Aged Mammy

Aged Mammy Shames Him

Prays for White Preacher Who Tried to Frighten Negroes

Pastor and Others Fix Up Skeleton with Sheet in Cemetery, but Colored Man Fires on “Ghost.”

Mar 19,1909

Monroe City, Mo

“Aunt” Sarah Potts, an old negress of Monroe City, shamed the Rev. D. B. Weeks, pastor of the leading Baptist church, when he called at her hut today to reclaim a skeleton he and a party of friends abandoned hastily in St. Jude’s Cemetery the night before. Not all minister’s eloquence could persuade the “mammy” to return him the skeleton until she had knelt before him and prayed to the Lord to forgive the white man who tried to frighten people of her race as they returned from divine services.

In a spirit of fun Thursday night, Mr. Weeks proposed a prank, in which some half dozen boys of the city joined him eagerly. St. Jude’s Cemetery, opposite a row of negro cottages, known as “Baptist Row”, was chosen as the scene, and a skeleton, sheets, and a candle were the properties.

The skeleton, draped, was set up on a tombstone near a lane leading from the colored Baptist church, where a revival meeting was in progress. When the services closed the candle was lighted and set in the skull. The minister and his companions hid behind, some neighboring gravestones to await developments, which came when the negroes, trooping along the road in a body, singing, saw the “ghost” and heard its groans.

They fled like sheep to the nearest hut, and after a prayer, “Brother” Mayfield, an aged negro, armed with an old Zouave musket, led an attack. At the first shot, which disabled the ghost, the minister and his fellow conspirators fled to town, pursued by the negroes.

During the firing, which was as often “Brother” Mayfield could reload his piece, the “ghost” was literally shot to pieces.