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10   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

to it. My grandmother, Mrs. Stephens Bulloch, lived in an old plantation above Atlanta, on the sand-hills of Georgia. There, in the old white-columned house overlooking a beautiful valley, my grandmother led a patriarchal life, the head of a large family, for she had been as a young girl the second wife of Senator John Elliott, and she not only brought up the children of that marriage but the children and stepchild of her second marriage as well. My own mother was the second daughter] of Mr. and Mrs. Stephens Bulloch, but she never knew the difference between her Elliott half brother and sisters, her Bulloch halfbrother and her own brother and sister.

In the roomy old home with its simple white columns there was led an ideal life, and the devotion of her children to my beautiful grandmother, as the many letters in my possession prove, was one of the inspiring factors in their lives, and became the same to our own childhood, for many were the loving stories told us by my mother and aunt of the wonderful character of their mother, who ran her Southern plantation (Mr. Bulloch died comparatively young) with all the practical ability and kindly supervision over her slaves characteristic of the Southern men and women of her time.

The aforesaid slaves were treated as friends of the family, and they became to us, her little Northern grandchildren, figures of great interest. We were never tired of hearing the stories of "Daddy Luke" and "Mom Charlotte."

The first of these two, a magnificent Nubian, with thick black lips and very curly hair, was the coachman and trusted comrade of my grandmother's children, while his wife, "Mom Charlotte," was a very fastidious mulatto, slender and handsome, who, for some illogical reason, considered her mixed blood superior to his pure dark strain. She loved him, but with a certain amount of disdain, and though on week-days she treated him more or less as an equal, on Sundays, when dressed in her very best bandanna and her most elegant prayer-book in hand, she utterly refused to have him walk beside her on the path to

The Nursery and Its Deities   II

church, and obliged him ignominiously to bring up the rear with

shamefaced inferiority. Mom Charlotte on Sundays, when in

her superior mood, would look at her spouse with contempt,

and say, "B' Luke, he nothin' but a black nigger; he mout' stan'

out to de spring," referring to Daddy Luke's thick Nubian lips,

and pointing at the well about one hundred yards distant from

the porch.

There was also a certain "little black Sarah," who was the

foster-sister of my uncle, Irvine Bulloch, my mother's younger

brother. In the old Southern days on such plantations there

was almost always a colored "pickaninny" to match each white

child, and they were actually considered as foster brother or

sister. Little Irvine was afraid of the darkness inside the house,

and little Sarah was afraid of the darkness outside the house,

and so the little white boy and the little black girl were inseparable companions, each guarding the other from the imaginary dangers of house or grounds, and each sympathetically rounding out the care-free life of the other.

My mother's brilliant half-brother, Stewart Elliott, whose love of art and literature and music took him far afield, spent much of his time abroad, and when he came back to Roswell (the name of the plantation) he was always much amused at the quaint slave customs. One perfect moonlight night he took his guitar into the grove near the house to sing to the group of girls on the porch, but shortly afterward returned much disgusted and described the conversation which he had overheard between little white Irvine and little black Sarah on the back porch. It ran as follows, both children gazing up into the sky: Sarah: "Sonny, do you see de Moon?" "Yes, Sarah, it do crawl like a worrum." The moon at the moment was performing the feat which Shelley poetically described as gliding, "glimmering o'er its fleecelike floor." The young musician could not stand the proximity of such masters of simile as were Irvine and Sarah, and demanded that they should be forbidden the back porch on moonlight nights from that time forth !

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