Michelle Obama's Family Tree Has Roots In A Carolina Slave Plantation
More than 200 slaves lived in the whitewashed shacks in the early 1800s, and some of their descendants remained here for more than a century after the Civil War. The last tenants abandoned the hovels about three decades ago, and even they would have struggled to imagine a distant daughter of the plantation one day calling the White House home.
But a historical line can be drawn from these Low Country cabins to Michelle Obama, charting an American family's improbable journey through slavery, segregation, the civil rights movement and a historic presidential election.
Their documented passage begins with Jim Robinson, Obama's great-great-grandfather, who was born around 1850 and lived as a slave, at least until the Civil War, on the sprawling rice plantation. Records show he remained on the estate after the war, working as a sharecropper and living in the old slave quarters with his wife, Louiser, and their children. He could neither read nor write, according to the 1880 census.
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