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Archiver > Melungeon > 2009-10 > 1255971658

From: K T JAMES <>
Subject: Re: [MELUNGEON] Illegal Voting Trials
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2009 10:00:58 -0700 (PDT)
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

Joanne, granny always said she was Porteegee"Portugese" and Indian.  I'm sure different families were different mixes.  I just object (and I'm not directing this to you )when people use one brush to paint them all the same mix. I do think the word came from the word melange' and meant mixed race..

From: "" <>
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2009 9:17:22 AM
Subject: Re: [MELUNGEON] Illegal Voting Trials


I don't think we really disagree -- except I don't think the word was meant
as a racial slur -- at least not for a long time..  Melange means 'a 
mixture' and the word was used frequently in newspapers throughout the country 
in the 1800s -- leading to *groups* of dark skinned peoples being called 
'melangens' -'molungeons' etc. Governor Henry Wise seems to have introduced the
word into the Virginia newspapers and possibly picked up the word when he
spent  several years (1828-1830) in Nashville. 

I certainly did not mean that all Melungeons were Portuguese nor did all 
Melungeons intermix with the 'blacks and the whites' --  I think it is 
certain that some were Portuguese, some Indian, etc.  For instance nowhere  in
the Bolton trial in 1870s did they ever suggest the Bolton, Goins, Shoemakes, 
Perkins, etc.., were Indian.  And in the census records of Hancock County I 
believe only the Goins and Minors have been found to have been reported as 
Portuguese -- why not the Gibsons, Collins etc?

Why in 1900 'Special Census' are the Coles, Fletchers, Nichols listed as 
Indian/Cherokee while the Gibsons are noted as 'B' and 'Mixed' as opposed to 
Cherokee?  Why were the Collins, Barnes etc., families of Bells Bend  enumer
ated as Portuguese on the census?

It would have only taken *one Portuguese* man or woman to produce  many,
many Portuguese descendants by the 1850s.  For instance David Gibson  born
about 1720 of Randolph Co., NC., believed to be son of Gilbert Gibson of 
Louisa County is said to have left over 300 descendants when he died around 
1808. If Gilbert's grandmother was Portuguese that is an awful lot of Portuguese
descendants living in Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and the Carolinas by 


In a message dated 10/19/2009 7:27:25 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, 

Joanne,  don't take this personal, because you know I don't mean it that
way, but I  don't consider the term "melungeon" to be a race.  We've talked
about  it.  I consider it to be a racial slur referring to a mixed  people. 
Some no doubt were Indian/Portuguese, some no doubt 
Indian/Portuguese/white, and some no doubt were  Indian/Portuguese/white/black.  They were no
different than our society  today, which is a mixture of many cultures and races.

I think it  depends on each individual family and the families they marry
into as to what  their ethnic mix is.  This is probably one we will just
agree to  disagree and move on because I don't think I can add anything else
and based  on dna of some families that I have been involved in, I don't think
I'll  change my opnion. 

Hope the weather is good your way.  We  have our first frost of the season
here this morning, and I get up with a  nosebleed!  I guess it is the change
in the  weather

"I  have been too long barked at to be mindful of the  noise."

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