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
LETTER FROM REV. J. G. JONES TO McKINLEY
Port Gibson, Miss., May 17, 1878
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 llrst 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. 1750. The 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
New York Herald
Saturday, March 09, 1872
February 29, 1872
THE KU KLUX REPORT ON THE LOWERYS
........."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
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 the Cherokee;
"As a result of a great battle with the Spanish, six soldiers were spared. Over a period of time they achieved a degree of freedom, took Cherokee wives, and adapted their lifestyles as best they could. When the Cherokee began alliances with other European visitors, including the French and English, the descendants of the Latin soldiers were banished into 'the upper reaches of the Pellissippi' to an area known today as the Clinch Mountains, along the Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia borders."
~James Mooney, **Myths of the Cherokee**, originally published in the 19th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, in 1900, & republished in 1995 by Dover Publications, Inc, NY.
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.''
''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.
Statesville, North Carolina
November 28, 1905
An Interesting and Important Case in Buncombe Court
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.
HISTORY OF THE PIONEERS AND INDIANS OF CROW CREEK
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 an Indian Reservation not far from there. possibly from the same settlement.
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 60 th year of American
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 proff by private testomony 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)
HOWELL COUNTY GAZETTE
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
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. WHITE
David 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 asociated white peoples, clerked
at elections & voted & had all privileges. I lived in 2 ½ miles, never heard them called anything else
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
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
Q. 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 regared 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
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
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
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
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.
TOM J. RUSSELL
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