Delaware’s Forgotten Folk: The Story of the Moors and Nanticokes

Posted in Anthropology, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2019-06-03 13:29Z by Steven

Delaware’s Forgotten Folk: The Story of the Moors and Nanticokes

University of Pennsylvania Press
2006 (originally published in 1943)
232 pages
13 illustrations
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper ISBN: 9780812219838

C. A. Weslager (1909-1994)

Photographs by L. T. Alexander
Drawings by John Swientochowski

Delaware's Forgotten Folk

“It is offered not as a textbook nor as a scientific discussion, but merely as reading entertainment founded on the life history, social struggle, and customs of a little-known people.”—From the Preface

C. A. Weslager’s Delaware’s Forgotten Folk chronicles the history of the Nanticoke Indians and the Cheswold Moors, from John Smith’s first encounter with the Nanticokes along the Kuskakarawaok River in 1608, to the struggles faced by these uniquely multiracial communities amid the racial and social tensions of mid-twentieth-century America. It explores the legend surrounding the origin of the two distinct but intricately intertwined groups, focusing on how their uncommon racial heritage—white, black, and Native American—shaped their identity within society and how their traditional culture retained its significance into their present.

Weslager’s demonstrated command of available information and his familiarity with the people themselves bespeak his deep respect for the Moor and Nanticoke communities. What began as a curious inquiry into the overlooked peoples of the Delaware River Valley developed into an attentive and thoughtful study of a distinct group of people struggling to remain a cultural community in the face of modern opposition. Originally published in 1943, Delaware’s Forgotten Folk endures as one of the fundamental volumes on understanding the life and history of the Nanticoke and Moor peoples.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • 1. Red, White, and Black
  • 2. The Mysterious Moor
  • 3. Plot in the Swamp
  • 4. The Persistent Red Thread
  • 5. An Unexpected Champion
  • 6. The Good Fight
  • 7. A World Unknown
  • 8. Links with the Past
  • Bibliography
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Trends in the Naming of Tri-Racial Mixed-Blood Groups in the Eastern United States

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2010-11-17 19:00Z by Steven

Trends in the Naming of Tri-Racial Mixed-Blood Groups in the Eastern United States

American Speech
Volume 22, Number 2 (April, 1947)
pages 81-87

A. R. Dunlap
University of Delaware

C. A. Weslager
University of Delaware

In the eastern part of the United States, particularly in the southern and middle-Atlantic portions, are a number of populations groups, so-called ‘ethnic-island,’ whose members combine, in varying degrees, the characteristics of Caucasoid, Negroid, and Indian racial stocks. To quote W. H. Gilbert, Jr., who has written extensively of mixed-blood groups, these racial islands

seem to develop especially where environmental circumstances such as forbidding swamps and inaccessible and barren mountain country favor their growth.  Many are located along the tidewater of the Atlantic coast where swamps or island and peninsulas have protected them… Others are farther inland in the Piedmont area and are found with their backs up against the wall of the Blue Ridge or Alleghenies.  A few… are to be found on the very top of the Blue Ridge and on the several ridges of the Appalachian Great Valley just beyond.

A sufficient number of these tri-racial groups has now been reported in various sociological and ethnological journals to make possible a study of the names employed to distinguish this type of mixed-bloods from mixed-bloods of bi-racial origin, such as mulattoes, quadroons, octoroons, etc., or from ‘pure’ bloods of one of the three principal racial stocks, i.e., whites, Indians, and Negroes. From the alphabetical list which follows have been excluded names of ethnic groups which perpetuate Indian tribal names for example, the Nanticokes and Houmas mentioned in Gilbert’s ‘Memorandum’; or the surviving Powhatan tribes of Virginia, the Cherokee, and other Algonkian and Iroquoian descendants in the Eastern Woodlands area with tribal organizations.

Read the entire article here.

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