To: Donald Trump
Fm: the extended Lane family
A mille from that gold-plated golf course where you will be living for the next two-plus weeks sits the Lamington Black Cemetery. At least seven Lane ancestors are buried there. The number is likely much higher since only thirty-six of the roughly one hundred gravestones bear legible names.
The Lanes who rest near you include three manumitted slaves. Where you ride around in a golf cart, they farmed and labored in other people’s fields and houses.
Among those buried at Lamington is a Civil War soldier who died two months after Fort Sumter. A second may lie there, too, in an unmarked grave. He was member of the U.S. Colored Troops who lived for more than twenty years as a disabled veteran. A murder victim may be buried there as well. No one knows the whereabouts of the girl who was stolen.
Those resting elsewhere include a woman who lived to be 104. Her grandson became the first African American to receive a pharmacy license from the state of Connecticut. His daughter was a bestselling author and my mother.
Most of the family left the area because the soils were not conducive to farming. (There is a reason they call it Sourland Mountain.) Among others not buried there (that we know of) are the conjure women, also the man who carried a toad in his pocket and had red eyes and could levitate. They watch over our family.