Swirling in History Part Four: Ada Copeland King

Clarence King and Ada Copeland with son Wallace
King Copeland
Photo Credits: US Geological Survey Photographic Libary and New York Daily News
America’s foremost Geologist and first director of the new US Geological Survey Clarence King in 1879.  On the right is Ada Copeland King (1933) the former slave he married under the assumed name and identity of James Todd, a lightskinned black man.  She is accompanied by their son Wallace.  Only on his deathbed did King confess to his family that he was really Clarence King, a white man, not a lightskinned pullman porter.  Listen to the fascinating story on National Public Radio.  Great article from News at Princeton about author Martha Sanweiss’ amazing discovery of Clarence and Ada King and her book Passing Strange.

 

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