My List of Civil War Books

Some followers may be aware that some controversy came up recently regarding James McPherson’s list of scholars and scholarship regarding American history. My blogging friends, Kevin Levin, Megan Kate Nelson (part 1 and part 2), and Nick Sacco have all weighed in and some have challenged others to contribute their lists. By happen chance I was asked through a professional e-mail about some books to broaden one’s knowledge of the Civil War era. Yikes! A big task! Some people’s breadth of “Civil War” only means 1861-1865. I think increasingly, serious historians are pushing not only the period leading toward armed conflict, but looking beyond the land surrenders between April and June 1865.

I happened to already have a list of go-to books on the subject of US Colored Troops during the war and I added to that to send to the person inquiring about what to read. None of the books below include primary sources of edited letters, diaries, or memoirs (though I read many of them). My list lay categorized below:

The Black Experience Antebellum-Wartime:

  1. Jim Downs. Sick from Freedom.
  2. John Hope Franklin. From Slavery to Freedom. [Classic!]
  3. Walter Johnson, River of Dark Dreams. [Side note: I am recommending this and yet haven't read it. I do want to and it's on my to-do list; but glowing reports from many folks I know and trust and reviews show that Johnson has pulled out another well research and well written book.]
  4. Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market. [This is probably my favorite book on this list. Whenever someone asks me about a book to read regarding black experience in America, I jump to say this one. The first page in the introduction should make anyone think twice about declaring slavery a wonderful and benign institution.]
  5. Ervin L. Jordan, Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia.
  6. Maurie McInnis, Slaves Waiting for Sale.

Politicians and Politics:

  1. Charles Dew. Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War. 
  2. Eric Foner. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.
  3. Eric Foner. Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War
  4. Gerard Magliocca.  American Founding Son: John Bingham and the Invention of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Wartime Battlefield Leaders and/or Their Followers:

  1. William J. Cooper, Jr. Jefferson Davis, American.
  2. Joseph Glatthaar. General Lee’s Army: From Victory to Collapse.
  3. Elizabeth Brown Pryor. Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters.
  4. Brooks D. Simpson. Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph Over Adversity, 1822-1865.

Women During the War:

  1. Drew Gilpin Faust, Mothers of Invention.
  2. Judith Giesburg, Army at Home: Women and the Civil War on the Northern Home Front.

United States Colored Troops during the War:

  1. Bryant, James K., II. The 36th Infantry United States Colored Troops in the Civil War: A History and Roster.
  2. Cimprich, John. Fort Pillow, A Civil War Massacre, and Public Memory.
  3. Cornish, Dudley T. The Sable Arm: Negro Troops in the Union Army, 1861–1865.
  4. Dobak, William A. Freedom by the Sword: The United States Colored Troops, 1862-1867.
  5. Gannon, Barbara A. The Won Cause: Black and White Comradeship in the Grand Army of the Republic.
  6. Glatthaar, Joseph T. Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers.
  7. Humphreys, Margaret. Intensely Human: The Health of the Black Soldier in the American Civil War.
  8. Miller, Edward A., Jr. The Black Civil War Soldiers of Illinois: The Story of the Twenty-ninth U.S. Colored Infantry.
  9. Price, James S. The Battle of New Market Heights: Freedom Will Be Theirs by the Sword.
  10. Shaffer, Donald R. After the Glory: The Struggles of Black Civil War Veterans.
  11. Smith, John David, ed. Black Soldiers in Blue: African American Troops in the Civil War Era.
  12. Trudeau, Noah A. Like Men of War: Black Troops in the Civil War, 1862–1865.

Memory Studies:

  1. Blight,  David. Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory
  2. Levin, Kevin M. Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder.

Miscellaneous:

  1. Edward Ayers, In the Presence of Mine Enemies.
  2. Drew  G. Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War.
  3. Mark Grimsley, The Hard Hand of War.
  4. Chandra Manning, What this Cruel War was Over.
  5. James McPherson. Battle Cry of Freedom. [Still the best one volume book on the war.]
  6. Daniel Sutherland, A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerillas in the American Civil War.

The Post-War Years:

  1. Eric Foner. A Short History of Reconstruction.
  2. Thavolia Glymph, Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household.
  3. Caroline E. Janney, Burying the Dead But Not the Past: Ladies’ Memorial Associations & the Lost Cause.
  4. Leon Litwack. Been in the Storm So Long.

So there goes my list. It’s not exhaustive but as far as an overview of the antebellum, wartime, and post-war periods I think it touches on a multitude of issues, certainly the ones I’m interested in. #HistorianChallenge taken and done with.

What do you think?

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What would you tell these people?

A few mornings ago, I think before I had even heard the alarm clock go off, I was bombarded by friends who were not pleased (and as it turned out, I and other sane people were not pleased) with a review of Edward Baptist’s latest book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American CapitalismThe review appeared in The Economist, which has since apologized for printing it.  In part the reviewer stated that Baptist wrote in a way that “almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains.” An image of Lupita Nyong’o who portrayed Patsey in the award winning film, “12 Years A Slave” was captioned “Patsey was certainly a valuable property.”

Slavery in the Atlantic World operated for centuries upon the labor of human beings from Africa and their descendants in the European division of North, Central, and South America into colonies as well as in the Old World (though to a far lesser extent). I am not going to here recount the details of enslavement across time and places; but, I will simply ask what would a defender of slavery say to these people who experienced the institution?

 

Could you tell this woman that she was better off enslaved?

 

Detail of a South Carolina woman. Library of Congress.

Detail of a South Carolina woman. Library of Congress.

Could you tell this man that he was better off living in a system that often did not allow him to protect his wife and children? Mother? Sister? Friends?

 

Detail of Virginia man. Library of Congress.

Detail of Virginia man. Library of Congress.

Could you tell this child that she was more valuable enslaved?

 

Detail of a Richmond, Virginia girl. Library of Congress.

Detail of a Richmond, Virginia girl. Library of Congress.

How honest could you be about how these children got their light skin?

 

Rebecca, Charley & Rosa, slave children from New Orleans. Library of Congress.

Rebecca, Charley & Rosa, slave children from New Orleans. Library of Congress.

I read Melvin Collier’s post tonight that really struck me from the honesty contained in a death certificate. When Nancy Cole died in 1914, her son noted that he could not hazard even a guess as to the names of his mother’s parents because she “was bought from a slave trader in 1845 aged 14 years.” How would Nancy Cole feel knowing that in 2014 there could be anyone who could say or hint that “slavery wasn’t that bad?”

 

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C-Span 3 Re-Airing Program

Dear Readers,

I apologize for the lack of posts; but, as many of you know I have been consumed with 150th anniversary events. Thus I have not done much traveling this summer and summer is nearly over. Oh well.

You can however check again this Wednesday, August 20th on C-Span 3 (http://www.c-span.org/schedule/?channel=3) for the 150th anniversary commemorative program that took place at the Crater battlefield which plays at 8PM. Then around 9:15, the program I gave at the Civil War Institute this year about the United States Colored Troops (USCTs) at the Crater will air. Finally, at 10:15, Kevin Levin’s (of Civil War Memory) program will air.

If you’re busy on Wednesday night, an early to bed person, or a TV news person, you can always catch the USCT talk I gave on the C-Span website.

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Civil War Institute Talk Now Online

Followers who were busy on July 4th and 5th can now view my talk online. I thank my friend Pete Carmichael for asking me to come, the wonderful staff of the Civil War Institute for their work in organizing (especially Diane and Allison), and those who participated in asking questions and continuing this and other conversations at CWI a couple weeks ago.

I have since gotten very nice comments from friends and strangers and I appreciate those too.

To view: http://www.c-span.org/video/?319539-2/us-colored-troops-battle-crater

In this medium, the conversation can continue for those who wish to do so.

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“Just to clarify…”

As I continue to think about the recent Civil War Institute and the talk I delivered on the US Colored Troops’ actions at the Battle of the Crater, I received audience reaction at the conference, have seen one blog post since CWI, and have received various notes on some articles I’ve written recently about white Union troops turning against black Union troops on July 30, 1864. At this point, my research has turned up two accounts of this. The first comes in the form of William Taylor, 100th Pennsylvania Infantry, one of the units in the thick of the battle. Taylor wrote a letter the day after the battle in which he said in part [I’ve italicized the pertinent sentence]:

“The result of yesterdays operations were the killed and wounding of about (3,000 my guess). The loss in our division is 900. The negroes lost most as we shot them ourselves, when they commenced backing. We took a few hundred prisoners, but lost probably twice as many. We gained no ground that we did not have to give up, and the day closed on the 9th Corps considerably demoralized. The old soldiers of it are getting ashamed of it. They are not numerous to redeem the vast amount of poor material that has been put in it. As to the negroes I think they did tolerable well – none but veterans could have been held in the place they were put and it was wrong to put them for the first time in such a bad fix. As to running off – the first two men who ran were two Generals. Why blame the niggers for doing so too? Some of them only fell back as far as the destroyed fort, and were there still fighting when the last man got in that we saw. A rumor came (I know not how} that on finally giving up the ground at the fort, the rebels rushed in and bayoneted every one there, even the wounded, both black and white. I don’t state this as a fact – only a rumor. “

The letter is part of Taylor’s wartime correspondence which has thankfully been digitized by the College of William and Mary. You can read all of his correspondence here.

The second piece of evidence of this comes from George L. Kilmer,14th New York Heavy Artillery, which was also heavily engaged as infantry at the Battle of the Crater. Writing in 1887 for The Century magazine he said in part:

“It has been positively asserted that white men bayoneted blacks who fell back into the crater. This was in order to preserve the whites from Confederate vengeance. Men boasted in my presence that blacks had thus been disposed of, particularly when the Confederates came up.”

Fortunately Google Books has this issue available online.

The Crater after the war

Clarification is an ironic title for this post. It is impossible to ascertain how many white Union troops killed USCTs as the battle was so chaotic. Many more letters and memoirs come from Confederates describing their rage regarding the United States Colored Troops being deployed against them. Nevertheless, clearly some white Union troops did engage in this activity which ended up pitting the USCTs against white Union troops and the Confederates in the final stage of the Battle of the Crater.

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Civil War Institute 2014 Recap

Just back from the Gettysburg College’s Civil War Institute. It was enjoyable to be surrounded by friends, old and new, as I spent three days there. During the 150th anniversary (starting in 2011) of the Civil War, the Civil War Institute has focused on the specific anniversary year. Thus this year, the topics were centered around the war in 1864. Which as far as I’m concerned is the most interesting year of the war.

 

Friday’s programming began in the late afternoon with a masterful overview of the war in that pivotal year of 1864 by my friend (and recent PhD) Brian Matthew Jordan. In 40 minutes or so, Brian complicated the traditional narrative that the war was already won in 1863 and that the North was predestined to victory on the battlefields around the South as well as at the ballot box with the Presidential election in November. He covered North and South, from St. Albans, Vermont to the Trans-Mississippi. I continue to be amazed. He was followed by a conversation between CWI’s director, Peter Carmichael and Gordon Rhea regarding the Overland Campaign in May-June 1864.

 

Saturday’s programming began with Pete Carmichael on Robert E. Lee’s struggles with his corps commanders, James Longstreet (recovering from a wound much of 1864), Richard S. Ewell (shattered by the war and thus sent to command the Richmond defenses in May 1864)/Jubal A. Early, and Ambrose Powell Hill (in and out of command due to his own health issues) as he attempted to annihilate the Federal Army of the Potomac. Following him was Brooks Simpson weaving together humor and seriousness to discuss Ulysses Grant’s ability to deal with what he called the “problem of Virginia.” Brooks stated that Grant did not want to fight in Virginia. In January 1864, before he was tapped as general-in-chief had been asked by then general-in-chief, Henry Halleck for a plan to destroy the Confederacy. Grant consulted with Cyrus Comstock and William F. “Baldy” Smith who had both been in Virginia earlier in the war. Grant ended up proposing an amphibious assault out of eastern North Carolina which could have destroyed the vital Wilmington & Weldon and Petersburg & Weldon railroads. The Army of the Potomac would have protected Washington D.C. Halleck rejected the plan. As Brooks more or less summarized, Grant felt like if Virginia could not be his theater of decision, he would work to make sure Lee could not be the decision maker in the Old Dominion either. Much of the larger plan of Grant would result in the war being decided in the Deep South until the August promotion of Philip Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley to army command. It was then when Virginia was converted to a theater of decision-making on Grant’s terms.

 

Certainly’s Saturday’s most disturbing topic was delivered by Ari Kelman. Ari spoke about the contested memories of the Massacre at Sand Creek which he wrote a book about. It has been well received and received awards. The greatest reminder that I took away from Ari’s talk (beyond the mutilated bodies of Native people) is that the idea of “healing” is very complicated between the Federal government and groups of people who have been oppressed. The creation of Sand Creek National Historical Park was greeted by government officials as an acknowledgement of the massacre that took place there in 1864. Yet descendent tribal leaders struggled to find the healing because of the long, contested and testy relationship between the Federal government and tribal folks. Ari positioned this event within a larger framework of America embarking on its empire as the Republican party could mold through policy and war, how the west would be settled.

 

Almost ironically during the afternoon concurrent sessions, I went to Kevin Levin’s talk about white Union troops’ memories of the Battle of the Crater and Caroline Janney’s talk about Petersburg civilians in 1864-1865. Regrettably, I missed Susannah Ural’s talk Saturday evening as I made final preparations for my program the next morning.

 

Sunday started with my friend Dr. Keith Bohannan speaking on the Atlanta Campaign Keith criticized Sherman’s poor use of cavalry. He also drew the contrasts between Sherman’s positive relationship with the Abraham Lincoln administration and Ulysses Grant and Joseph E. Johnston’s negative relationship with the Jefferson Davis administration. He suggested that Sherman may not be remembered for crushing battlefield victories in 1862-1863; but, he was a master at maneuvering during the Atlanta Campaign.

 

I followed Keith to discuss United States Colored Troops at the Battle of the Crater. I was pleased with the talk; though, I had other examples of reactions to the battle. I did make it through all the participants who approached the microphones to ask questions so there was something to be said for skipping over some examples. I was pleased as soon as the talk was over to see a stream of people line up to ask other questions, express their happiness with the talk, etc. You missed it? You have an opportunity to see it. I’ll explain later.

 

Following my not very “pick me up” story, concurrent sessions broke out and I listened to Eric Leonard discuss the prisoner of war situation in 1864, particularly at Camp Sumter near Andersonville, Georgia. However, it was the story of John January of the 14th Illinois Cavalry that continues to be seared in my brain. January was captured in the summer of 1864 and sent to Andersonville. He was transferred to Florence, South Carolina in November 1864. Having gangrene and a will to live that most of us are fortunate to never have to face, January along with some others managed to amputate his feet since he was not able to convince Southern physicians that his life was worth saving. He did survive and lived many years after the war. Important things to come out of this:

 

  • Andersonville more deadly than the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American history.
  • Andersonville is in a league of its own and apologists need to stop attempting to compare it with Northern prison camps for Confederates or even other Confederate prison camps for Federal soldiers.
  • Prisoner of war exchange breakdown occurs because of the enlistment and service of black men; not a simple refusal of Ulysses Grant or Abraham Lincoln to exchange Confederates.
  • Andersonville’s prisoners were exposed to the slave culture as they were treated to iron collars and dogs hunting them down when they tried to escape. For those who did escape, they found (like runaway slaves), that they found their best help with other blacks.
  • PoW camps are places for us all to reflect on the consequences of all wars.

 

In the afternoon, we heard from Dr. Crystal Feimster about mutiny and rape cases at Fort Jackson, Louisiana. Lt. Colonel Augustus Benedict was a completely disgusting man who fortunately was dishonorably discharged as he treated his ex-slaves turned soldiers no better than the slaveholders they had left behind. What her program partially exposed was that gaps existed between blacks about their freedom and Northern whites’ perceptions of black freedom. Black laundresses, victim to sexual assault, did not simply think of themselves as safety seeking refugees but real working-class women. Blacks could testify against whites in court martial cases, setting up another real belief that there would be something different in the aftermath of the war. Of course, many black people were disappointed in the post-war years to find that equal justice would be elusive. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Dr. Feimster exposed that white officers at Fort Jackson attempted to intimidate and silence the laundresses’ voices as they wished to expose the truth about the sexual violence at the fort. I immediately thought about the long history and the on-going desires by some people to silence and ignore sexual violence. Equally disgusting is the trend of blaming the victim. Among the many areas where people who know history cannot say “History doesn’t matter” because it’s easy to find the echoing voices of these laundresses in the world today including in the United States of America.

 

Concurrent sessions started again and I went to hear Antwain Hunter’s research on black North Carolinians relationship with guns and local and state laws and practices. A question emerged in this talk: did the Confederacy dissolve from conflict between local/county rights versus states’ rights versus national rights/needs? Research by Jamie Martinez regarding slaveholders’ resistance to sending enslaved laborers to dig earthworks in Virginia and North Carolina definitely suggests so.

 

Dinner ran late and so I was prevented from going to Barton Myers’ discussion of guerilla warfare. But based on tweets from those in the session, I can say he drew the conclusion that guerilla warfare did nothing for the Federal or Confederate national aims but stirred local drama and bad relationships.

 

Beyond the talks, it was amazing to see over 400 people in attendance, 250 were first time participants and I’d hazard a guess that some 100 were age 45 or less. There were other black people there and at least one Asian lady. I spoke with several high school and college students after my talk about USCT experience during the war. Thus I was restored to know, I’m not the only young, black person whose love of the Civil War era began when I was a young child. I send my praise to Dr. Pete Carmichael, Dr. Ian Isherwood, Dr. Brian Jordan, Dr. Jill O. Titus and VERY importantly, Diane Brennan, Allison Jordan, and Brian Johnson for their work on putting on an amazingly well-organized conference.

 

Finally, if you’re upset you missed CWI, you can catch several sessions thanks to the great folks at C-Span. Saturday’s sessions were shown live and then stored online. You can view them here: http://series.c-span.org/History/Events/Gettysburg-College-Civil-War-Institute-Annual-Summer-Conference/10737444464/. Sunday’s sessions done by Keith, myself, and Eric and I believe Crystal’s talks were all recorded. Anyway, you can catch those on July 4th on C-Span. Mine is to air at 6PM Eastern time and re-airs at 6AM on July 5th.

 

 

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June 26, 2014 · 4:08 pm

Facing the Past, Facing Your Family

I recently attended the Facing the Past, Freeing the Future: Slavery’s Legacy, Freedom’s Promise symposium which was presented by Randolph College and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. Regrettably, I could only attend on Friday, April 4th but it was a full and good day.

The program opening talk was given by Dr. John d’Entremont, Theodore H. Jack Professor of History at Randolph College. He examined 250 years of how enslaved people built and reformed America through slavery’s existence and destruction and how America grapples with the institution’s legacy and the promises and imaginations of freedom. In fact, his initial comments were that we were meeting on the 149th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s visit to Richmond in 1865 and 45 years after Martin L. King, Jr.’s assassination.

Following this, Dr. Theresa Singleton moderated a panel which included Dr. Barbara Heath, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, author of Hidden Lives: The Archaeology of Slave Life at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest; Lori Lee, Ainsworth Visiting Assistant Professor of American Culture, Randolph College; and Jack Gary, Director of Archaeology and Landscapes, Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. They discussed how archaeology, especially at Poplar Forest is helping to recreate the material world of slavery at Jefferson’s “retreat” which of course was not a retreat for the enslaved community working and living there.

In the afternoon, Annette Gordon Reed of the Harvard Law School, well-known for her books Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy and The Hemingses: An American Family moderated a panel of descendants of black women whose ancestors were caught up in the Diaspora (though one lady’s family was a 20th century move) and most of the panelists were descendants of people who were once enslaved by Thomas Jefferson. However, one panelist, Gayle White is descended through what is likely one of Jefferson’s great-grandson (Side note: Gayle and I met each other in 2013 and discovered we are distantly related).

 

Annette Gordon-Reed moderates afternoon panel "Black Memory."

Annette Gordon-Reed moderates the afternoon panel “Black Memory.”

The morning and afternoon panels were preceded by two one-person representations of fictional blacks who were transitioning from slavery into the post-Civil War period. The morning presentation by a student representing an enslaved woman who had a child with a slave, a child with her former owner and expected to never see him again, and working on transitioning into her new life. It was well received by the audience and she captured the emotions of her character well.

 

Poplar Forest slave quarter area

Morris Lockhart discusses the area where slave quarters were discovered by archaeologists. Sadly, as you can see in the back of the “ghost” structure, modern development has inched into the area.

In the late afternoon, the participants went to visit Poplar Forest. Apparently, the tours there have in the past been very focused on the architecture of Jefferson’s retreat house, which was heavily damaged by fire in 1845. Later alterations inspired a restoration which has included reconstructing elements of the house which have disappeared over the years from the fire and later alterations. While this was the first tour they did which took us to a place where archaeologists located quarters for the Poplar Forest slaves. On my tour, the guide shared stories about William (also called Billy) who went to Monticello in 1812 to learn a trade. However by 1817, he was sent back to Poplar Forest because Jefferson did not like his attitude. Two years later, William attacked an overseer and William ran to Monticello to plead his case to Jefferson. Exactly what happened after that is unclear though William remained at Poplar Forest. Then in 1821, William and two other enslaved men attacked another overseer. They were arrested, tried and William was convicted for attacking the overseer and was burned on the hand and whipped. After this, Jefferson had four men, including William sent to Louisiana. He later tried to escape but was recaptured and sold in New Orleans. Other stories were shared such as Field Hubbard, whom Jefferson gave some small amount of money to to dig his back lawn. In the basement of Poplar Forest, there were exhibits but as we were on a guided tour with a tight timetable, we didn’t get to explore this in any detail. In the house, there is a surviving door made by John Hemmings, who was a joiner and cabinetmaker and a brother to Sally Hemings. This is especially unique considering the 1845 fire and later alterations of the house.

 

 

Nevertheless, the trip to Poplar Forest was a nice treat. Certainly, one of the challenges I found at that site is that since Jefferson did not live at Poplar Forest full time the detailed records, like those at Monticello, are not present. What was the enslaved community’s life like at Poplar Forest?

One way this has been addressed is through the archaeological work that has been going on about 30 years out at Poplar Forest. I’ve got my own work to do in reading Barbara Heath’s book and Jefferson’s Poplar Forest: Unearthing a Virginia Plantation which was edited by Barbara Heath and Jack Gary. However, I’d be ready to go back to Poplar Forest in the future to see how their work is progressing.

Another challenge is that slavery, nor history, stopped when Poplar Forest was sold outside of the Jefferson extended family in the 1820s. In the morning session, Lori Lee and Jack Gary shared information about the Hutter family who owned Poplar Forest in the 1840s, 1850s, and 1860s. Surviving slave quarters from the late 1850s are still standing but in need of restoration and additional interpretation.

This 1857 slave quarter still remains at Poplar Forest. It most likely housed enslaved domestic servants.

This 1857 slave quarter still remains at Poplar Forest. It most likely housed enslaved domestic servants.

 

The greatest part of this program for me was meeting Prinny Anderson and Tess Taylor, who are white descendants of Thomas Jefferson and seeing Gayle again. My own family tree is linked with the Jefferson family; not as directly as Prinny, Tess, or Gayle. My fourth great-grandmother was an Eppes and Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson’s mother was an Eppes. I am a distant cousin of Mrs. Jefferson. However, Tess and Prinny are very open to recognizing that there are all sorts of relationships that human beings develop. In some of those relationships, children are born. The circumstances of interracial relationships in the 1800s are mostly unknown and often (as has been the case publicly in the Jefferson family) have been hidden, denied, or purposefully distorted.

Sometimes our interpretive challenges rest within our own families and how we deal with them often is more a reflection about us than our ancestors.

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