The Story of the Black Fortune Teller “Aunt Caroline” of Elgin, Arkansas

3 Posted by - October 29, 2022 - BLACK WOMEN, LATEST POSTS

Caroline Tracy Dye, known as “Aunt Caroline, was a highly respected fortune teller in the 19th century. Born into slavery in Spartanburg, South Carolina around 1843, her parents died when she was still an infant. She became aware of her abilities at a very young age, as she reportedly could see things that no one else could see.

She later moved to Elgin in Jackson County where she married Martin Dye on June 16, 1867. They had one child, a girl, who died at the age of eleven months. Through the years, they raised several children who were not their own, including children who were biologically related to Dye.

Although, she never considered herself a fortune teller, other people gave her that title. In some regions, she was reportedly as well-known as President Woodrow Wilson. Her clientele came from all over the mid-south, with an especially devoted group of followers from Memphis. So many people traveled into the region to see her that a train was named the “Caroline Dye Special.”

Her clients were both black and white, and although payment was not required for her services, most of clients showed their appreciation by giving her a few dollars for a reading. Dye reportedly received up to thirty letters a day, most of which included payment for her services. Some prominent white businessmen in the area reportedly would not make important decisions before consulting her advice. All day long, people crowded into her home to wait for a reading, so she took advantage of the large number of visitors and sold meals from her house.

Dye only used a deck of cards to help her concentrate on her clients’ readings. She never gave readings relating to love or the outcome of World War I, but she gave visions of the future for her clients and offered advice on various matters, such missing people, animals, and objects. Dye died on September 26, 1918.




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