The Scoundrel’s Descendant

Over my years of study I’ve read a few slave narratives, but it’s always a smack in the face to read a fresh one. It’s worth remembering, when the debates rage on States’ Rights and the other distracting discussions, that slavery was a horrific, inhumane system that deeply affected real people. The arguments are a lot easier to rebut when you put yourself in their shoes.

This article’s interesting, too, for its j’accuse towards the North, who was also benefitting from the products of slavery.

Twenty years ago, DeWolf discovered he was the direct descendant of a “scoundrel.” When his distant ancestor, Senator James DeWolf, died in 1837, he was the second richest man in America. Much of his wealth was acquired from the most successful slave-trading dynasty in history. A dynasty he built.

The discovery prompted DeWolf and 10 family members to research their checkered ancestry. Their efforts uncovered historical “myths” surrounding slavery that perpetuate a false history, and obscure the origins of social inequities that endure today, DeWolf said.

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