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Giving great advice on relationships runs in Matthew McConaughey's family. In fact, his great-great-grandfather gave marriage counseling to freed slaves.

Matthew David McConaughey was the son of James Donald McConaughey, who died 17 Aug. 1992 in Fort Bend County, Texas, with his wife close by. James was the son of Hugh Donald McConoughey, who—his death certificate says—was the son of James D. McConaughey. James Donald McConaughey's own death certificate says he was born 1867 in Houston, Texas, the son of J. W. and Albina (McRae) McConaughey.

James W. McConaughey, a Virginia native, was appointed United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas in 1853. His wife was a sister of Confederate Adjutant General Dandridge McRae, which probably helped him get appointed Assistant Adjutant General under McRae, with the rank of Captain, in 1863.

After the war, McConaughey was appointed Subassistant Commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau in Wharton County, Texas. In addition to racism and injustice, he had to deal with the marital issues of freed slaves.
Indeed, McConaughey asserted that his biggest problem had become the freed people themselves. Husbands were leaving their life partners "in droves," asserting that they had not been joined "by the book." The black women were outraged and claimed that if they were good enough to be wives as slaves, they were good enough to be free men's spouses. McConaughey said that he found the women's arguments quite logical, but he regretted that all he could do was advise the families to stay together.
Sadly, James' own family soon after fell apart. His wife died, he died, and his kids were left orphans.

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Tags: African-Americans, Freedmen's Bureau, McConaughey, actors, celebrities, slaves

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