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Showing posts with label James Madison. Show all posts
Showing posts with label James Madison. Show all posts

Friday, June 08, 2007

They Didn't Forget to Remember

A saying was passed down in Bettye Kearse's family: "Remember your name is Madison." A reunion of slave descendants this weekend at James Madison's Virginia plantation might bring her a step closer to proving the truth of the saying.

Kearse said her family traces its roots back to a slave named Corean, who was reportedly owned by Madison and gave birth to a son named Jim. When Jim was sold to a plantation owner in Tennessee, she told him not to forget he was a Madison in case they should ever reconnect. Since then, the saying's meaning has evolved.

"Initially it was a tool, then it became valuable after the slaves were free because my family really did well. They owned property, participated in government, learned to read and then they passed this legacy on," Kearse said. [Link]

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Founding Father Found Fathering

James Madison was a protégé of fellow Virginian Thomas Jefferson, and succeeded him as president. Could the two men have had something else in common?

[Bettye] Kearse, a practicing pediatrician who has a doctorate in biology, has traced her pedigree back to a slave named Mandy who bore a daughter, Coreen, with James Madison Sr. Coreen, also a slave, bore a son, Jim, with her half-brother, James Madison Jr. Since James and Dolley Madison never had children, Kearse could prove that Madison's only descendents are Black.

Kearse, of Dover, Mass., says the foundation of her claim is based on oral history. When Jim was sold, Coreen reportedly told him "always remember you're a Madison." [Link]

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