In 1754 it was reported to the Governor of North Carolina there were fifty families called a 'mixt crew' residing on the Drowning Creek . The report made to the Governor stated 'there were no Indians' in the area.  Records show that at least some of these families would later become known as Melungeons, Redbones and Lumbee Indians.

One of these families was Spencer Boltons who was  born 1735 on the Pee Dee River and is found on the petition below.  His son Solomon Bolton is found in Hamilton County, Tennessee where his descendants are found in court records  where he, as well as the Perkins, Shoemake, Goins, Manley and Mournings, were described as Spanish or Portuguese and called  Melungeons. 

Lewis Shepherd who represented the family in court wrote in 'A Romance of the Melungeons:'

''South Carolina had a law taxing free Negroes so much per capita, and a determined effort was made to collect this of 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, East Tennessee; in fact, the majority of the people of that country are “Melungeons,:” or allied to them in some way.  A few families of them drifted away from Hancock into the other counties of east Tennessee and now and then into the mountainous section of Middle Tennessee."  Excerpts from the trial can be found here.

South Carolina Petition 1794

To the honorable, the Representatives of So Carolina

The Petition of the people of colour of the state aforesaid who are under the act entitled an "Act for imposing a pole tax on all free Negroes, Mustees, and Mulatoes,"

most humbly sheweth

that whereas we your humble petitioners having the honor of being your citizens, as also free and willing to advance for the support of government anything that might not be prejudiced to us, it being well known that we have not been backward on our part, in performing any other public duties that hath fell in the compass of our knowledge

We therefore being sensibly grieved our present situation, also having frequently discovered the many distresses occasioned by your act imposing the pole tax, such as widows with large families, & women scarcely able to support themselves, being frequently followed & payment extorted by your tax gatherers--

The considerations on our part hath occasioned us to give you this trouble, requesting your autherate body to repeal an act so truly mortifying to your distressed petitioners-- for which favor your petitioners will ever acknowledge & devoutly pray ---

Isaac Linager
Isaac Mitchell
Jonathon Price
Nathan Price
Richard Evins
Nathaniel Cumboe
George Collins
William Turner [his mark]

Thomas Hulin
Spencer Bolton [his mark]
William Swett [his mark]
Solomon Bolton [his mark]
James Shewmake [his mark]
John Turner Jr [his mark]
Solomon Shewmake [his mark]
Sampson Shewmake [his mark]
Thomas Shewmake Jun [his mark]
Thomas Shewmake Sen [his mark]
John Shewmake [his mark]
James Shewmake [his mark]
David Collins
Thomas Collins
John Turner Sen [his mark]
Mildred Turner [her mark]
Jenelayer {?} Turner [her mark]
Catherine Turner [her mark]
Elias Hulin
Cudworth Oxendine
Archmack Ocendine
Peter Colder [his mark]
Moses Colder [his mark]
Delley Gibson
Drusilla Gibson
George McCloud



In Justice to your petitioners as above, we whose particular knowledge of their situation hath induced us to request in their favor the benefit of a repeal, provided your honorable and deliberate body can then it best to do............