Spencer Polk was born of an African-Indian slave woman known as Sally, and her master, Taylor Polk, a descendant of one of America’s first families and one of the earliest white settlers in the Arkansas Territory. A favored slave, Spencer Polk became a prosperous farmer and landowner in southwestern Arkansas and the founder of a numerous and energetic family. Since emancipation the family homestead he built on Muddy Fork Creek has housed succeeding generations and has drawn back those who sought their fortunes elsewhere. Ruth Polk Patterson, a granddaughter of Spencer Polk who was born and raised in the log house he built, traces the life of Polk and his family from his birth in 1833 to the present generation. The skillful blending of folklore, history, and personal insight makes The Seed of Sally Good’n an excellent contribution to the long neglected history of middle-class African Americans.
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