Book Launch Rebels in My Tree

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CivilWarTalk

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  • @tomlamarcooughlin is the author Tom Lamar Coughlin and will be proud to launch his book:
    • Rebels in My Tree:
      Boston man finds that his cousins owned 60 Plantations
    • Published April 10, 2019
    • Belatedly Launched on CWT on 8/26/2019
    • Buy it on Amazon

60 plantations owned by my cousins. 30 in Georgia!

I'm from Massachusetts and surprised to find Rebels in my family tree. My background is much more “Irish need not apply” than “Johnny Reb”! And what I found was not just one or two Rebels but any army of them.

JFK in his book “Profiles in Courage” wrote about one, L.Q.C. Lamar. Confederate (CSA) battle markers honor two fallen cousins at the battlefield at Crampton’s Gap, Maryland. Outside of Charleston, S.C. there is a “Fort Lamar” at the Secessionville battlefield. One Lamar helped the rebel cause before the war got started, when as a Wall Street bank entrepreneur he was legally buying guns for GA and SC from the Federal arsenal. Another wrote the articles of secession for Mississippi. He then went on to raise and commanded a company of Confederate soldiers from Ole Miss, the university where he taught and later went on to serve as Confederate Ambassador to France.

The banker who bought the guns, after the war started, founded and ran a blockade running company and his son, who was a firebrand, came to a fitting end as the last Confederate officer killed in battle. This last-to-die fellow was the same one whose ship had run the U.S. and British slave blockade before the war with the slave ship Wanderer, which after unloading its hapless cargo was seized and the ensuing trial in Federal Court produced a written record ensuring that it was often written about, including at least one book “The Slave Ship Wanderer”.

(Dang-It), the more I researched, the more Confederates I found! And after growing up in New England around people whose families traced back to the colonial days of America and thinking that with my Irish roots I wouldn’t be able to trace back much past my great-grandfather, I suddenly found that my middle name was key to discovering tons of family history dating the earliest days in America.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar, Senator Lamar Alexander, NBA’s Lamar Odom, NFL’s Lamar Jackson and Lamar Miller, MLB’s Lamar Johnson and Bill Lamar, Superbowl founder Lamar Hunt all share the name Lamar. As a first name, Lamar has received widespread acceptance as some of these indicate. The name links directly back to the first Lamar in America whose entry to Maryland in 1663 is on record there. His direct descendants went on to own sixty plantations by 1860.

I'm the author, Tom Lamar Coughlin, a Massachusetts-born descendant of the immigrant, Thomas Lamar. With years of research I’ve uncovered tales that I know to be unique and interesting, all about the members of this early immigrant family which has been extensively involved in the settlement and growth of the United States with a heavy emphasis on the plantation south and their involvement in the Civil War.

My feelings about those slave owning ancestors is strong and while not holding their history against them, I condemn them for pushing the country into a Civil War to maintain slavery, a rejected and repudiated system of forced labor that was at that time being banned in most other countries around the world. With so many Lamar owned plantations I was not surprised to find cousins with DNA links to both plantation owners and slaves (or sharecroppers after the war).

I was able to locate several of those cousins and writ about that. My efforts to reach out to African-Americans with the last name Lamar has not been the success I would have liked. While I expect someday to find some black Lamar with an interest in history and the origin of their family name, I know and understand that pleasant memories are few and far between because it links directly to a period when Africans in America were very poorly treated. I continue to reach out to black Lamars to hear their stories and perhaps this effort that may just lead me to my next book.

It has been my goal to make these stories very interesting but I don't subscribed to the theory of "Never let facts get in the way of a good story". My goal is to entertain accurately.

TLC

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Thank you very much. I did attempt to reach out to Professor Gates a while ago, but have had no response. I had no luck finding a direct email address so I sent an email to the only submission point I could locate on his website.
If anybody has a more direct contact method, I'd be happy to attempt to make contact again.
 

NH Civil War Gal

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I don't have an email for him (not surprisingly - lol) but I saw a show with him, years ago, where his DNA turned out to be about half Irish.

I live in New England and on my mother's side, have deep New England roots going back to the late 1600s. Rebels just don't happen to us here, so this book and your story is incredibly intriguing! Oh, I see you are in Dedham. Have you approached any of the Boston news shows like Chronicle or the Boston Globe weekend edition for publicity?
 
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