Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Thoughts of a Local Historian

Dorris Douglass

More than a hundred years ago
Death called that you should leave your woe,
A life of hardship borne with pride,
To say not so, would I have lied?

Your progeny now write to me,
Requesting genealogy.
The proof they want of when you died,
Is not on tombstones, I confide.

For wooden crosses long decayed,
Or common rocks placed on the graves,
Identified the Poor House dead,
Where now a lake is found instead.

Your name however flowed in ink.
The county records have the link,
Receipts for when the county paid,
To have the Poor House coffins made.

The truth I send your progeny,
Regarding genealogy.
Contempt to them, who now deny
You’re kin, nor hear the Poor House cry.

But cheers to those accepting you,
Into their lines of blood so blue,
In spite of where you met your end,
And make the Poor House wear a grin.


Dorris Callicott Douglass, librarian, historian, and genealogist, is Head of Special Collections in the Williamson County Public Library, Franklin, Tennessee. She is the reviewer of memoirs and autobiography for the Library Journal. She published a bi-monthly column in the Sunday Williamson Herald, “Two Hundred Years Ago in Williamson County,” April-December, 2006. She had a poem about the Civil War published in the online periodical Combat: The Literary Expression of Battlefield Touchstones, July 2005, and she published an article in America’s Civil War, March 1996. Dorris has published various historical articles in the Williamson County Historical Society Journal since 1980, for which she won the award for best article in 1985. She has held various chapter and state offices in the DAR and the USD1812 (Daughters of the War of 1812) since 1974. She is also in Who’s Who of American Women.

© Dorris Douglass

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012