The Most Distinguished Representative

California's First Black Legislator Was Thomas Jefferson's Descendant

Of all the members of the California Legislature, Assemblyman Frederick Madison Roberts, who served from 1918 until 1934, could claim the finest pedigree.  He was a great grandson of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, and through Jefferson’s mother, a descendant of Charlemagne, William the Conqueror, and the first six kings of England.

But if Assemblyman Roberts had visited his ancestral home in Virginia, he would not have been allowed to eat in a restaurant or use a restroom or ride in the front of a bus.  Assemblyman Roberts …