Friday, August 21, 2009

The Malungeons of Tennessee

And Their Portuguese Ancestry

Marion Daily Star - August 15, 1900

~Many of Them Fought In the Civil War ~But Are Now Moonshiners~
Intelligence a Characteristic~Also Fondness For Firearms and Firewater~

[Special Correspondence]
Owensboro, Tenn., Aug. 14.--

While much has been written from time to time about the "poor whites," mountaineers and the "Georgia Crackers," yet there is a still more peculiar class of southerners who have until lately escaped notice. These people are called the Malungeons. They are copper colored with high cheek bones, straight noses, black hair, rather coarse, black eyes, and have more intelligence than the average mountaineers.

A great deal of trouble has come to them because of their color and customs. The Malungeons number between 400 and 500. They live on Black Water Creek, in Hancock County, which section they have inhabited for more than 100 years. (2)

The records of Hancock County show that the Malungeon ancestors came to Powell's Valley as early as 1789, when they took up lands on the Black Water. Tradition says that they held aloof from the white settlers and spoke a strange language which not one of the pioneers could fathom. Some of them could speak broken English, and by this means communicated with the white merchants to the extent of buying arms, ammunition and other supplies which could not be procured in the valleys of their mountain homes.

To continue reading: Click Here.

No comments:

Post a Comment