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Archiver > Melungeon > 2002-12 > 1041029610

From: "Ernest Hurst" <>
Subject: Re: [Melungeon] I think I got it
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 17:53:34 -0500
References: <>


You may well be right. That was just an idea I had & thought I'd throw it
against the wall & see what, if anything, would stick. I always look for the
simplest solution to any problem & that is much simpler than many of the
exotic ideas I've heard. Even though they were referred to as "friendly
Indians", I'll bet if a "city slicker" called somebody a Melungeon in
Hancock County, 50 to 100 years ago, he would have had a fight on his hands.
Seems like it was a derogatory "label" until recently - that's why I thought
of "bad Indians" or "black Indians".



----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, December 27, 2002 4:01 PM
Subject: Re: [Melungeon] I think I got it

> In a message dated 12/27/2002 4:41:50 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> writes:
> > Here's a couple of somewhat simplistic "theories" on the origin of the
> > that I haven't seen, but possibly should be considered.
> >
> > "Mal" comes from Latin, meaning bad or badly wrong. "Injuns" is common,
> > probably has been for a while, as a corruption or mispronunciation of
> > "Indians". Put these together, with some of the unique accents that are
> > heard in the Southern States even today &it could sound like "Melungins"
> > mean "bad Indians".
> >
> > Another possibility - many words that begin with the prefix "mel" denote
> > "black" or "very dark", coupled with "Injuns" sounds pretty close to
> > "Melungins" &might mean "Black Indians".
> >
> > Regards
> >
> > Ernie
> >
> >
> Ernie,
> I have seen these discussed somewhere but it escapes my memory at the
> There are many theories out there from Turkish "cursed souls" to
> "shipmates" and I guess only time will tell, time and a lot of research.
> If the Melungeons were supposed to be the "friendly Indians" that came
> the whites to the area, why would they call them Melungeons for "bad
> Indians"?
> Some/a lot of sources say the Melungeons were Portuguese, or at least that
> they said they were Portuguese. I guess it is just a matter of which
> direction your research has taken you. From the research I have done on
> area, knowing of the highwaymen, land pirates, etc., they sound more like
> malengines in the book than "bad Indians" --- also they are referred to as
> "peculiar" and "singular" race by more than one person .
> The Louisville journalist visited Newman's Ridge in 1848 and apparently
was a
> guest at the inn owned by Vardy Collins and his wife "Spanish Peggy'
> He wrote that Old Vardy was the chief cook and bottle washer of the
> Melungens...I guess it is possible this journalist and his companion, the
> Doctor, had never seen a settlement of White/Indian or Black/Indian but it
> sure seems unlikely to me. Why would he call them, "singular species of
> human animal"?
> Peace
> :-)
> Joanne Pezzullo
> <A
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