Clarence Thomas: A Biography

By Andrew Peyton Thomas | Go to book overview

Reference Notes

CHAPTER ONE: Two Plantations in Georgia
7 "To understand": Doug. 161.
7 " We Afro-Americans": Speech at Black History Month Celebration, U.S. Dept. of Labor, 18 February 1983, p. 1.
7 Black family history: All levels of government have done a deplorable job of maintaining records relevant to African-American family history. When this writer attempted on several occasions in 2000 to research the records of the Augusta and Savannah branches of the Freedmen's Savings and Trust Company, he found them to be not merely in disarray, but gone. Only one microfilm existed of these documents, and it was missing, its whereabouts unknown to the courteous but baffled library personnel. In late 2000, as this book was being written, bipartisan legislation was introduced in Congress that would appropriate a small amount of federal money to microfilm the crumbling, extant paper records from the Freedmen's Bureau field offices. These efforts are to be commended.
8 Clarence Thomas is a descendant: AS; SBT; BL. Ada Snell and Scott Thompson are unofficially the premier black and white historians of Laurens County. The Snells were very close to the Thomas family. Ada Snell stated definitively that November Thomas's family came from the Thomas plantation. She based this on the family stories about slavery and local families that she heard as a child from her great-grandmother and grandparents. Thompson said that almost all of the black Thomases in Laurens County, particularly in the northern part of the county whence Clarence Thomas's father and grandfather came, are descendants of the Thomas slaves. Snell referred to the estate that they came from as the Thomas plantation; Thompson called it the Thomas Crossroads plantation. The former term is used throughout this work if only in the interest of brevity. M.C. Thomas stated that his father was born in Johnson County. This is only a couple of miles north of the land that the Thomas family sharecropped in Lovett. He did not know more of the family history. Other members of the Thomas side of the family declined to cooperate without the approval of Justice Thomas. He declined to grant such approval even for genealogical research.

Blanche Lambert, a relative of Clarence Thomas, was able to trace his family tree on his mother's side, by name, back to the King plantation in Liberty County.

8 "peculiarly self-reliant": DuB.Land98-99.
9 Ibos: Donald L. Grant, The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia ( New York: Birch Lane Press, 1993), p. 48.
9 Fort Mose: Philip S. Foner, History of Black Americans, vol. 1 of 3 vols. ( Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1975), pp. 19, 263.

-603-

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