Nellie Ellen Johnson, grand-daughter of Madison and Mary Hemings was the daughter of Mary Ann Hemings, and born at war's end in 1865 to Mary Ellen and David Johnson. She died in 1938 on the eve of another "great war of Armageddon" that would kill over 50,000,000 human beings and in which the forces of good would again defeat those of the evil empires.
Enlightened and educated to read more a few biblical passages, her world of learning understood the great literature did not suggest one big battle for righteousness but rather symbolized the triumph of good over evil She had seen pictures with her own eyes of children in the exploited Congo River basin who were little more than slaves in the ruthless exploitation by Belgium seeking mineral wealth, including copper, gold, timber and especially diamonds. She heard and believed men like George Washington Williams that it too would be overcome by goodness.
She lived much of her life in Illinois among descendents of the hundreds of thousands enslaved along the Mississippi River at bastions of slavery like Vicksburg, Mississippi. She had heard stories from her grandfather Madison Hemings no doubt about the great battle wherein the forces of goodness that included her kinfolks besieged and destroyed the great City of Babylon, and that one of her relatives Thomas Hemings is buried there in the National Cemetery maintained by the U.S. Parks Service and Veterans Administration.
In her lifetime she had seen a similar "Armageddon" occur during 1914-1918 that killed another 50 million people because of European greed in colonizing the world and subsequent competition in a race for greater armaments. Nellie had seen much of the world turn away from the ideals of Abraham Lincoln to that of nation states more akin to values of Romans than those of Christ, ... and paying the price for continued godlessness.
Nellie did not live to see "Armagedden" that come for the Jews, Gypsies, Slavs and other Europeans but she would not have been surprised at the reality of what occurs when evil is unchallenged by goodness to overcome it. Germany since at least the era of Martin Luther had been a bastion for Messianic Christian thought and in the 18th and 19th centuries had produced some of the world's greatest theologians and jurists, ... but, barely two decades after Nellie Ann Johnson was born had generated a child that became the monster Adolf Hitler. He did not simply exterminate most of European Jewry, ... he came close to making evil, such as slavery once again appear good and legitimate in eyes of many tens of millions of human beings.
She was a Christian woman from all that we know, but as one of Hemings ancestry knew that a life in Christ was about the cause of generating new and better generations than existed during her life-time. By the time she was born in August 1865, many people of African heritage (such as those below in front of the First African Church of Richmond) understood that being a Christian was about daily congregating with others for doing of good deeds, ... a lot more than she witnessed in Illinois by sing and shout minstrel-ism of folks from down river, getting drunk on Saturday and praying for forgiveness on Sunday.
In fact, growing up in Chicago, Illinois exposed many people of Virginia roots to the worst aspects of what slave owners and even emancipation had failed to do, ... suffer the little children to Christ by educating them to read, write, learn and earn the rewards of goodness in pursuit of happiness.
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