Interview with Clay East
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QUESTION 1
INTERVIEWER:

OK. Mr. East, I want to start off talking about the Norcross Plantation. We talked a little bit about it yesterday. So, can you tell me what conditions were like on the Norcross Plantation?

CLAY EAST:

Conditions were all right until Norcross died, got killed on his horse, got his neck broke. A horse got scared of a car, and he was coming to town and the horse got scared and threw him off, and broke his neck. That's when Hiram, his son, who was an attorney for Portland Cement Company in Kansas City, he come down and took charge of the farm, and he sold it to a cousin of mine, 1900 acres. And the bottom dropped out...in the meantime, he took a mortgage on my cousin's nice farm and home and everything up there. He took a mortgage on it, besides  [ gap: ;reason: unintelligible ]  $20000 cash, so when the bottom dropped out of this cotton and my cousin couldn't make his payments, he took the whole thing. When he did, he was strictly business. He drew up a contract for all of the sharecroppers and took an account of everything he let them have to work the land with. He didn't allow 'em to have a cow or chickens or anything. He had this land measured, and where my cousin would guess at it, he had it surveyed, and when he got it through, there wasn't enough for land to go around, so he just took some of thems [sic] crop that had already been started, and he just kicked off a whole bunch of these tenants out there, to make it so they'd have just exactly what they're supposed to have. At that time, before he took it over, and I guess afterward, tenant farmers was furnished so much a month for the amount of land he was allowed so much a month during the crop season. After the crop season was over, they didn't get anything.