From August 2019 – August 2020, the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation commemorates 400 + Years of Fortitude of Americans of African descent and their contributions to our country.
St. Louis civil rights activist Percy Green was honored by the Jefferson National Parks Association with a poster commemorating his historic climb up the Gateway Arch 55 years ago on July 14, 1964. The climb was in protest of the lack of African American workers or contractors being hired for the arch construction project. The protest was successful. Today, the diversity of their workforce is evident as you walk around the newly renovated Arch. Watch the clip from Fox 2 News below.
Don’t miss Dred and Harriet with Thomas Jefferson on the wall and tables in the Arch Cafe’. It’s stunning!!
John A. Madison, Jr. was a great-grandson of Dred Scott. He was the 6th child born to John Alexander Madison, Sr. (Dred Scott’s grandson) and Grace Cross Madison. He received his JD from Lincoln Law School in Jefferson City and his B.S in Education from Harris Stowe College (now HSSU). He was a lifelong Kappa and devoted father of four. Doc, as he was fondly called by his peers, taught science, history, math, law and languages during his long career with the St. Louis public schools. His children shared him with many others who called him “Dad”. He was the family spokesperson for the Dred Scott legacy until the year 2003.
Marsulite Charleston Madison was the oldest of two daughters born to Lemuel and Maruslite Harrison Charleston. Although they both were graduates of Sumner High School in St Louis, MO (she graduated at 16) Marcy, as she was called later in life, met her future husband at Harris Stowe. She graduated from nursing school and practiced as an L.P.N. Later in 1970 she graduated from Forest Park Comm College with her R.N. (Registered Nurse). Marcy was the first black head nurse at Incarnate Word Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. She practiced nursing for 43 years.
The Madisons were well known and much loved in their church and community. John passed in July of 2007 two months before their 56th anniversary. Marsulite passed in 2013. Their four children, three still living, Lynne, (co-founder of DSHF), John III (d. In 2002), Marsulite and Michael, along with many cousins, enjoy the memory of their parents and co-founders of the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation, begun in 2006.
On April 3, 2019, the Virginians for Reconciliation hosted the descendants of Dred Scott and Roger B. Taney for a day-long visit and programs as an early event in their year long recognition of the 400th year anniversary (1619 -2019) of the first Africans who arrived in Virginia in 1619.
The reconciliation committee, lead by former Governor Bob McDonnell, was formed in 2018 to support racial healing through conversation and policy changes.
The day included a visit to the Capital Building and the State House, where Lynne Jackson (Dred Scott) and Charlie Taney (Chief Justice Roger B. Taney) visited and addressed many of the legislative groups. They were recognized in the General Assembly along with former Governor Bob McDonnell by Presiding Officer of the Senate Justin Fairfax, Delegate Delores McQuinn, Speaker Kirk Cox and introduced and bios read by Delegate Roslyn C. Tyler.
Pastor Sylvester Turner and Rev. Ben Campbell took the entourage to the Richmond Slave Trail. At this site, the enslaved disembarked from the long voyage from Africa and began another most difficult journey.
A somber visit to Lumpkin’s Jail revealed an underground holding facility for enslaved persons that was confirmed by archaeologists in 2005. It was covered over and will soon become a part of a museum. While in office, former Gov. McDonnell appropriated $11,000,000 for the of the construction of the site renovation.
Amid several interviews with CBN, NPR, a Virginia Union University student reporter, Jackson and Taney were assisted by Attorney Paul Hedges, acting ED for VFR, Lynne Ross, Legal Consultant and past ED for NAAG, Rhian Senseman, Executive Assistant, VFR and Keith Westbrook, Administrative Assistant to Delegate McQuinn. The group made their way to Virginia Union University where Lynne and Charlie spoke and shared their story of meeting, connecting, apology and forgiveness and interacted with the audience. Thank you to all who made this possible. A special thanks to former Governor Bob McDonnell and co-sponsors Virginians For Reconciliation., Virginia Union University and Virginia Commonwealth University. To watch the full program, click here.
Descendants of Dred Scott, Roger Taney attend reconciliation event at VUU (Richmond-Times Dispatch)
Main Image: Lynne Jackson (left), a great-great-granddaughter of Dred Scott’s, and Charles Taney, a descendant of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney’s, spoke Wednesday at VUU. Photo taken by JAMES H. WALLACE/TIMES-DISPATCH