The Appalachian Colonists

Thornton, Richard. The Appalachian Colonists from the Mediterranean Basin. Digital Rights Copyright 2013 by AccessGenealogy.com.

Will the Real Sequoya Please Stand Up?

Will the Real Sequoya Please Stand Up? The preponderance of biographical information online and published in manuscripts concerning Sequoyah conflicts. Author Richard Thornton jovially delves into the conflicting information and tries to establish the true identity of this man called the “inventor of the Cherokee Alphabet.”

What Happened to the Sephardic Jewish Colonists?

There has never been a scientific study to determine the post-colonial history of the Sephardic communities in the Southern Piedmont and Appalachians. Anything that can be said must be in the realm of speculation, based on the known cultural history of the Southeast during the Colonial and Antebellum Eras. The only significant religious-based persecution in …

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Things Your History Teacher Didn’t Tell You

American history textbooks typically provide a cursory chapter on the period of the 16th century Spanish explorers of the Southeast and a few sentences to the attempts of French Huguenots to establish a colony in the region. They jump to the failed attempt to establish an English colony on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, then lavish attention on Jamestown, VA and Plymouth Plantation, Massachusetts. The texts then proceed to describe the founding of the various colonies which became the original United States. Very little, if anything, is said about the French and English explorers who ventured into the interior of the Southeast between 1568 and 1700. University level Colonial History courses might go into more detail on these intrepid people, but the general public in the United States never learns about them. Author Richard Thornton shares some interesting facts your history teacher didn’t tell you about early colonial America.

The United Provinces of the Netherlands

Because the peoples of the Netherlands and the United States have always had the warmest of relations, contemporary American historians have typically overlooked the less than benign role that Dutch entrepreneurs played in the early development of the Virginia Colony. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, England and the rebelling peoples of the Low Countries were close allies. The Dutch rebels were dependent on English sea power to maintain access to the North Sea. That was to change.

The Rickohockens

The word, “Rickohocken,” appeared suddenly in the discussions of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1644, and was frequently mentioned thereafter until 1684. No word similar to Rickohocken appeared on Virginia maps before 1644, while such southwestern Virginia tribes as the Tomahitan, Saponi and Occaneechi did. The Rickohockens were shown on British maps to control southwestern Virginia, southeastern Kentucky, northeastern Tennessee and northwestern North Carolina until the early 1700s.

The Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People

The year was 2005.  It was a time when the internet for me was rapidly evolving from a new-fangled medium on which to send communications and find romance to a serious research tool.   The Muscogee-Creek Nation had retained me to create an electronic book on the Native American history of the Southeast. This innovative book …

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The Battle of Taliwa

Georgia historical markers and history books proudly proclaim the Great Cherokee Victory at the Battle of Taliwa, where they won all of North Georgia! The description of the conflict describes an attack on the Creek town of Taliwa by brave Cherokee warriors. They were supposedly outnumbered 3:1 and were led to victory by a teenaged Cherokee girl named Nancy Ward. The Cherokees immediately established the town of Long Swamp Creek to confirm their conquest.

Sir William Berkeley and Native American Slavery

Sir William Berkeley was a highly educated courtier in the regime of Charles I, then twice governor of Virginia. As governor, he stacked the Council and House of Burgesses with Royalist planters then institutionalized race-based slavery in 1661 and 1662.  Prior to that time in Virginia, Native American and Africans were theoretically forced laborers; legally …

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Opechancanough and Don Luis

Jamestown was founded in 1607 on land recently conquered by the Powhatan Confederacy. Movies about Pocahontas have given the impression that the “Powhatan Indians” were concentrated on the Chesapeake Bay.  They were not. The villages on the coastline of the Chesapeake were the vassals of the Pamunkey Indians, who forged the confederacy. The capital of the …

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Melungeons

The word, Melungeon, dates at least back to the late 1700s and has several interpretations. The most obvious is that it is frontier derivation of the French word, mélange, which means “blend.”

Map Making, from Majorca to Appalachia

From the moment that Europeans learned that a New World existed across the waters of the Atlantic, map makers in Western Europe began turning maps of that New World. At first these maps were grossly inaccurate and assumed the either the Americas were part of the Orient or merely consisted of islands off the shores of Asia. As more and more log books and navigation charts were returned to Spain, Portugal, France and England by explorers, the maps grew more precise.

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