Thursday, January 6, 2011

"The Malungeons"

According to Joanne Pezzullo

From my research I hope to be able to show that the Malungeons were in fact Portuguese Adventurers who intermixed with the local Indians in the Carolinas, I believe I can.

These families were reported along the Pee Dee River as early as 1725, they may have joined Christian Priber's 'Paradice', his Utiopa in the Cherokee Indian Town. They were likely ejected after his arrest in 1743 when Chief Attacullaculla signed an agreement in Charleston to trade only with the British, return runaway slaves and expel Non-English whites from their territory, in return they received guns, ammunition, and red paint .[*]

From court records found in North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, Illinois these families from the Pee Dee declared they were Portuguese and in most cases they succeeded. The Ivey, Halls, Chavis, Shoemake, Bolton, Perkins, Goins, Collins, Nickens, Dungee, and others have all been identified as Portuguese in courts, county histories, etc.

In 1848 a journalist from Louisville, Kentucky visited Newman's Ridge where he stayed at the Vardy Inn and wrote the 'legend of their history' -- and it would appear that Vardy Collins and/or his wife 'Spanish Peggy Gibson' were the possibly the source. Most researchers assume Vardy was giving the history of his Collins family but it is likely his ancestors were merely Indians as were many of the other early settlers on Newman's Ridge. The little Portuguese community on the border of the Carolinas appears to have started breaking up around 1800 and many had moved west after the War of 1812.

Judge Lewis Shepherd defended the granddaughter of Solomon Bolton in 1874 and in that trial testimony was given by credible witnessess that Solom Bolton [and people of his race] had been 'called Malungeons' and as Shepherd would tell it later these people came from South Carolina. In fact Solomon Bolton's father, Spencer Bolton was said to have been born on the Pee Dee River in 1735 which would means his family as well as deeds of the Bass, Perkins, Ivey, etc., can be shown living in the same area that in 1754 showed '50 mixt families' residing. Judge Lewis Shepherd tells how these people came over the mountains from South Carolina to Hancock County, Tennessee and spread out from there.

The Lowery of the Lumbee families according to history have Portuguese ancestors and it is said that Tobias Gibson, son of Jordan is also said to have had Portuguese ancestry. It seems fairly clear to me that the Portuguese settlers who intermixed with one tribe, most likely the Cheraw or Saura, became the 'Lumbee' while just across the line those same families who intermixed with the other tribes, possibly the Catawba, Pee Dee, etc., became known as Redbones. As they moved into Tennessee and intermixed with the Saponi-Occaneechi families of Gibsons, Collins, etc., they became what was described in 1848 as the 'present race of Melungens.'

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