Teenage Mom and Plantation Mistress

Orin Hargraves
13 min readMay 29, 2021
Sarah Elizabeth Wilson Huff, 1822–1911

Forty years ago I found this picture in a trunk full of estate detritus: clothing, photos, travel souvenirs, things that someone couldn’t quite bring themselves to put in the trash. This year, finally, I have gathered enough threads from the thin paper trail of a 19th century wife and mother to weave together the themes of her story.