Malunjin Indians living in Albama, early 1800s
Dothan Eagle (Dothan, Alabama)
27 Oct 1953
Mystery Of Malunjin Indians Baffles All Making Efforts Toward Solution
The Malunjin Indians - they walked the earth as late as 1865 - were quite a problem for those who have been helping put together the Houston County story.
Where they came from and where they went, nobody seems to know. The Malungjins carried their knowledge to the grave where most of it is preserved.
Oscar L. Tompkins, author of Wiregrass Sagas, gives the reader a fleeting glimpse of this tribe - but no more.
He points out that the Malunjins were a "mixed breed community, residing some three to six miles northeast of Dothan."
"Where they dispersed to is the limbo of forgotten men," Tompkins declares.
Tompkins got his trace of the Indians from the late B. P. Poyner, born near the Malunjins' community. Some of them used to bring milk to Mr. Poyner's mother while he was quite young. He could remember them.
The Poyners lived in the rural area of Houston County between Webb and Kinsey.
B.P. Poyner, Jr., Dothan businessman could shed little light on the Malunjuns- although baffling - were more truth than fiction, Eagle chroniclers fanned out their search.
It even led to the Alabama Bureau of Archives and History. But the letter from there was as blank as the stares most people gave when you asked the stock question:
"Did you ever hear of the Malunjin Indians who used to live in Houston County?"
An Eagle reporter even interviewed a 104-year old man who spent most of his adult life in Kinsey. His memory failed him on the Malunjin subject and the search continued.
Did you ever eat any Malunjin bread? Or did you call it "syrup cake?"
The Malunjins were noted for this mixture of flour, egg, milk, seasoning and syrup-instead of sugar. This suggests that they made a meager existence. Syrup being more plentiful than sugar and less expensive, was an ingredient that found its way into much of the Malunjin squaw's cooking.
Exactly whether the Malunjins gave the Wiregrass cook this syrup cake delicacy can't be substantiated by records. But many believe they were the first to make syrup cake.
And Malunjin bread still graces many a table, not always because the family can't afford sugar but because a good slice of syrup cake has no substitute.
When the white man moved into this territory to settle-the Indians notwithstanding-he left only two tribes unmolested, according to Tompkins' Sagas.
One was the Uchees or Emasees, kinsmen of the Creeks or Seminoles who lived at the mouth of the Emmassee (O'Mussee or Mercer) Creek near Columbia.
The other was the Malunjins of the 1860s.
The Emassees were friendly to the whites throughout Alabama's territorial days which might explain why whites spared them.
The Malunjins were part Indian and part white which apparently explains why the whites spared them.
But where they came from-where they went, nobody seems to know.
Did you ever hear of the Malunjin Indians who used to live in Houston County?"
The families living in Dothan Alabama in early 1800 were the GIBSONS, BUNCH CUMBO LOWERY etc... They were from South Carolina, not East Tennessee