Thursday, October 13, 2005

Their Graves were Marked with Stones

I called my mother to tell her that I had met some African-Americans with our last name. She told me that there is a family cemetery where there is a plot of graves of our family's former slaves that were just marked with stones. I am going to try to visit during Thanksgiving this year to go see it.

It truly amazes me that even while looking into the face of human mortality, people could be so indifferent to the lives of others. I am so saddened that the slaves of my ancestors were not even seen as being worthy of proper grave markers.


Constantine said...

If I may ask, has this been a difficult discovery for you?

voixdange said...

It has been an emotional and spiritual one. I have been praying for this for quite a while, but to me it was like a fantasy,I don't think I ever really beleived it could actually happen. So I'm thinking that it was God giving me the desires of my heart rather than a response to faith. There have been several moments while I have researched my family's involement in slavery that have been very difficult. For example when I discovered my family's envolvement in passing legislation to enslave Native Americans ... as if one race wasn't bad enough, I became physically ill.

I feel strangely as if some eternal force is moving me on this, almost as if my ancestors are calling from the grave.

sissoula said...

History itself is an eternal force, with a strong element of autre temps autre mores. That's not an excuse, but it is worth bearing in mind.

Amy said...

Just to let you know, I've been thinking about this lately. I have no idea what to tell you, other than it's been in my thoughts, and I think it is very brave of you to share. Seems like, as you said, there is some eternal force. Blessings and grace to you and all involved. Please keep us updated!

Sarah Elaine said...

This is an amazing opportunity for you gain knowledge and more importantly, insight into yourself and humanity.

Dan Trabue said...

I've a last name that is fairly uncommon and fairly easy to trace. There was another fellow named Daniel Trabue who was a young contemporary of Dan'l Boone who grew up and wrote a memoir (that has been re-published recently) that included a history of the Huguenot Trabues leaving France and living in Virginia and Kentucky. As far as I can tell, nearly all US Trabues are descended from this same family.

All this is pretty cool knowledge to have at hand.

And yet, reading the book and seeing his matter-of-fact depiction of "having to" kill savages (native americans) and of holding slaves is an unsettling reminder of our - MY - not-too-distant past.

In my hometown, there are black Trabues and white Trabues and we cross paths occasionally and graciously. It is quite humbling, on my part though, to meet people who are so kind to me when we both know our common history.

Grace and forgiveness can be overwhelming.

voixdange said...

Yes indeed it can be.