Slave Honored as 'African American Patriot' at Capitol

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For years, he was known only as the faithful servant. Through the long campaigns of the Revolutionary War, he toiled alongside his famous master. In a painting that has hung in the U.S. Capitol since 1899, he is the figure by the fire, roasting sweet potatoes.

Now Oscar Marion is anonymous no longer. He has had his name restored.

In a ceremony yesterday at the Capitol, Marion was recognized as the "African American Patriot" he always was. A proclamation signed by President Bush expressed the thanks of a "grateful nation" and recognized Oscar Marion's "devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States."

The occasion was a triumph for his distant cousin, genealogist Tina C. Jones, who researched his identity and pressed officials to honor him.

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