Mary Wright

Mary Wright was born the year the Civil War ended. In this excerpt, the interviewer recounts in the first person Mary Wright’s retelling of her mother’s story of the Ku Klux Klan using violence to intimidate Black people after the Civil War in Kentucky.    

*Historically-used terms that are offensive, marginalizing and/or disparaging have been removed from the transcripts and replaced with [ ___ ].   See more information.
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…My [Mary Wright’s] mammy bound me out to Miss Puss Graham to learn to work, for my vittles [food] and clothes. Miss Puss gave me a pair of red morocco shoes and I was so happy, I’ve never forgotten these shoes. I heard my mammy talk of thee [ ___ ] Rising. The Ku Klux [Klan] used to stick the [ ___ ]head on a stake alongside the Cadiz road and  the buzzards would eat them till nothing was left but the bones. There was a sign on this stake that said ‘Look out [ ___ ]! You are next.’  We children would not go far away from the cabin. I tell you that is so. I just knew that this Ku Klux would do that to us sure if we had been caught…

Formerly enslaved person
Birth Year (Age)Interviewer
WPA Volunteer
Enslaver’s Name
Mary Wright1865 (Unknown)UnknownJames Coleman
Interview LocationResidence StateBirth Location
KYKYGracey, KY
Themes & KeywordsAdditional Tags:
Violence, KKKChristian County, First Person, Dialect, Klan/Mob Violence, Bound out After War


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