, my sister, has been doing a lot of geneological research as of late.
First, she confirmed that yes, our family did at one point own slaves. (This is something I strongly suspected for a while -- the combination of a young enthusiastic baseball fandom and a appitite towards reading anything I could get my hands on led me to confront the phrase "Freed slaves (after the Civil War) often took on their former owner's surname." and having a baseball card of Cardinal/Padre shortstop Gerry Templeton...but that's a long story.)
Now, Jill tells me that my great-grandfather, my mother's mother's father, worked at the Japanese internment camp at Tule Lake, up on the California/Oregon border before coming back to Redding to work on the dam.
It's odd, knowing your family has had such contact with the inglorious moments of American history. And in some ways, to both know there's some guilt and shame there, and yet to not feel some of it...it's a complicated thing. As I suppose a person's relationship with history should be.