Affleck's Slave Owner Ancestry Recorded in 19th Century Documents

A family death in 1858 left Ben Affleck's great-great-great grandfather with legal custody of his mother-in-law's most valuable property — her slaves.
There was Cuffey, whose value was estimated at $500 in handwritten estate records still on file with the Chatham County Probate Court. There were Henry and James, valued at $1,000 apiece. And Robert and Becky, worth $600 as a couple. They were among 24 slaves willed to Benjamin L. Cole with instructions to turn them over to his three sons once they reached adulthood.
Nineteenth century documents offer a window into the life of the Hollywood star's ancestor and put Benjamin Cole right at the center of the South's reckoning with slavery.



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