Mary Sampson Langston

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Mary Sampson Langston (Patterson)

Also Known As: "Leary"
Birthplace: Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina, United States
Death: Died in Kansas, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of James Patterson and Joanna Simpson
Wife of Lewis Sheridan Leary and Charles Henry Langston
Mother of Loisa Leary; Caroline Mercer Hughes and Nathaniel Turner Langston

Managed by: H Gordon Fleming
Last Updated:

About Mary Sampson Langston

Mary Langston was Langston Hughes's grandmother, one of the most significant single influences on the poet's life. She was born in 1837 in Fayetteville, N. C., where her father, James Patterson, was a stone mason.

"Like her parents, Mary Patterson was also a free Negro. Langston Hughes explained:

"On my maternal grandmother's side [of the family], there was French and Indian blood. My grandmother looked like an Indian—with very long black hair. She said she could lay claim to Indian land, but that she never wanted the government (or anybody else) to give her anything. She said there had been a French trader who came down the St. Lawrence, then on foot to the Carolinas, and mated with her grandmother, who was a Cherokee so all her people were free. During slavery, she [Mary] had free papers in North Carolina, and traveled about free, at will."

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Mary Sampson Langston's Timeline

Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina, United States
Age 22
Age 33
Kansas, United States
January 18, 1873
Age 36
April 8, 1915
Age 78
Kansas, United States