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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Geddes Elam Dodson, May 26, 1980. Interview H-0240. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

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 [chuckle] 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 [laughter] , 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. [Laughter]