- Charles Rosenberg
the first-native born portrait painter in New Orleans, and possibly the second documented painter of African descent in the United States (the first is believed to be Joshua Johnson of Baltimore), was born in the Crescent City, the son of Jeanne Susanne Desirée Marcos, a free woman of color, and John Thomas Hudson, a London-born merchant.
Historian Patricia Brady has traced Hudson's ancestry back three generations, to an enslaved woman, possibly born in Africa, named Annette, owned by a family named Leclerc. Annette may have been freed, but gaps in the documentary record leave this point uncertain. Her daughter, Françoise Leclerc, was purchased by one François Raguet in 1769, under a contract requiring that she be freed within six years. There is no record of any marriage, but Raguet freed her in 1772, purchased a home for her in 1776 and acknowledged her daughter Adelaide Raguet born ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.