It was the speech that attracted national attention and galvanized South Carolina legislators, propelling the state House of Representatives to vote to remove the Confederate Battle Flag from the grounds of the state house in Columbia, South Carolina.
It’s a powerful speech. One comment that stood out, however, was the claim at the 3:00 mark where Representative Jenny Anderson Horne declared that she was a descendant of Jefferson Davis, the only president the Confederate States of America ever knew.
Now comes word that perhaps Representative Horne misspoke.
Here’s Jefferson Davis’s genealogy, as presented by the Papers of Jefferson Davis, based at Rice University. A shorter version of Davis’s genealogy that circulated earlier and that includes some helpful explanations is here.
Now, here’s Representative Horne’s genealogy, as presented on a website.
It doesn’t take too long to see that something doesn’t match up. Namely, these records show no direct bridge from Davis to Horne.
Now, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t some sort of kinship relationship, but the word Horne used was descendant. That’s a bit more specific. Maybe the Horne genealogy offered here is in error. Perhaps more information can clear up this confusion and offer a better answer. Nor do I think that this matter detracts from the fundamental power of her remarks.
But this is history, not heritage. After all, whether it makes for a good story, it is worth checking if it’s a true story, and Jenny Horne can quiet these doubts rather easily.
(h/t to Twitter’s StonewallJacksonsArm)