Biden's great-great-great-grandfather owned 14-year-old boy: Report

Joe Biden’s great-great-great-grandfather owned two slaves in Maryland and another enslaved a 14-year-old boy, new book reveals

  • Two of President Joe Biden’s 3x-great grandfathers owned slaves in Maryland
  • The president has often touted his Irish Catholic roots, only a part of his lineage
  • Biden also shares a small connection to Confederate President Jefferson Davis 
  • The story was adapted from a new book about the president titled The Bidens 
  • Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger penned the book coming out next week
  • One chapter delves into Joe Biden’s sometimes fraught history on race issues
  • In one little-known incident, Biden actually lived in a deed-restricted home
  • Covenant barred Delaware home from being ‘owned or occupied by any Negro’
  • Biden lived in the home from 1971 to 1974 as he launched his first Senate bid
  • In 1986 Biden disavowed the racist restriction on the home purchased by his dad 

President Joe Biden has often shown pride in his Irish Catholic roots, but on another side of his ancestry, the progressive commander-in-chief’s family lineage can be traced back to America’s shameful past of slave ownership.

Jesse Robinett, Biden’s great-great-great grandfather, owned two enslaved people in Maryland in the 1800s, according to a Politico story adapted from a bombshell new book, The Bidens

Biden shares an apparent connection with Robinett through his full name – Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.   

Another ancestor of Biden’s also reportedly owned a slave in Maryland – a 14-year-old boy. That 3x-great grandfather is Thomas Randle, who held the child in 1850 in Baltimore County, according to census records and slave schedules at the time. 

Slave schedules and census records were two separate headcounts of slaves that were conducted in 1850 and 1860.

The damning family history was uncovered by Alexander Bannerman, a West Virginia genealogist who organized the first complete genealogy of Biden for publication.

Census records resurfaced by Bannerman show that by 1860, Randle and his family moved to a different area of Baltimore County. The slave schedule for the same year shows he again enslaved a man. 

Biden also shares a ‘distant tie’ to the wife of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

A new book has delved into President Joe Biden’s sometimes fraught history on racial issues, revealing that in the 1970s he lived in a home with a racially restrictive deed

The genealogist revealed that Biden’s distant ancestor Allen Robanet likely immigrated from England to Pennsylvania in the late 1600s. Robanet is his link to Davis’ wife Varina Anne Banks Howell.

For someone with deep roots to colonial America, Bannerman said Biden’s family records showed ‘not a lot of ancestors, and not a lot of slaves.’ has reached out to the White House for comment. 

But it’s a past that Biden has infrequently – if ever – mentioned. 

By contrast, the only Irish Catholic president since John F. Kennedy regularly invokes his Irish Catholic roots. Some of his most regular anecdotes involve growing up amongst his mother’s Irish Catholic family and going to Catholic school in Delaware.

The book by Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger is due out next week

More recently he quipped at an event celebrating the Jewish High Holidays, ‘my daughter married a Jewish young man. And you know, dream of every Catholic father that she marry a Jewish doctor.’

But at several points during his career, during attempts to woo southern voters, Biden has also appeared to boast of Delaware’s history as a ‘slave state’ – seemingly before he was aware of his family’s ties to the shameful tradition.

While campaigning for president in Alabama in 1987, Biden said incorrectly: ‘We (Delaware) were on the South’s side in the Civil War’. 

In fact, Delaware was a slave state that remained loyal to the Union in the Civil War. 

In 2006, Biden also touted Delaware as a ‘slave state’ when pressed on his chances in the 2008 presidential primary in South Carolina.

‘My state was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state is the eighth-largest black population in the country. My state is anything from a northeast, liberal state,’ he said in an interview. 

The new book delves further into Biden’s sometimes fraught history on racial issues, revealing that in the 1970s he lived in a home with a restrictive deed banning black owners or occupants.

The book by Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger, titled The Bidens, is due out next week, and one chapter explores the incident with the racist covenant, according to an advance copy obtained by Fox News. 

Biden’s father first purchased the home in Faulkland, Delaware in 1969, and Biden then swapped houses with his dad in order to remain within the council district he then served.

Biden, now 78, lived in the home from August 1971 to October 1974, during his first campaign for US Senate. The house came with a ‘restrictive covenant’ that said it couldn’t be ‘owned or occupied by any Negro or person of Negro extraction.’ 

The racist covenant was only revealed publicly in 1986, when Biden was holding hearings on Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist’s nomination as Chief Justice, and accused Rehnquist of living in homes with similar covenants.

At the time, Biden batted back criticism, saying his parents had ‘filed a declaration of disavowal saying they find the restriction morally repugnant and they are not bound by it,’ according to the Associated Press. 

Biden also claimed the deed his dad signed did not include the restrictive covenant. 

For his part, Rehnquist acknowledged the racist deeds, saying they were morally offensive but legally unenforceable.

The 1948 Supreme Court Case Shelley v. Kraemer ruled that racially restrictive covenants were unenforceable.

It is far from the only embarrassing racial incident from Biden’s half-century career in politics. 

In the 2020 Democratic primary, Kamala Harris, now his vice president, attacked Biden over his opposition to using federally mandated busing to racially integrate schools in the 1970s.

It is far from the only embarrassing racial incident from Biden’s half-century career in politics. Above, Biden is seen in the early 1970s, when he was the youngest US senator

In 1975, Biden called busing an ‘asinine concept, the utility of which has never been proven to me.’ Biden defended his position in the debate and said it was ultimately little different from that of Harris.

Also during the 2020 campaign, Biden raised eyebrows when he told radio host  Charlamagne tha God that black voters ‘ain’t black’ if they don’t vote for him.

Biden has also been criticized for his fond remembrances of segregationists including Strom Thurmond and Robert Byrd, the former Democratic Senator from West Virginia who was a leader of the KKK, but later renounced the group.

In a 2003 eulogy, Biden called Thurmond a ‘brave man, who in the end made his choice and moved to the good side.’ He said they became ‘good friends.’  

It was also during the 2008 campaign that Biden drew scrutiny for his infamous characterization of Barack Obama as ‘the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy’.

More recently, Biden was dogged by controversy when he called top aide Cedric Richmond, who is black, ‘boy’ during a briefing on Hurricane Ida last month.

Biden introduced Richmond, a New Orleans native who quit Congress to serve in the White House, by saying he was ‘here with my senior adviser and, uh, boy who knows Louisiana very well, man.’ 

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