Sallie was born into slavery at Tuckahoe on February 15, 1858. Her mother was Henrietta Boyd and her grandparents were Spy and Mahala Boyd. No notes were made of Sallie’s father and there is no indication that Henrietta had started a family with anyone at Tuckahoe. While it is possible that the father was an enslaved man on another plantation, there is also speculation that the father may have been a member of the Allen family or possibly an overseer on the property. Sallie had at least one older sister (Mary Eliza) and a younger brother (James). The father of these children is unknown as well.
Sallie, her siblings, and their mother continued to live with the rest of the Boyd family in the South Cabin along Plantation Street, which would have now housed around 10 people. Mr. Allen noted in the margins of his account that the family was allotted 5 blankets at that time.
After the Civil War, a number of the Boyd family stayed in the area and is thought to have continued working at Tuckahoe for pay. It is not known if Henrietta and her children stayed nearby or left the area completely.