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, 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, 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; " 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.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Will Allen Dromgoole

Yet again another article full of misinformation on Will Allen Dromgoole has hit the internet, and thus another article full of misinformation on the Melungeons goes along with it.

Instead of researching it seems these 'internet bloggers' are copy and pasting things they find on the internet instead of doing real research.

First it has been published repeatedly that Will Allen lost her clerkship because of her articles about the Melungeons.  That is false.

Her first two articles on the Melungeons were published August 31st and September 1st of  1890.  

Clearly this article published in February of 1889, almost 18 months before she went to Newmans Ridge or published her articles.  

Dromgoole has been called 'a crazy woman' who went to Newmans Ridge and wrote about the Melungeons to make a name for herself but early newspaper articles clearly show she was a recognized author long before she wrote of the Melungeons. Some people have written that she never even went to Newmans Ridge but again early newspaper accounts show that is false.

Her account of the Melungeons, it is said, is based on hearsay. That is false. Dromgoole arrived in Hancock County with her sketch artist and stayed a month, in the homes of Callaway Collins and the Goins family.  There is an extensive story on the Collins family written in TWO TALES, many of these articles can be found on my website and I will post links at the bottom, they have been there probably at least five years.  Why anyone can claim 'they have looked for this information' and not found it is a mystery in itself.

What Dromgoole wrote in her articles on the Melungeons can be backed up by others who followed her to the ridge and wrote much the same things as Dromgoole, it has also been backed up by records as well as DNA.

And here is the worst misrepresentation of Dromgoole's work on the internet. This photo has been published in the Melungeon article at Wikipedia, I have tried in vain to get someone to post the REAL picture.  Why has the identification of  a "Typical Melungeon" been altered to hide the fact it is Calloway Collins whose Cherokee ancestor was old Jordan Collins, son of Benjamin Collins?

This is the sketch that floats around the internet

This is the sketch as it originally appeared in the newspaper


Why do people want to erase the Indian heritage of the Melungeons?  Why do they insist on making mysteries where there are none?

Contrary to the research of some bloggers there is no mystery to this photo. It was published along with other sketches in the "Morning Oregonian, (Portland, OR) Tuesday, October 14, 1890; pg. 3" as well as several other newspapers. 

A recent blogger apparently trying to make a story where there is none wrote he was surprised there was no name to go with the picture (see above) and he didn't know who made the sketch.  This is sad.  

In Dromgoole's second article in 1890 A STRANGE LAND  she writes;  "Mr. Thomas Sharpe, of Nashville, made an excellent sketch of this teacher while he was busy with his class and unconcious that he was “being tuk fur a pictur.” 

This is the article as it was printed in 1890.  I apologize for it being a little choppy but it was a large article. 

There has been much written about Dromgoole over the years, most of it not very flattering, untrue, etc.  We owed a great debt of gratitude for her making her way up the ridge and telling us the little history we know of the Melungeons which can be found at the link

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Portuguese Connection


In 1830 Wilson County census  James and Permelia Nickens, John Brown, George and Elisha  Collins, Gideon Goins,  Jacob and Hezekiah Archy or Achy family appear as  Free Colored Persons.   Shadrack Goins and members of the Gibson family are also residing in Wilson County but their families are listed as white. Randall M. Ewing and Daniel Baird both reported a settlement near Lebanon, Tennessee in 1850 who were thought to be Portuguese and was called Malungeon Town. 

From Paul Heinegg;

William Nickens , born say 1750, died in Wilson County, Tennessee, in 1820 leaving ten children [Wilson County Quarterly Court Minutes 1830, 34]. In 1833 his sons Marcus, Andrew and Calvin presented a petition to the General Assembly of Tennessee stating that their parents were from Portugal, had settled in the United States many years since and that "their colour is rather of the mixed blood by appearance." They asked to have the same rights as other citizens of the state. One supporting statement said that their grandfather was from Portugal and another that their father bore the name "of a desent of the Portagee." (Tennessee Legislative Petition 77-1831)

 William Waters

The facts of the case as disclosed by the 
testimony were as follows: The defendant and one Zilpha Thompson were indicted in Ashe County Court in the year 1841for fornication and adultery. The defendants, on the trial, proved that they had been married. The State alleged that the defendant, Wm. P. Watters, was a man of color, and that his marriage, therefore, with a white woman was void. 

The defendant, William P. Watters, contended that he was descended from Portuguese, and not from Negro or Indian  ancestors. 

(Note: Ironically Zilpha Thompson was a descendant of the Cherokee Indian, Ned Sizemore.  - See Zilpha Thompso

Abraham Lincoln defends a Portuguese

In August 1851, William Dungey, a dark-skinned young man of Portuguese descent, married Joseph Spencer's sister. A family quarrel ensued, which became so bitter that in January 1855, Spencer claimed throughout the community that his brother-in-law, "Black Bill," was a Negro........

William Dungey faced losing not only his reputation, but his marriage, property, and right to remain in Illinois. Section 10 of the 1853 law statedthat, "Every person who shall have one-fourth negro blood shall be deemed a mulatto." William Dungey retained Abraham Lincoln to quash the possibility
that he might be judged a "negro" and therefore suffer the severe penalties under the 1853 act.......

On October 18, 1855, the jury returned a verdict of guilty and granted Dungey $600 in damages plus court costs of $137.50. Lincoln charged a $25 fee, which Lawrence Weldon considered minimal

 1667Lower Norfolk County 
Order Book, 1666-1675, fol. 17.

Whereas Fernando a Negro sued Capt. [John] Warner for his freedome pretending hee was a Christian and had been severall yeares in England and therefore ought to serve noe longer than any other servant that came out of England accordinge to the custome of the Country and alsoe Presented severall papers in *Portugell * or some other language which the Court could not understandwhich he alledged were papers From severall Governors where hee had lived a  freeman and where hee was home. Wherefore the Court could find noe Cause wherefore he should be free but Judge him a slave for his life time, From which Judgement thesaid Negro hath appealled to the fifth day of the next Generall Court. [It is not possible to follow this case further owing to the destruc-tion of the General Court records for this period.]

North Carolina State ArchivesGeneral Assembly Session RecordsApril-May, 1760 Box #2Committee of Claims

Cornelius Harnett Esqur was allowed his claim of one pound nine shillings eight pence for holding an inquest on the body of one Menasses, a Portugese.

  Littell's Living Age
March 1849

The legend of their history, which they carefully preserve, is this. A great many years ago, these mountains were settled by a society of Portuguese Adventurers, men and women--who came from the long-shore parts of Virginia, that they might be freed from the restraints and drawbacks imposed on them by any form of government.


Before the Indians were taken to Indian Territory there was a large number of whites and Indians that fled to the mountain between Little Crow Creek and Little Coon. They built Shavis Town, cleared up about 100 or more acres and cultivated it, putting out an orchard. They raised winesap apples, peaches, corn and dug ginseng besides hunting for a living.

The older men were very religious. They were mixed with Portuguese. Willis Shavis named his four sons after the Apostles, Andrew, John, Peter and Nathaniel. The had two Preachers, John Pressley and Brother Forsythe, an Indian. They would preach and convert the young men and girls and bring them down to Little Crow Creek to Baptize them. They believed rightly they were to be buried in baptism in water. They knew the Bible. I don't know where 

1832 - Madison Co. TN
Free man of color, Richard Matthews, seeks permission to marry a white woman. Matthews says he is "of the Portuguese Blood.


"The Roark's are Portugese. They came from the Black Water country, Tennessee, so did the Sizemores and Collets also"
Dickey Diary ~1898


Port Gibson, Miss., May 17, 1878

Dear sir:

       There were three branches of the Gibson connexion which settled in Mississippi at an early day: The parents of Rev. Randall Gibson near Natchez about where the old town of Washington now stands; the family of Samuel Gibson - the founder of the Town of Port Gibson, in this vicinity; and that of Rev. Tobias Gibson in what is now Warren county in the vicinity of Warrenrtown. So far as I know these families all came from the valley of the Great Pee Dee river in South Carolina. Some time in the sixteenth century three ship loads of Portuguese Hugenots voluntarily exiled themselves from Portugal rather than renounce their Protestant faith, and settled in South Carolina, then the Colony of Carolina, in the very region of county where our Gibsons are first found, and, from their elevated intellectuality, morality, religion and enterprise, I have long believed that they were the descendants of those refugee Huguenots, though I do not remember ever to have heard but one of the connexion refer to this as a tradition of the family. I wish we now had the means of demonstrating this theory.

Excerpt From William Labach  - Read here
Reverend John G. Jones was Author of  A Complete Hisotry of Methodism - 1887


Title: Letters to the Secretary of State and others from the Governors, Alexander Spotswood, William Gooch, Robert Dinwiddle and Francis Fauquier, and Presidents Thomas Lee and Lewis Burwell, with enclosures and replies. Depository: Public Record Office / Class: C.O. 5/1344 SR Number: SR 00233 Reel Number: 48 Dates: 1726 - 1783 References: Lists & Indexes, Vol. XXXVI, 29. Andrews Guide 183, List 493. ff. 86-87 Lords of Trade to the Duke of Bedford,
10 Jan 1750/51. Spanish and Portuguese ships driven into ports of Virginia by bad weather. Encloses the four (only adding two) documents listed below: ff. 90-91 Enclosed in the above. Extract of a letter from Thomas Lee to the Board of Trade, 6 Nov. 1750The Spanish and Portuguese ships driven into Virginia ports have proven irrepairable. The masters have been given permission to hire other ships to carry their cargoes to Europe.  


The Expedition of Batts and Fallam:

A Journey from Virginia to beyond the Appalachian Mountains, September, 1671.
From Annals of Southwest Virginia, 1769-1800.

September 5th 1671
''The three gentlemen bore a commission from Major-general Wood "for the finding out tile ebbing and flowing of the Waters on the other side of the Mountains in order to the discovery of the South Sea."
They struck off due west along a trail that was evidently already familiar, and having five horses made rapid progress. On the fourth day 'they reached the Sapony villages, one of which Lederer had visited the year before. They were "very joyfully and kindly received with firing of guns and plenty of provisions." They picked up a Sapony guide to show them to the Totero village by "a nearer way than usual," and were about to leave when overtaken by a reinforcement of seven Appomattox Indians sent them by Wood. They sent back Mr. Thomas Wood's worn out horse by a Portuguese servant of General Wood's whom they had found in the village, and pushed on to the Hanahaskie "town," some twenty-five miles west by north, on an island in the Staunton River. Here Mr. Thomas Wood was left, dangerously ill.''

 On  page 35 of  the Order  Book, Volume I (April 24, 1855-January 30, 1869)  of the Clay County Records (Kentucky State  Archives, Frankfort)    "John Griffin was released from being placed on the Negro list, and hereafter he will be listed as a white man,   proof being made to the satisfaction  of the court that he was of Portuguese descent instead of African descent." 


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

New York Herald
Saturday, March 09, 1872

Wilmington, N.C.
February 29, 1872


........."Giles Leitch  the Judge previously referred to in these letter, gave before Pool's Ku Klux Committee these figures:-

The county of Robeson had about one thousand five hundred white voting population before the close of the war; since the colored population has been
enfranchised there are about three thousand voters in the county; of that 1,5000 additional voting population about half were formerly slaves, and the other half are composed of a population that existed there and were never slaves, and are not white, but who, since 1835 have had no right of suffrage; I think that about one-half of that additional 1,500 voters were this old free and non white population: half the colored population of Robeson county were never slaves at all; in 1835 there was a State Convention which disfranchised
them; up to that time they had exercised the elective franchise; the free negroes had exercised the elective franchise up to 1835; but Robeson county contained a larger number of them than most of the other counties; but really 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."

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. 


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 by act 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.

Very interesting article -- Read here

''James Mooney main interest of study was of the Cherokee people. Many say that Mooney wrote the most accurate accounts of the Cherokee culture and history. James spent years living with the Cherokee people in North Carolina. He was able to gain their acceptance and trust, which allowed him to write more first hand accounts. This made his work more reliable and very accurate. This was also very beneficial to others who have not and will not ever experience tribal life.''Swimmer and, in time, the other shamans and populace of the Eastern Band, concluded that the courteous white man who came to visit and talk with them each year was “u-da-nu-ti;” that is he was “a man of soul” who had the correct “emotional attitude.”

 Mooney on Melungeons;

Charles James McDonald Furman papers, 1804-1903.
''The manuscripts record Furman's investigations of common Redbone family names like Goins, Chavis, and Oxendine, and his correspondence with authorities on similar and possibly related ethnic groups. Hamilton McMillan of Red Springs, N.C., sent material concerning the Croatan (Lumbee) Indians, and Dr. Swan Burnett (husband of the children's writer Frances Hodgson Burnett) sent an article from American Anthropologist dealing with the Melungeons of East Tennessee. One of Furman's clippings recounted James Mooney's theory of possible Portuguese ancestry for the Pamunkeys, Croatans, Melungeons, and other groups.''

Getting to Know Your Dead Bell's Bend Neighbors

''Let's consider the poor census-taker who went out to Bull Run in 1910 (which is in Scottsboro, which I know we're supposed to pretend is so far away from Bell's Bend, but for the sake of this post, let's be honest about it all being right together there).  Here he found William and Mary Collins (with their daughter Hazel) and Thomas and Mary Barnes (with their eight children), who he at first classified as "w" for white and then we see the "w" traced over and replaced with a cursive "b" for black.

Right below them is Sarah Thompson (and forgive me here, because I can't read the handwriting very well), but she appears to have at first been classified as "mul" (for mulatto) and that is smeared away and replaced with "w" and her daughter, Vinia, is firmly a "w" without seeming question.  And who knows what to make of Curtis Pentecost's wife Ida or daughter Molly? He is a "w," but they are both "d"s.

To help clarify the mess for whoever tried after him to make sense of it all, written elegantly in the margins by each of these families is "Portuguese."


Depositions in an 1812 court case strongly suggest that, having disposed of his patent sometime before 1769, Thomas Ivey moved south into what became Marion District, South Carolina and died there some years later. Thomas Hagans, born about 1765 and identified as a grandson of Thomas Ivey and his wife Elizabeth, refused to pay his assessed tax as a free non-white in Marion District, South Carolina in 1809. At his trial in 1812, two white men testified on his behalf. The testimony of John Regan, a longtime neighbor of Thomas Ivey Jr., suggests that Thomas Ivey Sr. left Bladen County sometime in the late 1760s and removed to South Carolina. The testimony of Robert Coleman, a longtime resident of Marion District, suggests that Thomas and Elizabeth Ivey lived in Marion District for several years before their deaths.  Both men testified that Thomas Ivey was “understood” and “generally reputed” to be of Portuguese descent and that his wife Elizabeth was a free white woman.

Note;  Adam IVEY lived south of the James River in the neck of land bounded by Upper Chippoakes Creek and Wards Creek. This neck included what was later the parish of Martins Brandon, in which Adam Ivey apparently lived at his death, in what would later become Prince George County. It was quite close to Surry County, Upper Chippoakes Creek being the later boundary between Prince George and Surry  --  John Utie, Jr.  born about 1619 London repatented his fathers 1250 acres in 1638. In 1639 he assigned 100 acres of land to Thomas Gibson, land which Utie acquired in 1624 and named "Utopia" located at the head of Chippoakes Creek   - the Chavis family- George Gibson also lived on Chippoakes Creek...and the Poythress family associtated with Hubbard Gibson lived not far from Wards Creek.

 More Here


Statesville, North Carolina
November 28, 1905

An Interesting and Important Case in Buncombe Court

Ashville Dispatch

The mandamus proceeding instituted by Robert Gilliland against the Buncombe county board of education to compel the reinstatement of his children in the white schools of county was this afternoon decided  in behalf of the plaintiffs, the Gilliland girls.

The issue submitted by the court to the jury was, "Are the  infant plaintiffs entitled to admission into the white schools of Buncombe county?" After fifteen minutes deliberation the jury answered "yes"

Although the issue was not so stated it necessarily results that the jury found that the plaintiff Gillilands and Grahams, and their connections, numbering probably 500, are of untainted white blood, and that the defendants failed to make out a case of negro ancestry to the satisfaction of the jury.

The children were forbidden the white shcools on the ground that a remote ancestor on their mother's side was a negro, it being admitted that they were otherwise entitled to admission into the white schools. the defense endeavored to show that the Gillilands have in their neighborhood borne of the reputation of being part negro and that the Grahams, Mrs. Gilliland's family, two or three generations ago, had enough of the physical characteristics of the negro to warrant this belief.

The plaintiff on the other hand endeavored to show, and did show, to the satisfaction of this jury, that hose reports are groundless and are based upon the fact that Jeffrey Graham, the great-grandfather of the plaintiff was a Portuguese.

It seems that for some reason these children had never attended the public schools and when an effort was made to send them they were refused on the ground of negro blood.  Action was then brought to force their admission.  The case was very important because it affected a large number of respectable and well-to-do-people.


Randolph County, NC Deed Book 63 Page 227 as follows: "Cumberland County, NC. Personally appeared before me, Archibald A. Johnson, an acting Justice of the Peace in and for said county in the state aforesaid, Flora McDonald and Catherine McBryde, both of whom are well-known to me to be respectable and truth-telling women and after being duly sworn according to law doth say that they are acquainted with DANIEL GOINS, late of the county and state aforesaid, that they know his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, that his great-grandfather (JOHN HARMON) was a native of Portugal, and was always called a Portugan, and he was of the color of the natives of that place, and that he and his sons and grandsons always exercised the right of and passed as white in every respect." Signed Flora McDonald, aged 88 years and Catharine McBride, aged 83 years. Dated 16 July 1884. 



Beore the Indians were taken to Indian Territory there was a large number of whites and Indians that fled to the mountain between Little Crow Creek and Little Coon. They built Shavis Town, cleared up about 100 or more acres and cultivated it, putting out an orchard. They raised winesap apples, peaches, corn and dug ginseng besides hunting for a living.

The older men were very religious. They were mixed with Portuguese. Willis Shavis named his four sons after the Apostles, Andrew, John, Peter and Nathaniel. The had two Preachers, John Pressley and Brother Forsythe, an Indian. They would preach and convert the young men and girls and bring them down to Little Crow Creek to Baptize them. They believed rightly they were to be buried in baptism in water. They knew the Bible. I don't know where they knew the Bible very few could read or write.

Note;  Wilis Chavis/Shavis apparently came from Marion Dist, SC., same settlement as Bolton, Perkins, and John Shumake/Shumate who had land on an Indian Reservation not far from there, possibly from the same settlement.

Thomas Hall

MAURY COUNTY, TN - COURT - Thomas Hall, Proof of Race Affidavits

Contributor's Notes:  I would like to share these two Tennessee documents.
Document number one is a Proof of Race affidavit document acquired by my Great Great Grandfather Thomas Hall, on September 19, 1835, in Maury County, Tennessee when he appeared before Justice of the Peace, James L. Crawford.

The second document seems to be a certification by William E. Erwin, Clerk of the Court of Pleas and quarter session for Maury County, that James L.
Crawford had full authority to issue the Proof of Race document. This
document was dated October 13, 1835.

On June 26, 1843, these documents were filed in Marion County at Yelleville,

In 1850 he moved to Oregon County, Missouri and they were recorded there and filed on February 13, 1850, by J. R. Woodside, Clerk of that county. The
documents were recorded again in Howell County, Missouri on May 5, 1890. at 9: o'clock A.M. by T.B. Carmical, Recorder.
This was recorded after Thomas Hall's death on December 30, in 1888, in
Howell County, Missouri.  This was filed after his death because his
children's children were expelled from school because they were dark and
caused of being Negroes.  There were several trials in Missouri and Oklahoma.  The trials proved that they were of Portuguese descent and not Negroes.


1835 Proof of Race affidavits from MAURY County, Tennessee

Recorded in Oregon County, Missouri 1850   
Recorded in Howell County, Missouri 1890

State of Tennessee Maury County
I William E. Erwin Clerk of the Court of please and quarter sessions for said County  do hereby certify that James L Crawford  is an acting justice of the peace in and for said County of Murry in the State of Tennessee  duly commission and qualified according to law and that all his official acts are intitled  to full faith and credit given under my hand and the seal of my
office at office this 13 day of October 1835  and 60th year of American Independence Wm  E  Erwin clk.

Filed February 13, 1850    J. R. Woodside    Typed exactly as written:
State of Tennessee Maury County  this day personally appeared before me James L: Crawford one of the Justices of the peace in and for said county THOMAS HALL and made proof by private testimony that the said THOMAS HALL is intitled to all of the privileges of a private citizen  THOMAS HALL great grand father on his fathers sid was a poutagee and his great grand father on his mothers sid was a inglish - man, and THOMAS HALL grand on his fathers sid was of the poutagee desent, and his grand father on Mothers sid was an Irishman and his own father was of the poutugee  decent and his mother was a white american born woman.  sworn to and executed before me this the 19th dayof september
James L. Crawford  J.P.               his               
                            PRESCOTT   X   NUPANS   (seal)
                              LONNEY   X    HALLS   (seal)

Aug. 23, 1906   West Plains, Missouri

Are They Negroes?

Questions About Henderson Halls  Descendants.

In the Indian Territory Wesley Hall -- His Children Were Excluded from the White School..

 In the taking of depositions here Saturday all these facts were brought out. In addition it was shown that Jeff Hall has photographs and locks of hair of a number of his ancestors and he even introduced land titles which were given members of his family in Tennessee before the war showing conclusively that they were not negroes, for blacks could not own land in those days.

 Wherever they have gone the Halls have had difficulty with the school boards for refusing to permit their children to attend the white schools. In every instance they have won their case for they are able to prove that they are of Portuguese origin instead of having negro blood course through their veins, as many might believe from their appearances.

See Thomas Hall 

The Bedford Connection  - Patricia Monroe

See Also  A Stranger And a Sojourner - Peter Caulder

David Collins and family is also found in the West Plains, Howell County, Missiouri 


Abstracts of Depostions for Plaintiff

Joshua F. PERKINS vs John R. WHITEDavid R. KENNICK, age 77

Has known the PERKINS family 49 years. Knew Johnson HAMPTON, Wm. LINDSY & Jacob PERKINS on Roan Creek. I taught school at Perkin’s school house. Johnson HAMPTON said they were Portugese & he had seen Jacob’s father & his mother a scotch woman. Jacob’s color and
features described of little darker than Joshua. Jacob and his family associated white peoples, clerked at elections & voted & had all privileges. I lived in 2 ½ miles, never heard them called anything else
than Portuguese.

Thomas COOK, aged 75

I knew old Joshua PERKINS. He was a dark skinned man, darker than Joshua. Tall and spare. He resembled an Indian more than a negro. Was generally called a Portugese

Nancy YOUNG, aged 66

I knew George PERKINS. My father and mother knew the PERKINS in South Carolina and always said they were Portuguese & the mother a white woman.


I was well acquainted with Joc PERKINS, father of Joshua. A yellow man _ said to be Portuguese. They did not look like negros. I have been about his house a great deal and nursed for his wife. She was a little yellow & called of the same race. Had blue eyes and black hair.

Samuel VANCE, age 54

Hannah PERKINS, a daughter of Joseph, examined as a witness in the Circuit Superior Court at Burnsmith (?), after a contest & the examination of witnesses. Wm. DUGGER said he had seen old Jock & his hair curly not kinky like WOODFIN’s, & said they were Portuguese & Old Jac had been sworn before his father. My Father-in-Law Johnson Hampton said they were not Negros,but Portuguese.
Bedent BEARD, aged 88

I knew the paternal grandfather of plaintiff. A little darker than Joshua. He was not a negro. Form and features different. Hair resembled Moran not negro. By common report Jacob was a Portuguese. Lived not far above the mouth of Roane's Creek. Have known them 40, and by reputation, 60 years. Privileges. His wife a white woman.

Sarah STOUT p.21,
aged 70--Lee County Va. I have seen old Jock, the father of Joshua, who said they came from Peedee S.C. He was a dark skinned man with slim face, slim nose and dark colored hair. He was dark skinned as the blackest of the family. All the PERKINS had white wives and were reputed
Portuguese. John GRAVES a white man and the main school teacher.
These are just a few of the depositions from this trial.  


The Celebrated Melungeon Case
A. B. Beeson
Page 174Q. were you well acquainted with Solomon Bolton, the grandfather of Martha, complainant in the Cross Bill, and, if so, state what race of people he was or appeared to be. also give a description of his person and complexion and appearance.A. I was. He was called a Malungeon. He was a small spare made man, with low, flat head, had a dark complexion, rather a flat nose, turned up at the end. He wore his hair short, and it was always inclined to curl or kink.

Q. In the neighborhood in which he lived did he associate with white men or free negroes as his equals?A. His general association was with the Malungeons-his own people. I never saw him associate with whites except when he had business.Q. How many different families in this County or adjoining Counties did you know of the same race or character of people -name them?A. I don't now how many- several. but the Perkins- the Goins, Mornings, Shumakes, Menleys &others.
William McGill (Justice of the Peace, Hamilton County TN)

Was this character that of a white person or negro, or of what race did he have the character of being?A. He was a mixed blooded man in some way, that was his character. We generally called them Malungeons when we talked about the Goins and them—the Goins that were mixed blooded.

Page 51 -55
June 9, 1874
Lucinda Bolton Davis [Daughter of Solomon Bolton- Solomon son of Spencer Bolton born 1735 on the Pee Dee River]

Q. From what race or nationality of people was your and Jemima Simmerman's father descended? What was the nationality and race of your mother?
A. My father was a Spaniard and his mother a blue eyed German.

Deposition of Arch Brown
Q. State whether or not the father of Solomon Bolton was regarded and treated as a citizen of South Carolina, or as a colored man?  You will also state his church relations-to what church he belonged and how he was received by society, so far as you were able to determine.
A. They told me there that he was a very respectable citizen there.  I asked if he was not a colored man and they told me he was not, but was a Portagese

August 29th 1874
John Boydston
Q. State how they were treated and recognized by their neighbors and acquaintances as to their pedigree, and how they held themselves out, as white people, or otherwise? Stat how that was?
A. Solomon Bolton never claimed to be a white person. He claimed to be a Portugese himself, but his neighbors considered him to be a part negro.

Jno E. Godsey
Page 128-132
April 10th 1875

Q. Of what race of people did Solomon Bolton claim to be?  How was he treated and recognized in the community where he lived?
A. Spanish. He was treated as any other white man, when he was sober. He was always admitted to the table with white families of people whenever he was as far as I know, and recognized as a white man.

Jno L. Divine
Page 133-137
Q. Of what race of people was Solomon Bolton?  What did he and his family claim as to be his nationality?  How was he treated and recognized in the community where he lived?
A. I don't know of my own knowledge what race of people he belonged to. I often heard Bolton say that he was Portugese. I have often heard his wife say the same thing. He was treated and recognized in the community in which he lived as such.

For more go here


T. J. Russell

Clark Ashworth

January 26, 1910
To the Journal:

The Ashworth family had a peculiar history that to a certain extent, militated against them. The grandfather of Clark Ashworth was a native of South Carolina, and the family originally came from Portugal, and were of the Moorish race. A very dark complexion, but had hair on their head, instead of wool, like that of African negro; though, the complexion was about as dark. This fact often caused them to be taken for negroes. An effort was made to disfranchise the family at one time during the days of the Republic. And their friends took the matter up in the Congress and had a law passed, declaring that the law relating to free negroes in the Republic of Texas, did not apply to the Ashworth family. See Act of Congress, date Dec. 12, 1840. H.D. Art. 2571.

 Clipping Here

These are but a few of the documented mention of Portuguese families in  early records.  To Be Continued

Melungeons at Fort Blackmore

    THE MELUNGEONS  & FORT BLACKMORE SOME NOTES Attorney Lewis Jarvis was born 1829 in Scott County, Virginia and lived in the area and ...