Updated: May 20, 2020
Well this is a blast from the past (2017 to be exact). Turns out the man that wants to enslave the citizens of Virginia to be subjects of the state government has some other skeletons in his closet:
The president of the United States (Obama) questioned why the Civil War was fought. Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam was among many who answered.
“We had a Civil War because people owned other folks as slaves. Read a book,” read a tweet directed at Donald Trump from Northam, who is in a tight race with Tom Perriello for the Democratic nomination for Virginia’s next governor.
At the time of his May 1 tweet, Northam was unaware that his ancestors on Virginia’s Eastern Shore owned slaves. He recently called his father, retired judge Wescott Brownlee Northam, to ask.
“The news that my ancestors owned slaves disturbs and saddens me, but the topic of slavery has always bothered me,” Ralph Northam said in a recent interview. “My family’s complicated story is similar to Virginia’s complex history. We’re a progressive state, but we once had the largest number of slaves in the Union.”
Wescott Northam’s father, Thomas Long Northam, also was a judge and died when Wescott was 14. All the Northams before him were farmers, Wescott Northam said.
Wescott’s grandfather was Levi Jacob Northam and Levi’s father was James Northam — the great-great-grandfather of Ralph Northam.
The slave schedules with the federal census in 1850 and 1860 show James Northam owned eight slaves in 1860 and nine slaves in 1850. The 1860 slave schedule listed Levi Northam with three slaves, two of whom he employed but were owned by others. The schedules listed the slaves’ ages from 1 year old to 60, but it did not include their names.
Brings a whole new meaning to one of the Northam blackface flyers popping up around the Commonwealth: