Media Mentions

       Part of the remarkable legacy of West Ford is the amazing “paper trail” that he left behind—one that is being perpetuated centuries after his passing.  Mentions of West Ford in various forms of preserved media, from public records to private papers, to print and broadcast news, are a clear mark of his distinction—and this tradition continues.

     The significance of the West Ford heritage has become even more apparent in the new millennium. The first book about the Ford family was released in 2001 titled, I Cannot Tell a Lie: The True Story of George Washington’s African American Descendants”. The Legacy of West Ford Website (www.westfordlegacy.com) continues to educate and to share pertinent facts about the Ford family, its history, archival photos, land grants, last wills and testaments, newspaper articles, and archival records for public review.

     The Ford Family wishes to express our gratitude to the reporters, genealogists, historians, webmasters, and everyone who has been involved in supporting the history of West Ford and his descendants.  Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our story to the public. There are many hundreds of print/television/ mentions about West Ford and his legacy and are too many to list. Below are few of the more notable ones.

Video and Television Network Interviews:

** NEW Speech at the Mount Vernon Slave Commenoration, October 9, 2021 by Linda Allen Hollis https://www.mountvernon.org/plan-your-visit/calendar/events/slave-memorial-commemoration/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeALqfjUSdY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HcToaSy1dg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srP8yXrdYVo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXupKWLZn6M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceSsiGu9CVY

Who is West Ford wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Ford_(slave)

Print Media

1937 – “From Mount Vernon to Springfield,” Illinois State Register, January 17, 1937, by Rev. Gay C. White, details the life of West Ford’s grandson, George Ford, at Mount Vernon.  Story also talks about his grandfather, West Ford.

1940 – Pittsburgh Courier, Article shows resemblance between West Ford and George Washington and states West is the son of the first President (J. A. Rogers, p. 24. Sex and Race).

1966 – Mentions of West Ford and his recollections of the Washington era. (Thane, E., 1966, Mount Vernon is Ours: The Story of its Preservation. New York: Duell, Sloan, & Pearch.

1972– Excerpt from book depicts West Ford’s prestigious position at Mount Vernon. (Sorin, G., 1972, Abolitionism, a New Perspective, New York: Praeger.

1977– The Washington Post, February 1977, Thomas Grubisich, “Register of Freed Slaves Bares Fairfax Count ‘Roots’, published an article about west Ford’s success as a free black man during slavery and the speculation of him being the son of George Washington.

1983– Northern Virginia Heritage, February Issue, shared pictures of West Ford, one in his youth and ther other in his 70s.

1985– New York Times, November 8, 1985, Article discussing West Ford and his contribution to Gum Springs Virginia.

1986– Fairfax Chronicles, May – July 1986, Vol. X, No. 2, “Dear Master”: A Unique Letter From West Ford Discovered,” by Donald M. Sweig, Ph.d.

1986– “A History of Gum Springs, Virginia: A Report of a Case Study of Leadership in a Black Enclave, May 1986, George Peabody College for Teachers of Vanderbilt University, Judith Saunders-Burton, Ed.D. Dissertation mentions: West Ford, The Father of Gum Springs and the speculation that he is the black son of George Washington.

1996– Rocky Mountain News, November 4, 1996, “George Washington in their Family Tree, Black Sisters Say,” Robert Jackson.

1996– Traveler Weekly, Vol 31, No. 22, Nov. 16-30, 1966, “Thesis says George Washington fathered their fourth great grandfather.”

1996– Peoria Journal Star, November 22, 1996, “George Washington a branch on their family tree, according to former Peoria sisters,” Anita Szoke.

1996– NEWSWEEK, November 25, 1966, “Tracing a Very Familiar Face?” Lucy Howard and Carla Koehl with Bureau Reports. Linda Bryant and Janet Allen, sisters, say West Ford was their fourth great grandfather.

1996– Der Spiegel, 48/1996, PERSONALIEN Linda Bryant and Janet Allen, sisters, say West Ford was their fourth great grandfather.

1997– The Urban Spectrum, March 1997, “Black Family Seeks Roots beneath the Cherry Tree,” Wendy Robinson.

1997– Denver Post, April 24, 1997, “Whose Ancestor?” Article states family traces lineage to George Washington,” Bill Briggs.

1997– What’s Going On, Personal Essays by Nathan McCall, Random House, New York, 1997. McCall has a chapter on “The Father of our Country” Which spotlights West Ford as the African American son of George Washington.

1997– USA Today – November 3, 1997, Tamara Henry, Books: “What’s Going on’ in the Racial Divide.” Article mentions George Washington being the father of West Ford.

1998– Aol.Com, Internet, Dwyane Conyers, November 9, 1998. Last year, two female descendants of George Washington showed up.”

1998– The Chicago Tribune, November 11, 1998, p. A02, “Slave Descendants Claim G. Washington Tie,” Jon Jeter.

1998 – The Journal Star, November 11, 1998, “Peoria Family Claims Link to Washington,” Christopher Thorne.

1998– Associated Press, November 10, 1998, Christopher Thorne, “Family Eyes Gene Test of Washington.”

1998 – USA Today, November 11, 1998, NATIONLINE, “DNA Tests Sought.”

1998– St. Louis Post – Dispatch, November 11, 1998, Nation, “Black Family Would Prove Link to George Washington.”

1998 – Foster’s Daily Democrat, November 15, 1998, Amanda Milkovits, “George Washington’s ‘Hair’ Apparent.”

1999– New York Times, July 7, 1999, Nicholas Wade, “Descendants of Slave’s Son Contend That His Father Was George Washington.”

1999– Denver Post, July 7, 1999, “Women Seek DNA Link to Washington.”

1999– The History News Network, “George Washington’s Slave Child?”, Ed Pompeian.

2000Peoria Journal Star, February 3, 2000, Pam Adams, “Washington Father of Country, Slaves.”

2000– The Rocky Mountain News, February 3, 2000, Robert Jackson, “Two sisters to follow up on possible link to Washington.”

2000 – Family Tree Magazine top pick.

2000 – The Aurora Sentinel, February 3, 2000, Robert Jackson, “Two sisters to follow up on possible link to Washington.”

2000– Spotlight on West Ford at Afrigeneas website.

2001- Multiracial Activist, July 31, “West Ford Was in the House”.

2001– “Invite Relatives to Washington Dinner” op/ed article by Pam Adams, Peoria Journal Star.

2001- Rocky Mountain News, “Author details claim of tie to Washington”, Robert Jackson

2002– Rocky Mountain Book Festival

2002– The Birmingham Times

2002– iUniverse Feature Read

2002– The Urban Spectrum, Denver, Colorado

2002– Inaugural Wreath-Laying Ceremony at Mount Vernon

2003- History: Right or Rewrite by John Hunneman for the Californian

2012– Peoria Journal Star, “Was West Ford the son of George Washington?”, by Gary Panetta

2013– Anthropology Honors Project, Maclester College, “I Cannot Tell Your Lie: Alternate and Dominant Narratives of Slavery at Mount Vernon, Virginia, by Chelsea Elise Hansen.

2020 – His Grandmother-in-Law Can’t Spare a “Stacker” for John Augustine Washington III – Letter Delivered by Freed Washington Family Slave West Ford Includes List of Mount Vernon Slaves, Seth, Kaller, Inc.

Television and Video Media

PBS Documentary: George and Venus A PBS mini-documentary with the descendants of West Ford www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jefferson/video/report1.html

Video by Sarah Brown (Washington Descendent) includes picture of West Ford

https://vimeo.com/179121546

KACT Channel 2 1996

Channel 9 News 1998

MSNBC 1998

CNN 1998

The Today Show 1999

The CBS Morning Show 1999

MSNBC 1999

Jay Leno Show 1999

Drudge Report 1999

CBS 48 Hours Sunday News Show 2000

Saturday Night Live 1999

RPSs Television London 1999

Public Television Channel 22, Captions, Peoria, Illinois, 2001

Interview with Mike Dimick for WMBD Television, 2001

Interview with Malik Russell for the Black World Today for Black World Radio, 2001

Interview on the Richard Kaffenberger Show for KZZZ, Bullhead City, Arizona 2001

Release of ATT Media Commercial, 2003

Live Radio Broadcasts

KDKO – Denver Colorado, 1997

Peter Boyles’ Talk Radio – Colorado, 1997

KACT Los Angeles, 1998

BBC London, 1998

Sheridan Broadcasting Network – USA, 1998

Rush Limbaugh Radio Network, 1998

KABC Los Angeles, 1999

KACT Los Angeles, 1999

Sheridan Broadcasting Network – USA, 1999

KNUS 710 AM radio – interview, Denver, Colorado, March 31, 2000

FOX 103.5 Lewis and Floorwax, interview, Denver, Colorado March 27, 2000