Michelle Robinson Obama's great-great-grandfather was Jim Robinson, who was born a slave in 1850 at Friendfield in Georgetown, SC. Today, Whitney Tower, whose great-great-grandfather was ferry and railroad baron Cornelius Vanderbilt, and whose family owns Friendfield says: "After Lincoln freed the slaves, Jim Robinson stayed on and worked there. We believe he was buried there in 1888, in the African-American cemetery. Ms. Obama is welcome to visit anytime." This article points out that while Barack Obama does not have slave roots, Michelle would be the first First Lady who does. As for Whitney Tower, his mother inherited the plantation but did not own it during the slave era. And! Tower is also Anderson Cooper's cousin. [Rush & Molloy]
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