Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Melungeons & Croatans

The Melungeons were an offshoot of the Croatan/Lumbee Indians

In 1848 a journalist visited East Tennessee and published the 'Legend of the Melungeons."  They reported they were 'Portuguese who mixed with the Indians, blacks and whites.'  People have said they made up their Portuguese ancestry to hide their African ancestry?  If they were trying to hide it why did they say they mixed with 'blacks and whites?"

Why are people trying to prove they were gypsies, Turks, Jews, etc.,  they said they were  'Portuguese who mixed with the Indians, blacks and whites.

Early researchers before 1900 and into the early 1900s recognized the connection of the Croatan/Lumbee, the Redbones, and the Melungeons.  Why are researchers today ignoring the early research of these eyewitnesses to history? Why are they trying to create new ancestries for them?  It's in the records.  The Croatan/Lumbee said the word Melungeon was 'retained by them here'.

Early researchers thought they were Portuguese, Sheriff Buttery of Hancock County said they resembled the Cherokee. The Smithsonian published the Melungeons were an offshoot of the Croatan.  Nowhere do you find anyone saying they were Turks, Jews, Gypsies, or Africans.  Why is it people are so reluctant to believe these people were exactly who they said they were?

July 17, 1890
Red Springs, North Carolina
Hamilton McMillan
The Croatan tribe lives principaly in Robeson county, North Carolina, though there is quite a number of them settle in counties adjoining in North and South Carolina. In Sumter county, South Carolina, there is a branch of the tribe, and also in east Tennessee. In Macon county, North Carolina, there is another branch, settled there long ago. those living in east tennessee are called "Melungeons", a name also retained by them here, which is corruption of 'Melange', a name given them by early settlers (French), which means mixed.''

Red Springs, NCOct 12, 1889Mr McDonald Furman
Dear SirYour favor of receipt date on hand - I was much pleased in reading the slips sent me. The exodus of the Croatans English Colonists from Roanoke Island after the departure of Gov. Whte took place under the leadership of a Croatan chief, whose name was Ey-an-ac (or something like that) as appears from ancient maps discovered recently in Europe. The route as laid down on the maps which bear date of 1608 and 1610, was aross Croatan Sound and up the Roanoke River to an Indian Village - thence Southward around Pamlico Sound to a Croatan settlement on the Neuse River. From this settlement began the second exodus of the Indians and Whites or half breeds to a place on the Coharies in what is now Sampson County and to the Lumbee River and Pee Dee.
The time of their second exodus is uncertain, perhaps as late as 1650. The early immigrants to Eastern Carolina according to tradition, intermarried with the Croatans and to this fact is to be ascribed; the frequency of German, English and Irish and French ------? among these people today. I think the name Oxendine was originally Ockenstein a German name. The families of that name show many German pecularities. The name Dial or Dole was I think Doyle an Irish name, Goins was O'Guinn (not D'Guin)Leary was O'Leary and so on.
The name among them of Blanx or Blanc is French. The early Huguenot emigrants of that name came from the Department of the Mosell and those of the family who changed the Blanc to White, its English synonym, was designated as the 'Mosell" Whites and the name is now changed to Musslewhite. The French name of Bressi is now Bracy and Turbeville is now Troublefield. The Braceys and Troublefields live on the border of North Carolina and South Carolina and never intermarried with the Croatans or "Melange".
Henry Berry Lowrie takes his Christian name from Henry Berry one of the lost colonists of Roanoke as you will see by -------? to list in pamphlet. Many of the Lowrie's settled in Robeson - others went to the French Broad in Western N.C., and those in Robeson claim that David Lowrie Swain Ex Gov. and James Lowrie Robinson late Lt Gov of this State were of their stock. The tribe once stretched from Cape Fear to Pee Dee and the Redbones of your section are a part of the tribe as are the "Melungeons" of East Tennessee. The French immigrants callled the half breeds Melange or Mixed and the term evidently has been changed to "Melungeons". ...........

I am yours trulyHamilton MCMillan


Since the above communications was read before the Society I have received from several sources valuable information in regard to the Melungeons; but the most important contribution bearing on the subject, as I believe, is the little pamphlet published by Hamilton Mc Millan, A. M., on “Sir Walter Raleigh’s Lost Colony” (Wilson, N.C., 1888). Mc Millan claims that the Croatan Indians are the direct descendant of this colony.
What connection I consider to exist between the Melungeons and the Croatan Indians, as well as other material I have accumulated in regard to the Melungeons, will be made the subject of another communication which is now in preparation. 
* *Read before the Society at its regular meeting, February 5, 1889. 

A paper read by Dr. (Swan) Burnett before the Washington Anthropological Society on the Melungeons in the southern Alleghanies is a case in point. Annual Report By Smithsonian Institution - 1890

The Magazine of American History with Notes and Queries

Volume XXV
Page 258
THE TENNESSEE HISTORICAL SOCIETY held an interesting meeting on the 9th of December last (1890) , at Nashville, Judge John M. Lea presiding. Colonel Reese, on behalf of the committee to consider the eligibility of women as members, reported that there was nothing in the rules to prevent, and, in fact, that the society now had a lady member — Mrs. Martha J. Lamb of New York. 
After the reports of various committees had been read, and other business transacted, Judge Lea addressed the society on the subject of the Melungeons. He outlined the early history of the settlement of North Carolina. A party under the protection of a friendly Indian chief had gone into the interior when the first settlers came to that coast and had been lost. No other settlers came till a century afterward, and they were told of a tribe who claimed a white ancestry, and among whom gray eyes were frequent. This people were traced to Buncomb and Robeson counties, where the same family and personal names were found as in the lost colonies. They are now called Croatans, on account of a sign they made on the trees to keep their way. The Basques of the Spanish coast have been said to have settled in that country, but this theory was not thought to be trustworthy. It would be impossible for negroes to form a distinct race, because the number necessary for a colony would not have been allowed to run at large. The race has several old English words which are used as they were in England two hundred years ago, and a case of civil rights has been won in court by a Melungeon displaying his person and proving to the court that he was of Caucasian blood. North Carolina gives the Croatians $1,000 a year for a normal school, and they have excellent roads. This colony, whose early history is thus so clearly traced, lies within forty miles of the Tennessee Melungeons


AN INDIAN TO BE HANGED Georgia Crotan to be Executed Next Month for Murder.
New York TimesFebruary 28, 1897, Wednesday
ATLANTA, Ga., Feb. 27. -- For the first time in fifty years an Indian is under sentence of death in Georgia. He will be hanged in Glynn County next month. Marcellus Lowry, the condemned man, is a Crotan Indian from the celebrated band in North Carolina, many of whom have drifted with the turpentine and timber men into Southern Georgia, where they are called "Melungeons." Lowery and a white man named Patrick Burns were working in the woods together and Burns went to Lowery's camp and entered his shanty to get something to eat. The Croatan Indians are a fierce, treacherous and vindictive race and once their anger is aroused they do not hesitate to commit murder.

Secret of the Croatan Tribe-- The FamousRoanoke Settlers Were Not Massacred,But affiliated With a Friendly and PowerfulNation of Indians St. Louis Dispatch 
"A hundred years ago a colony of Croatans settled in eastern Tennessee, on Newman's Ridge, in Hancock county.  They can't tell today where they came from, for tradition over 50 years isn't worth anything.  These are the people called Melungeons.  They are similar in racial characteristics to the Croatans, and Dr. Swan M. Burnett, a distinguished scholar and scientitst  has traced by family names the connection between the Melungeons and the Croatans


Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology - Ethnology - 1907
page 365
Croatan Indians. The legal designation in North Carolina for a people evidently of mixed Indian and white blood, found in various e. sections of the state, but chiefly in Robeson co., and numbering approximately 5,000. For many years they were classed with the free negroes, but steadily refused to accept such classification or to attend the negro schools or churches, claiming to be the descendants of the earlv native tribes and of white settlers who had intermarried with them. About 20 years ago their claim was officially recognized and they were given a separate legal existence under the title of "Croatan Indians," on the theory of descent from Raleigh's lost colony of Croatan (q. v.).
Under this name they now have separate school provision and are admitted to some privileges not accorded to the negroes. The theory of descent from the lost colony may be regarded as baseless, but the name itself serves as a convenient label for a people who combine in themselves the blood of the wasted native tribes, the early colonists or forest rovers, the runaway slaves or other negroes, and probably also of stray seamen of the Latin races from coasting vessels in the West Indian or Brazilian trade. 
Across the line in South Carolina are found a people, evidently of similar origin, designated "Red bones." In portions of w. N. C. and E. Tenn. are found the so-called "Melungeons" (probably from French melangi', 'mixed') or "Portuguese," apparently an offshoot from the Croatan proper, and in Delaware are found the "Moors." All of these are local designations for peoples of mixed race with an Indian nucleus differing in no way from the present mixed-blood remnants known as Pamunkey, Chicka- hominy, and Nansemond Indians in Virginia, excepting in the more complete loss of their identity. In general, the physical features and complexion of the persons of this mixed stock incline more to the Indian than to the white or negro. See Mi-tis, Mixed bloods.


The North Carolina Booklet: Great Events in North Carolina History  Martha Helen Haywood, Hubert Haywood, Mary Hilliard Hinton, E. E. Moffitt, General Society of the Daughters of the Revolution North Carolina Society.1916

Croatan; a so-called group of Indians, living mainly in Robeson County. James Mooney, the noted expert, who is regarded as the finest authority on Indian history, says the theory that the Croatan are descended from the "Lost Colony" of Roanoke Island is baseless. Mr. Mooney has spent much of his life in North Carolina, studying these matters, and was here in 1916. He says the Croatan "embrace the blood of the wasted native tribes, the early colonists or forest rovers, runaway slaves and other negroes, and that of a steady stream of the Latin races from coasting vessels in the West India and Brazilian trade. "The Croatan applied for recognition by the United States as Cherokee, but it was denied and the Cherokee acknowledge no relationship, having visited the Croatan country on a tour of inspection. There is a queer offshoot of the Croatan known as "Malungeons," in South Carolina, who went there from this state ; another the "Redbones," of Tennessee. Mr. Mooney has made a careful study of both of these branches also.

The Melungeons 
 Paul Converse 
 Southern Collegian December 1912
This is quite a fine theory, but most people are more prosaic and hold the Melungeons to be a mixed race, having Indian, Negro, and Caucasian blood in their veins. This the word “Melungeon” itself would indicate and the Bureau of Ethnology at Washington classifies them as a branch or offshoot of the Croatan Indians of North Carolina, who are a people of obscure and mixed descent in whose veins Indian blood predominates. 


Monday, April 4, 2016


Does your male line Haplogroup E originate in Africa but your ancestors never appear in the numerous slave records?  Could their ancestors have came with Lucas deAyllon in 1526 as one of the hundred or so slaves he brought with him?  

Do family stories tell of your Native American ancestor yet you can find no record? Were they one of the 450 'men, women, and children' who came with Lucas deAyllon?  Of the 500-600 people who came with him only 150 returned. Those that survived in 1526 to join the Native Americans as well as the hundreds of women taken by Hernadez deSoto and Don Pardo before 1600 were Native Americans who carried European DNA BEFORE the Jamestown Settlement.   

Read about it here

In an effort to document and preserve the history, genealogy and origins of the people known as Redbone, the Redbone Heritage Foundation began publishing a collection of conference presentations, articles and essays and genealogies in the Redbone Chronicles, edited by Don C. Marler and Gary "Mishiho" Gabehart We have combined those here and updated the January 2007 issues. This issue includes some never before released conference presentations, articles and essays by descendants, members, researchers and scholars. Including pictures, genealogy and relatives of progenitor fore families, and member submitted DNA results. 

Contributing authors : James Nickens, M.D., Ethnic and Geographic Origins of the Melungeons part 1; Alvie Walts, Southern Mestee Communities; Govinda Sanyal, Yamassee/Seminole Ethnocide; Stacy Webb, Redbones and Redbone Communities including the Natchez Trace, Specutie and The Burgess Survey; Sammy Tippit, People Called Redbones; Don Marler, Grave Houses, a Review, Book Reviews; The Historic Ten Mile Redbone Riot; Joanne Pezzullo, Carolina Tribes & Pre-Contact ; Scott "Hoodalee" Sewell, The Buckskin Curtain of Indian Country; Redbone Heritage Foundation members submitted genealogy of the Redbone Progenitor Families: Hundreds of Redbone family connections concentrated around one marriage certificate between the Doyle & Drake; Contributing genealogist and family historians Marilyn Baggett Kobliaka & Verna Thompson, The Thompson Family; Examining population "y" , a mysterious Amazonian Indian match to a population migration of Australasian origins.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Open Letter to Jack Goins

I have been on many lists over the years with Jack Goins from Rootsweb to the Facebook pages. For some reason he refuses to deal with me on a personal level but prefers to bash me on his blog.  This is an open letter regarding his latest attack on me, I surely hope he reads this and will refrain from personal attacks in the future.

From his latest blog regarding the Stony Creek Church records 1813 and the importance of the whether the word Melungin was used.

"Book 2 transcribed by Bobbie Baldwin became an issue with one person on her Melungeon blog and website, simply because it no longer fit her new agenda, while in the past she praised the find. Only The part involving the word Melungin simply because she did not want the oldest written record to be involved with the Newman Ridge, Blackwater, settlement who were recorded in these minutes as some of the first members beginning 1801.  The word Melungin was recorded in 1813 book 2 by Emory Hamilton who placed a copy in the library at Clinch Valley College in Wise Virginia, which is now the University of Virginia at Wise.
Note he writes 'Book 2 transcribed by Bobbie Baldwin' - The originals have not been found.  Emory L. Hamilton transcribed from the original record, Bobbie Baldwin transcribed from Emory L. Hamilton and Jack Goins apparently transcribed from Bobbie Baldwin, making this a 3rd or 4th transcription.

Yes Jack, in the past I did "praise the find" as I, like so many others,  were under the impression you looked at the ORIGINAL CHURCH RECORDS.

When Penny posted to the Melungeon list on September 21, 2001 
Jack is the one who found the word Melungeon in the Stoney Creek Baptist Church records, no one else had ever noticed it. WHAT A FIND. "  

Did you correct her? Did you tell her no, I wasn't the first to find it, in fact I only looked at a transcription? No you didn't. In fact you went into a diatribe about where your GOINS came from and insinuated they were at the Stony Creek Church when in fact they were not.

In the reply to her your wrote;
" I searched several old church records for his name including Stony Creek where I notice the word Melungin written in the 1813 minutes. "

Again insinuating you had searched the records, not a transcription in a book. Big difference isn't it. Why did you not tell Penny and the entire Melungeon list, including myself,  that you had only seen a transcription and Emory Hamilton was in fact the one that had 'noticed it first'. How are you going to spin this one? You deliberately let people think YOU had found that word in the Stony Creek Church records instead of in the transcription by Emory Hamilton until January of 2004. And that Jack, was when I quit PRAISING YOUR FIND.  

Ernie Hurst posted to the Rootsweb Melungeon list; 
 Mon, 19 Apr 2004
Just trying to make it simple. Forty plus years of troubleshooting, problem solving & managing projects, people & resourses taught me to look for the simplest solution, when there is no clear "best" choice.
Couple of points about what you wrote:
1. The use of the word in church minutes probably wouldn't meet any "genealogical proof" standards, since, as near as I can tell only a transcription exists, or that's all anyone has seen. Even if the original does exist, it's second or maybe third hand information. There's no way to know what the person who used the word really meant, or even what she really said - pretty much same goes for the person who heard the conversation & the person who wrote it down. This is enhanced by the fact that lots of people in southwest VA & East TN at that time, especially the women, were, at best, marginally literate. I sure wouldn't bet my life on the accuracy of a document that nobody has seen.
Then Nancy Morrison wrote;
"I think there IS proof of the word Melungeon found in the Stony Creek Minutes!! That is as close to primary source as you can get. It was written WHILE it was happening from a person who had been listening to it as it was SAID."

And "Frank" alias "John T" alias ... I think most of us know who the alias was -- wrote;
Howdy; Nancy if this IS your source we may be in a world of HURT. Has anyone seen this original book , or page of the Stony Creek Church minutes?.  This is book two and here is what Emory L. Hamiliton wrote about book two; 
"Book 1, ends with July 1811. Book Number 2, is a few faded pages with no covers. Book 2 starts with what seems to be part of the Minutes of the November meeting 1811. These minutes between July 1811 and November 1811 have apparently been torn off and lost. Book 2, is in a very faded condition and very difficult to read.
I think it is very odd that no one has come forward with a
copy from this original page, I am not sure someone who had never heard about the Melungeons would have come up with Melungins, Maybe housing those "mulattoes". or Mullikins. How about it folks. Have any of you seen this original Stony Creek book, or page. I will lay odds you haven't and will never seen it. Frank 
I believe whoever got the transcripts from Boatright KNOWS it does NOT say Melungin.   Emory L Hamilton copied that record from the original in 1966 from the book in possession of Scott Boatright. Why would that original record disappear after 1966 when just a few years later the big stage production Walk Toward the Sunset was in the works?

This is what Emory L. Hamilton wrote regarding the book this 'original record' was transcribed from;
Book Number 1, ends with July, 1811. Book Number 2, has a few faded pages with no cover. Book 2 , starts with what seems to be part of the Minutes of the November meeting 1811. These minutes between July 1811 and November 1811 have apparently been torn off and lost. Book No. 2, is in a very faded condition and very difficult to read.
In response to Nancy Morrison's post Dennis Maggared wrote;
I don't know where the idea got started that no one has seen this document. Jack Goins has seen the original and is the one who noticed the word Melungeon, with a different spelling, and has been rightly praised for this important discovery.
And then you replied;
'' Hi Dennis; in regard to the Stony Creek Church Minutes, these minutes were copied from the original Minutes August 1966, by Emory L. Hamilton, of Wise, VA(The original minutes used by Hamilton at that time were in the possession of Mr. Scott Boatright of Coeburn, Virginia, whose grandfather was a Minister of this Church) a copy was filed in the Archives of the Southwest Virginia Historical Society at Clinch Valley College, Wise Virginia and a copy sent to the Virginia State Library, Richmond Virginia. Several copies have been made from Hamilton's copy, including one on the internet.''
Clear as mud!  You seen the original.
The 'agenda' you are referring to, I assume, is the Pee Dee River families that you call the "Invisible Melungeons" Although you have placed their names in the CORE Melungeon families they are NOT represented in YOUR CORE Melungeon DNA Study. Why not? Because you believe they were invisible? No, that can't be it because you KNOW that they are still the only families identified as Melungeons in court records and they were called Melungeons as early as 1850.

We also KNOW these Pee Dee River families came over the mountains to Hancock County, Tennessee according to Judge Lewis Shepherd, so your comment  I "did not want the oldest written record to be involved with the Newman Ridge, Blackwater, settlement is ridiculous. We know the Melungeons were on Newmans Ridge in 1848, we just don't know WHO the Melungeons were residing there.

You know this is a problem, your email to me shows this court case changed the direction of OUR research.  The fact that no where in the 13 years of records was anyone ever called a Melungeon, gambling, drunkeness,  etc., they never called them a Melungeon until 1813 - The fact that we KNOW the people on the Pee Dee River came over the mountain close to 1813 tells us we cannot even determine that IF the word was used in the records we have no idea who they were referring to.

In a message sent to me dated 9/22/2005 11:32:36 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, jgoins@usit.net writes:

"This court case has changed my view on the originator of the word Melungeons as beginning on Newman Ridge as per Jarvis. This testimony in SC and 1874, before Dromgoole and appears from this case the word Melungeon may have been widely known during this period. Jack"

In a message  dated 10/2/2005 9:43:35 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, jgoins@usit.net writes: 

"All of this aside I believe this case changes some of our arguments, such as they were not called or known as Melungeons in other places where they migrated. In fact it may yet show they were called Melugeons in SC. .......

Jack this email shows that in 2005 this became an issue with not just myself but with you as well as Penny Ferugson.  It is disingenuous for you to write that I had an issue with the church record because I didn't want it tied to Newmans Ridge.  When the emails above and the excerpts from the Melungeon Rootsweb List clearly showed you let people [myself included]  believe you had seen the original transcription.  You can not walk that back and you know it. You know the problem with transcriptions as you clearly point out in the article "John Graweere or Geaween?"  written when Tim Hashaw claimed Paul Heinegg had seen the 'orignial' and Heinegg swore to it, only to find out he merely copied a transcription.

Bottom line Jack,  when you find yourself in a hole -   it's time to quit digging.

Why not blog about the PROOF you have that the Melungeons descended from African men and European women. Or PROOF  the word was first used at Stony Creek  Church.  Or the Pee Dee River families weren't called Melungeons or PROOF the people in Lebanon, Wilson County, were not known as Portuguese Melungeons in 1850, same time frame as the Pee Dee River families and the Newman's Ridge settlement.

Your argument that the DNA is the be all - end all is ridiculous. You tested the Y DNA of these men, only representing the male side and did NOT even attempt to include the female lines in your study, or the Pee Dee River families.

Please stop suggesting I 'changed' my agenda or some other excuse you can think of in order to answer some of the very obvious questions you cannot answer.

You know why I changed my agenda, it was the same time you and Penny recognized the court transcripts of the Melungeon trial in Hamilton County changed OUR agenda.  The idea the Melungeons were only found on Newmans Ridge and only called Melungeons on Newmans Ridge became the fork in the road in which we split.  You simply took the wrong fork. 

You can find these excerpts from the Archived Melungeon list here

Melungeon Archives

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Vardy and Buck

There are at least four versions of this story and all of them vary slightly. There are several 'clues' found in these articles. 

~One story has them going to Richmond or possibly lived near Richmond before their move to Wilkes Co., NC.   Were they related to the people called Molungeons, a political party in Richmond?
~Were Vardy and Buck Cousins?
~Did Vardy sell Buck or did Buck sell Vardy?
~Buck Gibson settled on Newmans Ridge. George Gibson was apparently a neighbor of Vardy Collins and removed to Putnam Co., Indiana, could George have been called 'Buck' also? Why does one story say 'Gibson' settled out west?
You can comment on this article if you are on Facebook or leave a comment below this article. I will add the comments at a later date.
Facebook; THE PEOPLE CALLED MELUNGEONS - Click Here to view discussion or comment. 

The Melungeons
A Peculiar Race of People Living Hancock County
The Knoxville Journal

Special Correspondence of The Journal
Rogersville, Tenn., September 25

...The Melungeons know the value of money. They are excellent hands at driving a bargain and with all their ignorance and illiteracy they live moderately well. "An instance of their thrift is shown in the case of Varney Gibson, who lived in Hancock in ante bellum days. His skin was whiter than the ordinary and his head was bald so that he could easily pass for a white man. He had a 'cousin' however who was very dark-skinned, a strong handsome fellow with a flat nose and kinky hair. Varney and his cousin therefore entered into a scheme, not uncommon in those days by which the latter was to black up just a little and assume the role of a poor ignorant slave while Varney was to dispose of the handsome slave, who should make his escape as soon as possible and share the spoils. They had not gone far into Lee county before a sale was concluded. Varney receiving in exchange a lot of merchandise, a pair of horses and a new wagon. The young slave bided his time, washed the lampblack from his face and hastening to an appointed place in Hancock county where he was to receive his share of their booty. But Varney never came. He had loaded the merchandise into the new wagon an disappeared forever from Hancock, going to one of the western states. W.D.P.

By Will Allen Dromgoole
The Arena ; v. 3 (May, 1891), p. 749-751.

These two, Vardy Collins and Buck Gibson, were the head and source of the Melungeons in Tennessee. With the cunning of their Cherokee Ancestor, they planned and executed a scheme by which they were enabled to "set up for themselves" in the almost unbroken Territory of North Carolina.
Old Buck, as he was called, was disguised by a wash of some dark description, and taken to Virginia by Vardy where he was sold as a slave. He was a magnificent specimen of physical strength, and brought a fine price, a wagon and mules, a lot of goods, and three hundred dollars in money being paid to old Vardy for his "likely n-----". Once out of Richmond, Vardy turned his mules shoes and stuck out for the wilderness of North Carolina, as previously planned. Buck lost little time ridding himself of his Negro disguise, swore he was not the man bought of Collins , and followed in the wake of his fellow thief to the Territory.

The proceeds of the sale were divided and each chose his habitation; old Vardy choosing Newman's Ridge, where he was soon joined by others of his race, and so the Melungeons became a part of the inhabitants of Tennessee.

This story I know is true. There are reliable parties still living who received it from old Vardy himself, who came here as young men and lived, as the Melungeons generally did to a ripe old age.

 American Notes and Queries -
Edited by William Shepard Walsh, Henry Collins Walsh, William H. Garrison, Samuel R. Harris

"Of these Malungeons there were originally three families-- the Gibsons, the Mullins, and the Collinses.  Early in the history of this race a great feud arose between the Gibsons and the Collinses.  Old Buck Gibson and Vardy Collins put their heads together and made a great plot.  Gibson fixed Vardy with soot or paint so that he looked like a genuine negro.  Then they went up into Virginia, Gibson offering Vardy for sale.  He soon found a purchaser.  As Vardy was a finely built, strong man, Gibson got $1100 for him.  Of this $500 was in cash and the balance in a team, a wagon and store goods.

 "With a few farewell words of praise for his fine negro, Gibson set out southward.  In a day or two Vardy made his escape, washed himself, and fled fast and successfully on the trail of Gibson.  There was pursuit, but Vardy was not recognized or else was not overtaken.  When he got back to Powell's Mountain he found Gibson in the full enjoyment of the proceeds of the trick.  Vardy called on him for a division of the spoils.  Gibson flatly refused, after putting him off several times.

 "This began a bushwhacking war between the two families, which kept up, with intervals of peace, until the breaking out of the civil war. Sometimes the Collins tribe and the Gibson tribe joined hands against the common foe, the revenue officers.  But these breathing spells only gave further foment to a hatred which was kept alive at stills.  the civil war put an end to feuds for so long that new causes had to spring up before a properly conducted feud could be again set on foot.

Bill Sanders
Times-News Writer
October 16 1949

"Sam Mullins, (nephew of Mahala Mullins), a Malungeon who has left the ridge and settled in Rogersville, laughed as he told the story of Vardy Collins and Buck Gibson.  It seems these two had worked up a profitable enterprise in the Negro slave trade before the Civil War. Vardy would cover Buck with dark stain and take him to the nearest plantation and sell him as a Negro slave Vardy would make off into the forest and Buck would wash the stain off at his first chance and walk off the plantation without making explanations to anyone.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

An Interesting Question

Public ledger., September 27, 1883, Image 2

An Interesting Question Relative to Persons of Mixed-Extraction

One of the state officers yesterday received the following letter from the County Superintendent of Schools of Polk county.

Benton, Tenn., September 22 -
Dear Sir: Please inform me relative to persons of mixed or negro blood. What amount or degree of negro blood by law prohibits them from entering and being taught in the common free schools of the county, when they have been enrolled by the common school directors as colored scholars?  Please write me by return mail and you will very much oblige,
yours truly,
F. P. Kanester

The Question asked in this letter seems a rather strange one, but in the light of some information furnished an American reporter by an East Tennessean its pertinence is apparent.  This gentleman said that there are in the counties of East Tennessee and western North Carolina a class of persons called by the common people of the country "Molungeons."  They are of dark complexion, and evidently of mixed blood.  They claim that they are of Portuguese descent and not of negro extraction.  In one or two instances writs of mandamus have been issued against county superintendents of schools to enforce the admission of these person to white schools.
The same question entered into an important suit where the heirship of an estate was at issue.  One side tried to invalidate a certain marriage by proving the the husband was of negro blood, and hence could not legally marry a white woman.  Witnesses were brought from North Carolina where the man formerly resided, to prove that he had always been regarded there as a "Molungeon," or a person of Portuguese extraction.  The attempt to prove negro blood was ineffectual and the suit was decided on this point.  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Answer to Jack Goins

Jack wrote; "I believe this review would be accepted again before any legitimate genetic review board."  I think it's time someone had a real geneticist review this Melungeon DNA stuff.

In a recent blog Jack Goins once again tries miserably to defend his so called Core Melungeon Project.  He first attempts to discredit Will Allen Dromgoole "and others who were stating opinions".  Does Jack Goins not realize his so called 'Core' Melungeon project was based on the opinions of Dromgoole "and others"? Besides using Dromgoole as a source in the project he uses Jarvis, Judge Lewis, Grohse, Plecker, all giving nothing but their opinions.

From the paper published by JoGG by Estes, Crain, Ferguson and Goins;
''The list of Core Melungeon families was taken from multiple historical sources, including the 1830 census,[72] Lewis Jarvis’ records,[73] court records,[74] tax lists,[75] Plecker’s lists,[76] Droomgoole’s articles,[77] the Shepherd Case,[78] the 1880 census,[79] the 1890 census report,[80] voting records,[81] Eastern Cherokee Indian[82] Applications, Rev. William Humble's correspondence[83], William Grohse's[84] records as well as other resources.'' [The 'historical sources in bold above; Jarivs, Dromgoole, Shepherd, and Eastern Cherokee Applications and court records state these people were either Portuguese and/or Indians, along with other sources before the above named and just as credible.] 
Table 4 published in his so called study titled " Melungeon Family Identification Table" list the articles of Dromgoole and Humble as the sources that they used to identify the family surnames, Dromgoole, whose work he calls 'spurious' when she is identifying the families as Portuguese and Indian yet uses her work in his report FORTY TWO TIMES!

After the attempt to discredit Dromgoole he goes on to attempt to prove the Benjamin Collins family could not possibly have been Indians like Dromgoole stated because their "ethnicity" is Sub Saharan.  Apparently Goins subscribes to the Plecker 'one drop rule' -- Benjamin's Sub Saharan ancestor may have been part of the 100 slaves that came to South Carolina with deAyllon in 1527 or deSoto or Pardo. Had they mixed with the Indians 1527-1600 would they not have been Indians?  I guess not according to Jack Goins.  He says Calloway 'surely knew' [Jack knows that by osmosis] that 4 of his great uncles were tried for illegal voting 'they being colored'.  Jack is clearly aware of the Native populations being  listed as and called 'free colored' as he has stated in his posts to the Melungeon list at Rootsweb. If a 'white man' marries into a tribes does his children not become Indians?  If a man with Sub Saharan DNA marries into the tribe do they not become Indians?  Apparently not, according to Jack Goins, the Indians become Africans.  

Goins then writes some gibberish about the Native Heritage Project which appears  nonsense to me. He apparently did not read what his co-author wrote on her blog:

''The AP picked up on the paper and set about to write their own article.  They did a pretty good job, all things considered, except for a typo or two (death years pertaining to photos should have been in the 1900s, not 1800s) and one slight error (the Melungeon male lines who tested were both African and European).   Found Here    
Indeed Estes at the Native Heritage Project did report the AP reporter made a 'slight error' in not reporting the European DNA of the Melungeon ancestors. It appears he then tries to override Estes' assessment and says the "AP reporter was correct because even if the head and source of the Melungeons, Vardy Collins and Buck Gibson had European DNA there were other Gibson and Collins with Sub Saharan therefore they were Sub Saharan no matter their DNA.''
In other words the way Jack Goins tells it is any of the Melungeons with Sub Saharan DNA are Africans, pure and simple.  They have no Indian ancestry and it is their African coloring and features that set them apart from their neighbors. Sub Saharan is Sub Saharan period. If one ancestor in 1024 was Sub Saharan and the other 1023 were Indians, it doesn't matter to Jack. They were Africans. On the other hand Vardy and Buck's European DNA does NOT make them European according to Jack - uh uh - they also have African DNA although he does not have a clue who either of their parents were.

Goins then writes that Pezzullo said they sent this project to the JoGG for review UNFINISHED IS MISLEADING'.

Let us look at the facts;
According to the dates which appear in the article it shows;

"Received: July 2011; accepted Dec 2011"

Janet Crain, one of the co-authors, wrote to the Melungeon Rootsweb list just one month after this paper was submitted to the JoGG for review:
''I for one still think Core Melungeons is a legitimate term and goal.
You have to have some standard to judge other people's results
against. We include the surnames and descendants of the two groups
actually proven by old records to have been called Melungeons. It is
regretful that no Boltons, Shumakes, etc. have joined but perhaps they
will someday. THIS PROJECT IS NOT FINISHED.  Nothing is written in stone. New DNA tests are made available, new research turns up new evidence, etc''.  Found here  Why did they not wait for the Boltons, Shoemakes, etc. to be tested? Is this not a Project Unfinished?

Now one month AFTER the report is submitted we have one of the authors saying the project  IS NOT FINISHED and she regrets that none of the group from South Carolina were tested. New research turns up new evidence, etc.  So why didn't they wait another year?  Six months?  Why didn't they post to the Bolton, Shoemake, Perkins list, etc at Rootsweb and inform these people they were looking for people to test- BEFORE PUBLISHING THE RESULTS?

Two weeks after they publish the paper Jack Goins writes;

"I believe this review would be accepted again before any legitimate genetic review board. And when we feel like this project has met its goals and other new discoveries found we will have another peer review to add if necessary.  Found here
In this latest blog Goins wrote it was misleading of me to write the project was not finished although both he and Janet Crain wrote that it was not finished.  He says 'this is because the "first and foremost goal" of the project was to find the Origin of the Core group originally named in our project.'   One third of the surnames they listed in the Core Project were from the South Carolina group and were never tested. If their goal was to find the origin of those people why did they publish before those people  were tested?  Found Here

How this next entry makes sense to anyone but Jack Goins is beyond me.  He writes;

''Those results plainly show an almost even mixture of European and African males and all the maternal test were European.  When presenting those results to  a peer review board you must use the test results found in the project. Those DNA results show the Melungeons of the early 19th century were the offspring of African-American men and European-American women.'' --  So what happened to the 'even mixture of European and African males'?   SMH I think he is trying to sell us that somehow he knows, perhaps by osmosis, that the European males morphed into African-American males. Surely there are no records, how does he know this? How does the DNA tests show the Melungeons of the early 19th century were the offspring of African-American men and European-American women when the Y DNA results 'plainly show an almost even mixture'.

He then goes on to pull the race card with my 'denial of African DNA' which is horse shit and he knows it.  Anyone who has followed my website, blog, facebook page, etc., over the years know I have posted hundreds of times of the Legend of the Melungeons in which they told of their Portuguese ancestors who mixed with the Indians, blacks and whites.  Jack Goins specifically knows I suspect the African DNA is a result of the slaves who accompanied the early Spanish and Portuguese explorers who then mixed with the Native tribes.  I do not believe there were any of the CORE group who descended from African slaves as there is NOT ONE record that records them as such, in a day and environment when there would be manumission papers, runaway slave ads, etc. Not ONE.

Lastly Goins then tries to paint Vardy Collins, Shep Gibson, Joseph Goins, etc. with African DNA because 'a descendant' of Vardy's has 11% African DNA in his autosomal results. I would expect if Vardy, Buck, and the Goins etc., had African DNA and MOST of this man's cousins were Melungeons, the African would be somewhere around at least 25%?  11% would be likely from the Goins/Minors as they married into the Minor who were also Sub Saharan.

Since this blog eluded to an "Update" to the DNA Project we will likely soon hear there is more proof they descended from the African males and white females.

And lastly I would say to Jack Goins.  Send your report and comments to a real geneticist; 

''In a Council for Responsible Genetics article 'The Color of Our Genes' they write; "......in examining less than 1 percent of a person's genetic background, these companies often overstate their tests' ability to say anything significant about a person's heritage, giving the impression that social categories of race and ethnicity are somehow genetically verifiable." Found Here 

Jack Goins Blog
2012 Paper

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

"These People"

Once again Jack Goins is foolishly trying to prove the only Melungeons, the REAL Melungeons  were FIRST on Newmans Ridge. Despite the fact he uses the 1848 article to *prove* they were the first - he dismisses the fact they said they were Portuguese. The families from Louisa to Orange to Wilkes never said they were Portuguese they said they were Indians. The numerous court records show the people who said they were Portuguese came from South Carolina near the North Carolina border, just as Judge Shepherd says they did.   He also neglects to point out that in 1848 there were at least two or more communities in Tennessee where THESE PEOPLE were called Melungeons also. These communities not only existed in 1848 but they were recognized and called Melungeons by their neighbors.

It also appears he is once again trying to prove the Melungeons weren't Indians but 'free Negroes."  Quoting Walter Plecker he writes; 
"Free Negro Heads of Families in the United States in 1830," listing all of the free negroes of the 1830 census by counties. Of the names that Captain Jarvis gave, we find included in that list in Hawkins County, Solomon Collins, Vardy Collins, and Sherod (probably Shepard) Gibson. We find also Zachariah Minor, probably the head of the family in which we are especially interested at this time. We find also the names of James Moore (two families by this name) and Jordan and Edmund Goodman. In the list for Grainger County we find at least twelve Collins and Collens heads of families. This shows that they were evidently considered locally as free Negroes by the enumerators of the 1830 census."
Again, what he neglects to add is the 1830 census does NOT enumerated them as 'free Negroes" but 'free colored"  -- most researchers know, or should know,  the free colored persons included anyone NOT white,  As Roberta Estes, his friend and co-author, points out in her article Indians and the Census 1790-2010
"1830 – Indians living off of reservations and not “wild” would have been recorded in the “free colored persons” category. Other options were free whites and slaves."
Did Jack Goins in his blog mention the fact it was "likely" these men listed as free colored persons were likely Indians .... NO ... should he have known... YES!

Below is the article written by Judge Lewis Shepherd, he tells the story of the Melungeons and how these people came over the mountains from South Carolina. "These People" who by the way, were NOT included in the not so great CORE Melungeon DNA Study.

Romantic Account of the Celebrated "Melungeon" Case
(Interesting Reminiscence by Judge Lewis Shepherd of His Early Success as a Lawyer)

MANY years ago, when Tennessee was being settled by white people, there came to this section from Virginia a wealthy man with his family and his slaves. He bought a large and valuable tract of land and cleared it up and converted it into a farms. This tract was situated in the bend of the river, now called Moccasin Bend and much of it was very rich and fertile river bottom land, where vegetation of all sorts grew In rich and luxuriant abundance. The man died after a while, leaving a widow and three sons; the widow married again and raised a family of three girls. The young men grew up to be good business men, and each of them had a fine farm inherited from his father. Two of them died without having been married, and their estates were inherited by the survivor. He rented his lands, and hired Out his slaves, and he himself entered into the mercantile business in the town which grew up on the South side of the river. It was at first Rossville, but is now the flourishing city of Chattanooga. After several years of life in the town, he was attacked with a severe spell of fever; he recovered, but the disease affected his mind to such an extent that he was temporarily deranged. He recovered his mental faculties about the year 1848, and thereafter, for several years, managed his property very successfully.
He had on his farm a tenant who had been a United States soldier in the war of 1812, having joined the army in South Carolina where he lived at the time. This old soldier had a daughter who was famed for her beauty, her grace of manner and modesty. She was a dark brunette. She had a suite of black hair, which was coveted by all the girls who knew her. Her form was petite, and yet, withal was so plump and so well developed as to make her an irresistibly charming young woman. She was most beautiful of face, and had a rich black eye, in whose depths the sunbeams seemed to gather. When she loosed her locks they fell, almost reaching the ground, and shone in the sunlight, or quivered-like the glamour which the full moon throws on the placid water. She was the essence of grace and loveliness. Our hero fell in love with this delightful young woman; she reciprocated his affection, and they obtained the consent of her parents to be married. His mother and half sister heard of this attachment and engagement to marry, to which they were very much opposed. They knew if he married their prospects would be destroyed. They notified the clerk and his deputy, whose duty it was to issue marriage licenses, not to issue a license, claiming that our hero was incompetent to contract a marriage, and that there was a legal disability to his intermarriage with this girl, and they threatened to bring suit for damages against him and his bondsmen, if he issued him a license to wed this young woman.
When our hero, several days afterwards, applied to the clerk he was refused a license and was informed of the notice to prevent the granting of the license. He was a young man of resources, and was not to be outwitted in this way. He took his bride-elect and crossed over the river and secured the aid of Ab. Carroll and John Cummings, both of whom were young men. and they entered joyfully into the plot. They were fond of fun, and they readily agreed to promote the marriage, since there was a romantic feature connected with it. They took the young people, desperately bent on getting married, to the house of Esquire Clark, in Dade county, Georgia, and sent to Trenton and secured a marriage license. Squire Clark performed the marriage ceremony in due and proper form, and made return of the license, properly indorsed by him under the law of Georgia, to the proper court in Trenton, the county seat of Dade county. The happy groom, with his charming bride, returned to his home that afternoon, duly and legally married, much to the discomfort of his relations who had tried to thwart the marriage, it never having occurred to them that a Georgia court could grant a license and a Georgia judge perform the ceremony. 
They immediately went to housekeeping on the groom's plantation in a comfortable home which he had previously furnished and prepared for his bride, and they started out in life happily and auspiciously. The marriage occurred on the 14th day of June, 1856, as shown by Squire Clark's return on the license. The first child of the marriage was a son, who died in his infancy. The second was a daughter, who was born in the latter part of the year 1858. Eight days after her birth the mother died, which event was such an overpowering shock to the father that he went violently insane, and had to be taken into custody and kept under guard for a long time. He never recovered his mind, but he got to be in such condition that he was entirely harmless. He was permitted to live alone in his house, and his meals were furnished him by his guardian, who looked carefully and closely after ris welfare. He was like Judge Alton Parker in one respect— he took a plunge into the creek or river near his house every morning, no matter how cold or how hot it was. In the winter time he frequently had to break the ice in order to take his plunge. He would not allow a hair to grow any where on his body, head or face; he plucked them out as soon as they made their appearance, and he fancied that evil spirits would invade his house and destroy him unless he kept himself surrounded by a circle of cats ,which he always did. His cats were numerous and were exceedingly well trained for their work. 
The mother and half-sisters of the crazy man procured a maternal aunt of the child, "Aunt Betsy," either by threats or bribes, -to take the little infant clear out of the country, and exacted a promise from her that she would never return to this country, and she took her away and settled in Illinois, in the swamps of the Mississippi, seventy-five miles above Cairo, and the child was completely forgotten by everybody in the country, except Mr. Samuel Williams, who knew all the facts and knew that some day there would be a reckoning. He secretly arranged with "Aunt Betsy" to have a letter written to him once in a while to keep him posted as to the whereabouts and the welfare of the child, and this she did. Whenever she changed her place of residence she promptly caused Mr. Williams to be notified and informed of her new habitation. She had the forethought when she went on her journey to hide the child, to take the child's father's family Bible, which contained a record, in his own handwriting, of his marriage and the birth of his children, which proved to be a valuable item of evidence in the great chancery court suit which afterwards arose out of these matters. Shortly after the man went crazy, William H. Foust was appointed guardian of his person and property. Mr. Foust was one of the best men in the country; was successful and prosperous in his own affairs, and he made a careful and prudent guardian of his ward's property and of his person. He kept his lands rented, and carefully collected and preserved the rents until he had a fund of many thousand dollars, loaned at interest and well secured by deeds of trust on real estate. Mr. Foust allowed the man to live in his own house, but employed one of the tenants on the estate to feed him and look after keeping his house and his clothes in proper condition, and in this way he was comfortably and amply provided for.
In 1872, while Hon. D. M. Key was chancellor the two surviving half-sisters of our man, and the children of the deceased half-sister, brought suit in chancery court by which they sought to surcharge and falsify the settlements, made from time to time by Mr. Foust. of his guardianship; they charged that he had mismanaged the estate, and wasted its assets, and had loaned large sums to insolvent persons, and had taken inadequate security from the borrowers, and sought to make him account for the assets which he ought, by prudent management, to have on hand. Another feature of the bill was that Mr. Foust's ward was an incurable and permanent lunatic, rarely having a lucid interval, and that complainants were his heirs aparent, and would certainly fall into posession of the estate, the prayer of the bill was that the guardianship be revoked and the ward and his estate be turned over now to them, they agreeing to give bond and security that they would provide for all his wants. They also prayed the court to pronounce a decree adjudging them to be the heirs apparent to the estate.
Mr. Samuel Williams, and Col. John L. Divine were the sureties on Mr. Foust's bond as guardian and they were sued in order to make good the decree which the complainants expected to recover, and Mr. William concluded that now was the proper time for him to make use of the knowledge which he had of the existance and whereabouts of the rightful heir apparent, and sought a lawyer to whom his secret could be entrusted, and who could represent the girl in the assertion of her rights. He found, on inquiry, that all the experienced lawyers in town had been employed, either by complainants or Mr. Foust, one of the defendants. Van Dye, Cooke and Van Dyke, Judge D. C. Trewitt and M. H. Clift were the array on the complainants side, while Key and Richmond and Col. W. L. Eakin represented Mr. Foust. A friend of Mr. Williams advised him to consult a young lawyer, who was just starting out in business. Mr. Wililams acted on this advice and communicated all the facts in his posession to the young man, and placed the entire matter in his hands for such action as he might deem necessary and oppropriate. Mr. Williams agreed to serve in the capacity of next friend of the girl and become responsible for the costs, and thereupon a bill was filed for her asking that she be adjudged the child and heir apparent of the crazy man, and that she be supported and educated out of his estate, her education having been sadly neglected while she was in exile. This bill created a big sensation; it was like a clap of thunder out of a clear sky. The complainants were extravagant in their denunciation of the bill as a tissue of falsehoods and slanders. They claimed that it was a fabrication of old man Williams, and that the girl was an imposter. They even denied that there was any such person as she in existence; they denied her identity as the child of the lunatic, and also denied that he had ever been married to his alleged wife, and claimed that if he had gone through the form of marriage it was void for numerous reasons, and the issue of such marriage was illegitimate.
In this condition of affairs, Mr. Williams, on the advise of the counsel he had retained for the girl, went to Illinois, and after much persuasion induced her to return to Chattanooga with him. He brought back with him the old Bible which "Aunt Betsy" had carried away with her when she went to Illinois. He had to persuade "Aunt Betsy" that he would fetch her back to Chattanooga as soon as she would dispose of her belongings, which promise he made good. When Mr. Williams got back to Chattanooga, the girl was nearly 15 years old. She knew nothing about the ways of the world. She was totally ignorant of the prevailing fashions of dress; she did not now what a corset was or how it was worn, whether over or under the dress. She had spent the most of her life in the forest along the banks of the Mississippi, where she and her aunt had made their living by cultivating a small patch with hoes, and by cutting cord wood and selling it to the steamboats, which plied up and down the river, and which used wood for fuel. She knew nothing whatever of the arts of fashionable women, in making for themselves attractive forms and figures by skillful lacing—she was simply an uncouth, an unsophisticated, unmade up, natural girl from the backwoods, a girl withal, possessed of a strikingly beautiful face, and a figure that by proper development and dress was capable of being moulded into a form that would please the most fastidious.
She was very much like her mother, and possessed all the charms and graces she did, but they were undeveloped.
Mr. Williams took her to a milliner and had her provided with a wardrobe suitable to her changed surroundings. She very readily adapted herself to her new surroundings and her new life, out in the midst of the best civilization She was kept at the Williams home and sent to school, from there for about two years. She had to be started at the very beginning, but, being ambitious to get some education, she studied hard and learned very rapidly, and in the short time of her school days got a very fair and practical education. She afterwards married her teacher, who was a splendid young man and became one of the leading men of the community, and managed his wife's affairs very successfully and added considerably to her fortune. At the time of his death, which occurred about twenty years ago, he was a prominent official in the county, and in conjunction with Blev. Thompson represented the Hill City district in the county legislature.
The case was energetically prepared for trial; upwards of sixty depositions were taken on the various issues raised in the pleadings. The fact of the marriage was easily proven; Esquire Clark, who officiated, was still living, as were John and James Cummings and Joel Cross, all of whom were eye witnesses to the performance of the ceremony and remembered it well. In their depositions they stated as a reason for remembering the occurrence so well the unusual circumstances that when the ceremony was said Esquire Clark, the bridal pair and witnesses were all standing in the big road in front of Esquire Clark's house. The record in the old Bible established the date of the birth of the child.
The point made that the man was incapable, by reason of being non compos mentis, of entering into a contract of marriage was settled by the ruling of the judge that a marriage which was voidable could not be questioned by anybody except one of the parties to the contract; in other words, that such marriage could not be attacked collaterally; so that it was not at all relevant to take evidence on that point.
The great battleground was the allegation in the answer that the marriage was void because in contravention of a statute of Tennessee prohibiting the intermarriage of a white person with a person of negro blood to the sixth degree, it being alleged that the mother of this girl was a person of mixed negro blood within the prohibited degree, and upon this issue a large volume of proof was taken. The evidence completely exploded this theory. It was satisfactorily established in the proof that the family of this woman was in no way allied to, or connected with, the negro race; that there was not a feature of herself or ancestry that was at all similar to the distinguishing characteristics or features of the negro, except that they were of dark color, about the color of a mulatto. They had high foreheads, long, straight black hair, high cheek bones, thin lips, small feet with high insteps and prominent Roman noses, while the features of the negro and mulatto were exactly the reverse of these. 
In truth, these people belonged to a peculiar race, which settled in East Tennessee at an early day, and in the vernacular of that country, they were known as "Melungeons" and were not even remotely allied to the negroes. It was proven by the tradition prevailing amongst these people that they were descendants of the ancient Carthaginians; they were Phoenicians, who after Carthage was conquered by the Romans, and became a Roman province, emigrated across the Straits of Gibraltar, and settled in Portugal. They lived for many years and became quite numerous on the southern coast of Portugal, and from there came the distinguished Venetian General Othello, whom Shakespeare made immortal in his celebrated play, "The Moor of Venice." These were the same people who fought the Romans so bravely and heroically in the Punic wars, and whose women sacrificed their long black hair to the State to be plaited and twisted into cables with which to fasten their galleys and ships of war to the shore.
About the time of our Revolutionary War, a considerable body of these people crossed the Atlantic and settled on the coast of South Carolina, near the North Carolina line, and they lived amongst the people of Carolina for a number of years. At length the people of Carolina began to suspect that they were mulattoes or free negroes, and denied them the privileges usually accorded to white people. They refused to associate with them on equal terms, and would not allow them to send their children to school with white children, and would only admit them to join their churches on the footing of negroes.
South Carolina had a law taxing free negroes so much per capita, and a determined effort was made to collect this tax off them. But it was shown in evidence on the trial of this case, that they always successfully resisted the payment of this tax, as they proved that they were not negroes. Because of their treatment, they left South Carolina at an early day, and wandered across the mountains to Hancock county, Tennessee, where they settled. Many of them yet live in Hancock, in fact the majority of the people of that county are "Melungeons;" or are allied to them in some way. A few families of them from time to time drifted away from Hancock into the other counties of East Tennessee, and now and then into the mountainous sections of Middle Tennessee. Some of them live in White, some in Grundy, and some in Franlink county. They seem to prefer living in a rough mountainous, and sparsely settled country.
One peculiarity of these people is that the dark color can not be bred out of them; they do not miscegenate or blend in color. It frequently happens that a white man marries a "Melungeon" girl and raises children by her, but the children always partake of the color of one or the other parent, some of them will be white like the father, and some of them dark like the mother. Sometimes the woman bears twins by a white sire, and one will be white and the other dark. The spectacle has often been seen of a mother suckling twin babes at each of her breasts, one white and the other dark. This is not true of a cross between a white man and a negro woman. A mulatto is always half white and half black, and an octoroon can hardly be told from a pure Caucassian, the negro blood being so completely bred out. While this is true our Southern high bred people will never tolerate on equal terms, any person who is even remotely tainted with negro blood, but they do not make the same objection to other brown or dark skinned people, like the Spanish, the Cubans, the Italians, et cetera.

The term "Melungeon" is an East Tennessee provincialism; it was coined by the people of that country to apply to these people.  (Note; it was coined by the people  of THAT COUNTRY ie East Tennessee to apply to THESE PEOPLE. "These people are the people who lived in SC near the NC border, came over the mountains to Hancock County --  NOT the people who came from Wilkes Co., NC -  jp)It is derived from the French word "melange," meaning a mixture or medley, and has gotten into the modern dictionaries. It was applied to these people because it was at first supposed that they were of mixed blood—part white and part negro. This name is a misnomer, because it has been conclusively proven that they are not mixed with negro blood, but are pure-blooded Carthagenians, as much so as was Hannibal and the Moor of Venice and other pureblooded descendants of the ancient Phoenicans. It was proven in the cas*1 that the grandfather of this girl was accorded the full rights of a citizen at a time when a negro could not vote, He was allowed to vote in all elections while he lived in Hamilton county, and was allowed to testify in the courts when a negro was an incompetent witness. Once, in "Marion county, a white man named Perkins killed one of the old man's grandchildren, and an indictment was found against him, with the name of the old man marked as prosecutor. A plea in abatement was filed by the defendant, averring that he had no capacity to become a prosecutor because he was a negro. An issue of fact was joined on this plea and tried by a jury, which found that the plea was not true, that the prosecutor was not a negro. The defendant was convicted and sent to the penitentiary for a long term.
The old man applied to the government for a pension on account of his services to the country in the war of 1812. At the time of his enlistment a negro, or a mulatto, could not become a soldier in the United States army at all. He had some difficulty in finding a witness who could testify that he was in the army in that war. He had put his case in the hands of a local pension attorney, who had exhausted his resources in an effort to find satisfactory evidence in support of his client's claim. Someone told him that the old man could call the roll of his company from the captain down to the last private on the list. He had learned it from hearing the orderly sergeant call it over at roll calls, and his habit was to repeat it as a sort of song or melody. The attorney called him in and had him to call the roll, and while he called the attorney wrote down the names. The old man had forgotten the number of his regiment. All he could tell was that it was a South Carolina regiment. The attorney sent this list of names to the war department at Washington, and a search was made in the archives amongst the South Carolina regiments, and sure enough the muster roll of this company was found, containing the names from the captain down, just as the old man had called them over to his attorney. 
From this clue, as a starting point, he had no difficulty in making out his case to the satisfaction of the pension-commissioner. This was a very important piece of evidence to defeat the negro imputation, because it was utterly impossible for a negro to be an enlisted man at the time. He might be hired as a teamster or a cook, but could not be a soldier. While the testimony was being taken some old-time negroes were introduced to prove that the Boltons, for that was the name of the old man referred to, were kinkyheaded negroes. They very promptly swore to this, and said the whole bunch of them had kinky hair just like a mulatto negro. On being cross-examined they were asked if all of Bolton's daughters had kinky hair, and they answered "yes," and they also swore that old "Aunt Betsy" had kinky hair, and that our girl's mother had the same sort of hair. They did not know that Betsy was in the land of the living; in point of fact, the parties and attorneys on the other side did not have a suspicion that she was any nearer than her Illinois hut in the swamps of the Mississippi, but she was then on Williams island, having been brought back here by Mr. Williams in pursuance to his promise to her when he got her to let him fetch the girl back.

Notice was immediately served that on the following Saturday the deposition 06 Betsy Bolton would be taken at the residence of Samuel Williams, and it was so taken. She was asked to cut out a lock of her hair, and pin it to her deposition. She reached up to her top knot and pulled out her oldfashioned tucking comb, and a monstrous mass of coal black hair, as straight as the hair of a horses' tail, fell down to the floor. It was about four feet long, and perfectly free from a kink, or a tendency to curl. She exhibited with her depositions a fair sample of her magnificent suit of hair, which completely destroyed the depositions of the negroes taken on the other side to prove that the Bolton people were negroes. The case was patiently tried by the learned chancellor, who gave the solicitors free scope to argue it as much as they pleased. The decree was in favor of the girl, and adjudged that she was the heir apparent of her father and entitled to be supported and educated out of his estate, and to inherit the estate after his death. He directed the guardian to provide liberally out of the funds in his hands for her education and maintenance, and to pay the young lawyer who had fought her battle single handed against the most experienced and best legal talent that could be found, $5,000 for his services. The young man thought that was a pretty good fee to earn in his first year's practice.
At one time Mr. Williams got alarmed at the splendid array of lawyers that were pitted against his inexperienced solicitor, and he contemplated sending to Knoxville for Col. John Baxter to take the leading part in the case, but on reflection, he decided that that would be unjust to his solicitor who had borne the burden of the preparation of the case for trial; he thought he was entitled to the glory and the compensation in case of success, and he therefore abandoned his purpose of engaging Col. Baxter.
One of the funny incidents of this case was the following:
Joel Cross testified that he witnessed the marriage, and that it occurred in the big road in front of Squire Clark's residence on the 14th day of June, 1856; he was closely cross-examined by Judge Trewhitt, who thought that he could catch him on his swearing so particularly to the date of the marriage. He asked how he was able, after such a long lapse of time to swear to the precise date of the occurrence. His answer was:
"Well, Judge, that was a notable day for me; several things happened on that day to make me remember it. While we were at breakfast that morning the report was brought to us that a Baptist preacher who was carrying on a revival in the neighborhood had got drunk and the meeting would have to be broken up; a little later some young horses that we were plowing in my field ran away and tore down several acres of fine growing corn; and then about the middle of the afternoon this marriage was performed in the big road, and lastly we had a fine girl baby born at our house that evening and I set down the date of her birth and her name in the Bible, and that is how I know the date."
The decree in this case was affirmed on appeal to the Supreme Court and by this final act a great wrong was righted, and a worthy girl was vested with the title to a large fortune; the benefits of which she had been deprived for many years..—The Sunday Times, Chattanooga, Tenn.