Filed Under Race and Ethnicity

Gravesite of Adeline McMicken Rollins

Mixed-race daughter of Charles McMicken, who endowed the University of Cincinnati

Adeline McMicken Rollins was born around 1811. Her mother was an enslaved woman who lived on a plantation at St. Francisville, Louisiana. Her father was the plantation-owner, Charles McMicken, who also endowed the University of Cincinnati.

Adeline McMicken Rollins lived in Cincinnati for her entire adult life. In 1881, a reporter for the Cincinnati Times-Star found Mrs. Rollins living on East Fifth Street, and interviewed her. She said:

“I will start out by telling you I am sixty-nine years of age. Mr. McMicken owned a large plantation at St. Francisville, Louisiana, where I was born. He was never married. I was his daughter by one of his slaves. When I was seven years of age I was sent to Cincinnati to receive an education. About three years after this he gave my mother freedom and she came to Cincinnati.”

Times-Star reporter suggested to Adeline that Mr. McMicken had not treated her well. Mrs. Rollins said, “Oh, well, it’s all over now. He’s dead, mother’s dead and I suppose that I haven’t much longer to live, but I hope that God will forgive him for his action.”

Adeline Rollins died in 1884, three years after she gave that interview. She is buried in Union Baptist Cemetery. Also buried in this cemetery is Samuel McMicken, b. abt. 1829, likely a brother or half-brother to Adeline McMicken Rollins. Charles McMicken himself, of course, is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery.

Images

Gravestone of Adeline McMicken Rollins Creator: Chris Hanlin

Location

Metadata

Chris Hanlin, “Gravesite of Adeline McMicken Rollins,” Cincinnati Sites and Stories, accessed February 8, 2023, https://stories.cincinnatipreservation.org/items/show/52.