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Mary Lee Brady, Ph.D.

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March-April 2010

Battle Hymn of the Republic                    

"Go and tell John what you have seen and heard" [Luke]

Site is about energetic and enterprising ancestors and others of  faith rooted in philosophy of Jesus, declaration of Thomas Jefferson, and visions of Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr.  We hope our topics listed on left below will help enlighten and motivate parents, preachers, teachers, students and writers who profess knowledge about "the least of us." 

We want gifted youth in particular to take time out for meditation, not medication, to hear better angels of their nature.  Maybe care about heritage, explore DNA linkages and contemplate how so many souls got over to a better life?   Have enough curiosity and respect to try and understand, rather than judge the faith of men and women who had very little else to have and hold close such as music. 

                                     Mahalia Jackson "How I Got Over"

New generations of curious mothers like Dr. Laura Kathleen Hemings Lee Brady Sullivan (on left), a living descendent of functional Christian caring, .... still look to us for information about the past and want to know how they are daughters of the American Revolution, not simply a descendent of Sarah (Sally) Hemings and Thomas Jefferson or other celebrated persons. 

As a scientist, she does not need a DNA test to ascertain her ancestry, but rather affirmation in the body and spirit of Jesus Christ that spanned generations of goodness for revolutionary change to achieve "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness." 

                                        Valley Forge & After

The facts of human matter are that Americans from the beginning of English and even French and Spanish explorations and settlements in the early through late 16th and 17th centuries procreated hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of offspring by concubines of African and Native American heritage. 

Whether called mulatto or Indian, successive generations procreated often blurred color distinctions to the point that many women married as white women by early colonists had both European and African heritage in their DNA trace.   Sizeable numbers of European origin women, excepting Puritans and Quakers, did not accompany husbands or emigrate in significant numbers, even as criminals and indentured servants, until the beginning of the 18th century.  

Seventeenth and eighteenth centuries of North America as it was, not the way most historians choose to remember it, ... were centuries of mighty men who conquered the geography and all within it including the weather and women of all colors, class and caste.  Offspring of unions between men and women ought not be a mystery to minds otherwise intelligent enough to accept facts evidenced in human DNA sequences. 

Many thousands of African-Americans from the very earliest years of European colonization, including English, French, Spanish and Dutch, ... were of mixed heritage including Native Americans.

George Washington knew the heritage of William Lee via his father Colonel John Lee, and was not surprised by William's courage and mastery of equestrian skills.  This trait also extended down to women like his descendent Betty Lee Thornhill, a former beauty queen in the 1940s, and who always cared about her heritage of caring for others, ... generations after the death of Frank and William Lee at Mount Vernon.   

She was born of a father Temple J Lee & Irene Jackson up from Virginia that helped hundreds of migrant Blacks from behind the cotton curtain and many White immigrants from Eastern Europe gain employment in the Pittsburgh coal industry wherein he established and operated a prosperous coal transport business (mules and trucks) for mine owners as his customers. And, his family owned and loved riding horses.  Without men like him, it is unlikely that so many miners from Alabama and Georgia would have known about and come to Pittsburgh region for jobs that paid well. 

Gaining the knowledge and access to jobs as coal miners was never easy for anyone, especially African-Americans located hundreds of miles away from people with power to hire.  So it was that men like the Lee family founders of Sunrise Baptist Church in a small coal mining town went out of their way to help generate knowledge and access (including mining licenses that by State law required 18 months of apprenticeship)

For a would-be miner to get a job in the mines of Pennsylvania, he had to have contact with someone who wanted to afford him a helping hand to meet the man that would take him in under their wings of care that often involved risks and a loss of production pay for goodness sake.  Selfish men never did or would be helpful.

D & A evidence now confirms what many African-Americans like Lee descendents (Betty Lee Thornhill and daughter Irene Thornhill Stuart) on far right have known or at least believed for eight Christian generations since that of William Lee who died in 1828 and is buried in an unmarked grave at Mount Vernon, not far from the tomb of George Washington.  Finding William Lee, digging up his remains and testing his DNA along with that of Black and White Lee males buried across Virginia might prove interesting but not useful to us.

We are seeking to comprehend and imagine the spirit that was within the man, not simply his flesh. We believe there are many thousands of Lee descendents generated from seeds planted at Mount Vernon. William and his brother Frank in the 18th century sired many, if not most, of the African-Americans living today and using surname of Lee in virtually every state of the union. Many are dynamic & aggressive personalities like Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California, ... and unique in adventurist and equestrian attributes. Indeed, who is Congresswoman Lee?

                                              Congresswoman Barbara Lee

During visits to Mount Vernon by descendents, they know his remains are there and certainly by now, ... he and his brother Frank's spirits know Lee offspring visits occur because of caring about what they cared about.  Yes, their lives were useful and helpful, not simply to George Washington and fellow slave owners. For sake of affirming their faith, ... some Lee carriers of common genetic traits might argue the long-held supposition put forth by other ethnic and racial groups. 

Is it possible that certain sperm and eggs are chosen to generate thousands of souls (like our beloved Barbara Lee, daughter of a career military patriot) needed for liberation and salvation?  Why do such people care about "the least of us." Anthropology, Ideology, psychology, sociology, theology or more than that? Perhaps their DNA can help explain?

From the generation of two brothers fathered in mid 18th century by a English colonial militia officer emerged not only enslaved participants in the American Revolution for political and economic liberty championed by George Washington, ... but also hundreds of descendent volunteers two generations later in Union Army and Navy to help end chattel slavery and foster human liberties expanded by Abraham Lincoln.  Emancipation could not have occurred without them and their kind of young men who proved to be useful in their faith and functions.   Their descendents ought to try and understand they too are sons and daughters of the American Revolution whether or not others embrace them.

                                            Lee Patriots      

We do know that daughters and sons of free men and women of color, as a result of sacrifices on their behalf, ... were able to embrace conventional marriage in generation of goodness in life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for their offspring generations.  Proof is depicted in below photograph taken in 1939 of Thomas Findley Lee great-great grand-son of William Lee and wife Mary Elizabeth Hemings great-great grand-daughter of Elizabeth (Betty) Hemings. Mary Elizabeth Hemings Butler Lee and her husband Thomas Findley Lee (retired livery business owner) in their garden on Monticello Street in Pittsburgh, PA.

Mary Elizabeth Hemings Butler, b. 1863 

Thomas Findley Lee, b. 1859

And, like it or not, Elizabeth (Betty) Hemings who died in 1807 is buried at Monticello in eyesight of Thomas Jefferson's tomb.  Indeed, death had no victory over them with literally hundreds of descendents who still name children in their honor.  There are few officially census classified Black families or individuals in America without some East Asian, European and African ancestry. 

Indeed, love of family relations, horses and helping others among generations of so-called Black Lee's in American likely exceeds that of the other Lee descendents tracing their heritage back to England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, ... wherein many Irish young women were taken as wives and concubines by conquering landlords from England, Scotland and Wales. 

Indeed, the game of "bridge" could only have been invented by the amazing British evolvement and conquests that included evolution of analogy and language of empowerment for all seasons and places far beyond the restraints of old world theologies and mysteries by robed men with minor league minds.  Britannia ruled. 

The Royal Family

Queen Charlotte, Wife of King George

And, America and Europe have long had a lot more Whites with some African ancestry than care to recall it, including Queen Charlotte.  Indeed, color has blinded many scholarly descendents of 20th century immigrants who do not know America's Revolution of 1776-1783 also included many people of African heritage.  So, ... we have to seek through archives to enlighten!   

We do not deny that many mothers during and after slavery were untruthful and even unknowledgeable in the fatherhoods of their offspring.  Genetically evil ones came from Africa along with the good. We have no illusions that all people sold into slavery were innocent victims. 

But, a driving issue on this site is that most enslaved mothers of future goodness knew and cared who were the fathers of their children.  Many were courageous in naming their children in knowledge of fathers in a dominant culture that legally sought to classify them as little more than breeding stock in the category of other farm animals rather than human beings.  We believe a conscious effort in the spirit of Christ was evidently made by many mothers to name offspring with bloodline traces to their heritage, ... Black, White and Native American, Males and Females. 

           And, then ... ALONG CAME BETTY

Who are daughters and sons of America's first and second revolutions and who has DNA links to:

          Elizabeth (Betty) Hemings

                           and

               William Lee's Story

(negatively depicted as a frightful turban wearing eunuch in portrait of fearless George Washington many years after Washington's death in year 1799. Portrait was initiated and sponsored by lawyer/novelist Washington Irving (writer of Rip Van Winkle) whose extended family in America-England were "merchants" in the very lucrative golden triangle of denigration and death for least of us. And most lawyers reasoned it to be good.

His kind of intellectualism categorized and classified slaves as sub-human chattel not worthy of post-revolutionary war Christian compassion urged by believers like William Wilberforce in England.  Anti-slavery activists were opposed by opportunist racist lawyers like Francis Scott Key in USA.  Before death, Washington had publicly stated that slaves should be freed and trained to be useful: prompting lawyers like Irving to portray the well-known William Lee as a inferior being in order to argue slaves were like children who needed to be cared for and protected as useful servants/slaves, ... not men of useful means. 

 

The above portrait was commissioned and supervised by Washington himself with several sittings that included William Lee in a dignified pose, standing, not stooping, frightful, turban headed or dancing. Washington dictated who should be included in portrait of what he considered to be his closest family circle, ... excluding his nephew Bushrod Washington and the body-servant of wife Martha.  He specifically stated this was the picture he wanted posterity to remember him by. 

By contrast the portrait commissioned by Washington Irving as a tribute to the man he did not know but claimed to admire was painted long after death of George Washington and quite opposite of the distinguished image of William Lee seen above. 

It is evidence of the power that artists and writers then and now are able to exert about people they have never seen.  Images including Hollywood characterizations are products of attitudes, good and bad, and too often for purposes of denigrating "the least of us!"

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