Marvin Jones’ Winton Triangle research a personal journey

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2021-07-14 17:57Z by Steven

Marvin Jones’ Winton Triangle research a personal journey

Coastal Review: A Daily News Service of the North Carolina Coastal Federation
Newport, North Carolina
2021-07-06

Kip Tabb


The Pleasant Plains Baptist Church founded in 1851 is one of the oldest multiracial congregations in North Carolina. The brick church, built in 1951, replaced the original wooden church. Photo: Kip Tabb

Marvin Jones, Chowan Discovery Group executive director, has made it his life’s work to document the history of a northeastern North Carolina community of color.

NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA — In 1845, North Carolina passed a law prohibiting free people of color from selling liquor. Fourteen years later, the law was expanded banning the sale of liquor to “… any free person of color, for cash, or in exchange for articles delivered, or upon any consideration whatever, or as a gift …”

Almost immediately, 55 white men from Hertford County requested an exemption. There does not seem to be a record of why the exemption was requested, but in his University of North Carolina Chapel Hill 2012 doctoral dissertation, Warren Milteer points out that “by 1860, approximately 1,000 free people of color resided in Hertford County, giving the county one of the largest free non-white populations in the state.”

The law, specifically calling out free people of color, highlights how complex the story of race in America is.

Not every person of color in the South was enslaved.

It is a point Marvin Tupper Jones, the executive director of the nonprofit volunteer preservation and research organization Chowan Discovery Group, explains in detail. A native of what he describes as the Winton Triangle in Hertford County, Jones traces his heritage to the late 17th century.

“My oldest named ancestor was from India. William Weaver shows up around 1690,” he told Coastal Review. Weaver was the father of biracial children who were free…

Read the entire article here.

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Finding Edna Ferber’s Showboat

Posted in Articles, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2019-02-14 01:23Z by Steven

Finding Edna Ferber’s Showboat

David Cecelski: New writing, collected essays, latest discoveries
2018-03-10

David Cecelski

Souvenir program from the world premier of the first Showboat movie in 1929. Courtesy, Beinecke Library, Yale University
Souvenir program from the world premier of the first Showboat movie in 1929. Courtesy, Beinecke Library, Yale University

I don’t know how the great American novelist, short story writer and playwright Edna Ferber heard about the little river town of Winton, N.C.

But I know she did. In a collection of her research notes that I found at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale when I was in New Haven, Conn. last summer, she scratched the following:

Winton, N.C.—The Croatans, relic of the lost Roanoke Island

settlement. Tar River. White negroes.

Winton is a no-stoplight town in Hertford County, on the Chowan River (not the Tar River), in a rural part of northeastern N.C., between the Albemarle Sound and the Great Dismal Swamp.

I was a surprised to find a reference to Winton in the notes of a New York writer like Edna Ferber.

I was also a little surprised to discover a reference to Winton in an archive like the Beinecke Library, a sleek, modern, glass-walled vault of literary and historical treasures in the heart of Yale’s campus.

So of course I had to wonder: why was Edna Ferber interested in Winton? And what did the Croatan Indians and the “lost Roanoke settlement”—the Lost Colony—have to do with anything? And last but not least, what did she mean by “white negroes”?

In today’s post, I’d like to explore those questions. By the end of considering them, I hope we will understand northeastern N.C.’s history a little better and understand where Edna Ferber found at least some of the inspiration for her most popular and enduring literary work…

Read the entire article here.

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Loyal Southerners – a presentation by Marvin T. Jones

Posted in History, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-04 01:42Z by Steven

Loyal Southerners – a presentation by Marvin T. Jones

Rock Creek Nature Center
5200 Glover Road, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20015
Saturday, 2016-05-07, 09:30-11:00 EDT (Local Time)

Marvin T. Jones, Executive Director
Chowan Discovery Group


The story of the most famous of Southern Unionists, Newton Knight (left) will be screened on film. It stars Mathew McConaughey and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Release date is June 24.

Very little has been told and much has been suppressed about Southerners who defended the Union during the Civil War. On June 24, the release of the movie The Free State of Jones brings to the public the best known story of resisters to the Confederacy. In preparation for the movie’s release, Marvin T. Jones of Chowan Discovery will present an overview of loyal southern groups who operated from North Carolina’s Winton Triangle area to Texas including Jones’ Newton Knight and his Knight Company…

For more information, click here.

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How one man has made a mark on history in northeast N.C.

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2015-04-07 01:21Z by Steven

How one man has made a mark on history in northeast N.C.

The Outer Banks Voice
2015-04-04

Ed Beckley


Marvin T. Jones has a passion for local heritage and is responsible for a half dozen historical markers in the area.

Our region’s rich history is brought to the fore each time someone who passes a historical marker on the side of the road, stops, reads and ponders. But who dreams up these visual reminders of our times gone by and makes them appear before our eyes?

They’re people such as Marvin T. Jones, who grew up in rural Hertford County, “taking much notice of them (as a small boy) and pleased when my first school, C.S. Brown, received one in the 1980’s.”

Jones has a passion for local heritage and is responsible for a half dozen historical markers in the area, including The Roanoke Island Freedmen’s Colony, the Algonquian Village of Dasemunkepeuc in Dare County and four others inland.

The North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program reports more than 1,400 markers in place in the state since 1936. Twenty-five are in Dare County. They are not only a tribute to the places and patriots of the past, but to the people who work to place them for posterity. Jones is squarely in that category…

…He has a rich diverse racial background, as is the case of so many others in that area. It was his mother’s mention of her ancestor, a Chowanoke Native-American leader, which impelled him to research the area’s history all the way back to the first English colonists in 1584. Jones is a mix of mostly Chowanoke, Tuscarora, European and African descent, with roots as far away as India…

Read the entire article here.

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Chowan Discovery Group, Marvin T. Jones

Posted in Audio, History, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-23 14:57Z by Steven

Chowan Discovery Group, Marvin T. Jones

Backintyme.biz
Blog Talk Radio
2014-12-20

Stacey Webb, Host

Marvin T. Jones, Executive Director
Chowan Discovery Group

Author & Historian Marvin T. Jones, Executive Director & owner of Marvin T. Jones and Associates, specializing in corporate communications photography and photographic design. His love of the community of his birth led him to create the now defunct Rowan-Chowan.com website, a personal website of stories and photo essays. jones is a native of Cofield, North Carolina. He attended the Winton Triangle’s C.S. Brown School and graduated from Ahoskie High School.

Marvin also wrote a chapter in Carolina Genesis, Beyond The Color Line and presents the first history of the Winton Triangle. Marvin’s essay “The Leading Edge of Edges-The Tri-Racial People of the Winton Triangle”, tells the story of a people who emerge from the meeting of the New and Old Worlds and how they created success from century to century in northeastern North Carolina. Highlights of the essay include: Origins of the Winton Triangle and the Triangle’s contribution to the Civil War in expanding freedom in the United States, Founding of Pleasant Plains Baptist Church & the C.S. Brown & Robert L. Vann Schools, and the achievements of their members & graduates. Leadership in worship, education, business & government.

Associates; Laverne Jones, Director & Dr. Harold Mitchell, Director.

Mission of the Chowan Discovery Group is to Collect, Preserve & present materials that describe & illustrate the Winton Triangle history. Dating back to the 1740’s, North Carolina’s Winton Triangle is one of the oldest communities if land-owning people of color in America. The Triangle originally encompassing the towns of Winton, Cofield & Union. In the late 19th century the Triangle expanded toward the newly incorporated town of Ahoskie.

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Two Chowan Discovery Panels in Chicago

Posted in History, Live Events, Media Archive, My Articles/Point of View/Activities, United States on 2014-11-11 23:59Z by Steven

Two Chowan Discovery Panels in Chicago

Chowan Discovery Group
Press Release
2014-10-27

Marvin T. Jones, Executive Director

Thursday, 2014-11-13, 09:00 CST (Local Time) and Friday, 2014-11-14, 16:00 CST (Local Time)

For the second consecutive conference, Chowan Discovery Group is hosting two panels at the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference at DePaul University in Chicago. Address is DePaul University Center, 2250 N. Sheffield at the Fullerton CTA station.

  • Thursday, November 13 from 2:15 to 3:45pm, Room 325: “Mobility and Definition in Mixed-Race History.” The moderator is Mayola Cotterman, retired professor, Northwestern University. The panelists are:
    • Dr. Arwin D. Smallwood (North Carolina A&T University): “Documenting and Exploring the Early History of Mixed Race Peoples: Over Five Hundred Years of the Merging of Native American, African, and European Peoples in North America from the 1500s to Present”
    • Ainsworth Tracy (New York College – CUNY): “Documenting the Intersections and History of African-Americans and Native Americans in Colonial America: American Marronage: An Examination of Eastern North Carolina.”
    • Marvin T. Jones (Chowan Discovery Group): “Measurements of a Mixed-Race Community – the Winton Triangle.” Jones’ presentation will give the audience the size and scope of the Winton Triangle by showing numbers of large houses, stores, churches, acreages, professionals and educators.
  • Friday, November 14 from 1:45 to 3:15pm, Room 314A: “Beginnings and Transitions of Mixed Race People in North Carolina.” The Moderator is Steven F. Riley of www.mixedracestudies.org. Panelists are:
    • Lars Adams (Independent Writer): “The Algonquians of North Carolina: Ethnic Transformation and Identity Retention in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries”
    • Dr. Arwin D. Smallwood (North Carolina A&T University): “One of America’s First Mixed Race Peoples: A Study of the Tuscarora and the Indian Woods, Reservation Established in Bertie County, North Carolina in 1717.”
    • Marvin T. Jones (Chowan Discovery Group): “A Mixed Race Family at War – The Robbins Family.” We are still in the time of the 150th anniversary observances of the Civil War. This story is about one Mixed Race Family and its role in the War and beyond.

For last minute information call 202.236.2030.

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The Robbins Family at War with Marvin Jones

Posted in Audio, History, Interviews, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2014-04-04 00:14Z by Steven

The Robbins Family at War with Marvin Jones

Research at the National Archives and Beyond
BlogTalk Radio
Thursday, 2014-04-03, 21:00 EDT, (Friday, 2014-04-04, 01:00Z)

Bernice Bennett, Host

Marvin T. Jones, Executive Director
Chowan Discovery Group

“The Robbins Family at War” – it is about a Native American family who lived through colonial wars of the 17th and 18th centuries, and finally emerged victorious in the Civil War as a part of the mixed-race community. Five members served in the U.S. Colored Troops. Three fought from Suffolk, Virginia to Richmond and helped enforce Juneteenth. Two served in Florida and South Carolina. After the war, they served in North Carolina legislature, invented and founded schools and churches.

Marvin T. Jones is the executive director of the Chowan Discovery Group, whose mission is to research, document, preserve and present the history of the mixed-race land-owning people of the Hertford County area in northeast North Carolina. The CDG has produced many articles, lectures, historical markers, a stage production and several video documentaries. Marvin lives in Washington, D.C. and is a native of Cofield, North Carolina.

For more information, click here.

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A Roanoke Island Colony Remembered

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2014-03-01 13:44Z by Steven

A Roanoke Island Colony Remembered

Chowan Discovery Group
2014-02-25

Marvin T. Jones, Executive Director

The Winton Triangle has ties to the subject of the latest Chowan Discovery-nominated marker, that of the Roanoke Island Freedmen’s Colony. During the Civil War when the colony existed, several Winton Triangle men enlisted in the United States Colored Troops in 1864. In 1865, William David Newsom, a post-war leader in the Winton Triangle, taught there. In 1866, another Triangle leader, Lemuel Washington Boon, led the founding of the Roanoke Missionary Baptist Association there.

Read the entire article here.

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Even though they lived under Jim Crow, they thrived: A Community of Free People—The Winton Triangle

Posted in History, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2014-01-29 16:44Z by Steven

Even though they lived under Jim Crow, they thrived: A Community of Free People—The Winton Triangle

Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
1901 Fort Place, Southeast
Washington, D.C., 20020
202-633-4820
Saturday, 2014-02-01, 14:00-16:00 EST (Local Time)

Marvin T. Jones, Executive Director
Chowan Discovery Group

For over 260 years, the Winton Triangle’s mixed-race landowning community successfully navigated slavery, discrimination laws, the backlash from the Nat Turner Rebellion, the Civil War and Jim Crow. Winton Triangle native Marvin T. Jones explains in words, images and documents a very different history of the rural South.

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Fathers, Farmers, Fighters Leaders: The Robbins Family at War (Civil War Roundtable of the Rock Creek Nature Center)

Posted in History, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2014-01-01 02:36Z by Steven

Fathers, Farmers, Fighters Leaders: The Robbins Family at War (Civil War Roundtable of the Rock Creek Nature Center)

U.S. Park Service
Rock Creek Nature Center
5200 Glover Road, NW
Washington, D.C.
2014-01-04, 09:30 EST (Local Time)

Marvin Jones, Executive Director
Chowan Discovery Group

The Robbinses lived across racial lines and along the borders of slavery. What did six members of this free mixed-race family do when the Civil War came their way? And what was their fate? I get to present their remarkable story, bolstered by research from the National Archives.

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