Daisy Turner

Daisy Turner
Grafton, VT 1883-1988

Daisy Turner was born June 21st 1883 on Turner Hill in Grafton, VT and lived for more than a century, dying in February, 1988. Her parents had been slaves before the Civil War and she was raised on stories of bondage, of escape, and of war and became a storyteller in her own right. From the very first she was proud of her heritage, and nourished a deep love of family. A strong sense of self, she was feisty and spirited always standing up for her rights as a matter of course. At eight she defied the teacher who had asked her to carry a black doll on the last day of school and say a poem about Africa. Instead Daisy discarded the teacher's recitation, and recited a poem that expressed exactly how she felt, a performance that won her first prize. At 16 she went down to the Boston Market, to confront a man who had cheated her father and returned with the money owed him, and later, in 1927 she brought suite for breach of promise in the East Cambridge, Massachusetts Court House, a black woman against a white man, and won a $3750 settlement!

Audio

Daisy celebrates her own identity. This is the story on which the Vermont Folklife Center children's book, Daisy and the Doll is based.


Daisy recounts the family story of how her father--who was born a slave--put himself at great risk by learning to read. This is the story on which the Vermont Folklife Center children's book, Alec's Primer is based.


Daisy travels to Boston to redress a wrong against her father. From the Vermont Folklife Center's Peabody Award winning audio documentary, Journey's End: The Memories and Traditions of Daisy Turner.


Daisy brings suit for breach of promise in 1927. From the Vermont Folklife Center's Peabody Award winning audio documentary, Journey's End: The Memories and Traditions of Daisy Turner.