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Dog Ghosts and The Word on the Brazos

Dog Ghosts and The Word on the Brazos

Two volumes of African American folk tales collected in Texas.

January 1976
This is a print-on-demand title. Expedited shipping is not available.
$25.00
268 pages | 6 x 9 | illus. |
ISBN: 
978-0-292-71512-7
Description: 

This book contains two volumes of African American folk tales collected by J. Mason Brewer.

The stories included in Dog Ghosts are as varied as the Texas landscape, as full of contrasts as Texas weather. Among them are tales that have their roots deeply imbedded in African, Irish, and Welsh mythology; others have parallels in pre-Columbian Mexican tradition, and a few have versions that can be traced back to Chaucer's England. All make delightful reading. The title Dog Ghosts is drawn from the unique stories of dog spirits which Dr. Brewer collected in the Red River bottoms and elsewhere in Texas.

The Word on the Brazos is a delightful collection of "preacher tales" from the Brazos River bottom in Texas. J. Mason Brewer worked side by side with field hands in the Brazos bottoms; he lived in their homes, worshipped in their churches, and shared the moments of relaxation in which laughter held full sway.

Many of the tales these people told were related to religion—both "good religion" and "bad religion." Some of them concerned preachers and their families, while others were stories told in pulpits. Mr. Brewer has set all of these stories down in authentic yet easily readable dialect. They will delight all who are interested in the historic culture of rural African-American Texans, as well as those who simply enjoy fine humorous stories skillfully told.

Contents: 
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Dog Ghosts
    • Part I. Slavery and Its Legacy
      • Uncle Jonas and This Sin-cursed World (Robert Winn, 49, Travis County, 1957)
      • Old John Blow-out (Mrs. Nancy Taylor, 52, Robertson County, 1956)
      • Aunt Susan’s Trip to Heaven (Arthur Lott, 81, Bexar County, 1944)
      • Uncle Jasper’s Prayer (William Willis Greenleaf, 65, San Jacinto County, 1956)
      • Uncle Israel Changes His Mind (William Willis Greenleaf, 65, San Jacinto County, 1956)
      • The Greatest Negro Leader (Arthur Lott, 81, Bexar County, 1955)
      • The Hornsby’s Bend Teacher (Tom E. Davis, 65, Travis County, 1955)
      • The High Sheriff and His Servant (Jesse Holmes, 92, Colorado County, 1954)
      • The Waco Drugstore Porter (Charles W. Toliver, 27, McClennan County, 1955)
    • Part II. Carefree Tales
      • The Hays County Courthouse Janitor (Charles James Wilson, 21, Hays County, 1956)
      • Uncle Aaron Loses His Home (R. A. Atkinson, 63, Caldwell County, 1952)
      • Uncle Aaron Orders a Baking Pan (R. A. Atkinson, 63, Caldwell County, 1952)
      • Uncle Aaron Loses His Wife (R. A. Atkinson, 63, Caldwell County, 1952)
      • Uncle Aaron and the Baby Chickens (R. A. Atkinson, 63, Caldwell County, 1952)
      • Uncle Aaron Peddles a Possum (R. A. Atkinson, 63, Caldwell County, 1952)
      • Uncle Aaron Goes Fishing (R. P. Vivian, 65, Dallas County, c. 1948)
      • The Rich Partners (George Holman, 85, Travis County, 1954)
      • Black and White (George Holman, 85, Travis County, 1954)
      • Two Chances (Mrs. Cora Jean St. Julian, 23, Travis County, 1957)
      • The Remains of Washington P. Johnson (Mrs. Laura Johnson, 54, Anderson County, 1954)
      • The Mexia Bootlegger (Charles W. Toliver, 27, McClennan County, 1955)
      • The Juneteenth Baseball Game (Carl Roy, 21, Bee County, 1955)
      • The Goliad Liars (J. H. Brewer, 84, Travis County, 1953)
      • The Good Old Man Aunt Tiny Had for a Husband (George Holman, 85, Travis County, 1954)
    • Part III. Tales of Animals and Ranch Life
      • Bubber and the Rattlesnake (Willie Brown, 41, McClennan County, 1952)
      • The Rattlesnake Dispute (President Holmes, 65, Colorado County, 1954)
      • The Fox and the Rooster (William Stokes, 59, Kerr County, 1937)
      • Why the Rabbit Has a Short Tail (William Willis Greenleaf, 65, San Jacinto County, 1956)
      • The Bull Frog and the Mockingbird (Sylvester Byars, 59, Caldwell County, 1956)
      • Ropes Cost Money (Jim Cloman, 85, Goliad County, 1946)
      • Myra Jackson’s Sweethearts (Jim Cloman, 85, Goliad County, 1946)
      • The Red Toro of Hidalgo County (Jim Cloman, 85, Goliad County, 1946)
      • The George West Steer (Carl Roy, 21, Bee County, 1955)
      • The Palacios Rancher and the Preacher (Arthur Lott, 81, Bexar County, 1944)
      • Eating out of His Own Bucket (Jesse Holmes, 92, Colorado County, 1954)
      • The Farmer and the Unfaithful Wife (Lemuel Sparks, 59, Travis County, 1942)
    • Part IV. Religious Tales
      • Aunt Hetty and the Katy Train (Antoine Dykes, 30, Travis County, 1957)
      • Sit Down, Self! (Anderson Shaw, 97, Falls County, 1937)
      • Elder Brown’s False Teeth (Jerry Mullinox, 45, Falls County, 1937)
      • Saint Peter and the Marlin Negroes (Nellum Taylor Denson, 89, Falls County, 1937)
      • Salvation Is Free (Carl Roy, 21, Bee County, 1955)
      • Uncle Jerry and the Ship of Faith (Anderson Shaw, 97, Falls County, 1937)
      • The Test Question (Mrs. Ibby Spriggs, 77, Red River County, 1954)
      • Deacon Wright’s Confession (Jerry Mullinox, 45, Falls County, 1937)
      • Rock, Church, Rock! (Jim Cloman, 85, Goliad County, 1946)
    • Part V. Dog Ghosts and Other Spirits
      • Uncle Henry and the Dog Ghost (Rev. P. H. Hailey, 79, Red River County, 1937)
      • The Dog Spirit Doctor (Jesse Gipson, 59, Collin County, 1946)
      • The New Wife and the Breeches Quilt (Doctor Cole, 83, Harrison County, 1937)
      • Little Nero and the Magic Tea Cakes (Jesse Gipson, 59, Collin County, 1946)
      • The Saturday Night Fiddler (Rev. P. H. Hailey, 79, Red River County, 1937)
      • The Oak Cliff Dog Ghost (Robert Bradley, 78, Dallas County, 1943)
      • Little Tom and His Mean Brother (Rev. P. H. Hailey, 79, Red River County, 1937)
      • The Dog Ghost and the No Account Boy (Jesse Gipson, 59, Collin County, 1946)
      • The Dog Ghost and the Buried Money (Mrs. Mary Lee, 57, Bastrop County, 1952)
      • The Bee County Headless Horseman (Carl Roy, 21, Bee County, 1955)
      • The Headless Horseman and the Hunter (Carl Roy, 21, Bee County, 1955)
      • The Black Widow Car (Alex Z. Chappel, 62, Angelina County, 1954)
      • The McManor Bridge Ghost (Thedford Stevens, 51, Polk County, 1954)
      • The Ghost of Sifty-Sifty San’ (Robert Dickerson, 23, Austin County, 1954)
      • The Antique Bed Ghost (Tom Wright, 41, Angelina County, 1957)
      • Mrs. Charles Brown’s Ghost (Jack Duke, 45, Hardin County, 1955)
      • Brit Bailey’s Ghost (William Rodney Pradia, 56, Liberty County, 1955)
      • Death of a Tap Dancer (Mrs. Lennie C. Thomas, 59, Cherokee County, 1954)
  • Word on the Brazos
    • Acknowledgments
    • A Word on The Word
    • Introduction
    • Bad Religion
      • The Preacher and His Farmer Brother
      • A Job for God
      • Cussing for the Church
      • Elder Lott’s Sunday Night Sermon
      • God Throws a Tree Limb
      • Little Bill’s Conversation with God
      • Reverend Carter’s Twelfth Anniversary Sermon
      • Sister Rosie and the African Missionary
      • The Tale of the Three Preachers
      • Sister Patsy’s Error
      • The Wrong Man in the Coffin
      • What Major Buford Knew
      • White and Black Theology
      • How Elder Samuels Was Saved
      • Sister Liza and the New Pastor
      • Hailey’s Comet and Judgment Day
      • Brother Gregg Identifies Himself
    • Baptizings, Conversions, and Church Meetings
      • The Old Preacher’s Will and the Young Wife
      • Uncle Ebun and the Sign of the Shooting Star
      • Sister Carrie and the Little White Man
      • The Baptizing of the Cat Family
      • The Hare-lipped Man and the Speaking Meeting
      • The Moderator and the Alligator
      • The Preacher Who Walked on Water
      • The Trustee Board and the Cuspidor
      • Why Abe Brown Went to the Revival
      • The Old Moderator’s Farewell Message
      • The Complaining Church Sister
      • Sister Sadie Washington’s Littlest Boy
      • Uncle Charlie Gets Directions
    • Good Religion
      • A Sermon, a Cat, and a Churn
      • The Preacher Who Asked Too Many Questions
      • The Haunted Church and the Sermon on Tithing
      • The Lord Answers Sister Milly’s Prayer
      • The Oxen and the Denominations
      • The Preacher Who Talked in His Sleep
      • The Sunday School Scholar and the Pastor
      • The Mulatto Boys and the Religious Test
      • Scott Mission Methodist Church Gets a Full-time Pastor
    • Heaven and Hell
      • Why the Guardian Angel Let the Brazos Bottom Negroes Sleep
      • The Baptist Negroes in Heaven
      • The Pole That Led to Heaven
      • Who Can Go to Heaven
      • Little Jim Lacey’s Desires
      • Why So Many Negroes Are in Heaven
      • Good Friday in Hell
      • John’s Trip to Hell
      • Uncle Si, His Boss-man, and Hell
    • Preachers and Little Boys
      • Little David’s Question
      • Gabriel and the Elder’s Coat
      • Heaven and the Post Office
      • Little Ned and the Sweet Potato Pie
      • Reverend Black’s Gifts from Heaven
      • The Sinner Man’s Son and the Preacher
      • Little Tom and the One-eyed Preacher
      • Deacon Jones’s Boys and the Greedy Preacher