The author connects his experience as a child sitting on the lap of a former slave with his first exposure to African slavery. He traces his family's Scotch-Irish origins to their slave owning in Gentry County, Missouri and how their slave decided to stay with the family until her death 75 years later. The impact of the Civil War and its aftermath on Gentry County and Missouri is documented. He discovers that there may be African-Americans with his blood line and a county memory of a "lynching" in a neighboring county. The former slave serves as a ghostly presence in the county.