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Uncle Bubba (1779?-1878?)

Quilt square of black, white and multi-colored fabric representing windows and doors.
Uncle Bubba, "Windows and Doors"

According to Josephine Golson in Bailey’s Light, Uncle Bubba had been James Britton Bailey’s body servant since they were both children. Uncle Bubba and Mammy Belle accompanied James Britton Bailey and Nancy Bailey on their trek to Texas from Tennessee in 1818. They were adults with children at that time, being born perhaps in the 1780s. Uncle Bubba was an integral part of the family and Golson tells several stories about him in Bailey’s Light — caring for the horses, making a fine barbequed hog, playing the fiddle, driving the wagon, dealing with an annoying Methodist preacher. Golson reports that Uncle Bubba and Mammy Belle spent the remainder of their lives with Mrs. Dorothy [Nancy] Bailey after Britt Bailey’s death. Mrs. Bailey died in 1870. Golson writes that Uncle Bubba lived to be almost 100 and died in a fire in his cabin on the old home place. Another source claims he lived into the next century.

Uncle Bubba and Mammy Belle were not enslaved by the Polleys, but by James Britton Bailey, Mary Bailey Polley’s father. Mary Bailey Polley grew up under their care and protection.

His quilt square is “Windows and Doors.”


This biographical selection is from The Enslaved People of J. H. Polley Plantation, Whitehall, Sutherland Springs, Texas 1836-1865. The collection is the work of independent scholar, Dr. Melinda Creech. Dr. Creech compiled and presents a biographical sketch of each of the enslaved along with a unique historic Texas quilt for each individual since photos of the 28 enslaved are not available. The collection is available to view in person at the Sutherland Springs Historical Museum.

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