There’s a misconception in the United States that only African Americans are descendants of slaves, brought here against their will to work fields and serve in grand plantation homes. What people don’t realize is that before Africa was pillaged for the slave trade, the English targeted a whole other group of people.
Teague MacQuillen was born in 1615 in County Kilkenny, Ireland, the son of Rory Org MacQuillen. Rory Org was the last of the “Lords of the Route,” who had built Dunluce Castle and was a Lord with land and title to back it up. When King James (yes, that King James of the KJV) decided he wanted more and more of Irish land, he targeted Irish landowners.
Rory Org, who famously decreed, “no captain of his race ever died in his bed,” was strapped to English horses, drawn and quartered, for his land, faith, and beliefs. He was the last of the Lords of the Route, and Dunluce fell into enemy hands. His son, Teague, though, without land, hope, or kin, was forced onto the ship the Thomas, bound for the New World, and landed as an indentured servant near Jamestown in 1635.
Years later, Thomas Bentley was born in poverty about 1716 in England, and, wishing to come to the New World, signed the papers and became an indentured servant to someone to secure passage. I guess to him being a servant in America was better than being a pauper in England. Once in Maryland, he was sold, and indentured to a vile Anglican clergyman named Rev. Joseph Hooper. With two years left to serve, his eyes set on marrying his sweetheart Hannah, Rev. Hooper sent him on a trading expedition to some Native Americans in the wilderness of western Virginia.
When Thomas returned, Rev. Hooper was waiting for him with the authorities, claiming that he had stolen the items that he had traded. He was forced to serve for another seven unlawful years.
Years later, Thomas would be married to Hannah with many children in Lincoln County, NC, and would support the colonists as they broke free from English rule. While he was too old to fight, he sold grain and other materials at a steep discount to colonists who were unsympathetic of the Crown, and jacked up the prices to Red Coats and English supporters.
Great history lessons, right? These two men, Teague and Thomas, are much more than pages on history books for me. They represent two different angles of indentured servanthood: one forced into it, and the other who willingly served (until that business with Rev. Hooper) to come to America for opportunity. They were both indentured servants: a fancy name for slaves.
Both of them are my ancestors.
People now tend to forget that America was first a colony of England, and that it was England who had the large sailing ships that landed on African shores and Irish docks to bind and shove men, women, and children toward a life of slavery in the New World. Did America keep the slaves? Yes, but not without consequence.
This country was divided in 1861 over states’ rights, slavery, and economics and that particular matter was settled in 1865. It has reared its head time and again, though, and with the passion of people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and others like him, young people today do not experience the racism that once existed. Signs like “Irish Need Not Apply” or “Colored Water Fountains Only” do not exist in this day.
Perhaps we need to stop living in the past to get 15 minutes of TV time today.
Perhaps the liberal media needs to stop covering non-news stories and focus on what is the real news: there is a mad man in North Korea who has enslaved his entire country, tortures and kills at whim, and is threatening to blow us all up. There are millions of young girls and boys who are trafficked and enslaved for wicked, vile, sexual purposes. There’s a drug epidemic that is killing thousands. Millions of babies are murdered each year as birth control.
What do the news media focus on? Over-paid jerks claiming oppression. Oppression is what the people of North Korea face every day that is not being covered in the news. The Pittsburgh Steelers who hid in the tunnel as the National Anthem was played yesterday make, all together, $132,612,017 annually. The lone Steeler who stood outside of the tunnel, former US Army Ranger and West Point graduate Alejandro Villanueva, makes $25 million a year. It’s really hard to claim oppression when you’re making more than some African countries’ revenue.
Instead of kneeling for the anthem, why not take a pay cut and divide millions of dollars between all the teachers in Pennsylvania? Why not provide scholarships so young men and women can attend college and break the cycle of poverty? Why not do some good instead of just do something of no consequence except to acquire air time?
Claiming oppression at the hands of the police is mind-boggling. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is when it comes to the police. Here’s the deal: you do something illegal or stupid and threaten a police officer’s life or the lives of citizens, and things will happen to you. You may be tackled and handcuffed; you may be tased; you may be shot. You may be caught and have to spend 25 years in prison. Don’t do stupid activities that are illegal and those things won’t happen to you. Don’t associate with people who do stupid activities that are illegal and you won’t be caught up in it.
There are real slaves in this world; NFL players who make hundreds of millions of dollars aren’t oppressed: they want young boys to think they look cool by “taking a knee” so those young boys will buy those players’ jerseys. Who’s oppressing whom?
My name is Terrie Bentley McKee, a descendant of indentured servants. Do I claim oppression at the hands of England? Do I go and protest Buckingham Palace? No. Can Queen Elizabeth go back in time and give Dunluce back to Teague? No.
Can I do anything about my ancestral history? Yes. I can learn from it. I can treat others the way I want to be treated. I can inform others about real slaves today: children who are being used as sex slaves.
I found out recently that thanks to my Swiss grandfather, my Dutch-Irish grandmother, and a long string of Irish ancestors, with a smidgeon of English blood, I am a large majority of Swiss, Dutch, and Irish with a hint of English (thanks, Thomas). But do I sing the National Anthems of Switzerland, Holland, Northern Ireland, or England? No. I was born and live in the great melting pot of the United States of America. But I am more than the DNA that is in my body.
Because of Jesus, I am not just Terrie Bentley McKee, descendant of indentured servants. I am Terrie Bentley McKee, Child of God, a Daughter of the Most High King. I am a forgiven sinner, redeemed by the Blood of Christ, a sister in Christ to all my Christian brothers and sisters. And one day, when mine eyes shall gaze upon His Holiness the Lord Jesus Christ, every knee will bow.
The issue is not whether some spoiled football player kneels. It is, rather, do you kneel, now, at the foot of the Cross, so that you can say that you are a Child of the King?
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