The Civil War in Missouri

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The Artifact Gallery was made possible by a generous gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee.


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Aunt Sukey

Photograph by T. D. Saunders, Lexington, Missouri, ca. 1863
MHM Photographs and Prints

Aunt Sukey was the head servant in Robert B. Smith’s household. Census records show that Smith, a farmer in Lexington, Missouri, enslaved six people in 1860. As was the practice at the time, their names are not recorded in the slave record—only their age, gender, and skin color. Fortunately, some information was recorded on the back of this photograph. Smith brought Aunt Sukey to Missouri from Virginia, where she had been born a slave on Governor John Page’s Rosewell Plantation. In addition to Aunt Sukey, another woman and four men between the ages of 18 and 50—three of them identified as “mulatto”—were listed on the slave schedule. What happened to Aunt Sukey after the war is not known.