African American News and Genealogy

This site was developed to provide you with news that relates to African American Genealogy, History and News. Please feel free to forward this link to others. I hope you enjoy this site and good luck with your research! Cheers, Kenyatta D. Berry Managing Director

Monday, June 27, 2005

Monument is final resting place for War of 1812 officers

PUT-IN-BAY -- Buried beneath the floor of Perry's Monument are six men, resting calmly in contrast to the violent deaths they met nearly two centuries ago. They were killed Sept. 10, 1813, in the Battle of Lake Erie, a naval engagement where nine American and six British warships clashed for approximately three hours during the War of 1812. The battle was fought about seven miles west of North Bass Island. Survivors from both sides reported cannon shots smashed into the masts and sides of the wooden ships. The splintered timber flew across the decks and impaled sailors who stood in its path. Musket fire and shrapnel from cannon balls also filled the air. Of the 1,150 or so combatants, 27 Americans and 43 British died. One in four were wounded or killed. The British fleet surrendered after its two largest ships became entangled, rendering them defenseless against intense American cannon fire. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry commanded the victors. It was after the battle that Perry wrote to Gen. William Henry Harrison the famous words, "We have met the enemy and they are ours." son's army eventually drove the British from the region. The campaign solidified the United States' control of the Northwest Territory. Most of the dead from the Battle of Lake Erie were buried at sea where they last sailed. However, the men shrouded under Perry's Monument -- three American officers and three British officers -- were interred the day after the battle in DeRivera Park on South Bass Island. The burial site is recognized today by a cannonball pyramid. The sailors' remains were exhumed and reinterred in a single coffin under the monument on Sept. 11, 1913, 100 years to the day of their original burial. The monument is officially called Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. It is a symbol commemorating to date 192 years of uninterrupted peace between the United States and Canada. The undefended 4,000-mile border the countries now share is the longest of its kind in the world. Monument superintendent Andrew J. Ferguson said the structure symbolizes something more than peace. "It helps all of us understand the sacrifice that was made here," said Ferguson, also a ranger in the National Park Service. "What we have here is a tremendous opportunity for families to come and learn about our history." Although the monument's construction began in 1912 and was completed 90 years ago this month, Ferguson said no official ceremonies are scheduled to commemorate the anniversary. The grand celebration is planned Sept. 10, 2013, to observe the battle's bicentennial. The monument is a memorial of an unofficial kind as well. It marks the spot where a woman fell to her death. Ranger Jeff Kissell, who wrote a book about the monument's construction, said a woman jumped from the observation deck in 1945, falling about 320 feet. It is the monument's only recorded suicide. In 1920, no one was injured when lightning struck the northwest corner of the monument. The lightning caused a 200-pound block of granite to fall and crash through the concrete plaza at ground level. The block came to rest in the monument's basement. Lightning rods were installed three years later as a precautionary measure. Those rods were replaced in 1982. Kissell said their humming warns rangers to evacuate the observation deck during electrical storms. "That's routine," he said. "We evacuate the upstairs, and people can wait in the rotunda." If visitors can't use the elevator to escape such an event, Kissell said they can exit the deck and walk down 461 steps to the monument's floor. At 352 feet, Perry's Monument is the third-highest memorial in the United States. Only the Washington Monument and St. Louis Gateway Arch are taller. Perry's 317-foot observation deck is the highest in the National Park Service. Visitors get a panoramic view that includes the Bass Islands and a glimpse of the waters where the battle was fought. Canada and Michigan are visible to the north on clear days. More than 2,340 blocks of pink granite, harvested from Milford, Mass., were used to construct the monument. Kissell said pink granite surprisingly gives the structure a whiter appearance from a distance than white stone. The floor of the rotunda is a mixture of Tennessee white and Italian black marbles. Indiana limestone makes up the ceiling and dome walls, where the names of the American casualties are engraved. A bronze urn, 18 feet in diameter, 23-feet tall and weighing 11 tons, is mounted on top. Ferguson said the monument needs a new roof under the urn and other repairs within the next few years. The refurbishment is estimated to cost about $5 million. "We're in the pipeline (for federal funding), but I don't have anything firm yet," he said. Roughly 180,000 people visit the memorial each year. Attendance has decreased from 204,165 in 2002 to 153,638 last year, about a 25 percent drop. Ferguson said he can't account for the decline. "Memorial Day to Labor Day is the rush time," he said. People can study a model of the battle and view a 15-minute movie in the Visitor's Center before visiting the monument. Gerry Altoff, a ranger at the monument from 1979-2004, said the center was built in 2001 to replace a much smaller building that served as a visitor's center throughout most of his tenure. "It was a totally inadequate facility," he said. "The (new building) is heaven on earth." Altoff said most of the people who visited the monument while he was assigned there had no idea why it was built. "It's (the park ranger's) job to explain it so people have a better understanding," he said. "They are called park-ranger interpreters." All four of the books Altoff wrote about the Battle of Lake Erie are for sale in the bookstore at the Visitor's Center. One of his books, "Amongst My Best Men: African Americans and the War of 1812," in part addresses black sailors who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie. "Most of the records don't tell you who's black and who's white," Altoff said. "We estimate somewhere between 10 (percent) and 15 percent of Perry's professional sailors were free blacks." Perry is noted to have said his black sailors fought valiantly and were "insensitive to danger." Altoff said he doesn't see any of the profits from his book sales. "Everything goes back to the monument," he said. "My goal wasn't to make money but to get the word out."

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Vandalized monument may have to be replaced

2005-06-23 By David Laber Athens NEWS Writer Ohio University and Multicultural Genealogical Center officials are looking into replacing a Court Street monument installed last year to honor the founders of the old Berry Hotel.About one month ago, someone damaged the plaque by drawing facial hair on pictures of Edward and Martha Berry, the hotel founders."I just find it unbelievable that on Court Street, someone had the gumption to deface the monument," said David Butcher, president of the Multicultural Genealogical Center. The multicultural center, which is located in Chesterhill, is a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting the contributions of multicultural and multiracial families in the Ohio River Valley.Butcher said the multicultural center and OU "will see to getting (the plaque) repaired or replaced."OU spokesman Jack Jeffery confirmed Tuesday that the university is looking into fixing the monument.In May 2004, OU, the Multicultural Center, and the OU black alumni association had an unveiling ceremony in front of the Court Street Diner, 18 N. Court St., where the hotel stood until it was razed in 1974.The hotel was built in 1892 and is credited as the first hotel to provide Bibles in the rooms. The hotel also used revolutionary items such as electric bells and gaslights.After the hotel closed, the university bought the hotel and used it as a student residence hall, known as Berry Hall.Butcher said it's a shame someone defaced the monument because it was a big challenge just to get the plaque placed. He credited the Court Street Diner ownership for allowing the plaque to be erected on its property.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Historic Jacksonville college has accreditation reinstated

The Associated Press June 23, 2005 Edward Waters College, a historically black college that lost its accreditation last year in a plagiarism scandal, had it restored Thursday by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.The accreditation was revoked after officials at the school copied parts of a key accreditation document from two other colleges, leaving in the name of one of the other schools. The association said in the revocation that Edward Waters administrators showed a lack of integrity and competence.The association, meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach, said it was reinstating Edward Waters because "the college has openly acknowledged the errors it made." It said the temporary revocation had "resulted in significant detriment to the college."Bishop McKinley Young, president of the college's Board of Directors, applauded the decision."This is a great day for the students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters of EWC. Our students are the minds and futures for which we have been fighting," Young said in a statement.

Funeral Homes to Offer DNA Profiles

Second Launch in New Heritage ID(TM) Product Line - Heritage Card(TM) and Associated Documentation Enable Families to Preserve DNA for Medical, Legal and Genealogy Applications PRINCETON, N.J., June 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Orchid Cellmark Inc. (Nasdaq: ORCH - News), a leading worldwide provider of identity DNA testing services, today announced the launch of a new service that gives families a simple way to preserve the DNA profile of their relatives. This new service preserves this unique source of genetic information with potentially important medical, legal and genealogy applications after a person's death. A record of an individual's DNA can provide a number of safeguards to families -- as a possible protection against future estate or lineage issues, as a way to trace family genealogy and identify ancestry, and so families may be able to track more detailed information about their medical history as technology advances. This new service will be offered through funeral homes as a component of routine preparations before burial or cremation or as part of pre-planned funeral arrangements, an increasingly common practice in the United States. There are 2.4 million deaths each year managed by 22,000 funeral homes in the U. S., according to National Funeral Directors Association. This new service is the second in Orchid Cellmark's Heritage ID(TM) product line of identity DNA services designed primarily for individuals. Helping provide families with another layer of security when they lose a loved one is a logical next step for Orchid Cellmark, which is a leader in providing identity DNA testing for forensic, parentage, and immigration applications and an innovator in introducing novel identity services such as IDSecure(TM) for workers in dangerous locales," said Paul J. Kelly, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Orchid Cellmark. "Orchid Cellmark's Heritage ID product line benefits from our advanced technology for the analysis and preservation of DNA records and our almost two decades of experience in maintaining a highly confidential and secure legal chain of custody. We believe that we are the first company with the accreditations and internationally recognized expertise to offer this service to the funeral industry on a national scale." This new service requires only a simple procedure -- a DNA sample obtained through a cheek swab. The family receives a Heritage Card(TM), a long-term storage card containing the preserved DNA sample, which under normal conditions is suitable for further analysis for advanced applications, along with a written profile of the DNA so the sample does not have to be re-analyzed for routine purposes. The Heritage Card is provided with a handsome and protective Lucite holder suitable for display or storage. By teaming with funeral homes to offer this service, Orchid Cellmark will have trained professionals skilled at working with people at their time of loss offering the service to family members.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Lincoln U. nears goal to honor soldiers

By Tim O'Neil Of the Post-Dispatch 06/20/2005 Three soldiers, two black and one white, are standing atop granite. Another black soldier is on one knee, reaching down to help a brother in blue. The life-size scene, to be cast in bronze, is a sculpture that Lincoln University in Jefferson City plans to erect on its main quadrangle. The university is almost halfway to its goal of raising $1.2 million for the project. It wants to begin work in late summer.Lincoln was founded in 1866 by former slaves and a white lieutenant who had served together in the Union army in the Civil War. Administrators and alumni want the sculpture to honor the founders' zeal for lifting other blacks through education. "Theirs was such a wonderful ideal, to raise up others by helping them to read and write," said Carolyn Mahoney, the university's new president. Lincoln's mission has changed over the years since its founding as Lincoln Institute to spread literacy among the newly freed slaves. In the ensuing 25 years, it added teacher education, agricultural and industrial programs. In 1921, it became Lincoln University. After segregation formally ended in 1954, Lincoln began serving white students as well. Its current full-time undergraduate student body of 1,627 is about 55 percent black and 44 percent white. The entire enrollment of 3,200, including part-time students, is about two-thirds white. Most of the white students are commuters. Most of those who live in residence halls or nearby off-campus housing are black, and much of the campus social atmosphere is that of a historically black college. Mahoney said her predecessor, former president David B. Henson, approved plans for the monument "to provide a lasting testimony to the founding vision."

Slave genealogy extends its roots

Author shares expertise in tracing ancestry BY KEILANI BEST Florida Today Mary Fears' ancestors were slaves owned by farmer John McCrary during the 1800s. She traced them from South Carolina through four counties in Georgia. Some of the McCrarys participated in the Revolutionary War. Three of them, to be exact. They owned about 33 slaves in all, some of whom were related to Fears in some way. McCrary died about 1854. In 1855, the Georgia Journal ran an advertisement announcing his property would be sold, but did not list any slaves. Interesting. With more research, Fears found out McCrary's slaves were to be divided among his heirs. Those slaves included Lovinia McCrary, 90, Abraham Johnson, 28, Missouri Johnson, 17, and little Matilda, 6, according to the 1870 Census. No one knows their exact ages, Fears said. The slaves themselves didn't even know. As sobering as these facts may be, many blacks are willing to find out about their enslaved ancestors, who suffered through a myriad of unspoken afflictions, emotional heartache and divided families during slavery. Slave ancestral research has become so popular there is an extensive Web site,, devoted to it. This time of year, when many blacks are putting the finishing touches on their family reunions, the desire to know their family tree is even more poignant. Full Story:

Monday, June 20, 2005

At Berry Hill, looking into the past

Juneteenth event held on site where slaves once toiled BY JAMIE C. RUFF TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER Jun 20, 2005 SOUTH BOSTON -- George Samuel Powell knew about the Berry Hill plantation but had never visited until yesterday, when he attended a Juneteenth celebration on its grounds. Finally able to see the place, he marveled at its Greek Revival architecture, considered one of the finest examples in the country, and took the opportunity to stretch out on one of the mansion's beds. "Beautiful," the 74-year-old Halifax County resident declared of the experience and celebration. "Everything was beautiful. I've never been to a place like this." Then, he added, "I think it was beautiful for us to come out today." For Powell and others, the former slave plantation was a fitting place to celebrate Juneteenth, also known as African-American Independence Day. It commemorates June 19, 1865, the date that news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached those still in bondage in Galveston, Texas. The estate, which recently reopened as Berry Hill Plantation Resort, was the site of Halifax County's largest Juneteenth celebration to date. As projected, about 400 people turned out for the event, which included guided and self-guided tours of the mansion, several singing performances, a presentation of papers on "What It Means To Be African-American" by several high school and middle school students, and food provided by a combination of potluck from visitors and fare purchased by sponsors. A former tobacco plantation, Berry Hill was built in 1842 and has a cemetery on the property where 3,000 slaves are buried. Next visit, Powell said, that's where he wants to go. "I don't want to be in a hurry," he said. "I want to take my time and think."

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Crossing a great divide that redefines a person's freedom

By Pamela Coveney, Globe Correspondent June 19, 2005 CINCINNATI -- His name was Harry Hurdy Humphrey, and I went looking for him. He was my maternal grandfather. We missed each other by about 10 months -- he dying in June 1947 and my not arriving until April 1948. Family lore was scant. His ancestors were slaves, but I didn't know how far back. A great or double-great grandfather apparently didn't like slave cuisine, accommodations, or status and escaped through the Underground Railroad, eventually settling near Cincinnati. He then went back for all of his family, safely transporting each of them, one by one, out of Kentucky. At least that's how I had heard it, and I wanted to learn more. Twenty years earlier, I had tentatively tried. In that pre-Internet era, I soberly wrote to the Probate Court and asked for a piece of my history, a copy of my grandfather's birth certificate. I carefully told them the little I knew -- when and where he was born, and the names of his parents. I felt an actual chill when, weeks later, the same letter I had crafted so hopefully came back to me with the words ''no record" scrawled bluntly at the bottom. It was as though he had never existed. So I went looking for him -- and in many ways found so much more. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is in Cincinnati overlooking the Ohio, a river that was once a line of demarcation between being chattel and being free. It is not a hugely wide river, but its symbolic width is infinite.

Slaves Who Built America’s Monuments to be Honored

June 13, 2005 BY FRANK GREVEFREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF WASHINGTON -- In George Washington's day, slaves rented out by Maryland and Virginia farmers for $5 a month held many of the federal construction jobs in the new capital. Visitors 200 years ago wrote of the irony of slaves building the first temples of freedom, the Capitol and what was then called the President's House. But that history had nearly died until last month, when leaders in the U.S. House and Senate, in a bipartisan moment, approved a task force to recognize the slaves' role. "I'm proud that this country has finally stepped up to admit to the awful history that we have denied for so long, even in our textbooks," Currie Ballard, a historian of the African-American past at Langston University in Tulsa, Okla., and a member of the new panel, said in an interview last week. It's unclear what the panel will recommend or when, but historical research is under way. It's a story both infamous and remarkable, in which slaves worked not only as laborers but also as operators and managers of the quarry and lumber mill that provided the main construction materials. A slave, Philip Reid, ran the foundry and managed the slaves who cast the 18-foot, 10-ton bronze monument atop the Capitol's dome, which celebrates America's freedom. According to author and historian Ed Hotaling, slave labor wasn't what President Washington had in mind when planning for the capital's construction got under way in 1791. The government and its contractors initially sought white craftsmen and laborers from Baltimore, Norfolk, Va., and elsewhere, Hotaling discovered. Full Story:

Friday, June 17, 2005

Granholm to sign Truth Day into law

Gov. Jennifer Granholm is expected Friday to sign a bill into law that officially recognizes Nov. 26 as Sojourner Truth Day in Michigan. State Sen. Mark Schauer, D-Bedford Township, had the item included in a bill which recognizes the third Saturday in June as Juneteenth National Freedom Day. "Sojourner Truth is one of our most influential historical figures. I am pleased that we are officially recognizing her life and work," Schauer said in a press release. "Her contribution to the fight for equal rights was exceptional, and we are thankful for her example. It is a proud day for Battle Creek and for Michigan." Truth, who died Nov. 26, 1883, advocated for the abolition of slavery and for social and racial equality at a time in American history when black people were either in or just emerging from slavery. She is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery. Truth, one of Battle Creek's most famous historic figures, was born in 1797 in New York and was sold away from her family when she was 11. She escaped slavery in 1827, then changed her name to Sojourner Truth from Isabella Baumfree in 1843. Later, she traveled the country as a free woman, giving speeches and lobbying lawmakers on such issues as economic opportunities for freed slaves and segregation on trolley cars. After settling in Battle Creek in 1857, Truth helped match newly freed slaves with employers in the area. Schauer has been working on making an official recognition of the anniversary of Truth's death state law for the past few years and worked with Mary Butler, director of Heritage Battle Creek's research center, on the language that was included in the Juneteenth bill. "It's fitting that the state recognize her importance statewide and nationally," Butler said. "She was already famous when she moved to Battle Creek an0d brought national fame to the state and Battle Creek." Source:

Historian: Slaves became soldiers

As Juneteenth approaches, Civil War historian Dick Skidmore of Hanover put a different perspective on Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.Skidmore, speaking last night to a dozen people at a Juneteenth program in Madison, built on a theme that Columbia University history professor Barbara Fields advanced in Ken Burns’ PBS series about the Civil War: Many slaves in essence freed themselves “with their feet” by marching as Union soldiers. Eighty percent of the black Civil War soldiers had been born into slavery, Skidmore said. “And this probably is the least understood of anything we are going to talk about tonight,” Skidmore said at the program, which was sponsored by Historic Madison Inc. “For one thing, most of us have been taught at an early age that it was Abraham Lincoln who freed all the slaves with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.”That notion “bears closer examination,” Skidmore said. Lincoln issued the proclamation Sept. 22, 1862, to go into effect Jan. 1, 1863.“Generally overlooked is the fact that Congress passed, in July 1862 — six months before the Emancipation Proclamation — the Second Confiscation Act, which freed slaves as they came into the Union Army lines. It also authorized the formation of black regiments in the states. Therefore, blacks, by using their feet, were freed, one by one.”The impact of black soldiers on the Union war effort has not received the same attention as that of white soldiers, he said.

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

US chat show host could be a Zulu

DNA experts have questioned Oprah Winfrey's belief that she is a member of South Africa's Zulu nation. The African-American chat-show host announced during a recent visit to South Africa that she had had a DNA test that had shown her to be a Zulu. She also told South Africans she felt "at home" in the country. "I went in search of my roots and had my DNA tested, and I am a Zulu," Ms Winfrey said at a seminar in Johannesburg last week. Professor Himla Soodyall of South Africa's National Health Laboratory Service said it was likely that Oprah Winfrey would have taken a mitochondrial DNA test. Full Story:

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Owner of Hendrix home planning to move it to Renton

ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: June 8th, 2005 12:14 PM SEATTLE -- The owner of a run-down home where Jimi Hendrix once lived plans to move it to suburban Renton, across from the cemetery where the rock legend is buried. Owner Pete Sikov has until Friday to provide completed plans for moving the house; otherwise, Seattle officials say they will demolish it. The house was moved a few blocks three years ago to make way for a housing development. Its current location in the Central District, a vacant lot on South Jackson Street, was provided by the city to give the building’s supporters time to find a new location for it or to buy the lot and fix up the home there. The James Marshall Hendrix Foundation wants to turn the home into a music-oriented youth center. Hendrix’s father, Al Hendrix, owned it from 1953 to 1956. The city has given repeated warnings and deadlines to Sikov, who was originally supposed to move the house in February. “It has become a kind of contest between me and the mayor’s office to see if we can move it before they can demolish it,” Sikov said. Sikov said he was prepared to move the house last Friday to a lot he owns across the street from Garfield High School, but the city denied him a permit and rezoning request. Officials were concerned the building would be a nuisance there, he said. Full Story:

Georgia Archives’ Virtual Vault

The online database contains hundreds of scanned images of historic Georgia documents. The documents are arranged by categories: Geographic Area, Topic, Time Period and Record Type (documents, maps, photos, plans and visual images). Of considerable value to genealogists are the early maps of each county showing land lots, as well as many other Georgia maps. The Virtual Vault also incorporates the Archives’ Historic Postcards and Vanishing Georgia collections. Access the Georgia Virtual Vault at

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Black, white churches worship together again after 135 years

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. One and one-third centuries after former slaves left a Shelbyville church to start their own, descendants in both congregations have worshipped together.Shofner's Lutheran Chapel was once a thriving church where white farmers and black servants both attended, meeting in two buildings. Church documents show after the Civil War, freed slaves continued to worship at Shofner's for about six years while they built their own church about a mile away. They left in about 1870. The black congregation is now Mount Zion Haley Missionary Baptist Church, with about 75 members. Meanwhile, Shofner's has dwindled to chapel status -- meaning it's used mostly for weddings, funerals and an annual homecoming a Decoration Day, which members observe on the first Sunday in June. At yesterday's combined service, about 150 people filled the pews in the old Shofner's sanctuary. Eighty-nine-year-old Ed Johnson is one of the oldest members of Mount Zion. He says he's known people from Shofner's all of his life and it meant a lot to him for the churches to worship together. The congregations are now talking about a Christmas service to share. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Source:

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Gillisonville: Holding onto its history

Published Sunday June 5 2005 By SANDRA WALSHThe Beaufort Gazette GILLISONVILLE -- In 1865, as a means to an end of the Civil War, Gen. William T. Sherman marched 60,000 Union troops from Beaufort to Columbia, leveling dozens of towns like Gillisonville along the way. Today, like many sleepy Southern towns, there isn't much in Gillisonville -- a small community just north of Ridgeland in Jasper County -- except a dwindling forest of pine trees, a Baptist church and a community full of old memories about what once was and what will never be again. "All that comes through here now are log trucks," said the Rev. M. Joseph Hethcoat, a new pastor at the Gillisonville Baptist Church. "But this place has so much history." In the 1830s, many rice planting families around Coosawhatchie built summer homes between Coosawhatchie and Beaver Dam Creek, according to "The History of Beaufort County South Carolina, Volume 1, 1514-1861." The Gillison family was one of these wealthy families. Today, across the street from Coosawhatchie Baptist Church on Morgandollar Road sits the church cemetery and the grave of Derry Gillison, the man for whom Gillisonville is named. Gillison was a Coosawhatchie shoemaker and the head of a successful rice-planting family. In 1836, the Beaufort District Courthouse was moved from Coosawhatchie to Gillisonville because lawyers where not happy with the "unhealthy" conditions at the Coosawhatchie courthouse, near marshland insects and fever, according to the book. A courthouse square was developed in the center of Gillisonville. To cater to visiting lawyers and courthouse traffic, in the 1850s, Dedrich Peterman, a German immigrant, built a large brick hotel and tavern on the east side of the square. In 1865, the inn, the courthouse and almost every building except Gillisonville Baptist Church were burned down by Sherman's troops. Source:

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

'Sally Hemings' ruled out as horse's name

POTENTIAL TO OFFEND IS CITED; OWNER FILES SUITBy Janet PattonHERALD-LEADER BUSINESS WRITER When history buff Garrett Redmond bought a filly out of the Colonial Affair mare Jefferson's Secret, he thought he had the perfect name: Sally Hemings. Hemings was a slave of President Thomas Jefferson and might have been his mistress. Although the exact nature of their connection is in dispute, Hemings and Jefferson are thought by some historians to have had a decades-long relationship and at least one child -- and possibly more -- together. "To name a horse after someone is an honor," said Redmond, owner of Ballycapple, a farm in Paris. "I have a horse here named after my wife." But The Jockey Club, which regulates the naming of all thoroughbred racehorses, didn't see it that way. The arbiters of equine taste have refused to allow the name. Redmond filed suit in U.S. District Court in Lexington on Thursday to force The Jockey Club to let him use it and to allow the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority to let him race the 2-year-old filly under that name. Alan Marzelli, president of The Jockey Club, wouldn't comment on the suit, except to say "it is clearly laid out in black and white in the papers that you have. There is nothing more I could add to that that would make it any clearer how we feel about this name." Source: