VI. Jackson Whites of New Jersey and New York
|Locations: Orange and Rockland Counties in New York; Bergen, Morris, and Passaic Counties, New Jersey. Name said to be derived from term “Jackson and White” which are common surnames. Another derivation is from “Jacks” and “Whites,” the terms for Negroes and Caucasians. Still another idea is that Jackson was a man who imported some of the ancestors of these people during the Revolutionary war. In one part of this area are the so-called “blue-eyed Negroes” who are said to be a race apart from the rest.
Numbers: Estimated to be upwards of 5,000.
Organization: Family groups only. Family names are Casalony, Cisco, De Groat, De Vries, Mann, Van Dunk, etc.
Environment and Economy: These are mainly a hill people of the Ramapo Hills. They raise a few crops at favorable spots and do hunting. Many have migrated to the lowlands and to industrial and mining areas.
Physique: In some areas apparently pure white types are found while in others negroid types dominate. Inn still other areas Indian mixed types seem to predominate. Albinism and deformities have been indicated.
In-Marriage: Due to environmental limitations this has been marked.
Religion: Protestant in the main. Presbyterians have had a mission among these people.
Schools: In New jersey, white schools have been attended. No data on New York. Tend to concentrate in a few schools.
Military Draft Status: No data.
Voting and Civil Rights: No data.
Relief: No data.
Cultural Peculiarities: Dialectic peculiarities, home-made utensils, folklore.
Social Status: Regarded as “colored” by white neighbors.
History: Traditionally derived from Tuscarora and Munsee Indians, Hessians, English, Negroes from West Indies, etc. First described by Speck in 1911.
|Beck, Henry C. Fare to Midlands: Forgotten Towns of New Jersey (New York, 1939), pp. 73-89.
Donoghue, Frank L. “Jackson Whites Tribal Reserve Broken By War,” New York Journal American (March 24, 1942), pp. 226-229.
Frazier, E. Franklin, The Negro Family in the United States (Chicag, 1940), pp. 226-229.
“The Jackson Whites,” Eugenical News, XVI, No. 12 (Dec., 1931), p. 218.
“Native Sons,” Letters, Time, Inc. Vol. II, No. 15 (July 22, 1935), p. 1-2.
The Negro in New Jersey. Report of a Survey by the Interracial Committee of the New Jersey Conference on Social Work in Cooperation with the State department of institutions and Agencies (Dec., 1932), p. 22.
Speck, Frank G. “The Jackson Whites,” The Southern Workman (Feb., 1911) pp. 104-107.
Storms, J. G. Origin of the Jackson Whites of the Ramapo Mountains (Park Ridge, N.J., 1936), MSS.
Swital, Chet. “In the Ramapos.” Letters. Time, Inc. Vol. II, No. 15 (July 22, 1935), pp. 1-2.
Terhune, Albert Payson. treasure (New York, 1926).
“Twelve toes race of People Bred in North Jersey’s ‘Lost Colony,’” Philadelphia Record, June 6, 1940, p. 1.
U. S. Federal Writers Project. New jersey: a Guide to the Present and Past. (New York, 1939), pp. 124, 505.
U. S. Writers Program, New Jersey. Bergen County Panorama (Hackensack, New Jersey, 1941), pp. 179-180, 305.
“Who are the Jackson Whites?” The Pathfinder (Sept. 5, 1931), p. 20.
|Locations: Original center of dispersal was said to be Newman’s Ridge in Hancock County, Tennessee. From thence are said to have spread into other counties such as Cocke, Davidson (Nashville), Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton (Chattanooga), Hawkins, Knox (Knoxville), Marion, Meigs, Morgan, Overton, Rhea, Roane, Sullivan, White, Wilson, Bledsoe, and Van Buren. In southwest Virginia they are known also as Ramps and occur in the counties of Giles, Lee, Russell, Scott, Washington, and Wise. Some are said to have migrated to southeastern Kentucky and a few went to Blountstown, Florida, just west of Tallahassee. One of two writers mention that they have gone westward to the Ozarks. The name is said to be derived from the French “Melange,” mixed or from the Greek “Melan,” black.
Numbers: Estimated to run from 5,000 to 10,000. Birthrate high.
Organization: Family groups only. Original family names were Collins, Gibson or Gipson, Goins, Mullins or Mellons. Other names mentioned are Bolen, Denhan, Freeman, Gann, Gorvens, Graham, Noel, Piniore, Sexton,Wright.
Environment and Economy: Originally pioneer cultivators in the Appalachian Valley lowlands they were said to be driven to the ridge by the white settlers. Newman’s Ridge, Clinch Mountain, Copper Ridge, and the Cumberland Range in eastern Tennessee were their chief habitats. Their means of living originally included hunting, fishing, ginseng root gathering, herb gathering, charcoal burning, and in the very earliest times river boat carriage and cattle driving.
Physique: Characteristics range between Indian, white, and occasional negroid types. Stoic endurance of out-of-doors life notable.
In-Marriage: Considerable intermarriage with whites in recent times. Originally married only within the group.
Religion: .Presbyterians have had missions among them for many years at Vardy and Sycamore (Sneedville P. O.) in Tennessee. Some are Baptists. Hymns peculiar to mountain folk sung.
Schools: Attend white schools in Franklin, Marion, and Rhea counties in Tennessee after winning lawsuits regarding their racial classification. In southwest Virginia attend white school when they go at all. Most are said to be illiterate.
Military Draft Status: Illiteracy is said to be a bar to their military service in some places.
Voting and Civil Rights: Disfranchised in Tennessee by Constitution of 1834. Have voted since the Civil War. Republican in politics.
Relief: Were given food and clothing in Virginia during the Depression of the 1930’s.
Cultural Peculiarities: Magic and folklore said to be important. Funeral rites formerly involved building a small house over a fresh grave.
Social Status: Said to approximate the white level in many areas today.
History: Several theories or origin. Some derive from the Croatans, some from Portuguese, Negro, and Indian ancestry. Appeared in east Tennessee shortly after the American revolution. First modern notice under the name “Melungeon” in 1889.
|Addington, L. F. “Mountain Melungeons Let the World Go By,” Sunday Sun, Baltimore, July 29, 1945, Section A, p. 3, cols. 3-6.
Aswell, Jas. R., E. E. Miller, et. al. God Bless the Devil: Liar’s Bench tales (Chapel Hill, N. C., 1940), pp. 207-243.
Ball, Mrs. Bonnie S. America’s Mysterious race. Read vol. 16 (May 1944), pp. 64-67.
Ball, Mrs. Bonnie S. “Mystery Men of the Mountains,” Negro Digest 3 (Jan., 1945), pp. 64-67.
Ball, Mrs. Bonnie S. “Virginia’s Mystery race,” Virginia State Highway Bulletin 2, no. 6 (April 1945), pp. 5-7.
Ball, Mrs. Bonnie S. “Who Are the Melungeon?” Southern Literary Messenger 3, no. 2 (June 1945), pp. 5-7.
Burnett, Swan M. “A Note on the Melungeon,” American Anthropologist 2 (Oct., 1889), pp. 347-349.
Caldwell, Joshua W. Studies in the Constitutional History of Tennessee. 2nd ed. (Cincinnati, 1907), pp. 115, 185, 213.
Century Dictionary and Encyclopedia. (New York, 1906), “Melungeon” defined, vol. 5, p. 3702.
Converse, Paul D. “The Melungeons,” Southern Collegian (Dec., 1912), pp. 59-69.
Converse, Paul D. “The Melungeons,” Dictionary of American History (New York, 1940), pp. 371-372.
Crawford, Bruce. “Letters to the editor.” Coalfield Progress (Norton, Va. July 11, 1940).
Crawford, Bruce. “Hills of Home” (fiction), Southern Literary Messenger, 2,no. 5 (May 1940) pp. 302-313.
Dromgoole, Miss Will Allen. “The Malungeons,” The Arena, 3 (March 1891), pp. 470-479.
Dromgoole, Miss Will Allen. “The Malungeon Tree and Its Branches,” The Arena, 3 (May, 1891), pp. 745-775.
Hale, W. T. and Merritt, D. L. A History of Tennessee and Tennesseeans (2 vols,. Chicago, 1913), 1, chapt. 16, “The Melungeons of East Tennessee,” pp. 179-196.
Haun, Mildred. The Hawk’s Done Gone. (New York, 1940), pp. 15-16, 145-166.
Heiskell, Mrs. Eliza N. “Strange People of East Tennessee, “ Arkansas Gazette (Little Rock, Jan. 14, 1912), p. 11, cols. 3-7.
Journal of the Convention of the State of Tennessee convened for the purpose of amending the Constitution thereof. Held at Nashville (Nashville, Tenn., 1834), pp. 88-89.
King, Lucy S. V. Article in the Nashville American, 98th Anniversary Number, 37, no. 12717 (Nashville, June 26, 1910).
“Melungeons, The” Boston Traveller (April 13, 1889), p. 6, cols. 5, 6.
Moore, J. T. and Foster, A. P., eds. Tennessee, the Volunteer State, 1769-1923 (5 vols,, Chicago, 1923), I, pp. 790-791.
Mynders, A. D. “Next to the News” Chattanooga Times (June 17, 1945), Sect. 2, p. 10. col. 3.
Report on Indians Taxed and Indians not Taxed in the United States at the 11th Census, 1890 (Wash. D.C., Dep’t of the Interior, Census Office, 1894), p. 391
Shepherd, Judge Lewis. Romantic Account of the Celebrated Melungeon Case. Reproduced typewritten copy of article inChattanooga Times, 1914. Said to be part of a small book of memoirs of the author.
United States Writers Project. Tennessee, a guide to the State (New York, 1939), “Melungeons in Oakdale, Tennessee,” p. 362.
Weeks, S. B. “Lost Colony of Roanoke,” Papers of the American Historical Association, 5 (1891), footnote pp. 132-133.
Wilson, Goodridge. “The Southwest Corner,” Roanoke Times (Feb. 25, 1934).
Wilson, Samuel T. The Southern Mountaineers (New York, 1906), p. 11
|Location: Nanticokes are around Millsboro in Sussex County, Delaware. Moors are centered in Chesterwold, Kent County, Delaware, and at Bridgeton, Cumberland County in southern New Jersey. Name “Moor” traditionally derived from shiwrecked Moorish sailors.
Numbers: Moors about 500 in Delaware, Nanticokes about 700.
Organizations: Nanticokes are incorporated. Moors have no organization other than the family. Moor family names are Carney or Corney, Carter, Carver, Cioker, Dean, Durham, Hansley or Hansor, Hughes, Morgan, Mosley, Munce, Reed,.Ridgeway, Sammon, and Seeny. Nanticoke family names are Bumberry, Burke, Burton, Clarke, Cormeans, Coursey, Davis, Drain, Hansor, Harmon, Hill, Jackson, Johnson, Kimmey, Layton, Miller, Morris, Moseley, Newton, Norwood, Reed, Ridgeway, Rogers, Sockum, Street, Thomas, Thompson, Walker, and Wright.
Environment and Economy: Originally both groups may have been swamp hunters and fishers. Now are truck farmers.
Physique: Indian, white, and negro types occur. Drooped eyelids inherited in the family strain.
Religion: Protestants. Some sections among Nanticokes have own churches.
Schools: Moors attend colored schools. Nanticokes have own school with teacher paid by the state.
Military Draft Status: No data.
Voting and Civil Rights: No data.
Cultural peculiarities: Utensils and implements formerly made locally by the Nanticokes. These people also have their own medicine and folklore.
Relief: Not needed apparently.
Social Status: Uncertain.
History: Nanticokes first noticed about 1889, Moors about 1895.
|Babcock, Wm. H. “The Nanticoke Indians of Indian River, Delaware,” The American Anthropologist, I (1889), pp. 277-82.
Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edit., 1910-11, v. 7, p. 948, article “Delaware.”
Fisher, George P. “The So-Called Moors of Delaware,” Milford (Del.) , June 15, 1895.
Frazier, E. Franklin. The Negro Family in the United States (Chicago, 1940), pp. 229-231.
Negro in New Jersey, The. Trenton 1932. Section on Moors, p. 21.
Speck, Frank G. Indians of the Eastern Shore of Maryland (1922), n.p.
Weslager, C. A. Delaware’s Forgotten Folk (New York, 1943).
|Location: The parishes of Natchitoches, Vernon, Calcasieu, Terrebonne, La Fourche, and St. Tammany. The term “Red Bone” is derived from the French Os Rouge for persons partly of Indian blood. As called “Houmas” along the Coast and “Sabines” farther west. In Natchitoches are the “Cane River Mulattoes.”
Numbers: Considerably over 3,000 and with a tendency to rapid increase.
Organization: Family groups and settlements. There are a limited number of French family names.
Environment and Economy: The coastal groups are farmers, sugar cane workers, cattle raisers, hunters and fishers. Those on the inland prairies are farmers raising corn and other crops. The groups at Slidell north of Lake Pontchartrain seem to merge gradually into the Cajans of southern Mississippi.
Physique: Mixed French, Indian, Anglo-Saxon, and Negro.
In-Marriage: Tendency to marry within the group has long been marked.
Religion: Mainly Roman Catholic. Some Baptists.
Schools: Colored or special.
Miltiary Draft: No data on classification by color.
Voting and Civil Rights: No data.
Relief: No data.
Cultural Peculiarities: Many old Indian customs and traits preserved.
Social Status: Once treated as full social equals by the French, they have long since fallen into the status of Mulattoes in some parts, of Indians in other places.
History: Derive from early border conflicts of authority and the banishment of mixed race persons from Texas. Intermarriage of French and Indians a marked feature of colonial period.
|Saxon, Lyle. (a Novel), (Boston, Houghton Miflin, 1937).
Shugg, Roger W. Origin of the Class Struggle in Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1939), pp. 43-45.
U.S. Writers Program of the WPA, Louisiana, a Guide to the State (1941), pp. 80, 638.
|Location: Most of these people are in Charles and Prince Georges counties, Maryland. A few have migrated to Washington, D. C. and the Phildalphia metropolitan area.
Numbers:Evidence available seems to indicate from 3,000 to 5,000. They have a high birth rate.
Organization: None beyond family groups. Family names are Butler, Harley, Linkins, Mason, Newman, Proctor, Queen, Savoy, Swan, and Thompson.
Environment and Economy: Are primarily tenant farmers or small landowners growing tobacco and other crops. Near the city they are truck farmers and in town are artisans, petty traders, and repairmen. Originally located near the Zekiah and other swamps many are still excellent fishermen.
Physique: Characteristically white and Indian with occasional marked Negroid types. Albinism, short teeth, hereditary deafness, and nervous disorders occur in some strains.
In-Marriage: A marked characteristic for many years.
Religion: Manly Roman Catholic as are the whites and Negroes who adjoin them.
Schools: Attend negro schools but in one or two neighborhoods a majority of school attendance is made up of children from this group.
Military Draft Status: Some are classified as white, others as Negroes.
Voting and Civil Rights: – Appear to have voted freely for a long period. Formerly Democrats they have tended to be Republican for the last 50 years.
Relief: Not much given to them.
Cultural Peculiarities: Folk medicines and herbalism, animal nicknames, annual festival on August 15th.
Social Status: Somewhat above that of the Negro but below the white.
History: Appear to be in part descended from several small Indian tribes of colonial times. The name originated about 1890. Romantic legends of Spanish shipwrecked sailors, French-Canadian traders, etc. Family names connected with the “free colored” or “free mulatto” names of 1790.
|Anonymous. “Wesorts, Strange Clan in Maryland,” New York Times (Mar. 19, 1940).
Dodsen, Linda S. and Woolley, Jane. “Community Organization in Charles County, Maryland,” Md. Agric. Exp. Sta. Bull. No. A21 (College Park, Maryland, Jan. 1943), p. 297 et al.
Footner, Hulbert. Maryland and the Eastern Shore (New York, 1942), p. 357.
Gilbert, Wm. H. Jr. “The Wesorts of Southern Maryland, An Outcasted Group,” Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, 35, no. 8 (Aug. 15, 1945), pp. 237-246
Hodge, F. W. 35th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1913-14 (Wash. D. C., 1921), p. 17.
Maynard, Theodore. The Story of American Catholicism (New York, 1941), p. 76.
Semmes, Raphael. Captains and Mariners of Early Maryland (Baltimore, 1937), p. 303.
Warner, Eugene. “Upper Marlboro is Proud of Its Old Charming Homes,” Washington Times-Herald (Aug. 28, 1939), p. 11.
White, Roxana. “They Stand Alone: The Wesorts of Charles County,” The Sun (Baltiimore, Nov. 12, 1939), sec. 1, p. 2.
|Besides the major minority groups characterized in this memorandum there are many other mixed Indian peoples in the eastern United states no less worthy of notice. A Partial list of these follows:
Massachusetts: Mashpee, Pequot, Wampanoag
These groups, together with those already scetched in this memorandum would, if thoroughly studied, provide the answer to a number of questions. For one thing they should demonstrate how detribalization affects Indians and what becomes of Indians presumably “freed” from the supervision of the Federal Government or never really under its jurisdiction. These examples show how outcast or pariah peoples come into existence and provide a ready parallel to the Untouchables of India and the Eta of Japan.
It is extremely urgent that a program be devised as soon as possible for the assimilation and betterment of the condition of these native American backward minorities. It is true that much good work along those lines has already been done religious bodies and private agents but the real solution of the problem must await public recognition and government. A local, State, and Federal policy will have to be developed after the public conscience has been awakened to the need. And this awakening rests on a thorough investigation and widespread public knowledge concerning these groups.