewart. And traded on, and they claimed that the boys would come up—the reason it was so high—the boys would come and get it.
Walsh. Your boys did?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. Did they?
Stewart. If they did, we never did know it. We never did know it. They got a few things, but we never did know that they got any of that.
Walsh. How much was the account at the store, if you remember that year?
Stewart. One thousand one hundred dollars.
Walsh. One thousand one hundred dollars?
Stewart. From them and at the other store was enough to make up the $1,700.
Walsh. And you made on the face of your profits a gross profit of $1,700 for this year?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. Was there any way you kept track of your account in the store yourself?
Stewart. No; I never kept no track of it. I just thought it was all right, you know.
Walsh. When did you ascertain the amount of it?
Stewart. I never ascertained that until I began to pay it off.
Walsh. Did it consume all you had earned? Did you have any cash or balance left?
Stewart. No, sir; not but very little.
Walsh. You started in the year following at the same place?
Stewart. Yes.
Walsh. I wish you would give a description of the supplies you bought that year.
Stewart. Well, we bought some meal and flour and some meat and we bought a few canned goods, but we lived there very well; we didn’t live nothing to amount to much.
Walsh. And what was your clothing that year as compared with other years?
Stewart. We did not dress any better that year than we did other years.
Walsh. What does it cost you a year for yourself and family for clothing? Have you ever been able to keep enough track of it to tell?
Stewart. No, sir; I never have.
Walsh. You could not approximate it?
Stewart. No, sir; I could not. I could this year. We didn’t have any. 
Walsh. Please do not give any audible expression of feeling. In an ordinary year, how much does your clothing cost you, do you know?
Stewart. Why about—I think one year I kept a sort of track of it and it was about $74.
Walsh. For your own clothes?
Stewart. For my own clothes? No.
Walsh. You mean the whole family?
Stewart. Yes, sir; the whole family.
...
Walsh. Now, the second year at Smiley’s, how did you come out?
Stewart. We made, I think it was 57 bales of cot- ton, and I don’t believe we got quite out that year. But I didn’t own so much.
Walsh. What happened that year that you got 57 bales of cotton, why didn’t you have a surplus?
Stewart. We didn’t get quite as much, we—it didn’t bring quite as much, you know, as it did the year before.
Walsh. What was your store account that year?
Stewart. It was $500 there at MacBeth, and $750 over at the other place.
Walsh. What did that consist of? That surely did not consist of meal?
Stewart. No; it was stuff, the boys got some shoes and a few clothes, everyday clothes, you know, and then they would sell them soda pop, and cheese and crackers, all like that.
Walsh. Did the boys have an account? Did they buy just as they pleased at the store?
Stewart. They could get anything they pleased. I told him not to let they have it, but it didn’t make any difference. They went ahead and just sold it just the same.
Walsh. After you started in the first year, what did you say to him about selling to the boys?
Stewart. I told them not to sell them, and they told me they wouldn’t.
Walsh. Was liquor sold in the store?
Stewart. No, sir.
Walsh. Tobacco?
Stewart. Yes, sir.
Walsh. Did the boys use tobacco?
Stewart. Yes; they used tobacco.
Walsh. And you, too?
Stewart. Yes, sir.
Walsh. So your store account that year was $1,250?
Stewart. Yes, sir.
Walsh. And what security did the store have for the payment of that indebtedness?
Stewart. They never had any.
Walsh. Now, then the third year? How much cotton did you make?
Stewart. We made 87 bales the third year, but had some water the third year.
Walsh. You say you made 52 bales one year and 57 bales the next year?
Stewart. And then 87 bales.
Walsh. How did you come out that year?
Stewart. Didn’t come out as well as I did those other years. Cotton went down in price. Sold some of it as low as 5 cents, and picking went up, and it was a bad, rainy fall, too, and consequently the more we had the worse we were off.
Walsh. Now, what was your gross profit that year? I mean, your gross sales of cotton that year; how much did you get for your cotton?
Stewart. Why, we got 10 cents for some and 11 cents for some, and then sold some of it as low as 6.
Walsh. What was your store account that year?
Stewart. It was only about $750, I think that year.
Walsh. How did you come out on the whole? Did you have anything coming to you?
Stewart. No, sir.
Walsh. Nothing at all?
Stewart. Not much.
...
Walsh. That would be 1912, or 1911 to 1912. Now, after the third year did you start to make another crop? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. Did you gather your crop? 
Stewart. Yes, sir; the fourth year we cultivated 90 acres and made 6 bales of cotton. 
Walsh. How did you come to make so little? 
Stewart. It was flat land and the rain and worms ruined it. 
Walsh. How did you come out? 
Stewart. Came out bad that year—about $700 in the hole. 
Walsh. Who was carrying your indebtedness? 
Stewart. Mr. White, at High [Town]. 
Walsh. He was your landlord? 
Stewart. No, sir. 
Walsh. He was your storekeeper? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. I did not owe the other outfit anything. 
Walsh. Did Mr. White lose this account? 
Stewart. No, sir. 
Walsh. What became of it? 
Stewart. I secured him with my stock and everything for that amount and then moved up here to Mulberry bottom. 
Walsh. Then you paid your indebtedness to him? 
Stewart. No; I have not paid him. 
Walsh. What security has he for it now? 
Stewart. He has got the mules and the wagons. 
Walsh. Has he the property or just the lien? 
Stewart. Just a lien. 
Walsh. You still have your wagons, have you? 
Stewart. Yes; and the teams. 
Walsh. Now, you say you came to Mulberry bottom then? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. And you were $700 in debt in the place you left? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. What did you have when you came to Mulberry bottom?
Stewart. I had them mules and wagons and three cows. 
Walsh. Whom were you dealing with then? 
Stewart. I bought corn from old man Roach that I rented from and then groceries from Mr. Edgar Price. 
Walsh. How much land did you take there? 
Stewart. We taken 100 acres. 
... 
Walsh. How much cotton did you make? 
Stewart. Made 27 bales. 
Walsh. How did you come out that year? 
Stewart. Came out bad. 
Walsh. Still deeper in debt? 
Stewart. Worse in debt; yes, sir. 
Walsh. How much? 
Stewart. I just made enough—I bought corn from him to feed me and I just paid for the corn and for what picking I had there; that is all I paid. 
Walsh. How much were you out on that year? 
Stewart. Expenses? 
Walsh. Yes. 
Stewart. I was out besides the corn about $600. 
Walsh. Now, how was that indebtedness secured? 
Stewart. The groceries was not secured at all. 
Walsh. You still owe for them? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. Has the grocery keeper any security? 
Stewart. No, sir. 
Walsh. Or storekeeper? 
Stewart. No, sir; nothing at all. 
Walsh. Has nothing out of which to get that $600 unless you have the ability to pay it and the honesty? 
Stewart. That is all. 
Walsh. Now, down to what date does that bring you? 
Stewart. That brings it down— 
Walsh. To the present time? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. Where are you located now? 
Stewart. I am at Spears [Spies] Switch, in Fannin County. 
Walsh. How far is that from here? 
Stewart. It is 106 miles from here to Denison, and we live 18 miles from Denison. 
Walsh. Now, when did you leave the last place you were tenant on? 
Stewart. We left there Monday. 
Walsh. Last Monday? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. Why did you leave there? 
Stewart. Well, I rented—when I left Mulberry bottom I came up and rented a place from old Mr. Spiney, and I found a sand pit on the farm, and I figured I didn’t make any corn last year, and I had to pay $5 in money rent, and I didn’t make but two loads of corn, and I figured I could come up there with the team and haul sand and make some crop, too, and get by, and I came up and I couldn’t get any business—couldn’t get any work to do—and a fellow gave 
me 43 cords of wood to cut, and I did that, and the sand business all blew up and the old man would not help, and so I went over into Oklahoma and struck a man over there, and he said he had the land and the money and the work. 
Walsh. How did you get over to Oklahoma? 
Stewart. I went over on the train and made the trade, and then I came back and carried one load over there and my family, and got there and he backed out and said he wasn’t going to have the work done until in the summer and he wouldn’t furnish anything until the crop was growing. 
Walsh. You took your family over there? 
Stewart. Sure. 
Walsh. How did you take them over? 
Stewart. In the wagon. 
Walsh. How far was it, about? 
Stewart. From Platter about 21 miles. 
Walsh. Where did you go then? 
Stewart. I came back to that same place and stayed two weeks and rented a house and then I moved over there. 
Walsh. You are in the house now? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. About how much cotton have you grown altogether? Have you kept track of it—since you were married? 
Stewart. Not since I was married. I figured it up last night that since I have been in Texas I had made a little over 400 bales. 
Walsh. You have not figured up what you have made during the entire time you have been farming for yourself? 
Stewart. No, sir. 
Walsh. Mr. Noble suggests that I ask you to give your experiences in looking for 
another place after your return from Oklahoma. 
Stewart. I walked about 150 miles hunting one, and I never did find it. 
Walsh. Now, do you think, Mr. Stewart, that you are unusually unfortunate, or that you had a roving tendency—a desire to move from place to place—and that that might have cut a figure in your lack of success? 
Stewart. No, sir. I never did have any roving spirit. I was always wanting to do the best I can and could, you know; and if I would think I could do better I would go to better my condition. And then there were a few other things didn’t suit—sometimes the houses would not suit and sometimes there was no pasture, and you would have to haul wood and water; that is the reason I left the black land after three years there. During this I hauled water 5 and 6 miles, and I paid 2 bits a tank; and I hauled wood 8 or 10 miles, and I paid 50 cents for it cut or a quarter if I cut it myself. And then I had the cows, and some fellows don’t want you to keep any cows or hogs. One fellow did not want any hogs about where I worked on shares. 
Walsh. In all your experiences have you been permitted to farm in the way you thought was best for yourself—in any of those places? 
Stewart. Yes; I did. 
Walsh. In what place was there where the landlord did not attempt to exercise any supervision over you? 
Stewart. Well, they didn’t any of them do that, only they told me what I could plant, you know—that I could only plant so much corn or cotton. 
Walsh. So that there wasn’t any place where you went on and rented that you could go and do just what you pleased about raising hogs and so on?
Stewart. No, sir; not about what you could plant and your stuff and the like of that. They always told you what you could plant and what you could not. 
Noble. Ask him if that practice is universal. 
Walsh. I was going to come down to some other questions first. What has your observation been, Mr. Stewart, as to other men engaged in the same calling as you? Now, you have, I suppose, met many other tenants in these places you have been and in the same neighborhood and how have you found them, generally speaking, as to staying in one place. Do they stay in one place for any length of time usually? 
Stewart. Not long. 
Walsh. There was a gentleman here this morning who rents a place to a number of tenants, and he had a case of one tenant that made something like—cleared something like $1,500 per year and had been a tenant for 20 years; and another one that had been a tenant for 10 years and he had cleared something like $1,000 or $1,200 approximately right along. Do you meet with many tenants of that kind as you go along? 
Stewart. No, sir; I sure do not. 
Walsh. Now, what has been your experience? Have you talked with tenants and met other tenants? 
Stewart. Yes, sir; I have. 
Walsh. And what has their experience been, so far as you have observed? 
Stewart. Just about like my experience. I you get to making a little money, you have to move. 
Walsh. Why do you have to move if you get to making a little money? I should think the landlord would want you to stay? 
Stewart. I know; but some of them, if they don’t get it all, they want you to go farther. 
... 
Stewart. Well, then, what I wanted to say— 
Walsh. I was going to say, you know what we are doing here. We are trying to inquire into the conditions at this particular time of tenant farming in your neighborhood and in the neighborhoods in which you have lived; and the Government is trying to ascertain just what the conditions are so that perhaps some laws can be suggested and some line of conduct by which if things are not equitable they may be made as nearly so as possible, if it can be done; but at least it is desirable to have a first-hand knowledge of the conditions. Now, in view of that, if there is anything you would like to say, Mr. Stewart, that you have not stated, or anything that you wish to volunteer, or any statement you would like to make, you may do so. 
Stewart. I would like to tell you about a place; I was a tenant on one place, and a fellow had some Bermuda grass and Johnson grass on the place, and he came to me and he says: “If you will take that place and kill that grass and fix them ditches, you can have it as long as you want to.” And I went up there, and I killed that grass, and I took my team and filled up the ditches and got it in nice shape, and then he came around and says: “I want to work this myself, and you can go over to this other place of mine, and clean that up, and you can have that.” So I took that. 
Walsh. Why did you do that? Why didn’t you recall the contract you had made at first? 
Stewart. That would not have done me any good. He would have put me off, anyhow. 
Walsh. Did you undertake to do it? 
Stewart. No; I did not. I told him I would rather stay there, but he told me he couldn’t let me have that. 
Walsh. Was that in Texas or in Arkansas? 
Stewart. In Texas. 
Walsh. What place was that?
Stewart. That was on Mr. Smiley’s place. 
Walsh. I would like, if I can, to ascertain now what social advantages you had. Did you meet your neighbors any place? 
Stewart. No, sir. 
Walsh. Any sort of gathering? 
Stewart. No, sir. 
Walsh. I notice you have a pin on you, an emblem of an organization or lodge. What lodges do you belong to? 
Stewart. Odd Fellows and Woodmen. 
Walsh. Where did you join the Odd Fellows? 
Stewart. There at High. 
Walsh. Keep your dues paid? 
Stewart. I did until—I am behind a little now. 
Walsh. But you are still a member of the organization? 
Stewart. Sure; yes. 
Walsh. How about the Woodmen? 
Stewart. We are still in that; but the Woodmen lodge where I belonged to blowed up. All the renters—they got to working there with negro labor, and all the renters there were Odd Fellows, nearly, and they had to disband the lodge or take some negroes in, and they just moved it— 
Walsh. You have held on to both organizations, however, have you? 
Stewart. Yes. 
Walsh. And paid your dues in them? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. Now, have you been a voter as you have gone around to these places? 
Stewart. Never voted but three times in my life. 
Walsh. Have you understood anything about the Government—that it is a democracy, and that it depends upon your consent and the consent of men like you— 
Stewart [interrupting]. Sure; yes, sir. 
Walsh. Well, why didn’t you exercise your franchise? 
Stewart. Well, it didn’t look like it done any good. It seemed like it went their way, 
anyhow. 
Walsh. When were the three times you voted? 
Stewart. Voted once in the primary in Texas and the other two times was in Arkansas. 
Walsh. I believe there is a poll tax in this State. 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. Did you ever pay your poll tax? 
Stewart. Yes, sir; I paid them. 
Walsh. All the time? 
Stewart. I paid them up until this year. I haven’t paid them now; didn’t have the money. 
Walsh. But during these years you have been in Texas, except this year, you have paid poll tax? 
Stewart. Yes, sir; I paid the poll tax. 
Walsh. What is your idea, Mr. Stewart, about the probability of your obtaining justice? Now, I understand—I may be mistaken, but I understand that the laws are open to poor people. You understood that, didn’t you, that if you said you could not give bonds—if a person has no money to give bond and is without means, can’t he sue as a poor person? 
Stewart. Yes; he can by taking the pauper’s oath. 
Walsh. The pauper’s oath, and then sue for nothing. Now, take the one particular case you have mentioned, without going into the merits of it; well, take the two cases you have mentioned, the one where you did the clearing for the gentleman you say did not pay you at all and the other, where you made a contract to burn out the Johnson grass, as you call it— 
Stewart. Bermuda and Johnson; yes, sir. 
Walsh. Now, why didn’t you just go into the courts and take the pauper oath, which just simply means that you did not have the means to pay the costs and had no friend who could go on your bond? Why didn’t you just go into court and take that pauper oath and establish your claim and make they pay you? 
Stewart. I did not feel like I would gain it if I did; that I was a poor man and the other fellow had the money. 
Walsh. Was it your idea that you simply could not carry it on because you could not live and stay in a place if you took that course, or that the court would not give you justice on account of your being a poor man? 
Stewart. I did not think they would; and then you couldn’t stay on a place, you know. 
Walsh. Had you any reason for believing, for instance, that the judge would not declare the law right, and the jury, if you had a jury, would not give you justice? 
Stewart. It seemed that was the way it was going. 
Walsh. How did you get that idea? 
Stewart. By being in them courts down in Paris. 
Walsh. Was you ever in court as a litigant? 
Stewart. No, sir. 
Walsh. Well, did you get that point of view from what you observed yourself or from talking among others? 
Stewart. What I observed and then talking, too. 
Walsh. You had a notion in the first place, or a belief in the first place, that you could not get justice even if you would go into court? 
Stewart. Sure. 
Walsh. You say “sure.” You mean that was your belief or that you are sure— 
Stewart. I believed that; that I could not. 
Walsh. You believed that you could not? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Noble. I would like to make a statement and have you bring the fact out that when I asked this gentleman to come down here, he had fears that if he did come to testify he would not be allowed or could not rent land in the country, and I would like to have that made plain, that he came at the request of the Government and not voluntarily. 
Walsh. Yes, you were subpoenaed to come. You understand you were subpoenaed to come here by the Government. 
Stewart. Yes. 
Walsh. You understand that? 
Stewart. Yes. 
Walsh. That you are not voluntarily here; that a subpoena was served upon you and you were required to come here and tell your story and all. You understand that, did you? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. Now, I interrupted you. Now, if you have any suggestions that you would like to make here to go into the record, I wish you would make them, Mr. Stewart, as to how you think you ought to be dealt with by the landlords; how you think, from your standpoint—we will say, first, what you think from your standpoint the contract ought to be between yourself and the landlord. You are going right on renting now, we will suppose, and how you think the contract ought to be made. 
Stewart. About renting? 
Walsh. Yes, sir. 
Stewart. Why, I think the third and fourth ought to be— 
Walsh [interrupting]. And you think if you could ordinarily get land of a fair character, that that would be a just proportion? 
Stewart. Yes, sir; I think it would. 
Walsh. And that you could make a living out of it? 
Stewart. Sure. 
Walsh. Now, have you any other suggestions that the landlord ought to furnish you more or furnish you less or any improvement that you might make yourself? 
Stewart. Yes; they ought to do more to improve and fix up better. 
Walsh. You mean fix up the houses you live in? 
Stewart. Yes; and the barns and things. People that rent don’t have any conveniences at all, the majority of them don’t have anything; just live out of doors. 
Walsh. Do you think the manner in which you lived had anything to do with the condition of your health and that of your family? 
Stewart. Yes; in them little houses and no screens— 
Walsh. How is that? 
Stewart. I say in them houses without any screens; and some of them we lived in there were no screens over the windows or shutters, and the flies and mosquitoes and everything, it is bound to be a detriment. 
Walsh. Now, you say there was no precaution in the way of screens or anything, and insects would get into the house? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. And the flies would accumulate in large numbers? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. And get into the food you were eating, and so forth? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. What were the toilet arrangements? Where were the water-closets located in connection with these houses that you have been in? 
Stewart. Some of them had toilet arrangements and some of them did not. They were off right smart ways from the house. 
Walsh. Some of them had been built off from the house? 
Stewart. Yes. 
Walsh. Covered with an enclosure? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. Now, is there anything else you would like to say yourself, Mr. Stewart? Did you know, for instance, that at the last election there was some law proposed that affected you one way or the other as tenant? 
Stewart. At the last election? 
Walsh. Yes, in Texas? Did you understand there was any proposition for a new law governing tenancy? 
Stewart. Yes; I understood that [Governor] Ferguson was going to have a law regulating this rent proposition. 
Walsh. Well, did you vote at that election? 
Stewart. No; I did not vote. 
Walsh. Well, were you situated in a place where you had the right to vote? 
Stewart. Yes; I had the right to vote.
Walsh. Why didn’t you go and vote if there was an election? 
Stewart. I was sick that day. 
Walsh. That was on account of your illness, wasn’t it? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. If you had not been sick, would you have voted one way or the other? 
Stewart. Yes; I guess I would. 
Walsh. You guess you would? Would you or not? 
Stewart. Yes. 
Noble. Ask him if he knows of intimidation if their politics didn’t suit the landlord. 
Walsh. Have you at any time in any place which you have been found that there was any effort to influence you in any way by your landlord, either in general elections or school elections? 
Stewart. No; I do not know. I have heard lots of them say they would not rent to a man if he would vote the Socialist ticket; that he had to do so and so or he couldn’t rent the land if he voted the Socialist ticket; they wouldn’t let him have it—or something like that. 
Walsh. Without stating your preference, which is none of our business here, have you been a man that has had some fixed opinion as to party affiliations? Do you have a leaning toward some political party? 
Stewart. Me? 
Walsh. Yes. 
Stewart. Not particularly. 
Walsh. Have you ever studied what is said to be the principles of either one of the old parties? 
Stewart. Yes; I have studied that some. 
Walsh. And have you studied the principles of the new ones? 
Stewart. Yes, sir; some. 
Walsh. The Socialist Party, or any of the third parties that have come up from time to time? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Walsh. Where did you secure your information? 
Stewart. Well, I have read in these papers—the Appeal to Reason, I have read that, and the Buzz Saw, and I have read these others, the Fort Worth Record, you know, the Dallas News. I have read them all. 
... 
Walsh. As far as the State was concerned, you have not been in the courts one way or the other? 
Stewart. No, sir. 
Walsh. Never sued, and you never sued anybody? 
Stewart. No, sir. Well, I would say about this other that— 
Noble. Tell him about that. 
Stewart. I forgot that. They spoke too quick. I had some; my boy down at Paris, before we left there, he bought a buggy, an old buggy, my oldest son; and so I bought a sulky plow, and I moved off up here, and a fellow he came up there—the collector, you know. 
Walsh. Yes. 
Stewart. So he wanted—he said they did not have any lien or anything either way—and he wanted me to give him a lien on something; so he insisted, said he didn’t have it on anything except the old sulky plow. So I turned in and gave—he had always treated me nice, favored me in every way they could—so I turned in and I gave them a lien. I had five hogs and a cultivator and machine and that old sulky plow and a harrow, and I give them a lien on that for that money. And so it went on. This fall the Roach man, the man I live with [at Mulberry], he taken all my cotton for what I owed him, and the corn and everything and I didn’t have it, and my wife sat down and wrote this fellow a letter and told him; she says: “We can’t pay any of that this fall at all.” She says: “If you will take this stuff and sell it for us, or help us to sell it, I will bring it down in the wagon right to your door.” They wrote me a letter back—that was when it was due—they wrote me back a letter that they didn’t want the stuff, to get them up $75 and they would carry it over another year. It was $148. So I didn’t write them; I couldn’t—didn’t have a cent; I never had a cent. Roach taken my cotton. I never even sold a bale last year out of that 27. So they waited until we got the hogs fat, fed what corn we had up to the hogs, killed them, cold weather came on, and we killed them about Christmas, and this was due the 1st of October. Well, we moved up there, and on New Year’s Day, why, they came up and then attached the cultivator, you know, and the tools and taken them with them. 
Walsh. How much meat was there? 
Stewart. There was about 300 pounds. 
Walsh. Was the meat sold? 
Stewart. Sir? 
Walsh. Was the meat sold? 
Stewart. No, sir. It is advertised for sale now. That was the first; they never did advertise for anything until the other day they came up there and wanted me to turn the stuff over to them, and I told them I would not turn the stuff over to them, that I had offered to turn it once and they didn’t want it, and I told them to just go right ahead and sell it for whatever the law directs. 
Walsh. That is offered for sale now? 
Stewart. Yes. 
Walsh. What did you say the meat is worth at the present time? 
Stewart. It was worth—they sell it down there for about 15 cents. About 300 pounds of it. 
Walsh. Did they leave any meat for the use of your family? 
Stewart. No, sir; never left anything. 
Mrs. Stewart. They left us three messes. 
Walsh. They left you enough for three meals? 
Stewart. Yes, sir. 
Mrs. Stewart. Three meals, yes, sir; that is what they left. 
Stewart. The other day when they came back they gave us a small neb [nibble]; when they came back and advertised the stuff, you know. They gave us a small neb. 
Walsh. How much do you owe altogether, at this time? 
Stewart. I do not know just exactly how much I owe, but I owe seven or eight hundred dollars. 
Walsh. You may be excused for the present. 
Stewart. Two years we did work for nothing; that it would have been better if we did not do anything. 
Walsh. This last two years? 
Stewart. Yes. 
Walsh. You will be excused, Mr. Stewart, for the present. We are very much obliged to you for coming. Mrs. Stewart, please take the stand. 
... 
Harriman. Where were you born? 
Mrs. Stewart. I was born in Faulkner County, Ark. 
Harriman. Was you father a farmer? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am.
Harriman. Did you go to school? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am. 
Harriman. What age did you leave school? 
Mrs. Stewart. I was 15 years old when I was married, and then is when I left school. 
Harriman. Did your father own or rent a farm? 
Mrs. Stewart. He was a landowner. 
Harriman. How much land did he own? 
Mrs. Stewart. I don’t know how much land he owned at the time I was married, but he was accounted the largest farmer there was in Faulkner County when I was married. 
Harriman. Well, when you started to housekeeping, what did you have? 
Mrs. Stewart. Why— 
Harriman [interrupting]. Did you start with any money at all? 
Mrs. Stewart. No. 
Harriman. Did your father give you anything? 
Mrs. Stewart. He gave us our bedding and bedclothes, and we had plenty of clothing for myself, and a cow and a calf when we first went to housekeeping. 
Harriman. And that is all you had to begin with? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. Did you have any furniture? 
Mrs. Stewart. No. 
Harriman. How did you get your furniture? 
Mrs. Stewart. We got it on credit. 
Harriman. And a stove, too? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am. 
Harriman. How many houses have you lived in altogether since you have been 
married? Have you kept count of it? 
Mrs. Stewart. No. 
Harriman. Haven’t you any idea at all? 
Mrs. Stewart. No. 
Harriman. About 20, do you suppose? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes; I guess so. 
Harriman. Have you ever lived in a one-room house since you have had the children? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am. 
Harriman. What is the largest number of rooms you have had in a house, since you were married? 
Mrs. Stewart. Seven rooms. 
Harriman. Well, now, have you helped with the work on the farm? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am. 
Harriman. Can you describe the work you did?
Mrs. Stewart. I made a hand every year while we was in Arkansas, but one. And I was sick all that year, and did not work any. 
Harriman. Did you work before the children were born, while you were carrying them? 
Mrs. Stewart. Up until how long before they were born? Well, up until three or four months before they were born. 
Harriman. What do you think is the effect on a woman’s health, dragging cotton sacks? 
Mrs. Stewart. I never did that. I could not stand to stoop. 
Harriman. Do you think it is bad for a woman to do that? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am. 
Harriman. What did you do; please describe your work? 
Mrs. Stewart. I chopped cotton. 
Harriman. Chopped cotton? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. What else? 
Mrs. Stewart. And dropped corn and sowed cotton seed with my hand in Arkansas, and that is all the farm work. 
Harriman. And then you did the housework also? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. How many hours were you at work in the field, and how long did you put in at your housework? 
Mrs. Stewart. During the spring of the year, when we was making the cotton by ourselves, we would try to get out as soon as we could see how to go. We would leave everything until noon and straighten up when I came in. 
Harriman. About your meals, how many meals did you have a day? 
Mrs. Stewart. Generally three meals. 
Harriman. What did you eat at your meals, and when did you have them? Did you have your breakfast before you went out? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am; we ate at 4 o’clock. 
Harriman. What did you generally have for breakfast? 
Mrs. Stewart. Sometimes syrup and biscuits and meat. 
Harriman. Sorghum? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes; and meat and bread—corn bread—and sometimes potatoes. 
Harriman. You made the corn bread, of course? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. What time did you have your dinner? 
Mrs. Stewart. We had dinner at 12 o’clock; I would quit at 11 o’clock and go home and cook dinner. 
Harriman. You would go home and cook dinner, would you? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. What did you have for dinner? 
Mrs. Stewart. If we had any vegetables I would have them vegetables, if I had time to cook them. I could not cook vegetables every day when I was working in the field, but I did once in a while when I was working in the field. 
Harriman. Did you raise chickens? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am. 
Harriman. What other kind of meat did you have—hogs? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am.
Harriman. What meat did you have, mostly chicken? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am; and what we bought; we generally bought our meat. 
Harriman. What kind of meat did you buy? 
Mrs. Stewart. Salt pork—”dry pork” they call it. 
Harriman. Did you keep cows most of the time? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am. 
Harriman. Who did the milking of the cow? 
Mrs. Stewart. I did. 
Harriman. Then you did what cooking there was done, and you milked the cow, and you worked in the field? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. Did you do the washing? 
Mrs. Stewart. I would take a day out once a week and do the washing. 
Harriman. You said you did not do any cotton picking? 
Mrs. Stewart. No. Well, the last fall we was out there in Arkansas, we wanted to get our cotton out with just as little expense as possible, and I picked then; I never averaged over 200 pounds a day, with my housework. 
Harriman. From your observation, would you think that women ought to drag cotton sacks in the field? 
Mrs. Stewart. Certainly not. 
... 
Harriman. Did you have a garden patch? Did you usually have a garden patch at the places you lived? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. And raised your own vegetables? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. What vegetables did you raise? 
Mrs. Stewart. We generally had onions and beets, and English peas, beans, and Irish potatoes, and cucumbers. 
Harriman. Did you usually have a well near your house, or did you have to go far to get water? 
Mrs. Stewart. As a general rule we had a well, but I have carried water myself half a mile. 
Harriman. You have carried water yourself half a mile? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. Could you describe a house to us, about the conditions of the house, when you would move into a place? Did you have to take your furniture with you—what furniture you had—or did you find something there, and was the house clean? 
Mrs. Stewart. Some of them were tolerably decent and some were not.
Harriman. Could you describe a house to us? Take the one you moved into, the one before the last. How many rooms did that have? 
Mrs. Stewart. Three rooms—the one we are in now. 
Harriman. Were they painted? 
Mrs. Stewart. They were painted overhead and the doors; they are comfortable. 
Harriman. What furniture did you have for that house? How did you use those rooms? Did you have a kitchen? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, and two bedrooms. 
Harriman. Eat in the kitchen? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. Did you have a range or stove? 
Mrs. Stewart. A cook stove. 
Harriman. What furniture did you have in those rooms? 
Mrs. Stewart. I have four bedsteads, and a dresser, and a washstand, and a wardrobe, and kitchen cabinet, and a trunk. 
Harriman. How many of you live in those three rooms—you and your husband and eight children? 
Mrs. Stewart. Seven children only; one has left, and lives away from home. 
... 
Harriman. Did you have any sewing machine? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am; up until it was taken away from me. 
Harriman. Did you make the children’s clothes? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am, and sew for myself. 
Harriman. When did you do your sewing, if you were working in the field and doing all that other work? 
Mrs. Stewart. When we lived at High I was not able to work in the field, and I could make more with the machine than I could in the field. If I sewed some at night—I have cleared as high as $2 a day sewing. 
Harriman. Do I understand you to say that you did this work—sewing—for outsiders? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am; I sewed for outsiders and made as high as $2 a day. 
Harriman. How many hours a day did you have to work to make $2? 
Mrs. Stewart. I would have to start in early and sew into the night. 
Harriman. And while you were doing that you were cooking for the family also? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am. 
Harriman. And looking after the children? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am. 
Harriman. How about your clothes. Your husband says he bought your clothes for you when you got anything in town at the different places. How did he manage to get something to fit you? 
Mrs. Stewart. He would buy the stuff, and I would make them. He never bought me anything ready-made. I never have got a dress ready-made for myself in my life since I have been a married woman. 
... 
Harriman. Now, tell us something; you went to school until you were 15 years old, and, of course, you are pretty well educated. 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. Did you have time to do any reading? 
Mrs. Stewart. Not down there.
Harriman. Did you have anything in the house to read if you wanted to? 
Mrs. Stewart. No. 
Harriman. You took some papers; your husband spoke about them. 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am. He takes newspapers, and I sometimes read novels when I have spare time. 
Harriman. You do? How do you get your novels? 
Mrs. Stewart. I subscribe for them or story papers. 
Harriman. Where do you subscribe for them? 
Mrs. Stewart. I don’t believe I can give that name. 
Harriman. Some place in town, near by? 
Mrs. Stewart. I never go to town to buy papers; I order them by mail. 
Harriman. The novels are in the papers? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. In magazines? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. Do you take any farm papers? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. What farm papers do you take? 
Mrs. Stewart. He taken the Farm and Ranch. 
Harriman. Do you take any semiweekly papers? 
Mrs. Stewart. He taken the Dallas News. 
... 
Harriman. How about shoes—did the children have shoes? 
Mrs. Stewart. Up to this winter and last; yes. 
Harriman. How often did you buy new shoes? 
Mrs. Stewart. I hardly ever bought them over a pair through the winter. 
... 
Harriman. Have you any shoes at all for the children now? 
Mrs. Stewart. No, ma’am. 
... 
Harriman. Now, Mrs. Stewart, is there anything you would like to tell us about the condition, about the life, of a woman on a farm, and how you think things might have been made better; what remedies you think there are that you could suggest to change things? 
Mrs. Stewart. Well, a woman, if stout, ought to be able to keep her house and do her sewing; but if she is not stout, and she has a family like I have got, it is more than she can stand. It is more than I can stand. I know it is more than I could stand if I was able to hire it done. 
Harriman. You have to work so hard and do your washing? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes; I can hardly hold out to do the housework, let alone the washing. 
Harriman. Did you have a doctor to look after you when your babies were born? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. All of them? 
Mrs. Stewart. Not every one. I had my grandmother with two of them, and the rest I had a doctor. My husband would not have anyone but a physician. I always had a good physician. 
Harriman. How long did you rest after the babies were born? 
Mrs. Stewart. If I could possibly do it I never was in bed over nine days.
Harriman. But you usually did have—stayed in bed nine days? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. What about—did you spend much money on patent medicines? 
Mrs. Stewart. No, ma’am; not a great deal. 
Harriman. How about the children? Did you spend anything on soothing syrup or medicines of that kind? 
Mrs. Stewart. Not much; I have some, but not a great deal. The most patent medicine I ever bought was this Dr. Miles’s nervine; I used to keep that all the time. 
Harriman. Did you have a nervous breakdown yourself? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am. 
Harriman. What from—from overwork? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am; and the strain. 
Harriman. And the worry. Did you worry much? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am; and I had children real young, and that is the cause of it. 
Harriman. Do you worry much about what is going to happen in the future? 
Mrs. Stewart. No, ma’am; I don’t think it does any good. 
Harriman. It doesn’t do anything good. That is a good philosophy. 
Mrs. Stewart. I do the best I can whatever comes. I was told to not take any more in the head than I could kick out at the heels. 
Harriman. Have you always had plenty to eat? 
Mrs. Stewart. No, ma’am. We have had nice things since January, but we didn’t have before that, often, bread in the house. 
Harriman. That is all. Thank you very much. Do you know of other women in the neighborhood where you live that are in the same condition that you are in? I mean that have had to do as much work? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes. 
Harriman. That are in about the condition that you are in. Do you say you do know a number? 
Mrs. Stewart. Yes, ma’am; I know of several.

City_Men.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0