“Our America” – Exploring U.S. History Through One Family’s Eye

New York, N.Y. This column, written by several including Molly Luce Larkin, focuses on American history through the eyes of one family. In 2010, Jim Luce wrote in the Huffington Post, Mayflower Roots – and a Metrocard – Get One on the Subway. In this piece, he began to explore the impact of Brahmin roots in today’s American soil. Most families, as ours, had both heroes and horse thieves. We cannot change the past, but we can report and reflect upon it.

2010-10-16-Mayflower_Roots_H CROPPEDOur maternal grandfather, Dudley Allemen, Jr., is the boy seated
third from the left. Taken in 1898 in Portland, Maine.

Our America
The column “Our America” explores the family of Jim Luce in America going back to the Mayflower in 1620. The ‘First Families’ of Boston, “Boston Brahmins,” were New England families who descended from English Protestants and constitute the historic core of East Coast establishment (“WASP’s”). Jim’s parents both came from prominent families, with his mother’s Dudley side and his father’s Delano and Luce lineage. Historically the families married among themselves and his family’s forbearers include the Delanos, Dudleys, Footes, Luces, Simpsons, Tafts, Warrens, and Winthrops. Ancestors helped found Harvard, the U.S. Navy, fought in the Indian Wars and commanded ships in the Civil War, owned slaves and supported the NAACP. Notable distant relatives include FDR and Wallis Simpson.

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