The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, December 22, 2003

Not more Thurmond family miscegenation?

I tripped over the story in the Wilmington Journal (December 22):

However, the Baltimore Afro-American newspapers reported in 1948, the same year South Carolina's then-Gov. James Strom Thurmond was the presidential nominee of the segregationist Dixiecrat Party, that he had several Black relatives, including an uncle and two cousins.

The AFRO initially reported in the edition dated Aug. 17, 1948, that a man named Robert Thurmond, from Morristown, N.J., was Strom Thurmond's first cousin.

It explains that
Edgefield was the home of Strom Thurmond and his father, James E. ''Snip'' Thurmond, and, according to AFRO reporter Douglas Hall, Edgefield was the home to several other Thurmonds, many of whom were Black.

...In the Aug. 24, 1948, edition of the AFRO, he reported the existence of the Rev. James R. Thurmond, a half-cousin of Strom Thurmond, Eva Thurmond Smith, another cousin, and Thomas Thurmond, Strom Thurmond's uncle.

The reporter back in 1948 summed up thus:

''It seems like everybody up there [Edgefield, S.C.] are Thurmonds. They are of all colors. Some are so White that you cannot tell them from the original Thurmonds. The only thing that surprises Colored Thurmonds is, why is it so important that they are related to the White Thurmonds? It is an old story and 'everybody in these parts knows it.'''.

Whether this cornucopia of less-than-lily-white Thurmonds is such a drug on the market as to affect the bidding for the Essie Mae book, miniseries, merchandising and what-not, I have no idea.

It is, however, surprising that it's taken quite this long for the story of the extra Thurmonds to surface.

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