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Charles Rosenberg

and the only formerly enslaved man to play Major League Baseball in the United States, was born in Milner, Georgia, the son of Andrew Jackson (A.J.) White, a wealthy plantation owner and railroad president, and a woman who by the laws of Georgia at the time was his chattel property, named Hannah.

Andrew White’s will, written in 1877, left his entire estate to White, and his sisters, Anna Nora White and Sarah Adelaide White, “the children of my servant Hannah,” to be educated at schools in the North. The 1880 census shows Hannah White still living in Andrew White’s household in Georgia, listed as servant. The work of Peter Morris, for the Society of American Baseball Research, indicates that Hannah White had both African and European ancestors (her mother, Sarah, believed to be fully “black,” was born in Maryland around 1820 and her children likely about 75 percent ...