Archive | March, 2016

The Short History of the Long Hunters

They were the legendary hunters and explorers of  Kentucky and Tennessee, men like Daniel Boone (pictured at left,) Kasper Mansker, Joseph Drake, Isaac Bledsoe, and Uriah Stone, who set out from the mountainous edges of Virginia and North Carolina in the 1760s and early 70s.  They were known as long hunters, because they were sometimes […]

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What do you mean, they owned slaves?

In the previous post, I mentioned one thing that made the members of the mixed-race Gibson family “not Negroes” in the eyes of South Carolina’s Governor: the fact that they owned slaves.   Friends to whom I mention this fact sometimes react with shock and disbelief.  How could people whose ancestors had been subject to […]

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Moving West: On the Border Between the Races

As the doors closed around them in the early 18th century, many of Virginia’s free people of color moved west and south.  In the border areas of Virginia, the colony’s restrictive racial laws were only casually enforced, and south of the North Carolina border they did not exist at all.  The extensive research of Paul […]

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Moving West

Two of my ancestors moved west over the mountains, one from Virginia and the other from North Carolina, within eight years of each other.  They were part of the “second wave” of settlement, yeoman farmers who supplanted the earlier hunters and Indian traders.  Both were moderately prosperous citizens, with standing in their communities.  Newit Drew, […]

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