Sophie Walton was born a slave on a Georgia plantation in 1856. Her master was a Mr. Walton. In 1864, Mr. Walton could no longer keep his slaves. The Union Army had freed them and he could not afford to pay for their labor.
To his credit, Mr. Walton did his best to find jobs for his former slaves. But at this time Sophie was only 9-years-old, too young to hire out on her own. So he placed her in the home of a friend in Fayetteville, Georgia.
Mr. Walton’s friend put her to work as a nanny for his children. In return, she received room & board, and a small stipend. However, now Sophie was separated from her family for the first time and she experienced considerable fear and loneliness. To her good fortune, Martha Fuller, the family cook took Sophie under her wing and served as the young girl’s role model and guardian angel.
Some how, some way, Sophie had learned to play cards and, from all accounts, she was quite a good gambler. She could count cards and knew how to cheat without being detected, even by the grownups in her adopted family.
As her wards grew into young teenagers, she showed them how to play cards. Sometimes, their cousin, John Henry, would visit and he too enjoyed learning card games like poker and faro. From all accounts, he was a very attentive student.Read More