I for one took exception to the tone of the
letter concerning black Britons from Mrs. Harvey
in the last edition of the journal. As a result
of the slave trade there were many black servants
in England during the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries. While in Britain they were free, if
they returned to America they would have
immediately lost their free status.
Many high ranking families employed a black
servant as a status symbol, Queen Victoria
herself did although hers were mainly from India.
There are many portraits showing black
servants and even include women known to be
beloved mistresses of the man who could not marry
her for reasons of social status. It would have
been surprising if they, finding themselves free
and possibly alone in a white household, did not
cohabit and even marry with their counterparts.
This must have been the case when quite recently
an apparently white couple produced twins, one
white and one black. This subject seems very
relevant to genealogy. Until research is carried
out we can none of us be sure that our ancestry
does not include any of the black Britons.
It is only recently that black genealogy as
well as illegitimacy has not been considered
shameful. I think Mrs. Harvey should think again.
Please address any response to .