Kamala Harris the first VP of Caribbean descent? Think again

A letter to the editor of the Sun Sentinel from Elliot Bastien.

How soon we forget about Vice President Dallas

In an article by Andrew Boryga, it was falsely stated that Kamala Harris will be the first vice president of Caribbean descent. [“Kamala Harris brings hope and pride to South Florida’s Jamaican community,” Nov. 7] George M. Dallas (1782-1864), the 11th vice president, was the first. He served from 1845 to 1849 under President James K. Polk. Like Kamala Harris’s father, Dallas’s father, Alexander Dallas (1759-1817), was born in Jamaica (June 21, 1759). He left Jamaica in 1764. He was the sixth U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. He was also admitted to the Bar in Jamaica in 1781 and lived there again until 1783.

The book “Caribbean American Heritage: A History of High Achievers” (which I wrote with my wife, Sandra Bernard-Bastien) contains bios of the Dallas father and son, as well as several other Caribbean Americans (who were incidentally white) such as Alexander Hamilton, Josiah Martin and Abraham Markoe.

One thought on “Kamala Harris the first VP of Caribbean descent? Think again

  1. Don’t forget James Audubon (Audubon society) and Jean Baptiste point Dusable (first chicago settler) both from Haiti.

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