Kate Billingsby

The same family enslaved Kate Billingsby from her birth in 1828 until Emancipation. Ms. Billingsby still keeps in touch with the family.   This excerpt describes what she learned from that family, and how they (and their children) still looked after her even after her emancipation.

*Historically-used terms that are offensive, marginalizing and/or disparaging have been removed from the transcripts and replaced with [redacted].  See more information.
See full document • Visit the Library of Congress to see the original document


Her culture and training go back to the old Buckner family, at one time one of the most cultured families in Christian County. She is not a superstitious negro. Being born a Buckner slave, she was never sold and her manners and ways proclaim that she surely must have been raised in “The white folks house” as she claims, being a maid when old enough, to one of Frank Buckner’s daughters. 

She stated, “The Buckners were sure good to me, even now their children come to see me and always bring me something. They don’t let my taxes lapse and I’m never without something to eat.”

No, I don’t believe in ghosts, haints or anything of that kind – my White folks being “quality”. I’ve been raised by “quality”! Why I’m a “quality [redacted]”. When any of my folks get sick or any of my white folks, the doctor would always be sent for.”

Formerly enslaved person
Birth Year (Age)Interviewer
WPA Volunteer
Enslaver’s Name
Kate BillingsbyUnknownUnknownFrank and Sarah Buckner
Interview LocationResidence StateBirth Location
Hopkinsville, KYKentuckyChristian County, KY
Themes & KeywordsAdditional Tags:
Class, educationThird person, dialect