by Brianny Martinez

The story behind this chest begins about 150 years ago, in South Carolina with a slave owner named Jacob Cooley. He commanded his slave, Hosea, to build a chest for him. When Hosea completed the task, Cooley was unsatisfied with the chest that Hosea built so he beat him to death. Hosea’s fellow slaves avenged his death by asking a conjurer to curse the chest. The curse is believed to have led to the death of 17 people close to Cooley because these people inherited the chest after him. His brother, for example, was stabbed to death by his servant after gaining ownership of the chest. Eventually, the curse was lifted by a conjure woman and it now resides in the Kentucky History Museum.