Skip to comments.Obama isn't the only one whose ancestors owned slaves (DOESN'T EVERYONE???)
Posted on 03/04/2007 5:18:36 PM PST by Chi-townChief
Before Friday, I did not know that my ancestors owned slaves. Now that I know, I almost wish I didn't. As they say, ignorance is bliss. I don't have that luxury anymore. Now I'll have to deal with it. For years, you see, my mom had tried to get me to take an interest in our family history.
She's compiled quite a bit of research and just wanted me to help get it organized and maybe take it to the next level before she's unable.
But for some reason, I never could get interested. When you have a name like Brown, you don't have much confidence that anybody is going to be able to accurately trace your roots.
About the only genealogical finding of my mom's that ever got my attention was learning that my dad's cousin, Clarence "Hooks" Lott, briefly pitched in the Major Leagues for the St. Louis Browns and New York Giants in the 1940s -- thus giving hope that some latent gene in the Brown lineage might yet produce a descendant who will rise above the athletic mediocrity that has characterized the family during my lifetime.
Then I read a story Friday from the Baltimore Sun reporting that it appears one of Sen. Barack Obama's ancestors on his mother's side was a slave owner, the dubious implication being that this somehow makes Obama less attuned to the struggles of American blacks.
My immediate reaction was: What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?
But it also prompted me to give mom a call about the family tree, telling myself the worst news she could give me was that some distant relative fought for the Confederacy.
Thought they were poor hillbillies As far as I knew, my family had always been dirt poor. Both my parents trace their roots to the hills of Missouri. Beyond that, I knew my mom's side -- the Richardsons -- came from Kentucky. We're hillbillies, though I never thought of myself as such until I moved to Chicago, and people started asking me about my ethnic heritage. It never was an issue anywhere else I'd lived. I'd answer by explaining what little I knew, and they'd say, "So, you're a hillbilly," and after fighting the notion for a while, I decided they were right.
I'd considered it unlikely that my hillbilly ancestors could afford to own slaves.
Mom set me straight.
"I can tell you that we did have slaves," she said. "At one time, the Richardsons were wealthy, and they did have slaves."
It's probably not coincidental that my mom switched from "we" had slaves in one sentence to "they" had slaves in the next, because I'll tell you, it's a hard thing to say out loud. It's even hard to write.
"I don't remember you ever telling me this before," I told my mom, trying to push some of the guilt I was feeling off on her.
"I don't remember you ever listening to me before," said mom, properly pushing it back.
So here are the ugly facts, as best as I can glean them from some grainy documents from Pulaski County, Kentucky, that mom sent me.
My great-great-great-grandfather David E. Richardson was the last of my direct forebears to own slaves.
It appears he inherited them from the estate of his father Charles (my great-great-great-great-grandfather) just months before selling them on Feb. 25, 1853, to one of his brothers for $170. The brothers also may have inherited other slaves from Charles.
It's unclear to me exactly how many slaves in total they owned, but the handwritten records make specific reference to "one Negro boy named Tom about 17 years old of yellow complexion," as well as a 5-year-old girl named Sarah and 7-year-old boy named Patrick, "both of black complexion."
We had family on the other side of war, too Mom surmises that David Richardson, who had 16 children, sold the slaves because he had little money and couldn't afford them. She believes our family had owned slaves dating back to the late 1700s when my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Jesse Richardson, a brigadier general in the Revolutionary War, received a grant of land for his war service and became wealthy as a result.
One more pertinent fact: My great-great-grandfather Milford R. Richardson, the son of the last family slaveholder, did fight in the Civil War -- for the Union Army. He enlisted near the end in 1865, just long enough to be seriously injured -- when he was kicked by a mule.
Obama spokesman Bill Burton told the Baltimore Sun that the senator's ancestors "are representative of America."
"While a relative owned slaves, another fought for the Union in the Civil War," Burton said. "And it is a true measure of progress that the descendant of a slave owner would come to marry a student from Kenya and produce a son who would grow up to be a candidate for president of the United States."
An Obama presidential candidacy was always sure to make us re-examine race in America.
I just hadn't counted on the examination hitting so close to home.
Here are the other two articles:
Yet somehow GWB is a NAZI because his grandfather did business with the German gov't in 1939.
They're right - it doesn't matter. Next controversy?
I wish everyone would just leave it alone and get on with it..........at one time it was legal, now it is not!
It was wrong and it was corrected......by Republicans!!!
My family were PA coal miners and railroad workers. My German grandfather that was in the mines fought against Irish in their small town. Life was different in the 1920s.
This is as stupid as the Virginia legislature wasting time with the "apology for slavery" nonsense, as well as my own state of Missouri. If you, at some point in your life, have owned slaves, then you should apologize. If you haven't, then go on about your business. If you have been forced to pick cotton while in a legal state of involuntary servitude, then you deserve an apology (from the person to whose service you were in). If none of the above applies to you, then shut up and get on with your life.
Not that it matters who corrected it............
Strom Thurman and Trent Lott are still as bad as Hitler when they use their special sunglasses that make them blind to U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd's past.
The charade of the MSM becomes even more transparent as time passes.
Spare us, Bill. Being a candidate for President doesn't mean squat. Need evidence? Kucinich, Nader, Sharpton, Jackson, etc.
So, now it's okay to own slaves???
I'm hoping they will go to the next step and decide it's okay to smoke and get those d--- smoking nazis off our backs.
Anyone who has long-time antecedants in the south will run across a few slaves. One didn't have to be particularly wealthy to own a few. My GGGG (some number of G's) was a Baptist missionary/preacher in South Carolina and his will showed 3 slaves.
It's kinda like being able to afford a cleaning lady today -- wish I could.
I mean, forget it already, it was another time in a galaxy far, far away. It should never have been brought up. (thank you, Hillary)
Quite a problem for Obama and the reparations crew (which Barack Hussein says he's against; now we know why)
LOL - I hadn't thought of that!
No, actually my ancestors were slaves to the British in Ireland. We demand reparations, by the way.
"....Baltimore Sun reporting that it appears one of Sen. Barack Obama's ancestors on his mother's side was a slave owner...."
Yeah.....and it is also entirely that Obama's daddy the elite foreign-educated kenyan has some slave-sellers/owners in his own ancestry....
nonetheless, the race-pimps ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS avoid the fact that America threw slavery off in less than a century after America was formed
mine were too poor to have slaves in Indiana, where is my check? where is my daughters free education?
If you are looking for a handout, jodie has your girl.
Yeah.....and it is also entirely that Obama's daddy
Yeah.....and it is also entirely POSSIBLE that Obama's daddy
Give it up, guys! It's too complicated. Given the prevalence of slavery in EVERY culture back to the dawn of time . . . until the Brits started the ball rolling on abolition back in the early 19th century . . . we all have slaves and slaveholders on the family tree.
This writer was so worried he might have a Confederate soldier on the family tree. Sheesh . . . I've got 8 or 9 of them, and I still live.
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