Inhabitants of Gees Bend, Alabama

Arthur Rothstein1937

Souls Grown Deep

Souls Grown Deep
Atlanta, United States

When Adrian Van de Graaff of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, bought the Pettway estate in 1900, he installed a relative, W. C. Travis, as overseer. Needom Mooney and his wife, Lucy (c. 1880 - 1969), worked as domestic servants at Sandy Hill, the former plantation house, where Travis lived until his death in 1916. When Arthur Rothstein photographed Gee's Bend in 1937, John Henry Miller, son of ex-slave Dinah Miller (who was probably African born), had become the foreman for Van de Graaff's heirs. Rothstein photographed Lucy Mooney in at least six settings: working on a quilt, posing on her porch, standing with grandchildren inside her home, sitting on a bed, reading a book, and cooking. Also see here are Mooney's granddaughters, Lucy P. Pettway (1930 - 2003) and Bertha Pettway.


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