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October 19, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: Lucy Scruggs, Part III

1920 census. Scruggs Family, Buckingham County, Virginia

Note: Based on the birth information of Lucy Scruggs’ sons, the family may have spent some time living in West Virginia. Other census data suggests that they were born in Virginia.

Click here to catch up: Buckingham Notables: Lucy Scruggs, Part I


Lucy Scruggs’ outlook on life certainly contributed to her longevity. Opinionated, a devout Christian, and a teetotaler, Lucy proved a colorful interviewee for Boyce Loving, offering the following under a subheading, “Don’t Know Hard Times:”

The former slave said she had seen hard times in her day. “People talk about hard times, but they don’t know what hard times is,” she added. Slavery was hard because of the long hours of work, she explained, and then came Civil War days and after that Reconstruction. She said she “worked, scuffled and did the best she could.”

Asked if she ever smoked a clay or corncob pipe, Aunt Lucy said she tried smoking a corncob pipe when she had a toothache, but it didn’t relieve her, so she threw away the pipe. Now she doesn’t have to worry about toothache. She said she never drank any “likker” or other alcoholic drinks.

Deeply religious, Aunt Lucy had firm ideas about integrated schools and told Loving:

“It’s all a lot of folly and is goin’ to cause lots of hard feelings. We was separated before the War (Civil) and let us stay separated. If I had any chilluns, I wouldn’t let ‘em go to school with white chilluns.” With explicit trust in the Lord, Aunt Lucy remarked, “If ‘twarn’t for the Lord, what would we do? If the Lord’ll let me, I’ll be 104 years old, come Christmas mawnin’.”

Coming next: Lucy Scruggs, Part IV


Leave a Comment
  1. Helen Brown / Dec 18 2021 11:03 pm

    This is my family, waiting and searching for more information.

    • Joanne Yeck / Dec 19 2021 5:29 am

      Thanks for your comment. I’m so glad to have found Lucy’s story. Keep searching!

  2. mrsandreapotts / Oct 19 2017 8:29 am

    Really enjoying Lucy’s story.

    • Joanne Yeck / Oct 19 2017 2:49 pm

      More to come. It is a rare and wonderful oral history. Joanne

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