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AfriGeneas Books~Authors~Reviews Forum

The Seed of Sally Good'n

Hi, this is my 'FIRST' time here, and, I just wanted to share with you all a book that I am now beginning. 'The Seed of Sally Good'n, A Black Family of Arkansas 1833-1953,' by Ruth Polk Patterson.

Since I began my research on my Ancestors in Arkansas, I have been having the hardest time trying to find information on my family. So, when I saw this book, I said to myself 'Why Not Give It A Try?' Family (all researchers, Arkansas and all) the very first paragraph of the Preface just caught my attention:

'The history of Americans of African descent has been woefully neglected by most writers of Arkansas' past. As a result, few people have an accurate picture of the role played by blacks in the development of the state. At a time when black Americans are searching for identity, and when all Americans are looking for evidence to support the new attitudes of pride and dignity about their ethnic origins, it is important that a broader and more all-inclusive picture of Arkansas history be presented to the general public. The purpose of this work is to provide a more humanistic account of blacks in Arkansas, using the family estate of John Spencer Polk as an example of how blacks were involved in and related in the movement westward, the settling of the frontier, and the development of a way of life in both pre- and post-Civil War Arkansas.'

I am not completely finished with the book as of this date, but, I have finally found something, that explains 'A' way of life in my Ancestral Home.

She starts off with Sally, a girl who John Spencer Polk purchased from the Cherokees in Arkansas, and moved her to Fort Smith, Arkansas. John was a married man. After a while, he moved Sally to a house he built for her, right next door to his own family. Sally began having children by John Polk, as did his wife. Then...Sally had a daughter, a 'black child.' Either out of jealousy or just plain ignorance, John sold her to someone in New Orleans (well, well, I guess Mr. Polk got a little mad!) but, kept the children, even the black girl child called 'Puss.'

The book goes on to talk about the oldest son of Sally and John (who by the way, raised just like his own 'white' children,) the land, the families, the life. It has beautiful pictures (yes, I skipped around just a little.) But, like I said, I'm not finished yet. She (Ruth Polk Patterson) has charts, oral interviews with friends of the family and family. The book seems to be very good, and, I can't wait to finish.

I think reading this book will definitely give all researchers, a new look on genealogy. It's not how far back you can go, it's telling the story about 'what you know' that's worth reading.

I'll let you all know when I finish!!!


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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