Undocumented Incidents in the Life of Mary Ellen Pleasant.

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These are the issues in MEP’s history that have no documentation:

If you can find documentation for any of the following, I would be VERY surprised.

.There simply is no documentation about her birth. There are three birth stories with no documentation. Nothing is known until she shows up on Nantucket at about age 6. She once said she had no real memories before Nantucket and that could be true.

.There is no documentation that she ever went to New Orleans or met Marie LaVeau. Bibb’s story about Liga is extremely far fetched and has no evidentiary value.

.There no evidence she ever practiced any kind of “Voodoo” or was a practitioner of Vodoun, the ancient diasporal African Religion. There is evidence she was a member of the local AME church and attended regularly and was actively involved.

.There is no evidence she was a Madam or adopted children out. Or handled abortions.

.There is no evidence she owned 49 plots in a graveyard in SF and filled them all.

.There is no evidence she had parties for men out in the country and had female “entertainment”.

.There is no evidence she was ever involved in any murder plot or any other scandal she was later accused of by her enemy, William Sharon.

.There is no evidence that she was promiscuous and had affairs outside of marriage.

.There is no evidence she had any kind of formal business partnership with Thomas Bell, that netted her millions. (though she may have given him good financial tips she learned from the movers and shakers she served lunch to) He may have invested for her, but it is not yet proven and there was no proof she owned anything of Bell’s, when Bell died.

There is no evidence she built the House of Mystery. It was never in her name.

I expect and hope that future research will distinguish between fact and things unproven.

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