*The ancestors of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and her husband, Patrick Jackson, were, not surprisingly, found to be on opposite sides of slavery, according to The Washington Post’s deep dive into couple’s family trees.
In the article, titled, “Ketanji Brown Jackson’s ancestors were enslaved. Her husband’s were enslavers,” the enslaved ancestors of the Justice and slave owning ancestors of her husband were revealed.
“When John Greene, believed to be an ancestor of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, got off a schooner from Trinidad in Charleston, S.C., he was immediately enslaved and dispatched to a plantation, according to family lore. When John Howland, the 10th-great-grandfather of Jackson’s husband, Patrick Jackson, disembarked the Mayflower at Plymouth, Mass., he was given housing and several acres,” The Washington Post wrote.
The Post continued to lay out the couple’s parallel histories dating back over 100 years.
“Ketanji Brown Jackson, one of the country’s nine most powerful legal arbiters, tracks her family history through generations of enslavement and coercive sharecropping. Patrick Jackson, a gastrointestinal surgeon in D.C., counts among his ancestors King Edward I of England, four Mayflower passengers and a signer of the U.S. Constitution.”
The paper cited Christopher C. Child, senior genealogist with the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, who found that Patrick Jackson’s “great-great-great-great grandfather Peter Chardon Brooks was the richest man in New England when he died, having made his fortune insuring ships, including some involved in the slave trade.”
In addition, the article explained, “Patrick was raised outside Boston, but his maternal grandfather’s ancestors lived in the South. Based on public slave schedules from 1850 and 1860, Child estimates the family owned about 189 enslaved people at the time. ‘Every male ancestor of Patrick’s maternal grandfather over the age of 21 alive in 1850 or 1860 was a slaveowner,’ Child said. One of his ancestors was also a Confederate soldier.”
Neither Ketanji nor Patrick Jackson responded to interview requests from The Washington Post, according to the article.
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