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Tagged with “Struggle for Equality”

Ellen Craft Dammond

Ellen Dammond, who was a social worker and personnel supervisor, was descended from both the Fossetts of Monticello and the famous fugitive slaves William and Ellen Craft. The prominent equal rights activist William Monroe Trotter was her uncle. She felt strongly about preserving and passing on the history of the struggles for freedom and equality, and introduced a 1970s film on the Crafts. Both she and her daughter, Peggy Preacely, were active participants in the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

Jane Aileen Gordon Floyd

Jane Floyd was born in St. Louis but spent summers at the Selma, Ohio, farm of her maternal grandparents, John Penn and Barbara Ann Woodson.  She first learned of her lineage when she shared her elopement plans with her mother, Jane Ann Woodson Gordon (1890–1972).  “That’s how she happened to tell me about being descended from Thomas Jefferson.” 

Margaret Dammond Preacely

Peggy Preacely, a writer, filmmaker, and public health worker, learned her family history from her mother, Ellen Craft Dammond, the “griot of the family,” who recognized that “there were wonderful stories that needed to be kept alive in the family.” Her mother was a niece of William Monroe Trotter as well as a descendant of the famous fugitive slaves William and Ellen Craft. 

John Q. T. King

John Quill Taylor King was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Alice Woodson, a teacher, and John Quill Taylor, a doctor.  When his mother remarried after his father’s death, he took the surname of his stepfather, Charles King, a funeral director.  King graduated from Fisk University in 1941 and then entered the  U.S. Army.  He retired from the Army Reserves as a Major General. 

William Webb

After retiring from a career in banking, Bill Webb began to investigate his family history. His interest had been sparked by a family Bible record of his ancestor Brown Colbert that he saw as a child in Parkersburg, West Virginia. The research of Bill and his wife, Eva Kobus-Webb, revealed the connection to Monticello and brought to light other Colbert descendants like the Civil War soldier George Edmondson and suffragist Coralie Franklin Cook.

Eliga Diggs

Through his mother, Minnie Lee Young Diggs, Eliga Diggs is descended from Reuben and Susan Scott, enslaved foreman and domestic servant, brought to northern Alabama by Jefferson's great-grandson William Stuart Bankhead in 1846.  From the age of eight Diggs had to work hard on the family tenant farm, on land rented from Bankhead’s descendants, the Hotchkiss family.  He served two years in the U. S.

Lester B. Diggs

Lester B. Diggs, who has lived in Courtland his whole life, attended Alabama State University and worked for Reynolds Metals Company. Through his mother, Minnie Lee Young Diggs, he is descended from Reuben and Susan Scott, enslaved foreman and domestic servant, brought to northern Alabama by Jefferson's great-grandson William Stuart Bankhead in 1846.


Lewis Woodson

Born in Greenbrier County, Virginia, Lewis Woodson moved with his family to Chillicothe, Ohio, about 1821.  He became a teacher and a minister of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church.  In 1831 Woodson, his wife, Caroline Robinson, and their children relocated to Pittsburgh, where he started the first school for black children in the city and worked as a barber.

Nancy Lee

Nancy Harriet Lee, daughter of Mary Elizabeth Butler and Thomas F.

William Monroe Trotter

William Monroe Trotter, the most famous of known descendants of Monticello's enslaved families, was the son of Virginia Isaacs and James Monroe Trotter. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, which he viewed as the exemplar of “real democracy.” But his world began to contract, as the Jim Crow line moved inexorably up from the south.



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