Melungeons: The Last Lost Tribe in America

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Mercer University Press, 2005 - 186 من الصفحات
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Most of us probably think of America as being settled by British, Protestant colonists who fought the Indians, tamed the wilderness, and brought "democracy" or at least a representative republicto North America. To the contrary, Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman's research indicates the earliest settlers were of Mediterranean extraction, and of a Jewish or Muslim religious persuasion. Sometimes called "Melungeons," these early settlers were among the earliest nonnative "Americans" to live in the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. For fear of discriminationsince Muslims, Jews, "Indians," and other "persons of color" were often disenfranchised and abusedthe Melungeons were reticent regarding their heritage. In fact, over time, many of the Melungeons themselves "forgot" where they came from. Hence, today, the Melungeons remain the "last lost tribe in America," even to themselves. Yet, Hirschman, supported by DNA testing, genealogies, and a variety of historical documents, suggests that the Melungeons included such notable early Americans as Daniel Boone, John Sevier, Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, and Andrew Jackson. Once lost, but now, forgotten no more.

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Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman is Professor of Marketing at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

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