Tobacco has been one of the most important gifts from the New World to the Old. In spite of the attempts of various authors to prove its Old World origin there can be no doubt that it was introduced into both Europe and Africa from America. Most species of Nicotiana are native to the New World, and there are only a few species which are undoubtedly extra- American. The custom of smoking is also characteristic of America. It was thoroughly established throughout eastern North and South America at the time of the discovery; and the early explorers, from Columbus on, speak of it as a strange and novel practice which they often find it hard to describe. It played an important part in many religious ceremonies, and the beliefs and observances connected with it are in themselves proof of its antiquity. Hundreds of pipes have been found in the pre-Columbian mounds and village sites of the eastern United States and, although these remains cannot be dated, some of them must be of considerable age. In the southwestern United States the Basket Makers, an ancient people whose remains are found below those of the prehistoric Cliff Dwellers, were smoking pipes at a time which could not have been much later than the beginning of our era.
A Native American’s look at Brant Kennedy’s Melungeon DNA study by Richard Thornton, part of his series of articles on the early Appalachian colonists.
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.”
This collection contains entire narratives of Indian captivity; that is to say, we have provided the reader the originals without the slightest abridgement. Some of these captivities provide little in way of customs and manners, except to display examples of the clandestine warfare Native Americans used to accomplish their means. In almost every case, there was a tug of war going on between principle government powers, French, American, British, and Spanish, and these powers used the natural prowess of the Indians to assist them in causing warfare upon American and Canadian settlers. There were definitely thousands of captivities, likely tens of thousands, as the active period of these Indian captivity narratives covers 150 years. Unfortunately, few have ever been put under a pen by the original captive, and as such, we have little first-hand details on their captivity. These you will find here, are only those with which were written by the captive or narrated to another who could write for them; you shall find in a later collection, a database of known captives, by name, location, and dates, and a narrative about their captivity along with factual sources. But that is for another time.
Our relations with the aboriginal inhabitants of this continent form a distinct and very important, and interesting portion of the history of this Republic. It is unfortunately, for the most part, a history of bloody wars, in which the border settlers have suffered all the horrors of savage aggression, and, in which portions of our colonial settlements have sometimes been completely cut off and destroyed. Other portions of this thrilling history, evince the courage, daring, and patience of the settlers, in a very favorable point of view, and exhibit them as triumphing over every difficulty, and finally obtaining a firm foothold on the soil. In all its parts, this history will always possess numerous points of peculiar interest for the American reader.
Captain John Barnwell, otherwise known as Tuscarora Jack, was a well known frontier settler who was active in the 1711 Tuscarora War. His travels throughout the Southeast enabled him to draw a relatively accurate map of the area of his travels and exploration, some from second hand information, but most from first hand. For researchers of the Southeast this map is critical, and never before seen online in such a large form as to be able to read the hand writing and personal descriptions and historical details as outlined by Barnwell. In order to view this map in a form that made it legible you had to travel to one of the two locations the actual versions exist.
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.
Author Richard Thornton overhead a simple statement in a 2005 speech before the Society of Georgia Archaeology “We now know everything there is to know about the Southeastern Indians. It is time to move on to other things.” This statement was intended by a select group of academics to freeze the study of Southeastern United States to what they believed was the truth, and to stifle further research, even if new facts began to emerge.