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Surprised? The owner’s family of The New York Times were slaveholders

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It had to be the case, since the Democrats were slave owners and they fought agains the abolition of slavery.

 

Bertha Levy Ochs, the mother of The New York Times patriarch Adolph S. Ochs, supported the South and slavery

Here is what Michael Goodwin wrote in the NYPost:

It’s far worse than I thought. In addition to the many links between the family that owns The New York Times and the Civil War Confederacy, new evidence shows that members of the extended family were slaveholders.

Last Sunday, I recounted that Bertha Levy Ochs, the mother of Times patriarch Adolph S. Ochs, supported the South and slavery. She was caught smuggling medicine to Confederates in a baby carriage and her brother Oscar joined the rebel army.

I have since learned that, according to a family history, Oscar Levy fought alongside two Mississippi cousins, meaning at least three members of Bertha’s family fought for secession.

Adolph Ochs’ own “Southern sympathies” were reflected in the content of the Chattanooga Times, the first newspaper he owned, and then The New York Times. The latter published an editorial in 1900 saying the Democratic Party, which Ochs supported, “may justly insist that the evils of negro suffrage were wantonly inflicted on them.”

Six years later, the Times published a glowing profile of Confederate President Jefferson Davis on the 100th anniversary of his birth, calling him “the great Southern leader.”

Ochs reportedly made contributions to rebel memorials, including $1,000 to the enormous Stone Mountain Memorial in Georgia that celebrates Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. He made the donation in 1924 so his mother, who died 16 years earlier, could be on the founders’ roll, adding in a letter that “Robert E. Lee was her idol.”

In the years before his death in 1931, Ochs’ brother George was simultaneously an officer of The New York Times Company and a leader of the New York Chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

All that would be bad enough given that the same family still owns the Times and allows it to become a leader in the movement to demonize America’s founding and rewrite history to put slavery at its core. As part of that revisionism, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln are suddenly beyond redemption, their great deeds canceled by their flaws.

But shouldn’t such breathtaking self-righteousness include the responsibility to lead by example? Shouldn’t the Times first clean out the Confederates in its own closet?

That was the question last week. It is now more urgent because of the new information.

A week ago, I was “aware of no evidence or claims that any members of Bertha’s family owned slaves or participated in the slave trade.”

That statement is no longer accurate. I have found compelling evidence that the uncle Bertha Levy Ochs lived with for several years in Natchez, Miss., before the Civil War owned at least five slaves.

He was her father’s brother and his name was John Mayer because he dropped the surname Levy, according to a family tree compiled by the Ochs-Sulzberger clan some 70 years ago.

Mayer was a store owner and prominent leader of the small Jewish community in Natchez and, during the war, organized a home-guard unit, according to family letters and historians.

Neither the 1860 census nor its separate “slave schedule” lists the names of Mayer’s slaves. They are identified as two males, ages 70 and 26, and three females, ages 65, 45 and 23.

That makes it likely that Mayer had slaves when niece Bertha lived with him for several years before she married Julius Ochs in 1853. Mayer and his wife had 14 children and were affluent enough that it would have been unusual if they didn’t own slaves, according to Robert Rosen, author of “The Jewish Confederates.”

Now they will explain that things have to be put in context of the time.

The rest of the article can be found here.

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