Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cue the Twilight Zone Theme Music!

A little less than twenty-four hours ago, I learned for the first time that my great- great- grandfather was held in slavery in Clay County, Missouri by a man named Henry Wilhite.

Tonight as I was going to bed, I grabbed a book off the shelf to read myself to sleep. I wasn't looking for a particular book, just any book. The book I grabbed turned out to be In Search of the Racial Frontier:African-Americans in the American West, 1528-1990, by Quintard Taylor, a professor of history at the University of Oregon. [I've had the book for nine years and never cracked it open before tonight]. I skipped around in the book and finally came to pages 75-76, discussing ex-slaves in Oregon. This passage leapt off the page and nearly knocked me back:

[Amanda] Johnson, born in Clay County, Missouri, in 1833, was brought to Oregon in 1853 by her owner, Nancy Wilhite.

Coincidence? I don't think so . . . .

4 comments:

Miriam said...

Oh, wow! Very cool!

Craig Manson said...

Yes! And it shows that one can never predict where genealogical clues might be found or where they might lead.

Becky said...

I'll second that Wow! Sometimes I think ancestors "remain in hiding" until they are ready to be found. Call it serendipity, coincidence, luck, or whatever you want, it is so cool when it happens and the goose bumps come out all over...

Craig Manson said...

Becky, you are so right!