Peggy Peacock Kelly's Letter

Inner Thoughts

A Former Slave's Letter - Searching for Family

The letter was written by Reverend J. H. Nichols, Starkville, MS, on behalf of Peggie, to William Peacock, Shelbyville, TN. William Peacock was Kelly's former owner who had sold her away from her family many years before. Kelly was inquiring of Peacock if he knew the wherabouts of any surviving family members whom she had not seen since being sold.

The letter represents an aged African American woman's determination to locate before she died surviving members of her family from whom she had long been separated. It provides poignant evidence of the tragic and lingering consequences of slavery on the individual.

Peggy's Letter

Starkville, MS
January 31, 1892

Mr. William Peacock
Shelbyville, Tenn

Dear Sirs or Friends

I am trying to find my mother and father. My father's name was named Prince and my mother's name was Rose. They both belong to above Peacock. They had four children when I was sold. Their names Peggie, Isaac, John, and George and I had two half sisters belonging to old Thomas Peacock.

I was sold to James Wortham in KY where I lived 3 years then he sold me to Jack Tucker and then was sold to Evan Davis in this state.

Any information given if any or the where abouts of them will be thankfully received. Let me know if they are dead or alive.

My name was Peggie one of the children of Prince and Rose.

Yours inquiring,
Peggie Kelly, now
Peggie Peacock


Kelly (Peggie Peacock) Letter
Manuscript Collection Number: Z1821.00S
Manuscript found at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Remembering Their Names