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Mother Caroline: 1939

Mother Caroline: 1939

July 1939. Orange County, North Carolina. "Caroline Atwater, wife of Negro landholder, in the yard of her double one-and-a-half-story log house, telling where she was born and how she came to this place." View full size. Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration.


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Caroline Atwater

Samuel Snipes and Tempy Atwater (see the 1880 Chatham census) were from that same area, Lambsville near Chapel Hill. I am also related to the white James Dowdy family from Gulf, N.C., and black Lamberts, Snipes, Rives/Reaves Dowdy families. If you have any info please contact me at 314/249-8972 or at Thank you.

Madeleine Snipes Grant


She seems to have lived a long life, but to have outlived her two boys....hope she had grandchildren or some other family. She seems so lonely.


Her face bears the lines of a harrowing journey. I'd love to just sit and have tea and listen to her talk all day.

Mother Caroline: 1939

This is Joe Manning. According to census records, and to North Carolina records, Caroline Atwater was born about 1865, and died in 1949. She was married to Ennis Atwater. She apparently lived her whole life in North Carolina. She had at least two children, both boys: Jesse, who was born about 1894, and died in 1948; and Philip, who was born about 1907, and died in 1930.

[Thanks, Joe. I have one or two more photos of her to post. - Dave]

You have gotten my curiosity

And where might we find her story?

[See above. - Dave]


Is she standing by a well?

[Well, yes. - Dave]

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