Kamala Harris' family

To the left is Kamala Harris’ family and her Tamil heritage.

Kamala Harris is quick to call herself an African American woman and point fingers at all white Americans. and to play the race card, however, the truth is her ancestors actually came from India (her mother), and Jamacia (her father, who was a descendent of a white Irish slave owner named Hamilton Brown who mixed his blood with African slave blood). and none of her ancestors were ever held as a slave in America. There is even a question as to her birthright in America because it isn’t clear when her parents actually became American citizens.

Kamala Devi Harris was born on October 20, 1964, in Oakland, California. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was a breast cancer scientist who had emigrated from Tamil Nadu, India, in 1960 to pursue a doctorate in endocrinology at UC Berkeley. Her father, Donald J. Harris, is a Stanford University emeritus professor of economics, who emigrated from British Jamaica in 1961 for graduate study in economics at UC Berkeley. Her mother’s family is of Brahmin lineage.”

As the presidential buzz continues to grow around the candidacy of Kamala Harris, interest is also growing around her little-known Jamaican heritage. It is believed that the ancestor of Kamala Harris was in fact the infamous white Irish slave owner in Jamaica, Hamilton Brown.

Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris is directly descended from one of the largest white Irish slave-owners in Jamaica, Hamilton Brown. There is a even a town named after him in Jamaica to this day, Brown Town, Jamacia. He had to recruit massive numbers of Irish migrants to Jamaica to work on his sugar plantations after the British empire abolished slavery. So, in my opinion, doesn’t it follow that she’s a direct beneficiary of slavery through her ancestors, not a victim of slavery?

Reflections of a Jamaican Father

In a piece published in Jamaica Global Online titled Reflections of a Jamaican Father, Kamala Harris’s father, Donald J. Harris, reflects about their ancestory. In this article he writes:

My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrishy (née Christiana Brown whose skin is far from being black, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown’s Town) and to my maternal grandmother Miss Iris (née Iris Finegan, farmer and educator, from Aenon Town and Inverness, ancestry unknown to me).

miss chrishy According to Kamala Harris’ father Miss Chrishy (above) was the descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown’s Town

Looking back now I can say, with certainty and with all due credit to Miss Iris, that it was this early intimate exposure to the operation of the sugar industry at the local level of small-scale production with family labour and free wage-labour, coupled with my growing curiosity about how these things came to be, that led me, once I started reading about the history of Jamaica, to a closer study of the sugar industry. I came then to understand its origin as a system of global production and commerce, based on slave labour, with Jamaica as a key component of that system from its very start.

Hamilton Brown owned more than 100 slaves according to the Jamaican Family Search on several plantations over the years 1817 to about 1845. According to the 1818 Almanac which can be found on this site, (Jamaican Family Search), he was the owner of Minard (128 slaves) which he must have acquired from its previous owner (John Bailie) in 1815 or later.

Miss-IrisMiss Iris with great Granddaughter Kamala

The number of slaves on this estate approximates the number of slaves in one of the registers attributed to his ownership (124 slaves). The other register (86 slaves) cannot be assigned to any estate, although he is listed in Almanacs for subsequent years as owning several, (Antrim, Grier Park, Colliston, Little River, Retirement and Unity Valley) listed in Almanacs for subsequent years as owning several, (Antrim, Grier Park, Colliston, Little River, Retirement and Unity Valley).”

Here is a full accounting of the slaves owned by Hamilton Brown, according to the National Archives in London, as of June 28, 1817, in the parish of St. Ann in Jamaica.

Hamilton Brown officially swore to the authenticity of this record, stating:

“I Hamilton Brown do swear that the above list and return consisting of two sheets is a true perfect and complete list and return, to the best of my knowledge and belief in every particular therein mentioned of all and every slaves possessed by me as owner, considered as most permanently settled, worked and employed in the Parish of Saint Ann on the twenty Eight day of June One thousand Eight Hundred and Seventeen without fraud, deceit or evasion So help me God.

Sworn before me this twenty fourth day of September 1817” a Legacy of British Slave ownership.

Hamilton Brown’s slave owning shows up in other records, as well. According to University College London’s project “Legacies of British Slave-ownership:

“Hamilton Brown was instrumental in the importing of several hundred labourers and their families from Ireland to Jamaica between 1835 and 1840. The project describes Hamilton Brown as a “Major attorney and resident slave-owner in Jamaica.”

Based on the evidence above, in this investigators opinion, the claim turns out to be true.

Claim: U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris is descended from the 19th-century White Irish slave owner, Hamilton Brown.

Reprint in part from Great Game India article