Margaret Jones, born a slave, was owned by John Hollins of Hollins Mill. Later a midwife in Lynchburg, Mrs. Jones was “a woman of the highest respectability, loved and honored by all who knew her, both white and colored.”
The craft of midwifery was often passed down in families, with young women apprenticed to older ones. Besides helping pregnant women give birth, midwives made sure that new mothers rested in bed in a darkened room for ten days to two weeks. New mothers were not allowed to wash their hair, go out of doors too soon, or eat anything that might slow down the healing process.