Who Are the Melungeons?

Martha Ann Stegar (masp@mindspring.com)
Sat, 22 Jul 1995 17:37:12 -0500

The Melungeons are a small group of dark-skinned people of uncertain origin
who have lived for centuries in the mountains of east Tennessee, southwest
Virginia, and western North Carolina. It seems they were there when the
English settlers arrived in those areas, and the Anglos proceeded to drive
them off their land, disenfranchise them, and generally treat them as
pariahs. To this date, no one seems to know where they came from. Some
are said to have descended from shipwrecked Portuguese sailors, others from
the "Lost Colony," Croatan. There has been speculation that they are of
mixed European, Indian, and Black blood. I have read a book by a
Melungeon, N. Brent Kennedy, and am eager to discover other authoritative
sources. Can anyone fill in more details for me?

Martha Ann Stegar
Atlanta, GA
masp@mindspring.com OR qsoodms@prism.gatech.edu