President Joe Biden has often shown pride in his Irish Catholic roots, but on another side of his ancestry, the progressive commander-in-chief’s family lineage can be traced back to America’s shameful past of slave ownership.
Jesse Robinett, Biden’s great-great-great grandfather, owned two enslaved people in Maryland in the 1800s, according to a Politico story adapted from a bombshell new book, The Bidens, Daily Mail reports.
Biden shares an apparent connection with Robinett through his full name – Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.
Another ancestor of Biden’s also reportedly owned a slave in Maryland – a 14-year-old boy. That 3x-great grandfather is Thomas Randle, who held the child in 1850 in Baltimore County, according to census records and slave schedules at the time.
Slave schedules and census records were two separate headcounts of slaves that were conducted in 1850 and 1860.
The damning family history was uncovered by Alexander Bannerman, a West Virginia genealogist who organized the first complete genealogy of Biden for publication.
Census records resurfaced by Bannerman show that by 1860, Randle and his family moved to a different area of Baltimore County. The slave schedule for the same year shows he again enslaved a man.
Biden also shares a ‘distant tie’ to the wife of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
The genealogist revealed that Biden’s distant ancestor Allen Robanet likely moved from England to Pennsylvania in the late 1600s. Robanet is his link to Davis’ wife Varina Anne Banks Howell.
For someone with deep roots to colonial America, Bannerman said Biden’s family records showed ‘not a lot of ancestors, and not a lot of slaves.’
But it’s a past that Biden has infrequently – if ever – mentioned.
By contrast, the only Irish Catholic president since John F. Kennedy regularly invokes his Irish Catholic roots. Some of his most regular anecdotes involve growing up amongst his mother’s Irish Catholic family and going to Catholic school in Delaware.
More recently he quipped at an event celebrating the Jewish High Holidays, ‘my daughter married a Jewish young man. And you know, dream of every Catholic father that she marry a Jewish doctor.’
But at several points during his career, during attempts to woo southern voters, Biden has also appeared to boast of Delaware’s history as a ‘slave state’ – seemingly before he was aware of his family’s ties to the shameful tradition.
While campaigning for president in Alabama in 1987, Biden said incorrectly: ‘We (Delaware) were on the South’s side in the Civil War’.
In fact, Delaware was a slave state that remained loyal to the Union in the Civil War.
In 2006, Biden also touted Delaware as a ‘slave state’ when pressed on his chances in the 2008 presidential primary in South Carolina.
‘My state was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state is the eighth-largest black population in the country. My state is anything from a northeast, liberal state,’ he said in an interview.
The new book delves further into Biden’s sometimes fraught history on racial issues, revealing that in the 1970s he lived in a home with a restrictive deed banning black owners or occupants.
The book by Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger, titled The Bidens, is due out next week, and one chapter explores the incident with the racist covenant, according to an advance copy obtained by Fox News.
Biden’s father first purchased the home in Faulkland, Delaware in 1969, and Biden then swapped houses with his dad in order to remain within the council district he then served.
Biden, now 78, lived in the home from August 1971 to October 1974, during his first campaign for US Senate. The house came with a ‘restrictive covenant’ that said it couldn’t be ‘owned or occupied by any Negro or person of Negro extraction.’