Posted by Paul Rawlins on February 10, 2013 in Collections, Website

Sometimes the scales of justice balance slowly.

Henry O. Flipper, the first black graduate of West Point, was charged with embezzlement while serving as a buffalo soldier. The image is from the monthly return that notes his arrest in 1881.



He was found not guilty but was still dismissed from the Army for conduct unbecoming an officer. The Army finally gave him his honorable discharge in 1976, and President Bill Clinton granted a full pardon in 1999.

Learn how to follow the paper trail left by your African American ancestors at


  1. Joann Slaven

    The invite family to view my tree is not working. Looks like a program file or something in there when I try to invite folks.

    • Trevor Thacker

      Hi Joann, Sorry to hear about the inconvenience you are experiencing while trying to send an invite. Would you mind contacting out member services team toll free at 1-800-262-3787 so that we can verify the issue? Many thanks!

  2. Rina

    Why has the “View relationship to me” link moved from the task bar to below the subject’s name? It’s a clumsy, illogical move which separates the subject from their birth & death details. Also, for those researching non family members it is a totally unnecessary addition.

  3. Monika

    WHY are you forcing the “View relationship to me” line onto us in this manner? If someone cannot figure out what the relationship of a person is to him/her, then he should not be dabbling in genealogy! At least, if you feel it necessary to offer this feature, why are you now forcing it on us in such a prominent manner? It was inoffensive before that. Was it really necessary to make that change? I get so tired of your “busy work” when you should be fixing real problems and attacking real issues instead!

  4. BEE

    I wondered what people were talking about, because I personally use “view relationship to me” quite often in trees where I am not related to anyone, so I don’t really know the relationship and found it helpful, and I didn’t find the placement a problem.
    I just checked my trees and see the “change”, and I agree, I don’t like it! There are definitely “real problems and issues” that should be dealt with. I’ve been dealing with “ghost hints” for almost a year now. While the assistance I have received, has been very good and helpful, the problem continues. I don’t particularly like the new way to add information from a document either. While it’s good to see the information on the overview page, it seems I’m forever removing duplicate information because I didn’t change to name that appeared to the name of the spouse, so now I have two spouses. Also, how in the world to add the document to a child that isn’t recorded yet when one parent is deceased. If I add it, it adds another “child” with parent unknown instead of the original couple. I must be missing something, but I can’t figure that out.
    I don’t think they have found a way – yet – to add all the names on a census without repeating one that has already been posted, which would be a great help, especially to those people who don’t realize that “Susy” born 1888 is the same person as “Susie” born in 1889, and they have 8 or ten children attached to a family that might have a maximum of five children!
    So now please tell me how to delete the “relationship” after clicking on it!

  5. This Is A Lost Cause

    It is bad enough that the Ancestry social media king has turned the blog into one continuing advert for Ancestry’s features and benefits rather than “informational, and sometimes fun, posts from the folks behind the scenes here at”

    Now, the “community” has decided it’s a place for whining about any off-topic subject that annoys them. Then, to make it worse, staff actually responds here (unlike their silence on the boards) perpetuating the idea that this is the place to bring your problems.

    This experiment in social media should get a B+ for it’s original intent and an F for execution. Why not give it and its perpetrators a merciful send-off.

  6. Interesting fact of history to know more what happens in those times of slavery and colonization of other regions of the world and thus became independent

  7. BEE

    I’m sorry. As the mother of a retired Air Force officer and another son who was Army Special Forces, I meant no disrespect to Henry Flipper, but this blog had no messages for 8 days, so once someone got “off topic” and others voiced their complaints, I saw no reason why I shouldn’t add my displeasure with this “View relationship to me” change, especially if there is someone out there monitoring the comments.

  8. Pat Secord

    @Bee (#5 & #7). I totally agree with everything you said. You just saved me writing a rather long and ranting comment!!

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