She was born on September 8, 1796 in Virginia and moved with her family to Spartanburg, South Carolina at the age of three, an event she remembered vividly in 1902 when interviewed by the Dallas Morning News. John Scott was a farmer and the father of three sons and eight daughters.
While most of her family appears to have died young, Zilpha would more than outlive all of them, her life spanning three centuries. When she was born George Washington was serving his second term as the first president of the United States. Although Napoleon Bonaparte had just married Josephine his rise to power had not yet evolved.
“My people were hard-working people,” she declared. “We worked in the fields with plows drawn by oxen and made crops that way for my father the year before I was married.”1 Her childhood dresses were made of flax cloth, although she fondly remembered the first calico dress she made.
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