Poverty during the 1870s
Dodson uses an anecdote about his father's first encounter with a mirror to illustrate the isolation and economic deprivation common across the rural American South during the 1870s.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Geddes Elam Dodson, May 26, 1980. Interview H-0240. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
- GEDDES ELAM DODSON:
Yes, he growed up on the farm, and he said he had cut wood in the snow
barefooted a many a day. And he just had to raise hisself. He said
his stepdaddy was afraid of him. Said he carried his pocket full
of rocks all the time, my daddy did. And he said the first mirror he
ever seen, he was a pretty good-sized boy, and he never had seen one
before, and he didn't know what it was. And said he walked up to that
mirror and seen that little old boy in there
, and he said he made a face at the little boy, and he made one
back at him. And said he got a rock out of his pocket and throwed it and
broke that mirror.