In First Lady’s Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery

In 1850, the elderly master of a South Carolina estate took pen in hand and painstakingly divided up his possessions. Among the spinning wheels, scythes, tablecloths and cattle that he bequeathed to his far-flung heirs was a 6-year-old slave girl valued soon afterward at $475. In his will, she is described simply as the “negro girl Melvinia.” After his death, she was torn away from the people and places she knew and shipped to Georgia. While she was still a teenager, a white man would father her first-born son under circumstances lost in the passage of time. Read More … [Read more...]

Woman on crusade to reclaim long-forgotten cemetery

Since she was a girl, Sonya Hodges had been told the cemetery where her grandfather was buried was gone. In July, she went to see for herself. What she found behind Interstate Polymer Group, just outside Columbia, was a scattering of headstones in an abandoned cemetery. Read More … [Read more...]

Paying tribute to a Masonic icon

The Prince Hall Memorial will not bear its namesake’s image when it is erected on Cambridge Common this November. No pictures of the indentured servant-turned-abolitionist can be found, nor much description on which to base an artist’s depiction. And while Prince Hall’s contributions to American history and the antislavery movement are familiar to historians and members of the Masonic lodge he created, he is not a well-known figure. Read more: The Boston Globe … [Read more...]

Mystery Florida Graveyard May Be Historical Bahamian Cemetery

An unmarked cemetery found in South Florida is believed to be the burial site of over 500 Bahamians, Florida officials say. Florida historian, Larry Wiggins, says he believes the site is of the Lemon City Cemetery, a cemetery for settlers from the Bahamas who went to South Florida in the early 1900s to tend to wealthy whites, and to help build Florida’s most cosmopolitan city. Teresita DeVeaux, a 100-year-old woman who was born in the Bahamas and moved to Miami as a child during the early 1900s, told international media that she remembered that a young man named Theophilus Clark was … [Read more...]