Nancy Arnold Thompson
In response to the letter from Brian Kaylor:
I certainly do not condone slavery, which existed in our early history; it was a different time and a blot on our past. While Joseph Marcus Clarke stood on the wrong side of history on that issue, that doesn’t change the fact that he was a civic-minded philanthropist. The bulk of his estate did not come from farming but rather from his building, banking and business endeavors. The article mentioned that his will left half of his estate to his wife and the remainder was divided among “friends, relatives and tenants.” What wasn’t mentioned in the article was that five of those recipients were his former slaves.