Friday, October 15, 2010

Lewis M. Jarvis, 1903 Interview on Melungeons

Lewis M. Jarvis, 1903 Interview on Melungeons

Lewis M. Jarvis born 1829 Scott County, Virginia, son Daniel Jarvis and Mary
COLLINS, an attorney in Sneedville on the Melungeons:

1903 Interview

Much has been said and written about the inhabitants of Newman's Ridge and
Blackwater at Hancock County, Tenn. They have been derisively dubbed with the
name "Melungeons" by the local white people who have lived here with them.
*It is not a traditional name or tribe of Indians.*

"Vardy Collins, Shepherd Gibson, Benjamin Collins, Solomon Collins, Paul
Bunch, and the Goodmans, chief's and the rest of them settled here about the
year 1804,possibly about the year 1795, but all these men above named, who
are called Melungeons, obtained land grants and muniments of title to the
land they settled on and they were the very first and came here simultaneous
with the white people not earlier than 1795. They then had lost their
language and spoke the English very well. They originally were the friendly
Indians who came with the whites as they moved west. They came from the
Cumberland County and New River, Va., stopping at various points west of the
Blue Ridge. Some of them stopped at stony Creek, Scott Co., Va., where Stoney
Creek runs into the Clinch River.

The white emigrants with the friendly Indians erected a fort on the bank of
the river and called it Fort Blackamore and here yet many of these friendly
Indians live in the mountains of Stoney Creek.

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