87-year-old visits slave cabin she was born in, now at African-American History Museum


On Tuesday, Isabell Meggett Lucas, 87, visited the home where she was born in Edisto Island, South Carolina. Except she had to go visit it in Washington, D.C. 

That's because Lucas's childhood home was a slave cabin on display at the African-American History Museum. 

According to local television station WRC, the Edisto Island slave cabin is the only one remaining of 10 such cabins that were built on a patch of land owned by Charles Bailey, who became wealthy through slavery.   

Lucas told WRC that, though she was born there, she did not know it was a slave cabin when she was growing up. 


"I lived in there until I was 19 and left home," Lucas told WRC. 

The cabin is on display in the slavery and freedom section of the museum, but Lucas she did not know growing up that slaves had lived at the cabin. To them, it was just home. She slept in one room with her nine brothers, while her parents slept in the cabin's other room. 

The cabin had no electricity, refrigerator, bathroom or running water. As such, Lucas and her brothers spent most of their time outside playing games, being chased by the family horse or gathering wood for the stove. 

Lucas' mother lived in the cabin until 1981, after which it was given to the Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society and then the Smithsonian. 

Nancy Bercaw, a curator at the museum, said people like Lucas are a part of the museum's history. 

"This is the most beautiful thing that could've happened — the Meggetts coming forward and visiting us and sharing these stories with us," Bercaw said.