Sally Ann Barnes, the Only Person Born Into Slavery That I Have Ever Met

It’s Black History Month and I actually met someone who had been born into slavery.  Her name was Sally Ann Barnes.  Over the years I have done a lot of research on her, and have written some about her.  Three pictures surfaced while I was doing research.  Maybe there are more out there and they will come my way.

This is the first picture I came across.  Someone had read an article I wrote on her for a newspaper and contacted me.  I was over joyed at this find.

Sally 1959This is Sally at a reunion in September of 1959.  She was 101 years old here.  I met her when she was 103.  I was 8 years old at the time.  She was mopping the floor.  Not too long after that she went into a nursing home.

erwin_sally_annI found this picture in a file in Frankfort, KY.  It was included in a history of the Erwin family.  It’s a bad photocopy of an original and is hard to make out.



The is the latest picture I’ve received of Sally and part of the Bonzo Clan.  Top Row from left to right:  female unknown, male Bonzo unknown, Ted Bonzo, Ben Bonzo, Bill Bonzo. Bottom row from left to right:  Sally Ann Barnes, Martha Burchett Bonzo, female and child unknown, Emma Bonzo (wife of Bill Bonzo)

This is Sally’s grave.  She is buried along side the Bonzo’s.

erwin_sally_ann_02 Grave


Sally’s Death Certificate



11 thoughts on “Sally Ann Barnes, the Only Person Born Into Slavery That I Have Ever Met

      1. Thank you for your kind words. Well, being the technically challenged one that I am, I typed Sally & Sally Ann Barnes into your search box and clicked on the icon but nothing happened. No surprise for me. I’m telling you tech things are allergic to me. I did cruise through your site and saw some other great posts that I really like, especially the drawings. I’ll be back, friend.

  1. This is such an interesting post. Congratulations on your research! My friend, Cynthia Levinson, just wrote a book that might interest you, “We’ve Got a Job.” She did lots of research and interviews with teenagers who lived in Birmingham during the civil rights march.

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