Congressman attacked for using family Bible to swear in

Leftist attacks on history eyed personal backgrounds in a hit-piece series that slammed one congressman for a slavery story behind a family Bible used for a swearing-in ceremony.

While blind eyes are turned to matters like President Joe Biden potentially being beholden to foreign entities or rampant acts of literal discrimination occurring in public institutions at all levels, corporate media saw fit to dig up offenses to smear sitting members of Congress.

In the sixth part of a series that began in June, Reuters focused on the slaveholding ancestry of Arkansas Rep. French Hill (R), Nevada Rep. Dina Titus (D) and Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy (R).

Of particular note in the piece that associated the prosperity of the political figures with their forebears’ use of slavery, was the outlet’s decision to highlight the family Bible that Hill was sworn in on as a freshman congressman nearly a decade earlier.

“In 2015, when Hill was sworn into Congress, he used a family Bible. It had been passed down from John M. Gracie’s father, a slaveholder,” the lengthy piece co-authored by Lawrence Delevigne and Tom Lasseter stated before an image of the newly minted lawmaker with his family and then-House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

Image via C-SPAN

The installment began by noting, “About a month after the Civil War began, a slaveholding ancestor of current U.S. Congressman French Hill seemed confident about the future. ‘Lincoln can’t starve me out unless he takes my land and negros,’ plantation owner Creed Taylor wrote to a relative.”

It then detailed how Taylor’s land would go on to be increased tenfold as the aforementioned Gracie expanded the plantation and signed contracts with local governments to use prisoners as laborers on the land.

Hill was also cited requesting the new owner of the former Gracie mansion “name the development for John M” in 2011, and Reuters stated “Hill’s latest public financial disclosures show his net worth at between $10.3 million and $25.7 million, including his Little Rock residence. His holding included a family investment vehicle with a name that echoes his family’s ancestral plantation: ‘New Gascony Company, LLC.'”

Where neither Hill nor Kennedy commented on the piece, Titus issued a statement that read, “Slavery is a deplorable part of your history, and I have no bonds with any long-dead relatives connected to it. We must not forget the cruelty visited upon Black Americans over generations as we commit to systemic reform that ensures equal rights for all. That principle has guided my personal life, professional career, and political record.”

Reuters did note that Hill had provided a statement when their series began wherein he referred to slavery as “a scourge” and that “we as a nation must recognize our past, learn from it, and look to the future.”

A blend of 118 sitting governors, senators, representatives, Supreme Court justices and five of the six living presidents were counted among those who could trace their heritage to slave owners. Former President Donald Trump was the only surviving executive not included on their list.

Many saw past the smear with a reality check for the outlet that many Americans, no matter their current situation, could trace their ancestry back to someone with an unfavorable background.

Kevin Haggerty


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