“When the soldiers came”
Roger McWhorter recalls hearing Lessie Clay tell stories of her ancestor saving Monticello’s silver in the Revolution.
Theme: Oral History Transmission
Family: Other Families
Residence (at time of interview): Decatur, AL
Cousins Cary Hotchkiss II and Roger McWhorter are descendants of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest granddaughter Anne Randolph Bankhead through her son, William Stuart Bankhead. Among the slaves Bankhead brought with him to Alabama in 1846 was Susan Scott. For the past century and a half the lives of the Scott and Bankhead families have been intertwined.
Cary Hotchkiss is retired from farming. Roger McWhorter left banking for farming: cotton at first and then cattle. They both have vivid memories of spending time at the home of their relative Miss Cary Hotchkiss (1887–1978), where Lessie Young Clay, Susan Scott’s great-granddaughter, was cook. And playing baseball with Lessie Clay’s brothers and nephews.
Both agreed that the Scott descendants are like family to them. As Hotchkiss said, “I don’t know who had the biggest hold on whom.”
12 Nov. 1996, Courtland, AL
Interviewees: Roger McWhorter, Cary Hotchkiss II
Roger McWhorter and Cary Hotchkiss recall Sunday games featuring Johnny James Young’s pitching.
Roger McWhorter remembers weekends watching Lessie Clay make butter in his great-aunt Miss Cary’s kitchen.