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Re: The Seed of Sally Good'n
In Response To: Re: The Seed of Sally Good'n ()

Taylor Polk II was my thrid great grandfather.
Taylor Polk II. associated with Sally, a slave woman. All that is known of Sally is the oral accounts handed down by the descendants of other slaves who knew her and by her own children. According to the story, Taylor Polk went into the Indian Territory to the west and bought Sally, possibly as early as 1821. Taylor was married to Prudence Anderson by 1821, but the slave girl caught his eye, so he took her for his concubine. Sally was a very beautiful "brown-skinned" girl, according to those who saw her and told their children about her. Taylor may have kept her in or near Fort Smith, entrusted to the care of a friend or he may have left her with the Cherokees, from whom he bought her. Sometime before 1833, Taylor brought his slave to "The Wilds," and built her a little cabin next to his own. Sally occupied her cabin and continued to serve Taylor in spite of the vehement disapproval of his wife.

Between 1835 and 1838, the slave Sally gave birth to her fourth child, a girl named Eliza. It is said that Sally's three sons looked just like Taylor. The three sons were definitely mulattoes; all had fairly straight hair, the characteristic high-bridged, enormous nose, and very fair complexions, and one had blue eyes. But Eliza was "dark." Not only was her skin dark, but soon after her birth her hair began to take on too much of the natural African curl and had not grown as long as "white" hair should.

Taylor suspected that his slave had been unfaithful and had taken up with a slave man and conceived Eliza. Apparently out of a combination of jealousy and ignorance, he sold Sally shortly after Eliza's birth. While the black Polks accepted the story of Sally's infidelity, it was not necessarily true. Sally had served Taylor Polk faithfully for more than a decade and must have known something of the man's tyrannical disposition and the consequences if she practiced deception with him. Moreover, it is entirely possible that Sally could produce a child by Taylor whose features were more black than white. But in those days on the Arkansas frontier, the fact of genetic dominance would hardly have been known or accepted. The selling of Sally probably occurred in 1838, for in that year the valuation of Taylor Polk's slave decreased by two hundred dollars and the number of slaves reported on tax records dropped from eleven to ten. The four children by Sally the slave woman were Peter, Frank, John Spencer and Eliza.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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