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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Lucille Burroughs

Lucille Burroughs

Lucille Burroughs, the daughter of a cotton sharecropper in Hale County, Alabama. The photograph was taken in 1935 or 1936 by Walker Evans.

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I have worked with street

I have worked with street children in Brazil and in refugee camps in Bangladesh and living conditions are deplorable. However, upon reading Agee's book I would say that conditions in Depression era Alabama appear to be nearly as bad. The photos here and even in the book are deceiving. The house may appear "huge" yet two of the four rooms in the home were completely unusable due gaping holes in the walls and the roof having collapsed. This left two, quite small rooms a kitchen and a bedroom, in the rear of the house. When you also factor in the lack of food, medical supplies etc. I think the Burroughs's life was on the par with the poorest of third world families today.


You asked where Lucille is today - Sadly she committed suicide in 1971. The Pulitzer Prize-winning book "And Their Children After Them" by Dale Maharidge, Michael Williamson and Carl Mydans tells the story. Her name is changed in the book to Maggie Louise.


I'm afraid that a great percentage of the world's population today live in far worse circumstances. I enjoyed your link to the other pics. This looks like a huge house by most standards, clean and liveable. Lucille herself is a beautiful child. I'd be curious how she is today.

More pics of Lucille and her parents

I haven't seen the whole Shorpy site yet (new member today and I'm so enjoying these great pics), so I don't know if these have been covered here, but I thought people might like to see these pics I found of Lucille, her family, and their home at the time.

Hard to believe human beings lived like this.


TD (aka Rhonda)

for a good time call

Strong and Long-limbed

"Strong and long-limbed like her father, Lucille Burroughs at age ten could pick 150 pounds of cotton a day. She also inherited a less useful legacy: her parents' lifelong debt to a landlord who owned their cabin, farm, tools, mules and the product of all their labor."
Lifted from a Metropolitain Museum of Art web site concerning a photo of Lucille Burroughts and her father


this photo is used on the young adult book out of the dust

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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