Tuesday, September 25, 2007
So, after reading the last blog, tell me, where did all the Indians go? Were they indeed wiped off the face of the earth by the White guy? Did the White guy kick ass and ride on?
You really have to take a hard look at the color line within the entire United States, not just Louisiana. Louisiana, Mississippi and in general the entire South was just the fall guy in all this Black and White crap.
It broke down this way, if you were educated, had money, power and were light skinned, you could be White even if you were not White. But the latter was a given in most societies. If you were dark skinned and did not have African features, sans money, power etc. you were likely placed in the "Free People of Color" category -- "the I don't really know category, but we're being politically correct category." Most civilized and assimilated Indians were placed in this category, but -- there were others!
Ever notice how the "Other" is used even today when you just can't make a decision and need to move on?
So, if we look at the record (what, thought I was going to do all your research?) we can easily see Black and White, and if you look further, you'll see "Free People of Color," now there where three, but where are all the Indians? Not to change the subject, but back in the late 1900's, the King and Queen of Spain visited San Antonio and were a guest of then Mayor Henry Cisneros. They asked the same question, "where are all the Indians?" With a sweep of his hand, Henry responded, "why they are all around us." Were Indians included in "Free People of Color." What do you do with an Indian in bib coverall's, put a watermelon under his arm and call him Black? Outlaw bib overalls for "Free People of Color?" Strange that the words Slaves, Blacks and Negro is often used, but the African word in these old records seldom was.
So this Indian problem has been going on in some peoples minds right into the 20 Th century and beyond. Where......did all ....... the Indians go?
But wait, what about the others? Were Creoles and Cajuns Black.....or White,.......or just not mentioned, or -- "Free People of Color?" You see, there were not too many choices.
I can hear the curses from the past wafering on the breeze from the dank dark swamps; "Dammit, I told you I was from Turkey!" So where did the Turks, near East -- far East Indians, Moors, Portuguese, Brazilian Indians, Chinese and Afghan's go? "Dammit, I said Moor, not more!" And, the list goes on; it would be silly to list them all here, and besides, we don't have the space.
But, aside from LV Hayes, in his racist posts, he lives in Disney Land with his jar of Metamucil, the world has never just been Black and White and Moors lived other places besides Delaware.
At this point, I will speak to the so called clannish Redbone People? Clannish? Well, who wouldn't be clannish when they wouldn't call it like it was. Granted, as I said before, Redbones, when it came to national origin, and I bet there were some Aggies in there, were as diverse as they come -- like the strips on a Zebra -- they were "Free People of Color."
"So why wouldn't people of like color seek their own?" That was a question which Jim Serra of KPLC-TV posed even though he knew the answer, and it is a good question. Why did the Italians of St. Louis claim "the hill" (known Italian area of St Louis). They obviously wanted to be among like people and people of their social economic status (SES).
Gary J. Gabehart, Mishiho (Mish-eh-ho)
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
If you think that Louisiana was without a doubt Black and White, you're missing everything in between and may be taking a racist attitude without realizing it. What I mean is this, if Black and White is all you see, then you are likely jumping to a final conclusion of African and White without accounting for the many other nationalities in Louisiana or anywhere else.
It's just as bad to skip off down the Turkish hallway as it would be to focus on an African relation when it comes to genealogy. So you can't jump to conclusions.
If you are basing your African conclusion on the fact that your relative was a slave, guess again, slaves came in all nationalities and the fact was, many Indian slaves were used in place of Africans -- so much so, that at one point, Indian slaves out numbered Africans.
Now we haven't even scratched the surface if you are including indentured servants in your Black assumptions, as -- indentured servants came from all over. It was only a media presentation that these folks were all Black. Anyone could sign on for something in return -- it was a contract. Some signed on for the trip to the Americas and a place to live and new cloths, some even received a parcel of land or maybe a horse and freeman papers when their service expired.
Perhaps this quote from Steven Pony Hill's "Patriot Chiefs and Loyal Braves" will add to what I am saying.
"As has been discussed by many scholars, the ‘Indian’ stereotype was already prevalent among eastern whites as early as the 1850’s. The typical understanding among southern whites was that all Indians had long hair, did not speak English, and, most importantly, all lived out west. Eastern Indian descendants were known to have varying hair colors and textures, varying eye colors, and a wide range of skin complexions, even as early as the 1700’s, most probably due to intermarriage with early Spanish, French, and English traders. Most officials were at a loss when trying to categorize these people into a social structure that allowed for only two races, black and white."
So how do we account for Eastern Indians? What about the so called Five Civilized Tribes?" What about the hundreds of lesser known "Civilized Tribes?" What about the Saponi, Nasamond, Powhatan Confederacy Tribes, and the list goes on.
When it comes to the word Mulatto, bear in mind that the Spanish influence in this country considered it a mix of anything including French and Indian. The French felt the same way and the Virginia Government defined, in 1705, that the definition of Mulatto would include the offspring of an Indian and included the offspring of a Negro as Mulatto.
Down through the years, after the 1900's, the word mulatto began to socially mean the offspring of a White and a Black, a Black and an Indian or any other color combination. Still, it was never a legal thing in that sense, it was more how you were perceived in the local society and what culture you practiced.
If you were a person of color and hung out with Africans, you likely picked up those cultural traits, but -- if you hung out with other groups, you likely picked up those cultural traits as well. So Mulatto, as well as, Free People of Color, Melungeon and Redbone could also be an association thing by hanging out together or by marriage.
So being called a Mulatto depended on the place, time and language. Even then, Mulatto might not have meant what you thought it was. After all, the word did not mean you were automatically colored Green with a wart on the end of your nose.
DNA testing can give up some answers, but if the question is in your mothers family line, you won't answer the question by following your Father's line.
Gary J. Gabehart, Mishiho (Mish-eh-ho)
Sunday, September 16, 2007
By Gary J. Gabehart
Check out KPLC-TV (Lake Charles, Louisiana) blog page by Jim Serra, Vice President and General Manager, on Don Marler and The Redbones of Louisiana. Yep, we run with the Big Dogs -- rest of you get back on the porch.
Jim Serra is the Vice President and General Manager for KPLC-TV, the NBC affiliate serving Lake Charles and Lafayette, Louisiana. Jim Serra, even if I am accused of being somewhat biased, is far from an ordinary blog writer. I think you will agree when you read his very fine commentary. It flows gently from the fragrance of a small glass of Syrah into a torrent of cascading white water twisting and turning over the jagged rocks as it tumbles through the canyons leaving the reader breathless and gasping for more, or -- was it hurry up and get to the point! "Kick your ass huh? Paybacks are hell!"
But we have seemed to become close friends at a speed of at least warp factor five and with so much in common, I hesitate to enumerate them all, you just would not believe it.
Did you know Jim is an Aviator -- my kind of bud.
Jim tells a compelling story of his journey into the world of the Redbone, sprinkled with great graphics, photographs of local Redbone folk, and a very fine presentation of the author Don Marler and his book Redbones of Louisiana.
Friday, September 7, 2007
By Gary J. Gabehart
Some People's Kids?
Latest discussion on the RanD site concerns something I said on the Redbone site (Blog #47), about the Drakes concerning a 1705 Virginia law or ruling on the definition of the term Mulatto (according to a 1705 Virginia Law). Remember to dot all "i" and cross every "T," or she will attempt to spin something.
Now it seems pretty clear to me, and others, what the law states. But to "one" individual it just can't be so, even -- when supplied with overwhelming data, laws and references, and -- don't forget the important time of the RanD group. Of course, you can be charitable and write it off to good will or some such. Some People's kids, jeez.
But, let's do this, go to Blog #47 and read it over -- make notes and then tippy toe back over to Blog #48 and we will continue. Seen enough?
Let me first explain that the thrust of the article was two-fold in concept, but I guess you could read more into it. First, I thought it might be helpful to get some stuff on the record about the John Aaron Drake, Sr. family, as well as, the John Aaron Drake, Jr. family and some of their children. Note, that in Blog # 47 I even stated that all this stuff was under construction, and if you didn't like it, "let's talk."
Secondly, I was attempting to explain my concept of the color line and how really complex it was with "People of Color," in this country in the 1700's and 1800's, and perhaps even today. It was not a Black, White issue -- it never was! Even Indians were monkeyed around with when it came to the terms FPC and Mulatto.
What was offensive to this person was the term "Mulatto," and perhaps as it was applied to John Aaron Drake, Jr. -- the latter was never clear to me. But, his marriage bond was clear, it stated he was a Mulatto. What could be clearer than that?
Now John Aaron Drake, Sr., and his wife Elizabeth Charity Smith Chrieves (Chavis or Chevis)(better get it all on here so I don't get jumped on again) were born about 1750 -- both in Elizabeth, Virginia.
John Aaron Drake, Jr. was born about 1776 in the Carolina's. It was here, that he was known as a Mulatto, the offspring of an Indian. The family was Catholic or they could have been converted Anglicans, hard to know. We do know that the family attended St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church in Louisiana and their children were baptised there.
Since John Aaron Drake, Jr. was known as a Mulatto, he could not be married in the Catholic Church, to Rosalie Abshire, without the Church investigating his background -- it was Louisiana Law -- Negro's, Blacks could not marry a White. But, the offspring of an Indian or Indian Mulatto could.
So, the way it would break down would be White only were married in the Church. Indian/Black could not be, Black/White could not. White/Indian or Indian Mulatto could be. I expect that other cases were FPC and White "but a Church investigation had to be performed," and I expect there were many. As I said in Blog # 47, it's a complicated situation, but the one thing that "did not happen," by law, any where in Louisiana, was to officially allow a White/Black marriage.
Now, either Barbara Ellison is blind or she sees what she wants to see.
Here is the actual statue and citation from Virginia law:
ACTS OF ASSEMBLY -- OCT. 1705 (Acts IV-XI) page 252
"And for clearing all manner of doubts which hereafter may happen to arise upon the construction of this act, or any other act, who shall be accounted a mulatto,
Be it enacted and declared, and it is hereby enacted and declared, That the child of >an Indian< and the child, grand child, or great grand child, >of a negro< shall be deemed, accounted, held and taken to be a mulatto."
Now you read the actual language -- child of >an Indian< ("and" the connector) and the child, grand child, or great grand child, >of a Negro<. Can you see the word White in that? Can you see the words "Offspring of an Indian and a Negro" in there? The law is written so the "Indian" could be Male or Female. Certainly another twist.
The problem with Barbara Ellison is she includes or excludes the term White -- hard to tell what she is doing, and -- she connects Negro with Indian.
Now this is what Barbara Ellison wrote:
The *new* law was to ***include*** offspring of an Indian and a Negro, an Indian and the child of a Negro, an Indian and the grandchild of a Negro, and an Indian and the great grandchild of a Negro. Is she rewritting the law? If she keeps putting it in print, some folks will begin to believe it.
Now is that what the law stated or is this what Barbara Ellison is trying to palm off on you? She does not even understand what she is writing. She is the corrupter of fact!
Pony hill writes: I could refer you to about 50 census pages from 1850 of Indian reservation areas here in the southeast where it lists the Indian people there as "Mulatto"...even the ones who had very famous Indian-White ancestors (absolutely no African ancestors at all)!!!
Or how about in the historic compilation "Woodward's Reminences" written in the 1830's by a military officer who took part in the Creek and Seminole Wars....Woodward made reference to Jack McGee (if I remember the name right)..as "McGee that old Mulatto" and then goes on to talk about McGee's Indian mother and white Polish trader father.
Another private email gave me this link.
Barbara Ellison admitted in one of her emails:
In a message dated 9/7/2007 9:39:18 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, Falaya200@XXXXXX.XXXX.com writes:
As for our particular family, I can only go on circumstantial evidence and intuition that our Goins and Drakes do have African ancestry..everything I have seen thus far points heavily to that...(Not to mention my obviously African heritaged living Goins relatives) I DO care about the racial make-up of the family partly BECAUSE other people seem to want to negate part of the family...They want to double-talk any African ancestry into oblivion, and I SEE that...and it does bug me as well....
So now you can see what kind of researcher she is, "circumstantial?"
"Intuition?" "Shall we play let's suppose or make believe?"
The problem with this kind of research is that it leads the unwary down false genealogy paths. It takes time to research the phony stuff and separate it from the real deal.
Hopefully we have opened some eyes to the other people, the ones who did not exist, the "Free People of Color," the "Hombre Mulatto Libre de Carolinas," my fourth Great Grandfather.
I told her I was offended by her personal attacks. If you think I'm too hard on her, wake up and ask yourself if you want someone misrepresenting your family?
Ask her to put her pedigree in print.
Jeez, some people's kid's! There is more to come to clear the air!
Gary J. Gabehart, Mishiho (Mish-eh-ho)