Rebecca Shabad and Corky Siemaszko, NBC News, July 10, 2019
At a press conference following a closed-door luncheon with Senate Republicans, [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell was asked whether he was aware that two of his great-great-grandfathers were slave owners in Alabama before the Civil War and whether the revelation would cause him to reconsider his position on reparations.
“I find myself once again in the same position as President [Barack] Obama. We both oppose reparations and we both are the descendants of slave owners,” he said, before moving on to another question.
The majority leader’s great-great-grandfathers, James McConnell and Richard Daley, owned a total of at least 14 slaves in Limestone County, Alabama — all but two of them female, according to the county “Slave Schedules” in the 1850 and the 1860 censuses.
During the 2008 election, an amateur genealogist found that on his white mother’s side, Obama had a great-great-great-grandfather named George Washington Overall who owned two male slaves in Kentucky. The genealogist, William Reitwiesner, also found that Obama’s great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Duvall, also owned a pair of slaves.