A Message of Hope

     It is a story of struggle, reconciliation and hope.
     Wallis Wickham Raemer '66 and her cousin Reggie Harris spoke to Middle Schoolers this afternoon. They spoke to the Upper School on Friday. Their shared story is very unique and it is one that started during the Civil War. 
     Confederate General Williams Carter Wickham of Hanover fathered six children with an enslaved black woman named Bibanna Hewlett and, later, four children with his white wife, Lucy Penn Taylor. 
     He is the great, great grandfather of both Raemer and Harris.
     Both told their own stories and how they connected, including a meeting in Monroe Park at the foot of the statue of their ancestor, a statue that was toppled over the summer.
     "I apologized to Reggie for the privilege my family enjoyed at the expense of his family," said Raemer, who is on the School's Ellett Board.
     Harris was rendered speechless. 
     It was an important moment of reconciliation for both of them. The two have shared their story with the New York Times and on CNN. 
     Harris, who is a singer/songwriter, closed the chapel with his song "Hickory Hill," the name of the plantation in Hanover where their connection began so long ago. 
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  • sara reed
    thank you for sharing this story with our girls - a complex past that still lives with us today.
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