While I have made no secret of my lack of support for Barack Obama for the office of President of the United States, should he prevail his election would be an historic moment in the history of this nation and the White House. I thought at this time I would post some of the long history of that great house to show how weaved in the web of it's long history are many African Americans. Construction on the Presidents House began in 1792 in Washington, D.C., a new capital situated in sparsely settled region far from a major population center. The decision to place the capital on land ceded by two slave statesVirginia and Marylandultimately influenced the acquisition of laborers to construct its public buildings. The D.C. commissioners, charged by Congress with building the new city under the direction of the president, initially planned to import workers from Europe to meet their labor needs. However, response to recruitment was dismal and soon they turned to African Americans slave and free to provide the bulk of labor that built the White House, the United States Capitol, and other early government buildings. A major concern in the construction of the new public buildings in this remote location was the acquisition of building materials, such as stone, lumber, bricks, hardware, and nails. Black quarrymen, sawyers, brickmakers, and carpenters fashioned raw materials into the products used to erect the White House. Master stonemason, Collen Williamson, trained slaves on the spot at the governments quarry at Aquia, Virginia. There slaves quarried and cut the rough stone that was later dressed and laid by Scottish stonecutters to erect the walls of the Presidents House. Sawyers listed on government payrolls, such as "Jerry", "Jess", "Charles", "Len", "Dick", "Bill" and "Jim" undoubtedly were slaves leased from their masters. Free and slave blacks burnt bricks used to line the stone walls in temporary ricks on the Presidents House grounds. Often working seven days a week during the high construction summer months alongside white workers and artisans, black laborers proved vital to the work force that created both the White House and U.S. Capitol. The White House is a large structure and from its earliest days domestic operations have demanded a general manager. For this purpose President Thomas Jefferson, through his two administrations, relied heavily on his French steward Etienne Lemaire. There were two other white servants, Julien, a French chef, and Joseph Dougherty, an Irish coachman. The remainder of Jeffersons regular household staff, which numbered a dozen, included slaves from Monticello. Even under the best management this was a The White House Historical Association - Timelines 2 small staff. However, in the early years the president paid his household personally. The domestic "offices" and servants quarters were located in the rooms of the basement. Kitchen staff, directly under the Entrance Hall, cooked busily all day providing food for servants, staff, and any guests who might be visiting. Jeffersons style of living was simpler than that of many rich citizens along the eastern seaboard. His one concession to grandeur was to dress his menservants in livery, knee breeches, and gilt or steel-buttoned blue coats with crimson trimmings and lace edging. Although Jefferson wrote his daughter that he preferred white servants so that he could dismiss them when they misbehaved, he did care for his slaves. When a sickly child was born at the Presidents House (11 months after Jeffersons own grandson, James Madison Randolph) to slaves Fanny and Eddy in 1806, he provided for thethe nursing care of the baby and mother. Sadly, the child died before its second birthday. http://www.whitehousehistory.org/05/subs/images_print/05_c.pdf While I realize that is rather long and if you take the time to read it, you will understand, that Barack Obama even though I cannot support his election will in one respect if elected finally bring full circle the meaning to the words "The Peoples House" to that grand old building we all call the White House.