This ground-breaking work traces 1,500 descendants of four families from St. Mary’s County, Maryland, 800 of whom are progeny of three Georgetown Memory Project slaves sold in 1838 but who remained in Maryland for more than 200 years. After another 150 years, many are still there, but most who migrated after 1900 remain in the greater Chesapeake Bay area. The book follows the families through Jesuit tobacco plantation slavery, to emancipation and Reconstruction, to Jim Crow suppression, to Civil Rights, to their place of pride in 2020. The narrative history puts the families into the context of the road traveled by African Americans since colonial times. Covering the Butler, Gough, Shubrooks, and Lee families, in addition to many other allied families.
By David Watson Kruger
Foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
6 x 9 hardcover, 796 pages, illustrated
Published by Newbury Street Press in March 2022
From a review in The American Genealogist, July-October 2021:
"The introduction, in several thematic chapters, chronicles the history of the Black community in this part of St. Mary's County, deftly combining a variety of textual sources with reminiscences of the dedicatee, Glenn Allen Butler, to build a narrative that is both comprehensive and personal. . . . [A] strong achievement as a genealogy of these Southern Maryland families and a history of their home."
From the foreword:
“Astonishingly superb. . . . A triumph! . . . I wish to thank [the author] for his significant contribution to . . . chang[ing] the expectations imposed on Frederick Douglass and many millions more that they would never be able to know their origin stories. In defying these expectations, David has given us a great gift: hope.”
—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University