Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Maybe Melungeon: A Riddle Family Research Trip Diary Part Two

Riddle Research Trip to Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia
By Mary E.V. Hill

Part Two

Wednesday, September 10, 1997

Dear Journal, today was a truly lovely day. Everyone is being so very co-operative and we are seeing so many great things!

We went to the Courthouse of Montgomery County, Virginia this morning after breakfast, and it was truly a wonderful experience! These were seven intelligent and motivated people, and we went through drawer after drawer of files, or packets, of information on tiny slips of paper from the 1770’s and 1780’s. In four hours we found a gold mine of information:

To continue reading: Click Here.

Note: This link directs you to the research trip diary but the page contains other Riddle family information which may also be of interest.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Maybe Melungeon: A Riddle Family Research Trip Diary Part One

Riddle Research Trip to Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia
By Mary E.V. Hill

Part One

Saturday, September 6, 1997

Wow, dear Journal, here I sit in Rogersville, Hawkins County, Tennessee in the Hales Spring Inn, on a big old fashioned bed, writing in my Journal. I never dreamed that this day would come.

It has been several weeks of unbelievable pressure to get ready to come here – to write a paper to present to Mrs. Joan Baity of Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, North Carolina on this next Monday, and prepare five notebooks of documentation to give to Jim Riddle from Texas, Rebecca Wennermark from Indiana, Jack and Betty Goins from Rogersville, Tennessee, Chaunce and Bertha Riddle from Utah, and one for me. It was all accomplished, as well as going to work every day, and here I am.

The flight was lovely, and it is always so very interesting to see the lay of the land across this great nation. And Tennessee just beautiful, with rolling mountains and thick woods, and many rivers.

It was a very tender moment for me, as we came into the Knoxville airport, to look to the east and see the mountain range that was so much a part of William Riddle and the American Revolution here in this area, and where the seven surviving children lived. I can not say in words how grateful I am to be here.

To continue reading: Click Here.

Part Two will be presented tomorrow.

Note: This link directs you to the research trip diary but the page contains other Riddle family information which may also be of interest.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Catching Summer in a Mason Jar

By Leigh Ann Henion

The ripe ear of corn came off in Eula’s hand with a rubbery squeak. “I must’ve missed one,” she said, raising her eyes to survey the garden-acre. After thinking about it for a minute she concluded, “My bucket must’ve been full. That’s probably why I left it.” Her conclusion made sense, because Eula Vines doesn’t miss much.

Eula has tended gardens as long as she can remember. She recalls learning to preserve summer’s bounty for leaner months as part of her upbringing in Watauga County, North Carolina.

She said, “When I got married, the only way you could make it was to grow a garden and can…We had no refrigerator and you had to can it to keep it. You used to have to do a water bath, but now we’ve got pressure cookers.”

To continue reading this Appalachian Voices article: Click Here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

MountainLit & Life

Welcome to MountainLit & Life, a web site sponsored and supported by Fairmont State University Libraries in Fairmont, West Virginia. MountainLit & Life's mission is to educate, preserve, and disseminate West Virginia's wealth of literature, folk life and history; to promote the use of these materials by those inside and outside of our state's borders; and to provide a forum by which interested parties may contribute, discuss, and participate in this site's development.

To visit: Click Here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Juan Pardo's Expeditions

An Annotated Account
Of the Two Juan Pardo Expeditions
Into Southern Appalachia
By His Scribe Juan de la Bandera

In 1559, eighteen years after Hernando de Soto’s failed expedition across the Southeast in search of Indian wealth, Spain attempted to establish another colony in the New World. Tristan de Luna y Arellano was chosen to lead the colonization attempt. He led an expedition from Pensacola Bay northward to the Coosa towns De Soto had visited in northwestern Georgia. Luna followed much the same route De Soto had and visited many of the same Indian villages, however, he failed in his attempt to establish a viable colony and returned to Pensacola Bay.

In 1562 the French established a small fort on Port Royal Sound, South Carolina they called Fort Caroline. The Spanish, seeing the French fort as a threat to their ships sailing from Cuba to Spain, attacked and destroyed the fort. Three years later, in 1565, the Spanish began erecting a series of forts along the Atlantic coast to guard their shipping lanes from attack by the French. One, Fort San Felipe, was erected at Santa Elena on the southern tip of Parris Island, South Carolina and placed under the command of Pedro Menendez de Aliles. The next year, Menendez sent Captain Juan Pardo, leading an expedition of 125 soldiers, from Fort San Felipe westward into the interior with instructions to find a route to Spanish Mexico which was thought to be only several hundred miles away. It was the first of two expeditions Pardo would lead into the piedmont of what would later become North and South Carolina.

To continue reading: Click Here.

Note: Some Melungeon origin theories have posited a connection between the Melungeons and the colonists of Santa Elena. Such a connection, direct or indirect, has never been demonstrated, or even made plausible, and is totally unsupported by documented Melungeon history.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

De Soto's Expedition

A Narrative of De Soto's Expedition
Based on the Diary of Rodrigo Ranjel
His Private Secretary

On Sunday the 25th of May, 1539, a fleet of nine Spanish ships entered a bay on the west coast of modern Florida which they named “Espiritu Santo”. Aboard the ships were some 600 Europeans (largely Spanish), 200 horses, 300 pigs, and several dogs. They had sailed from Spain in early April of 1538 and arrived in Cuba on June 7 of that year. They remained in Cuba, preparing for the coming expedition, until May 18, 1539 when they departed for La Florida. The leader of the expedition was a battle harden veteran of the Spanish conquests of Central and South America, Hernando de Soto. He used the fortune he had amassed as his share of those conquests to finance the impending expedition into the unknown southeastern United States where he hoped to duplicate those earlier successes. The expedition would last five years and cost him his life.

To continue reading: Click Here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


African Ancestored Genealogy

AfriGeneas is a site devoted to African American genealogy, to researching African Ancestry in the Americas in particular and to genealogical research and resources in general. It is also an African Ancestry research community featuring the AfriGeneas mail list, the AfriGeneas message boards and daily and weekly genealogy chats.

To visit this award-winning site: Click Here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Historic Map Works

Based in Westbrook Maine, Historic Map Works, LLC is an Internet company formed to create a historic digital map database of North America and the world. Drawing on the largest physical collection of American property atlases of its type, it is our aim to be the single best online destination for map enthusiasts and researchers alike.

In addition to our own atlas collection, we incorporated our scans of the antiquarian world map collection from the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education located at the University of Southern Maine. Combining these collections allows site visitors a vast amount of information spanning several centuries of cartographic information.

Historic Map Works's map collection includes:

* United States Property Atlases
* Antiquarian Maps
* Nautical Charts
* Birdseye Views
* Special Collections
* Directories and other text documents

To visit: Click Here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hancock County TN Historical and Genealogical Society

The Hancock County Tennessee Historical and Genealogical Society's mission is the collection, preservation, and publication of our county's history and genealogy. The Society publishes a quarterly news-letter, Our Mountain Heritage that is mailed out to our members in January, April, July, and October of each year. Primary emphasis is on the publication of local records that are not available elsewhere. Bible records, old letters and post cards, old news-paper articles, oral history and local church records are published when available.

The Hancock County Tennessee Historical and Genealogical Society is a non-profit organization, located in the Old County Jail on Jail Street in Sneedville Tennessee.

To visit the Society's web site: Click Here.

Note: The site's Melungeon history section reflects fanciful Melungeon origin theories unsupported by research and documentation. For better Melungeon history, consult the Melungeon section of the MHS Blog's "Links of Interest" which can be reached by clicking on the link of the same name located on the blog's sidebar.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hancock County's Only Female Sheriff Passes Away

Ora Mathis Seal, 86, of Sneedville, Tennessee, the only female sheriff of Hancock County, passed away Wednesday. She spent her life raising nine children. She was appointed to finish the term of her husband, Kyle, after his death in 1973. Living in the old Hancock County jail, with five children still at home, she fulfilled the sheriff duties until 1974.

The Old Hancock County Jail

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hancock County and Moonshine, 2009 Style

Sheriff keeps history alive, helps moonshiner stay sober

By Fred Brown
Knoxville News Sentinel
Sunday, March 15, 2009

SNEEDVILLE, Tenn. - You can see a lot of strange things in Hancock County, but a sheriff driving a 1951 Ford pickup adorned with four layers of house paint and a working moonshine still might just top the list.

To continue reading: Click Here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Taking Eugenics Seriously

Three Generations of ??? are Enough?
By Prof. Paul A. Lombardo
University of Virgina Center for Biomedical Ethics

Florida Law Review [Vol 30: 191 2003]


It will, I think, be clear to anyone who examines the records of
the period from 1900 to about the middle thirties that the manner
in which the eugenics movement developed cast a long shadow
over the growth of sound knowledge of human genetics . . . .

To continue reading this scholarly work: Click Here.

Note: Adobe Acrobat PDF file reader is required.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Frontier Forts of Southwest Virginia

By Emory L. Hamilton
From Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia
Number 4, 1968, pages 1 to 26

The 7 Original Forts

The actual military defense of Virginia's extreme western frontier did not begin, on a large scale, until the spring prior to the outbreak on Dunmore's War in the fall of 1774, more commonly referred to by historians as the Point Pleasant Campaign.

It has been stated by some writers that not a single palisaded fort existed along the Clinch frontier until after the circulation of Lord Dunmore's order requesting that such be built. Those making these statements used the argument that after the end of the French and Indian War that peace existed and there was no need of palisaded forts. It is probably quite true that prior to 1774 there were no real palisaded forts, the inhabitants depending on strongly built fort houses with port holes for warding off surprise Indian attacks. Some of these still stand today, such as the old Osborne house in lower Castlewood and the Dickenson house on Clinch River north of Castlewood. However, those who aver that prior to 1774 peace existed between the Indians and whites need to review their frontier history.

To continue reading this detailed account: Click Here.

Note: From the standpoint of Melungeon history and genealogy, special attention should be paid to Blackmore's Fort and the nearby settlement of Fort Blackmore at the mouth of Stony Creek.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow

Jim Crow was not a person, yet affected the lives of millions of people. Named after a popular 19th-century minstrel song that stereotyped African Americans, "Jim Crow" came to personify the system of government-sanctioned racial oppression and segregation in the United States.

To visit this excellent PBS web site: Click Here.

Note: If you have trouble accessing the interactive maps, one of the site's best features, from the front page, you may be able to work around it by accessing the maps directly. To do so: Click Here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Environmental Journalism Conference in Knoxville

The East Tennessee Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will hold a "Writing Green," a conference about environmental journalism, at Calhoun's on the River in Knoxville Friday, March 27, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The seminar is co-sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program and the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment at the University of Tennessee. It promises to address many difficulties journalists face on the environmental beat. The objective is to prepare present and future journalists to handle the massive amount of information related to environmental topics.

Panel topics include environmental law and policy, coverage of the recent coal-ash spill in nearby Roane County, "The Energy Beat: Coal in Appalachia" and "Introduction to Environmental Issues in Southern Appalachia." Jim Detjen, Director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University, will deliver the keynote speech. The fee is more than reasonable: $15 for SPJ members, $20 for non-members, $30 at the door, and the fees include lunch. For more programming details and online registration, go to http://etspj.org/environmental-conference.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Appalachian Regional Commission's Online Resource Center

Search for Socioeconomic Data by County

Searches will return the following data on the selected county and will include national, state, and Appalachian averages:

* Population
* Income
* Unemployment
* Poverty
* Education
* Economic Status
* Geography

To visit: Click Here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Appalachian Folklore Yields Gardening Gems

Appalachian Folklore Yields Gardening Gems to Ponder
By Jim McLain
For the Yakima Herald-Republic

Down through history, folklore has always played an important part in gardening. While folklore is often based on keen observation of the causes and effects of Mother Nature, lots of it has its roots in superstition.

To continue reading: Click Here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wilderness Road Regional Museum

Wilderness Road Regional Museum
In Historic Newbern, Virginia
Owned and Operated by the New River Historical Society

To visit: Click Here.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Melungeon Historical Society Conference

The first annual Melungeon Historical Society Conference will focus on the documented history of the mysterious, mixed-ethnic group known as Melungeons, and will kick off a "Melungeon weekend" in Rogersville and Vardy, Tennessee.

The Conference takes place on Friday, June 12, 2009, from 10 am to 8 pm, at the Rescue Squad Building in Rogersville, Tennessee. On Saturday, June 13, the Vardy Community Historical Society will hold their annual Spring Fling at the Church and Museum on Vardy Road in Hancock County, Tennessee.

More details will be announced as plans develop. For more information, contact MHS president Wayne Winkler at winklerw@etsu.edu.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Calvin Beale's 1972 Paper on Tri-Racial Isolates

An Overview of the Phenomena of Mixed Racial Isolates
In the United States
Calvin Beale
American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 74, No. 3.
(Jun. 1972) pp. 704-710

The subject of the paper is population groups of real or alleged tri-racial origin - Indian, White, and Negro. There is a review of the emergence of such groups in American history, their conflicts with public authorities, and their recognition by researchers. The past importance of separate schools as a boundary maintenance mechanism is discussed, with emphasis on the declining persistence of such schools today. The role of the church as the typical remaining group institution is noted.

To read: Click Here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Calvin Beale's 1957 Paper on Tri-Racial Isolates

American Triracial Isolates:
Their Status and Pertinence to Genetic Research
By Calvin L. Beale
Eugenics Quarterly 4/4 (December 1957): 187-196.

In the 1950 Census of Population, 50,000 American Indians are listed as living in states east of the Mississippi River. These people do not constitute the sole biological legacy of the aboriginal population once found in the East, of course. The remnants of many tribes were removed west of the Mississippi where they retain their tribal identity today. Nor is it uncommon to meet Easterners, thoroughly Caucasian in appearance and racial status, who boast of an Indian ancestor in the dim past. Other infusions of Indian blood were absorbed into the Negro population, and in this context may also be referred to with pride even if they afford no differential social status.

It is another class of people, however, that engages the attention of this article - a class more numerous than the Indians remaining in the East, more obscure than those in the West, less assured than the white man or the Negro who regards his link of Indian descent as a touch of the heroic or romantic. The reference is to population groups of presumed triracial descent. Such isolates, bequeathed of intermingled Indian, white, and Negro ancestry, are as old as the nation itself and include not less than 77,000 persons. They live today in more than 100 counties of at least 17 Eastern States with settlements ranging in size from less than 50 persons to more than 20,000. Their existence has furnished material for the writings of local historians, folklorists, journalists, and novelists. Occasionally, they have come to the attention of cultural anthropologists, sociologists, and - here and there - a geographer or educator. Attention to the triracial isolates by geneticists is largely confined to the last three years, however. It is the object of this discussion to describe the nature, location, and status of such Indian-white-Negro groups in Eastern States and to indicate the potential interest they hold for the field of human genetics.

To continue reading: Click Here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gibson Family Timeline

Compiled by Joanne Pezzullo

April 10, 1608 -- The John & Francis,
The John & Francis departed Virginia and arrived at London (probably in June or July, since Captain Newport was also the commander of the next vessel to Virginia).
The Phoenix, which had left England in its company, had not yet arrived (but did arrive on April 20).
Ship and Passenger Information:
Type: small bark
Captain Christopher Newport, commander
Namontack . . . Powhatan's "son" (actually a servant), taken to England
as a "Virginia prince". Returned with the "Second Supply".
(Newport's "sonne", Thomas Savage, actually a laborer who
arrived in the First Supply, was traded by John Smith as
a hostage for Namontack's safe return.)

Gibson, Thomas Tradesman*

16 February 1624 Francis Gibson is listed among the living on February 16, 1623/24 at James Cittye, Virginia. "Francis" is often transcribed when the name is known to be "Thomas" -- having not seen the original is it possible this is Thomas Gibson who came with Christopher Newport in 1608, or perhaps his wife, Francis?

1635 Yeoman Gibson, aged 16 years, came over to Virginia, in the Elizabeth, ; Nicholas Gibson, aged 22 years, in the Assurance; John Gibson, aged 30 years, in the Safety; Richard Gibson, aged 25 years, and William Gibson, aged 19 years, in the Expedition, all to Virginia, in 1635. (Hotten's Lists of Emigrants, pp. 112, 118, 122, 139 and 141.)

1639 John Utie, Jr. born about 1619 London. He was baptized in St. Andrew's Holborn Parish. He 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. York Co. VA records show John Utie, Jr. was deceased by 1647. [See Utie Notes]

To continue reading this extensive timeline: Click Here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sizemore Family Data

Raw Research Notes Compiled by the Historian
And Past National Genealogical Society President
Virginia Easley DeMarce, Ph.D.

The book (Kennedy, p. 24) identifies Edward Sizemore, b. 1725, with Edward Sizemore of the Eastern Cherokee affidavits. They must be two separate men, since the second Edward "Old Ned" Sizemore who was the ancestor discussed under Eastern Cherokee claims lived until approximately 1858 according to the Guion Miller testimony taken in 1908 (see below). In one place, Kennedy claims specifically to be a descendant of the one who was the "self-proclaimed Cherokee," but dates his birth to 1725.

The book also identifies the wife of Joseph Phipps Sr. (1730-?:) as a daughter of Ned Sizemore, "name lost to history" (Kennedy, p. 56). If such a connection can be documented, it must be to a daughter of one of the older Edward Sizemores, not to the "Eastern Cherokee claims" Old Ned Sizemore (see below). None of the material located (see notes below) alleged a Phipps marriage for one of the Cherokee Claims Edward "Old Ned" Sizemore's daughters.

To continue reading these extensive research notes: Click Here.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee

The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, is the nation's largest natural-habitat refuge developed specifically to meet the needs of endangered elephants. It is a non-profit organization, licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and accredited by the Association of Sanctuaries, designed specifically for old, sick or needy elephants who have been retired from zoos and circuses. Utilizing more than 2700 acres, it provides three separate and protected, natural-habitat environments for Asian and African elephants.

To check it out: Click Here.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Blue Ridge Country Magazine

Exploring the Mountains of the South

Blue Ridge Country Magazine is a subscription magazine but many of its articles and features are available online at its web site.

To visit: Click Here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The American Eugenics Movement

Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement

The philosopher George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." This adage is appropriate to our current rush into the "gene age," which has striking parallels to the eugenics movement of the early decades of the 20th century. Eugenics was, quite literally, an effort to breed better human beings – by encouraging the reproduction of people with "good" genes and discouraging those with "bad" genes. Eugenicists effectively lobbied for social legislation to keep racial and ethnic groups separate, to restrict immigration from southern and eastern Europe, and to sterilize people considered "genetically unfit." Elements of the American eugenics movement were models for the Nazis, whose radical adaptation of eugenics culminated in the Holocaust.

We now invite you to experience the unfiltered story of American eugenics – primarily through materials from the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor, which was the center of American eugenics research from 1910-1940. In the Archive you will see numerous reports, articles, charts, and pedigrees that were considered scientific "facts" in their day. It is important to remind yourself that the vast majority of eugenics work has been completely discredited. In the final analysis, the eugenic description of human life reflected political and social prejudices, rather than scientific facts.

To visit the Image Archive: Click Here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Buck v. Bell: Forced Sterilization in Virginia

With this decision, the US Supreme Court upheld forced serialization in Virgina, and effectively in other states as well, thus unleashing a crime against humanity carried on throughout the nation but most assiduously in California, with the greatest absolute number of forced sterilizations, and in Virginia, with the greatest per capita number of forced sterilizations.

U.S. Supreme Court
BUCK v. BELL, 274 U.S. 200 (1927)

274 U.S. 200

BELL, Superintendent of State Colony Epileptics and Feeble Minded.
No. 292.

Argued April 22, 1927.
Decided May 2, 1927.

[274 U.S. 200, 201] Mr. I. P. Whitehead, of Lynchburg, Va., for plaintiff in error.

[274 U.S. 200, 203] Mr. A. E. Strode, of Lynchburg, Va., for defendant in error.

[274 U.S. 200, 205]

Mr. Justice HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a writ of error to review a judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeals of the State of Virginia, affirming a judgment of the Circuit Court of Amherst County, by which the defendant in error, the superintendent of the State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble Minded, was ordered to perform the operation of salpingectomy upon Carrie Buck, the plaintiff in error, for the purpose of making her sterile. 143 Va. 310, 130 S. E. 516. The case comes here upon the contention that the statute authorizing the judgment is void under the Fourteenth Amendment as denying to the plaintiff in error due process of law and the equal protection of the laws.

Carrie Buck is a feeble-minded white woman who was committed to the State Colony above mentioned in due form. She is the daughter of a feeble- minded mother in the same institution, and the mother of an illegitimate feeble-minded child. She was eighteen years old at the time of the trial of her case in the Circuit Court in the latter part of 1924. An Act of Virginia approved March 20, 1924 (Laws 1924, c. 394) recites that the health of the patient and the welfare of society may be promoted in certain cases by the sterilization of mental defectives, under careful safeguard, etc.; that the sterilization may be effected in males by vasectomy and in females by salpingectomy, without serious pain or substantial danger to life; that the Commonwealth is supporting in various institutions many defective persons who if now discharged would become [274 U.S. 200, 206] a menace but if incapable of procreating might be discharged with safety and become self-supporting with benefit to themselves and to society; and that experience has shown that heredity plays an important part in the transmission of insanity, imbecility, etc. The statute then enacts that whenever the superintendent of certain institutions including the abovenamed State Colony shall be of opinion that it is for the best interest of the patients and of society that an inmate under his care should be sexually sterilized, he may have the operation performed upon any patient afflicted with hereditary forms of insanity, imbecility, etc., on complying with the very careful provisions by which the act protects the patients from possible abuse.

The superintendent first presents a petition to the special board of directors of his hospital or colony, stating the facts and the grounds for his opinion, verified by affidavit. Notice of the petition and of the time and place of the hearing in the institution is to be served upon the inmate, and also upon his guardian, and if there is no guardian the superintendent is to apply to the Circuit Court of the County to appoint one. If the inmate is a minor notice also is to be given to his parents, if any, with a copy of the petition. The board is to see to it that the inmate may attend the hearings if desired by him or his guardian. The evidence is all to be reduced to writing, and after the board has made its order for or against the operation, the superintendent, or the inmate, or his guardian, may appeal to the Circuit Court of the County. The Circuit Court may consider the record of the board and the evidence before it and such other admissible evidence as may be offered, and may affirm, revise, or reverse the order of the board and enter such order as it deems just. Finally any party may apply to the Supreme Court of Appeals, which, if it grants the appeal, is to hear the case upon the record of the trial [274 U.S. 200, 207] in the Circuit Court and may enter such order as it thinks the Circuit Court should have entered. There can be no doubt that so far as procedure is concerned the rights of the patient are most carefully considered, and as every step in this case was taken in scrupulous compliance with the statute and after months of observation, there is no doubt that in that respect the plaintiff in error has had due process at law.

The attack is not upon the procedure but upon the substantive law. It seems to be contended that in no circumstances could such an order be justified. It certainly is contended that the order cannot be justified upon the existing grounds. The judgment finds the facts that have been recited and that Carrie Buck 'is the probable potential parent of socially inadequate offspring, likewise afflicted, that she may be sexually sterilized without detriment to her general health and that her welfare and that of society will be promoted by her sterilization,' and thereupon makes the order. In view of the general declarations of the Legislature and the specific findings of the Court obviously we cannot say as matter of law that the grounds do not exist, and if they exist they justify the result. We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 , 25 S. Ct. 358, 3 Ann. Cas. 765. Three generations of imbeciles are enough. [274 U.S. 200, 208] But, it is said, however it might be if this reasoning were applied generally, it fails when it is confined to the small number who are in the institutions named and is not applied to the multitudes outside. It is the usual last resort of constitutional arguments to point out shortcomings of this sort. But the answer is that the law does all that is needed when it does all that it can, indicates a policy, applies it to all within the lines, and seeks to bring within the lines all similary situated so far and so fast as its means allow. Of course so far as the operations enable those who otherwise must be kept confined to be returned to the world, and thus open the asylum to others, the equality aimed at will be more nearly reached.

Judgment affirmed.

Mr. Justice BUTLER dissents.

Virginia's forced sterilizations laws were repealed in 1974, and in 2001 the Virginia General Assembly apologized for the state's involvement in the American eugenics movement, of which forced sterilization was a part.

In Carrie Buck’s hometown of Charlottesville, a short drive from the cemetery where she was buried, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources erected a marker fronting a main thoroughfare just around the corner from the school Buck’s daughter, Vivian, attended. The text of the Virginia Historic marker commemorating Buck v. Bell carries this inscription:


In 1924, Virginia, like a majority of states then, enacted eugenic
sterilization laws. Virginia’s law allowed state institutions to operate
on individuals to prevent the conception of what were believed
to be “genetically inferior” children. Charlottesville native Carrie
Buck (1906-1983), involuntarily committed to a state facility near
Lynchburg, was chosen as the first person to be sterilized under
the new law. The U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell, on 2 May
1927, affirmed the Virginia law. After Buck more than 8,000 other
Virginians were sterilized before the most relevant parts of the act
were repealed in 1974. Later evidence eventually showed that
Buck and many others had no “hereditary defects.” She is buried
south of here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Illegal Settlers on Indian Lands in Tennessee

The Intruders were those white folk who illegally settled on Indian lands. The term squatters could also be applied to them. From the time of the first intruder who broke the King’s law, to last treaty of removal, the intruder was a bane to the authorities (and the Indians). At times, the authorities dealt fairly with the intruders, at other times, the authorities were extremely harsh. Those white folk who hunted on Indian lands, who passed through those lands with out possessing the required passport, or who traded with the Indians without possessing the required license, were also considered intruders. As the frontier moved to the south and west, the intruders were there to take the Indians’ land.

For much more on this subject: Click Here.

For two related MHS Blog entries published previously: Click Here and Click Here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cartographic Resources on the Web

Oddens' Bookmarks
The Fascinating World of Maps and Mapmaking
Utrecht University
Faculty of Geosciences

Oddens' bookmarks was started in 1995 by Roelof Oddens, the curator of the map Library of the Faculty of GeoSciences. As an extra service for visitors of the map library he started collecting links about maps and mapping on the internet, at that point in time an emerging source of information.

What started out as 1995 as 13 pages (categories) with about a dozen links each had grown in 1999 to over 6500 links, still divided over about 15 pages, some containing over 700 links. The links were ordered by country, so searching on subject was virtually impossible.

In september 1999 the separate pages were converted and placed in a database, which made it possible to search on subject, country, category or a combination of these. Using a database also made adding links much easier than it had been before. As a result of this the number of links in the database has grown from 6500 in 1999 to over 22000 in april 2004.

To visit: Click Here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Appalachian Summit Web Site

Appalachian Summit is that region where the Southern Appalachian Mountains reach their greatest height. The area includes all of western North Carolina and parts of eastern Tennessee.

This is an exceedingly rich web site, parts of which will undoubtedly be featured in future MHS Blog entries. The site is divided into three main parts:


Appalachian Summit: a documentary history, 1540-1900: With the exception of short introductions, all of the text is drawn from primary sources. Rather than write a history of the area, I have attempted to let that history unfold in the words of those who experienced it.


Annotated travel journals and diaries tracing the routes of early exploration and settlement across the modern landscape from the Atlantic coast to the Appalachian Summit.


Maps, Books, Web Sites, Places and People.

To visit Appalachian Summit: Click Here.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Appalachian Arts Craft Center

Appalachian Arts began as the Community Craft Center in 1970 in the back room of an old grocery store. We were founded by Grace Foster and Sara Shepard Starr, who had been hired by the federally funded Anderson County Community Action Commission to "to enrich the souls and pocketbooks of low-income people in Anderson County" as stated in our original charter. In addition to the support received from this branch of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, we received early assistance from Good Neighbors of Norris, The Tennessee Arts Commission and John Rice Irwin of the Museum of Appalachia. Non-profit 501(c)3 status was obtained, weaving, quilting, and pottery classes were begun, and a shop was opened. Looms, potters' wheels, a kiln, quilting frames, and other equipment were obtained. A jury process was developed to ensure high standards of quality.

Today, local people still gather to share creative ideas and talents, keeping the traditional crafts alive as well as pursuing more contemporary work. The Center has grown to become a highly recognized educational facility and, in 1987, built a new building across the street from the original country store. We have a shop upstairs and studio space downstairs, and we’ve changed our name. We are now called Appalachian Arts Craft Center, and the language of our mission statement has also changed with the times. We now “promote the Appalachian Artist through education and sales.”. Our language may have changed, but the vision of our founders has remained intact.

To visit: Click Here.