We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
Mixing in the Mountains

From: Southern Cultures
Volume 3, Number 4, 1997
pp. 25-36 | 10.1353/scu.1997.0062

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Mixing in the Mountains
John Shelton Reed

John Shelton Reed is William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology and director of the Institute for Research in Social Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Among his recent books is 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About the South, written with Dale Volberg Reed. He is coeditor of Southern Cultures.


1. This essay was originally presented at the Conference on Southern Autobiography at the University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Arkansas, 11-13 April 1996.

2. Wall Street Journal, 4 January 1996, B1, B6.

3. George Brown Tindall, "The Ethnic Southerners," in The Ethnic Southerners (Louisiana State University Press, 1976), 8; James Paul Allen and Eugene James Turner, We the People: An Atlas of America's Ethnic Diversity (Macmillan, 1988), 41.

4. Edgar T. Thompson, "The 'Little Races'," in Plantation Societies, Race Relations, and the South (Duke University Press, 1975), 162-82.

5. Calvin L. Beale, "American Triracial Isolates: Their Status and Pertinence to Genetic Research," Eugenics Quarterly 4 (December 1957): 187-96.

6. Edward T. Price, "The Melungeons: A Mixed-Blood Strain of the Southern Appalachians," Geographical Review 41 (1951): 256-71.

7. Ibid. See also Swan M. Burnett, "A Note on the Melungeons," American Anthropologist 2 (1889): 347-49.

8. Will Allen Dromgoole, "The Malungeons," The Arena 3 (1891): 470-79.

9. Quoted in Brewton Berry, Almost White (Macmillan, 1963), 60-61.

10. This story is repeated in Jean Patterson Bible, Melungeons Yesterday and Today (Jefferson City [?], Tennessee: privately printed, 1975), 105; see also James R. Aswell et al., God Bless the Devil!: Liars' Bench Tales, rev. ed. (University of Tennessee Press, 1985), 211-12.

11. N. Brent Kennedy, The Melungeons, The Resurrection of a Proud People: An Untold Story of Ethnic Cleansing in America (Mercer University Press, 1994), 15.

12. Dromgoole, "The Malungeons," 473.

13. For most of these theories, see Bible, Melungeons Yesterday and Today.

14. "Old Horny's Own," in Aswell et al., God Bless the Devil!, 207-14.

15. Burnett, "Note on the Melungeons," 347.

16. Berry, Almost White, 36.

17. William S. Pollitzer and William H. Brown, "Survey of Demography, Anthropometry, and Genetics in the Melungeons of Tennessee: An Isolate of Hybrid Origin in Process of Dissolution," Human Biology 41 (1969): 388-400.

18. Although the current excitement is about some sort of possible Anatolian connection. See note 29, below.

19. Virginia Easley DeMarce, "Looking at Legends—Lumbee and Melungeon: Applied Genealogy and the Origins of Tri-racial Isolate Settlements," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 81 (March 1993): 24-45. See also Virginia Easley DeMarce, "'Verry Slitly Mixt': Tri-racial Isolate Families of the Upper South—A Genealogical Study," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 80 (March 1992): 5-35.

20. Southern Focus Poll, Fall 1995, conducted by the Institute for Research in Social Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

21. Betty, Almost White, 19.

22. DeMarce, "Looking at Legends," 39.

23. Bible, Melungeons Yesterday and Today, 61-66.

24. Kennedy, The Melungeons, 148.

25. Beale, "American Triracial Isolates," 190.

26. "Six Hundred Honest Pounds," in Aswell et al., God Bless the Devil!, 226-43; Jesse Stuart, Daughter of the Legend (McGraw-Hill, 1965); Bible, Melungeons Yesterday and Today, 100-102.

27. Betty, Almost White, 17.

28. Bill Bryson, The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America (Seeker & Warburg, 1992), 90-91.

29. Since the publication of Kennedy's book (now available in a second, expanded edition) there has been an astonishing proliferation of "Melungia" and related activities ranging from reunions and cookbooks to Melungeon heritage tours of Turkey. For the latest catalog, see www.clinch.edu/appalachia/melungeon, the Melungeon website.

30. Dromgoole, "The Malungeons," 472 (emphasis added).