Lessie Young Clay

Lessie Young was the great-granddaughter of Reuben and Susan Scott, enslaved foreman and domestic servant brought to northern Alabama by Jefferson’s great-grandson William Stuart Bankhead in 1846.  She, like her ancestors, worked for Jefferson’s descendants and, for many years, was cook for Bankhead’s granddaughter Miss Cary Hotchkiss.  Her husband, Elbert Clay, was farm foreman.  Bankhead descendants preserved Lessie Clay’s recipes, heard her talk of her ancestors at Monticello, and recorded her memories in a joint interview with Miss Cary in 1971.