(8) Polly Jackson

Hello, I’m Mary Jackson Scott, granddaughter of Daniel Jackson. I was born in 1778. My nickname is Polly. I married a widower, Marmaduke Scott, a prosperous planter on Knobs Creek, around 1795, and we had eight children.


When Marmaduke died in 1813, we moved back here, to my grandfather’s home place.


This room to the left is the hall, where we cook and eat our meals. The other downstairs room is the parlor. I sleep there with my younger children. I slept there with my younger children. The older ones sleep upstairs in the sleeping loft. Our beds are goose down mattresses. Tallow candles and reed lamps light the rooms and the two fireplaces heat the house.


As a planter’s wife, I was accustomed to the finer things in life. I retained some luxury items from my marriage, such as silver teaspoons, brass candlesticks, and a side saddle, which are a symbol of a lady’s status.


Soon, I started a fabric manufacturing business. I acquired four linen wheels and began to manufacture linen, wool, and cotton out of my house. The Dismal Swamp Canal had recently opened, which increased commerce to this area, and contributed to the success of my business.


Everyone in the family has chores to do. The older boys tend livestock and work the fields of flax used to make linen and corn to feed us and the animals. The older girls look after the younger children, as well as cooking, house cleaning, and carding, spinning, and dying the flax fibers. Younger children pick berries, feed the chickens, and gather eggs.


In their free time, the children play games, such as horseshoes, jacks, hoops and sticks, and shooting marbles. In the evening, the family tells stories or reads the Bible by firelight.


This house is a good shelter for me and my eight children. I’m proud to have you as my guest and invite you to stay awhile and visit.