Lewis LeJay (1835-1921)

There are some ancestors I have given up any hope of ever seeing in a photograph.  So it was with my second great-grandfather, Lewis LeJay of De Soto Parish, Louisiana.   He  was the husband of Syntrilla Brayboy and they were the parents of Sylvia LeJay. Sylvia married Richard William Gines, and they became my mother’s grandparents.

Researching the LeJays has been the biggest challenge of my genealogical excursion.  I have written  a number of times about how difficult it has been to find them. See here and here.

A couple of weeks ago, my cousin Karen Burney called with breathless news.  She had seen a picture of Lewis LeJay in a book!  I just about fell out of my (wheel) chair!

She told me to check a certain search term on Google Books to see the photograph.  And I did!   As excited as I was to see his picture, I did not at first realize  that the circumstances of the picture lay veyr near the core  of a roiling controversy about American history.  I broach that topic in the next post.  But first, the photograph:

Lewis LeJay (left) with Army Capt Francis Scrimzeour Furman, at Land’s End Plantation, De Soto Parish, Louisiana, 1917; ( Photo in C.K. Barrow, J.H. Segars, & R.B. Rosenburg, eds., Black Confederates, Pelican Publishing, 2001)

What’s controversial about this picture?  See the next post.

Craig

3 Responses to “Lewis LeJay (1835-1921)”

  • How wonderful! My favorite genealogical “fantasies” revolve around finding pictures. I can’t wait to read “the REST of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say.

  • Tamara says:

    Awesome picture. You KNOW I’m on tenterhooks! Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story. I hope you don’t mind that I used it in a recent blog post. I probably should have asked first! Sorry! Hope you’re feeling better!

  • [...] The photograph of my second great-grandfather was in a book titled Black Confederates (Pelican Publishing 2001), which its editors and publisher  tout as a compilation of historical accounts, photographs and documents relating to blacks who served with rebel forces in the Civil War.  Lewis LeJay (1835-1921) is described in the book through an account given by Francis Chandler Furman, a Missouri geologist, who says he heard the story in 1970 from his father Greene Chandler Furman, who in turn heard it from his father, Francis Scrimzeuor Furman, who is the white man in military uniform standing next to Lewis LeJay in the photo. [...]


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