In light of the recent dustup where Senator John McCain said that Senator Barack Hussein Obama is using the race card, I decided to look and see if there were any other Presidential candidates that were of African descent that came close to being President. As this is something I had never considered in the past, the information surprised me.
Under our current Constitution we’ve had 43 Presidents. Of those, there are five that seem to have been black. If we go back further, we’ve actually had seven other Presidents and the first, John Hanson, is said to be a black man. For the purpose of this writing, I’m going to stick to the Presidents we’ve had under our current Constitution.
Several studies have been done. Dr. Leroy Vaughn, Joel A. Rogers and Dr. Auset Bakhufu all have written on this subject. Following are the five taken from the three historians listed.
President Thomas Jefferson: 3rd President of the United States. In 1867, Thomas Hazard wrote a book called “The Johnny Cake Papers”. In it, he quotes someone that was present during the 1796 campaign who said that a speaker said that Thomas Jefferson was “a mean-spirited son of a half-breed Indian squaw and a Virginia mulatto father.” Samuel Sloan in his book “The Slave of Thomas Jefferson”, said that when Jane Randolph Jefferson died in 1776, Jefferson destroyed all papers, portraits, and personal effects of his mother. He states that Jefferson even went so far as to write to everyone that his mother had written to and requested that all letters written by his mother be returned to him. This is odd when you consider that Jefferson saved over 18,000 of his own letters and other papers for future references.
President Andrew Jackson: 7th President of the United States. According to the Virginia Magazine of History volume 29, said Jackson was the son of a white woman who married a negro following the death of her husband, which was long before Andrew Jackson was born. There is also information gathered by Joel Rogers that said Andrew had an older brother who was sold into slavery. Rogers says that when Jackson’s father died, his mother went to live on Crawford Farm which had negro slaves and one of them fathered the future President. In the book “Ordeal of the Presidency” by David Coyle, there is another account of Jackson’s brother being sold into slavery.
President Abraham Lincoln: 16th President of the United States. William Herndon was Lincoln’s law partner. In his book, “The Hidden Lincoln” he says that Lincoln’s father Thomas Lincoln, couldn’t be his father because as a child, he had mumps rendering him sterile and he was castrated. Herndon claimed earlier that Lincoln’s mother was of Ethiopian descent and that Lincoln had dark skin and coarse hair. Lincoln’s opponents in the Presidential race nicknamed him Abraham Africanus the First. J.A. Rogers quotes Nancy Hanks, the Presidents mother saying her son Abraham was the illegitimate son of an African man.
President Warren G. Harding: 29th President of the United States. President Harding is probably the best case for having a black heritage. Harding never denied it. He was called on by Republican leaders to deny the “Negro” history. However, President Harding said “How should I know whether or not one of my ancestors might have jumped the fence?” A white Professor of economics and politics at Wooster College in Ohio by the name of William Chancellor wrote on the Harding family history and discovered black ancestors on both of the Presidents parents sides of the family. It’s said that Justice Department agents bought and destroyed all copies of the book. Chancellor also said that the Presidents academic credentials included education at Iberia College. Iberia College was founded to educate fugitive slaves.
President Calvin Coolidge: 30th President of the United States. Coolidge admitted his mother was dark because of mixed Indian heritage. Dr. Bakhufu said that the New England Indian had mixed so often with blacks by 1800 that they weren’t pure Indians. The Presidents mothers maiden name was “Moor”. As “Negro” was used in America to identify black people, “Moor” was the term used in Europe for their identification.
While some of the information seems pretty thin evidence of our former President’s heritage, other seems pretty well informed and descriptive. First hand descriptions and research on family history seems more credible to me than why someone destroyed papers.
So while the liberal media (CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNBC, PBS) all drool over Barack Hussein Obama being the first black President in history and doing all they can to get him elected, I’m convinced that there have been at least five other Presidents in our history that have been black.
I welcome your comments.