Saturday, November 29, 2014

Early Researchers and the Smithsonian Institute


These are various articles that I have added to my website 
THE MELUNGEON INDIANS over the years.  Some researchers believe these are simply 'old articles' but they are in fact 'eyewitnesses to history'. 


Judge Giles Leitch

Member of the Philanthropic Society University of North Carolina -Graduate 1849    Senator from Robeson County 1862    Born 1827 

Excerpt from the 1871 North Carolina Joint Senate and House Committee as they interviewed Robeson County Judge Giles Leitch about the ‘free persons of color’ living within his county: 

Senate: Half of the colored population?
Leitch: Yes Sir; half of the colored population of Robeson County were never slaves at all…
Senate: What are they; are they Negroes?
Leitch: Well sir, I desire to tell you the truth as near as I can; but I really do not know what they are; I think they are a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese and Indian… Senate: You think they are mixed Negroes and Indians?
Leitch: I do not think that in that class of population there is much Negro blood at all; of that half of the colored population that I have attempted to describe all have always been free…They are called ‘mulattoes’ that is the name they are known by, as contradistinguished from Negroes…I think they are of Indian origin.
Senate: I understand you to say that these seven or eight hundred persons that you designate as mulattoes are not Negroes but are a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish, white blood and Indian blood, you think they are not generally Negroes?
Leitch: I do not think the Negro blood predominates.
Senate: the word ‘mulatto’ means a cross between the white and the Negro?
Leitch: Yes sir.
Senate: You do not mean the word to be understood in that sense when applied to these people?
Leitch: I really do not know how to describe those people. 
---------------------------------------------
New York Herald
Saturday, March 09, 1872
Wilmington, N.C.
February 29, 1872
THE KU KLUX REPORT ON THE LOWERYS
  EXCERPT;
........." I do not know what these mulattoes of Scuffletown are. I think they are a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, and Indian; about half of them have straight black hair, and many of the characteristics of the Cherokee Indians in our State; then, as they amalgamate and mix, the hair becomes curly and kinky, and from that down to real woollen hair; I think they are mixed Portuguese, Spaniard and Indians; I mean to class the Spaniards and Portuguese as one class, and the Indians as another class; I do not think that in class of population there is much negro blood at all; of that half of the colored population that I have attempted to describe all have been always free; I was born among them, and I reckon that I know them perfectly well."
------------------------------------ 
Hamilton McMillan
The Genesis of the United States

Alexander Brown
Volume I
1891
In 1888 Mr. Hamilton Mcmillan, A. M., of Robeson County, North Carolina, published an historical sketch of "Sir Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony, with the traditions of An Indian Tribe in North Carolina indicating the fate of the Colony," etc.  From this I will give extracts.

"In the latter part of 1864 three young men of the Croatan tribe, who had been drafted to work on the fortifications at Fort Fisher, were killed, it is supposed, by a white man who had them in custody.  An inquest was held, and at its conclusion an old Indian, *named George Lowrie, addressed the people assembled, in substance as follows:

"We have always been the friends of the white men.  We were a free people long before the white men came to our land.  Our tribe was always free.  They lived in Roanoke in Virginia.  When the English came to Roanoke our tribe treated them kindly.  One of our tribe went to England in an English ship and saw that great country. We took the English to live with us.  There is a white man's blood in these veins as well as that of the Indian.  In order to be great like the English, we took the white man's language and religion, for our people were told they would prosper if they would take white men's laws. In the wars between white men and Indians we always fought on the side of the white men.  We moved on this land and fought for liberty for white men, yet white men have treated us as negroes.  Here are our young men shot down by a white man and we get no justice, and that in a land where our people were always free."

This speech caused Mr. McMillan to investigate the history and traditions of this tribe.

[*James Lowry born in Virginia and found in the area later called Robeson in the mid-1750’s owned over a thousand acres of land.  James’ wife was Sarah Kersey, described as a “half-breed Tuscarora Indian.”  William Lowry (son of James) married Betty Locklear, also described as a “Half-breed Tuscarora Indian”, their son George Lowry born 1798 and brother of Allen Lowery killed in 1865 is believed to be the George Lowrie who gave this speech.jp]
------------------------------------------- 
Red Springs, NC
Oct 12, 1889
Mr McDonald Furman [Excerpts]
        Dear Sir
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".
 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".

With my best regards
I am yours truly
Hamilton MCMillan
 NOTE: This letter was written in October of 1889, the same date Dr. Swan Burnett's article was published in which he wrote that since his reading in February he had been in contact with Hamilton McMillan and now believed the origin of the Melungeons was the Drowning Creek - Pee Dee River area where the 'Croatan and Redbones' were found. Dr. Burnett mentions he will publish his findings at a later date but none have been found as yet. Dr. C. A. Petersen mentioned this work of Burnett's when he wrote; "Dr. Swan M. Burnett, a distinguished scholar and scientist- the husband, by the way, of Mrs. Francis Hodgson Burnett, the novelist has traced by family names the connection between the Melungeons and the Croatans.     

Hamilton McMillan, Dr. C.A. Petersen, McDonald Furman, Swan Burnett, Stephen B. Weeks and others all agreed the Redbones and Malungeons, as well as other remnant tribes were a branch of the 'Croatan" Indians. 


This letter precedes the articles by Will Allen Dromgoole by over a year..  Burnett, McMillan, Furman, and Gaetchet, all affiliated with the Smithsonian were researching and writing about the Melungeons BEFORE Dromgoole ever went to Newmans Ridge.

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.''


 --------------------------------------------------------------

James Mooney 

Washington Post 1902
PHASE IN ETHNOLOGY
Mr. James Mooney Investigates Early Portuguese Settlements.
Excerpts;
Mr. James Mooney, who has just returned from Indian Territory, where he has been making a study of the Kiowa tribe for the Bureau of Ethnology, has also during his career as an anthropologist done considerable work in the way of investigating the Portuguese settlements along the Atlantic coast of the United States, a subject about which less is known than most any other phase of the modern ethnology of America. All along the southern coast there arescattered here and there bands of curious people, whose appearance, color, and hair seem to indicate a cross or mixture of the Indian, the white, and the negro. Such, for example, are the Pamunkeys of Virginia, the Croatan Indians of the Carolinas, the Malungeons of Tennessee, and numerous other peoples who in the days of slavery were regarded as free negroes and were frequently hunted down and enslaved. Since the war they have tried hard byact of legislature and other wise to establish their Indian ancestry. 
Wherever these people are found there also will the traveler or investigator passing through their region encounter the tradition of Portuguese blood or descent, and many have often wondered how these people came to have such a tradition or, in view of their ignorance, how they came to even know of the name of Portugal or the Portuguese. The explanation is, however, far simpler than one might imagine. In the first place, the Portuguese have always been a seagoing people, and according to Mr. Mooney, who has lookedup the subject, the early records of Virginia and the Carolinas contain notices of Portuguese ships having gone to wreck on the coasts of these States and of the crews settling down and marrying in with Indians and mulattoes.
Moreover, there are records of Portuguese ships having sailed into Jamestown Bay as early as 1655, and since then there has been more or less settlement of Portuguese fishermen and sailors from Maine to Florida. Now it has been the history of the Portuguese race that wherever they settled they mixed in with the darker peoples forming the aboriginal populations of the countries occupied by Portuguese settlers, and this is the reason and cause of the Portuguese admixture among the tribes along the coast of the United States. 


Frederick Webb Hodge


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. Temn. 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
Also Published:
Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico -
by Frederick Webb Hodge - Indians of North America - 1911

[Frederick W. Hodge (October 28, 1864 – September 28, 1956) was an editor, anthropologistarchaeologist, and historian.   e was associated with Columbia University and the U.S. Geological Survey. During the Hemenway Southwestern Archaeological Expedition, he met and later married Margaret Magill, sister of Emily Tennison Magill Cushing, wife of the expeditionary leader, Frank Hamilton Cushing

He was the director of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian in Los Angeles. He served as executive officer at the Smithsonian Institution, chairman of the Committee of Editorial Management and the Committee dealing with the Linguistic Families North of Mexico. He was a member of the Committee on Archaeological Nomenclature, the Committee of Policy, the National Research Council, and the Laboratory of Anthropology, School of American Research, Journal of Physical Anthropology, and the Museum of the American Indian in New York City    A 1956 interview of Frederick Hodge can be found HERE, has much information on the early beginnings of the Smithsonian.]




Saturday, November 15, 2014

I Interrupt this Blog to Bring You This Important Message

Associations

This is in response to the personal attack made by Donald Collins on his blog.  It may take several blogs to get to the bottom of the venom and personal attacks spewing into the blogs of Jack Goins and Don Collins and being spread by Janet Crain, but once I put it all out there, I will be done with them and will say no more. (Unless they publish another paper like the last.)


I will explain the situation between Jack Goins, Penny Ferguson, and Janet Crain eventually but first I must deal with Collins. 


Anyone who has been following the Melungeon discussions on Yahoo, Rootsweb, Genforum, etc., for the last 10 or so years will probably recognize this as just another of Collins' many personal attacks over the years. My advice to you is do not associate with Donald Collins..... I learned the hard way. 


One of his favorite people to attack was Brent Kennedy and indirectly the Melungeon Historical Society. On many occasions I myself had attacked Brent Kennedy's work, Kennedy always responded with a friendly reply, no matter how tough the questions were and some of them were just plain mean.  One poster in particular, going by the name 'Frank' and 'Jon', at different times was particularly cruel.[more about that later]


Don Collins was on several of the discussion lists that I was on and I may have replied to some of his messages or he may have replied to mine, we discussed genealogy and that was as far as it went.  


His attacks on Brent Kennedy were rather brutal, personal attacks, also on the MHA, it reached a level that I finally had to unsub him from my Yahoo group. Things quieted down .... for awhile. Very few people know of the situation I am going to present next, I have not spoke of this publicly but I think it needs to be said to put things in perspective.


In the summer of 2010 I received legal papers from the family of Brent Kennedy that a lawsuit had been initiated -- against myself, Donald Collins, and Jan Lala. This lawsuit cost me hundreds of dollars to defend and took up most of my time until April of 2011 when it was finally resolved.



Sent: Thu, Feb 24, 2011 1:35 pm
Subject: Kennedy
Dear Joanne:

I have just heard again from Richie Kennedy.  I have talked with him and Ron Elkins, the Wise County Commonwealth Attorney, regarding the controversies which have been raised, primarily dealing with the posts made by Collins and "Jan Lala."

I believe that I have been successful in convincing them that you have no affection for Collins and are innocent of any wrongdoing, if wrongdoing did occur.

Ron Elkins still is interested in investigating Collins.  He has expressed an interest in interviewing you, but because of the difficulty involved with that for all parties, he has,in lieu of an interview, provided me with a list of nine questions he would like for you to answer.  I have pasted the questions below. 
The questions are:
1. Advise of your association with and everything you know about Donald "Don" Collins, present address, telephone numbers; emails, age; history; etc...
2. Donald "Don Collins posted an online poem attributed to "anonymous" that utilized numerous references to Brent Kennedy; "bin Laden"; "terrorists"; "Talibans";  etc... Advise of any knowledge you have regarding this post and Donald "Don" Collins' involvement with this post, and his intent if known.
3. Donald "Don" Collins claims to "have had 2 different meeting with the FBI concerning this matter." Advise as to any knowledge you have of Mr. Collins' claim which has not been substantiated by Federal authorities.
4. Donald "Don" Collins posted online that "all the world know [sic] Turks is thieves, rapers, uncivilized barbarians, primitive and perverts" Advise as to any knowledge you have of his accusations of criminal and immoral conduct by others contained in this post, and his intent if known.
5. Donald "Don" Don Collins posted reference to Attorney Richard Kennedy (who resides and practices in my jurisdiction and further made references to "the devil, a lawyer's wife's soul; children's souls; and that "their children's souls rot in hell for eternity." Advise as to any knowledge you have of this post by Donald "Don" Collins and his intent if known.
6.Do you know the true identity of the alias ''Jan Lala" who posted frequently with you and Donald "Don" Collins? If so, please provide as much information as possible regarding this individual.


-------------------------------------------------       


Sent: Monday, April 04, 2011 2:45 PM
Subject: RE: Joanne Pezzullo
Thank you - you have done an excellent job for your client in sorting out all the facts. It appears that Jan lala is a ghost and that Don Collins was a risk and problem for everyone, including Joanne herself. We all realize now how one reckless person can implicate all others without their knowledge in these unmonitored Internet postings.  I'm sure Ron Elkins will appreciate the information on Don Collins (who was the only one perceived as a threat or an interest to law enforcement).  I will request the civil attorneys to enter a non-suit dismissing all civil actions for issuance of subpoenas, etc and I consider the matter closed. 


In December 2010 after emails and phone calls went unanswered [thought maybe he could help out with legal fees] I finally contacted his 'cousin' who I will not name [at this point] and received the following response;


To: joannepezzullo
Sent: Mon, Dec 20, 2010 9:24 pm
Subject: Re: LOL
Don didn't answer you because he was in the hospital and said he had over 2000 emails when he got home.  I had searched all over for him, even in Obits, and nobody knew what had happened, since he really has no family out there.   He dropped off the old M list and I told him what you posted today.   He is going to write a "letter" and get me to post it in his name on the list.  
I guess when I do, Janet will throw me off, but so be it.  He is going to "publicly ridicule" Roberta.  She got him to do an Autosomal DNA test, and promised to "read" him his results.  He paid a lot for it too.  He never heard back and now sees that she has used his results in her "award winning" paper. 
That email was followed by this one from Don Collins in February 2011
-----Original Message-----
From: Don Collins
To: joannepezzullo
Sent: Mon, Feb 7, 2011 11:13 am
Subject: Re: Papers
Hello Joanne,

Again, DNA without the paper trail is useless, it definitely is NOT the final word. I grew up hearing my Father and all my Uncles saying our Collins' was 'onst' Indians. This is what has been passed on.
Why on Earth would they say this, if not the truth ?
As far as Roberta goes, she took me for a ride on an autosomal DNA test. She was less than honest with this situation.

Interesting?  Take note of the dates December 2010 and February 2011.


Fast forward to May 2012 after the paper was published by Estes, Crain, Goins and Ferguson.  


I posted to the Melungeon List at Rootsweb regarding the 'speculation' posted six times in the above report that 'Vardy and Valentine were said to be brothers' when all four authors were well aware they didn't even have the same haplogroup. I was curious why they had posted this six times but never mentioned comparing Donald Collins autosomal results [Roberta obviously had them] to one of Vardy Collins so I wrote to the list;


"Seems like someone would have picked up the tab on your Family Finder test just to see if you match Vardy Collins and Henry Bunch family..... put an end to the speculation. Joanne
To which Don Collins responded;
-----Original Message----- From: Don Collins
To: melungeon-dna
Sent: Wed, May 30, 2012 6:19 pm Subject: Re: [MELUNGEON-DNA] Melungeons, A Multiethnic Population

          Joanne,
You said:
"Seems like someone would have picked up the tab on your Family Finder test just to see if you match Vardy Collins and Henry Bunch family..... put an end to the speculation." 
Done, an anonymous Bunch cousin stepped to the line and put their 'Dinero where there mouth is' I was notified by ftDNA that the order has been placed.
I will be sure and post any interesting findings when I get the results from ftDNA Don Collins

How very interesting --- Roberta Estes had Don Collins autosomal results as early as December of 2010 -- but never used them in their report to show 'Vardy and Valentine WERE brothers' instead of speculating?  In May of 2012 after "he had paid her a lot" she had still never given him his autosomal results?  Why would he have to have a second test in 2012?  Maybe he will tell us in his next blog.

The next part of this blog is going to go back to 2005 when the Core Melungeon Project first started, and contrary to what has been written I will show I was there when it started and continued doing the genealogy for the project until I quit and Kathy James took over.  


I feel kind of sorry for the people who I have to drag into this just because they 'associated with Don Collins' but I simply could not let this personal attack go unchallenged. 


Donald Collins wrote; "This woman Joanne Pezzullo, self identifies as the diva of Melungin research , when in reality she is the diva of a small band of cretinites, heaterns, and sodomites that help push her Afro-phobic agenda." 


After Janet Crain posted this to Face Book pages I asked her to have him remove this, I really did not want to spend my time rehashing this, I am so sorry they didn't. 


I would much rather be posting the information on the Brass Ankles and their DNA connections to the Melungeon Gibsons.  Instead I will cover "Afro-phobic vs Indian-Phobic agendas."





Monday, November 3, 2014

The Redbones

 THE REDBONES

'In 1856, voting by the free black people (present day Red Bones) of Ten Mile Creek Precinct in what is now Allen Parish, Louisiana, became a source of public concern. Several were tried for illegal voting, for free Negroes did not have the franchise, but they were acquitted when their colored ancestry could not be proven and the judge would not permit the jury to evaluate them by their appearance.'' Arkansas Toothpick






RED BONE, Talbot County. (Georgia)
This early community
was located at the site of the present YPSILANTI
(q.v.). The name is taken from an old Indian
chief, Red Bone, who was born here.


HORNELLSVILLE WEEKLY TRIBUNE
[New York]     11/28/1890

SOUTH CAROLINA’S REDBONES

There are a singular race of people in South Carolina called the Redbones. Their origin is unknown. They resemble in appearance the gypsies, but in complexion they are red. They have accumulated considerable property and are industrious and peaceable. They live in small settlements at the foot of the mountains and associated with none but their own race. They are a proud and high spirited people. Caste is very strong among them. They enjoy life, visit the watering places and mountain resorts, but eat by themselves and keep by themselves. When the war broke out several of them enlisted in the Hampton legion, and when the legion reached Virginia there was a great outcry among the Virginians and the troops from other states because we had enlisted Negroes. They did not resemble the African in the least, except in cases where Africans had amalgamated with Indians. This intermixture, which is common in the Carolinas, produces marvelous results. It takes the kink out of the hair of the African, straightens his features and improve him in every way except in temper---Interview with Senator Hampton.






BEDFORD GAZETTE

1/16/1903
South Carolina’s "Red Bones."

Have you ever heard of a class of people called "red bones?" said Lewis Marshall, of Charlston, S. C. "They are the most peculiar people in the United States. No one living absolutely knows the race from which they sprang or whence the original settlers came. They live very nearly on the boundary line between South Carolina and Georgia, in the northwestern part of
the first-names State. They are very clannish, mix very little with people not of their race, and in a manner are quite thrifty. I am of the opinion that they are descendants of the Basques of Southern France. They do not lack courage, for a company of them served in Hampton’s legion during the late Civil War, and bore themselves bravely at the first Manassas. Their skin is of a swarthy red, resembling that of the Indian, but at that point all resemblance ceases, except to be that they are very hot of temper. I have often wondered why the ethnologists of this country have not studied these people. Surely a monograph on them would be highly interesting."



The Goins mentioned in this article as Redbones are the same Goins who are part of the Lumbee Tribe -- who are included in the Melungeon Core DNA group.  The Chavis family mentioned are the same Chavis family associated with the Melungeon Gibsons in the 1600s in Charles City County. 




Bennettsville May 17, 1893
Mr. McDonald Furman

My Dear Sir

Yours of 13th inst is before me and in reply let me say
that I not only appreciate your laudable desire to rescue the traditions of
an obscure race, sometimes wronged, from oblivion, but to call the public
mind to a number of important facts of our brief history, both secular and
religious, which in the eager haste of this fast age, our people are liable
to forget. Your brief, but important, communication to the public press
calling attention to things of this sort have always interested one reader
at least. You will permit me to thank you very sincerely, that you, young
man, as you are, have respect to the days, and the men of "auld lang syne"
and can find interest and worth, if not beauty and charms amid the bygone
years. And I trust that if the response of your contemporaries is not
always as generous as your fond wishes may desire, that still your inquiries
may bring to light facts and principles, that shall gratify and profit your
own mind, and help your generation, and those who shall come after.

The question now upon your mind, of which you write me
is not unworthy your research. And I wish that I were able to give you more
information than I can. Of course the people of "mixed breed," that we
have among us in Marlborough are not known as "Redbones," and not until
recently have they been called "Croatans," a name which some of them are now
adopting. For generations, they have claimed to have been of "Portuguese"
extraction, while commonly the white people have thought them mulattos.
Since the "Revolutionary War" the Quicks and a few other names connected
with them, have enjoyed the respect of white people; and all the privileges
of citizenship were accorded them in consideration of "distinguished
services," they rendered to the cause of independence. And the consequence
has been that their complexion, their circumstances and general character
has wonderfully improved, until now they are scarcely recognized as having
"mixed blood" in their veins. You can see how on account of the special
favor shown this family, other men of "mixed breed" would naturally claim
and seek alliances with them: and so it came to pass in the years "before
the war between the states," that questions would sometimes arise as to the
citizenship of parties making the claim as only free whites were so
accounted and many a long controversy arose in the courts over such "points
in law." Judge Hudsen, was attorney in a case of this sort, and made a very
thorough investigation of the question of descent and has told me more than
once that he was satisfied that "several of the larger families of this
color, were free from Negro blood." He says that "they have a well
authenticated claim that they sprang from a parentage that came from the
south of Europe, Spain or Portugal, and that with this European blood was
probably some Moorish, but no evidence of Negro." Other families claim
affinity with the American Indian and there can be little doubt but that
their claim is just, as they have the natural characteristic marks of that
aboriginal people clearly developed. While everybody believes, that some
who claim to be Indian, or Moor, are unquestionably mixed with Negro.

You ask me if we have "any Chavis" in Marlborough?
They are here, and have been for two or three generations, and are among the
best known people we have after the Quicks. And it is very likely that they
have intermarried. Why, Sir, if you were here to accompany me to one of my
appointments next Sunday, and take a seat in the "a.... corner," [might be
Arian!] just about the hour for the service to commence, looking through the
window blinds, you might see a "covered buggy with two horses (or mules)
drive up, and presently a young man about "six foot three" would enter the
door, lift his beaver, and with slow and courtly tread walk down the aisle,
"straight as an arrow, raven locks, prominent raised cheeks, complexion
brownish red," and take a seat about mid way the house, and if you were not
looking for "Redbones," you might ask, "what fine looking well behaved young
man is that," well that is "Lewis Chavis." He has a valuable farm, a "good
bank account," his mother owns a fine place, and valuable mortgages, and he
has a younger brother just as good looking, only not quite so tall. And has
some cousins that are enterprising valuable citizens. But there are others
of the name, not so well to do, and not so well received in social circles.
These better ones however when they open their lips, betray their origins as
they tell you of the "housens"and "chillens," etc.

And then we have a large family of Locklears, another
of Jacob Turners (?), in making a society and class of their own, who do not
seem to aspire to anything higher. Poor pitiable creatures, they scorn (?)
to associate with Negroes, cannot with the better class of whites, and yet
many of them are good people, industrious, honest, humble citizens. Of
course you will find vicious, envious, worthless fellows among them, but no
more than many a "pale face" or "black skin." They have two Baptist
churches in Marlborough, one of them located near the little town of Clio,
where they have a large congregation, and well behaved. And the existence
of the church, and a comfortable framed building to worship in, makes them a
fixture in the community, and an advantage in the way of farm laborers. The
other is in the upper part of the county and is not doing so well, I judge
mainly for lack of a sensible pastor. The young man who does most of their
preaching, being a noisy, ignorant sort of fellow, and yet sharp enough to
keep his place among them. This latter church is known, in doctrine and
practice, as badly mixed as the blood of its members. Feet washing, free
will, immersionists. And yet the leading people of the community, who are
mostly Methodists, enjoy having the church among them because it moralizes
and improves the character, as well as settles and fixes laborers on their
farms.

Now I have filled up my space, and fear that with it
all I have not met your wishes, as I certainly desired to do. If however
from what I have written you shall suppose that I may yet help you in the
way of information you will not hesitate to command me. With the kindest
regards to your excellent father and profound veneration for your honored
name through three generations, I am yours with great respect

J.A.W. Thomas