Mitch McConnell, Who Opposes Reparations, Is Descended From 2 Slave Owners
McConnell's great-great-grandfathers, James McConnell and Richard Daley, owned a total of at least 14 slaves
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said recently he opposes paying government reparations to the descendants of American slaves, has a family history deeply entwined in the issue: Two of his great-great-grandfathers were slave owners, U.S. census records show.
The two great-great-grandfathers, James McConnell and Richard Daley, owned a total of at least 14 slaves in Limestone County, Alabama — all but two of them female, according to the county “Slave Schedules” in the 1850 and 1860 censuses, NBC News reported.
Slavery experts have stressed that descendants of slave owners should not be held personally responsible for the deeds of their forebears. But they have also argued that the families that descended from slave owners, like McConnell’s, are likely to have benefited from the labor of slaves who propped up farm families in earlier generations — a point made by many reparations supporters, who have said that descendants of slaves were never compensated for the economic benefit their forebears made to white families.