Sunday, January 29, 2017

Our 1st Refugee

In 1680, a Huguenot named Sara Jans Noe fled a town in France where she'd been branded a terrorist and 75% of her village had been killed for their religion and the crimes against the crown that religion perpetrated.
My 6X great grandmother took refuge in what would become New York, thanks in part to the efforts of her grandchildren (some more terrorists), who fought against the British and served their adopted communities' efforts to establish the United States of America.
Over the next 337 years, some of Sara the Refugee's progeny committed crimes. Some even committed terrorist acts against the United States government during the Civil War. Far more of Sara's progeny served the United States as soldiers, civil servants, elected officials, teachers, doctors, lawyers, religious leaders, carpenters, electricians, inventors, small business owners, etc. We died fighting for this country, sometimes against our own not-distant-enough relatives. We invented things. We discovered cures. We wrote things. We founded cities. We established public schools. We built places of worship in this land that welcomed all faiths equally, as it did Sara's. We marched for human rights. We volunteered, and we cared for others because we could.
We married other refugees and immigrants--Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, Baptists, Methodists, and Mormons from Ireland, England, Poland, Holland, France, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Lebanon--and we made fearless American children with beautifully complicated ethnic origins capable of leveraging the best of many cultural traditions and ideas.

My story is an average American story and it all started with one refugee, 

an accused terrorist. 

Who was your first refugee?

The Huguenot Cross, carried and hidden by Refugees like Sara Jans Noe. Artwork by Kreuz-hugenotten.jpg: Nicetry (based on the work of Ulrich Fuchs)


  1. greatx2 grandpa Schulman who came to NY right before Germany invade Russia. Met greatx2 grandma and they made some lovely children and eventually i came along :D

    1. Thank you for sharing. It seems to apply to so many of us. :)


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