"The poor negroes was the most notable feature of this
great capture. They comprised every conceivable class of the
race, and as the vast throng crowded to the office of Provost Marshall
Hawes yesterday afternoon, marching in open and rather promiscous
order, they occupied nearly the whole of Bank Street. We notice among
them the old and the young; the robust and the infirm; the quick footed
and the halt; the bright mulatto clad in tawdry finery, and the
ebo-shin and the "molungeon," dressed in homespun"
----- (The quotes are in
the original clipping and are not mine jp)
The question is how did this man
writing in the South Carolina paper determine they were ''molungeons''
caputured that day -- and how did he determine the difference between
the ''molungeon'' and the bright mulatto? Was it the difference
their clothing -- skin color -- facial features or what? Were
Virginia Molungeons different from the Tennessee Melungeons? Or
Perhaps as more articles, clippings, etc., find their way online it may
shed more light, as this newly found article published in The
American Journal of Philology, Vol. 32, No. 2 (1911), pp. 210-215
by The Johns Hopkins University Press and written
Gildersleeve has at least provided some possibilities.
Some information on Gildersleeve;
Born (October 23, 1831 – January 9, 1924),
American classical scholar, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, son
of Benjamin Gildersleeve (1791–1875), a
Presbyterian evangelist, and
editor of the Charleston Christian
Observer from 1826 to 1845, of the Richmond (VA) Watchman and Observer from 1845 to 1856, and of The Central Presbyterian from 1856 to 1860.
December 11, 1875, Daniel Coit Gilman, president
of the newly-founded Johns Hopkins University, approached Gildersleeve
with the offer of teaching Classics there, and he gladly accepted.
In 1880, the American Journal of Philology,
a quarterly published by the Johns Hopkins University, was established
under his editorial charge
He was elected president of the American
Philological Association in 1877 and again in 1908 and became a member
of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
as well as of various learned societies. He received the degree of
LL.D. from William and Mary (1869),
Harvard (1896), Yale (1901), Chicago Pennsylvania (1911); D.C.L. from
the University of the South (1884);
L.H.D. from Yale (1891) and Princeton (1899); Litt.D. from Oxford and
"In the Preface to his Choephori Mr. Verrall mentions his debt to
Professor Ridgeway for the hint out of which has been developed the
essay on the scene of the Recognition; "important" he adds modestly,
'if anything in this volume is such." The hint is the racial
peculiarity of the Pelopid hair and foot, a racial peculiarity that
effetively disposes of the cheap hint that Mr. Tucker has also taken in
his edition of the play, though, as Mr. Ridgeway complains, without
acknowledgement of the source. The explanation, as stated by Mr.
Verrall, had a certain fascination for me, having lived all my life in
constant presence of an alien race
in which hair and foot are makred peculiarities, so that I was prepared
to accept entuhisastically Mr. Verrall's statement that Orestes and
Electra were octoroons. 'Ebo-shin' and 'gizzard-foot' were
words in the mouth of that typical Virginian, Henry A . Wise, who was a
close observer of racial
peculiarities and taught the youths of my generation to distinguish
between the 'mulatto' and the 'molungeon'........................."
Who Are These Molungeons of Virginia
--- The platform of Feb 1856 which
expunged and ignored the 12th section and in a letter which goes
expressly for restoring the Missouri Compromise. The Mulungeons of Richmond
endorsed the 'late convention' at Philadelphia too; but will any
southern man-- a Stuart or an Imobdin even -- endorse this letter for
the restoration of the Missouri Compromise.''
SOURCE From the Richmond Whig.
Letter from Hon. John M. Botts Date: March 26, 1859 Location: Maryland Paper: Easton Gazette Article type: Letters
......when the Sheriff came
to count up the votes at the close of the polls, they counted but five
-- and if I had received the
vote of one ''Molungeon,'' and he had been authorized by the
Constitution to vote, and had 'had' a majority of only one--- it would
have been difficult to tell, whether I was most indebted for my
election to the "Molungeon" or to the Chief Justice of the U.S.; and if
my competitor had received six "Molungeon" votes, or the votes of six
worthless and degraded locofocos (supposing they could be any such)
they would have more than balanced these five of the first men of the
State could boast........... THE ORATORICAL OGRES AT WORK GOGGIN SWALLOWED WHOLE
Date: March 28, 1859 Location: Alabama Paper:
electors, fifty senatorial electors, and three hundred and sixty county
electors have been notified to hold themselves in readiness to repel
the Dragoon of Rockbridge. Botts too, will dash to the rescue at the
head of a noble band of
"Molungeons and Eboshins" as soon as the weather becomes
sufficiently warm to render his odoriferous forces efficient. The Slave Power; its
Character, Career, and Probable Designs. By JE...
Continental monthly: devoted
to... - Cornell University - Jan 1,
"Whether their own children
were sold may be imagined from an anecdote long current in Virginia,
relative to ex-Governor Wise, who, in a certain law case where he was
opposed by a Northern trader, decided of a certain slave, that the
chattel, being a mulatto, was of more value than 'a molungeon.' And what, in the name of God, is a
molungeon?' inquired the astonished 'Northern man." 'A mulatto'
replied Wise, ' is the child of a female house-servant by 'young
master' --a molungeon is the offspring of a field hand by a Yankee
Mr. Cairnes has, no doubt,
not often heard of mulattoes--they constitute the great majority of
Virginia slaves. But did he ever hear of a 'molungeons'?
It soon became noised
that these men were to be shot as bushwhackers General Forest informed
General Rousseau, by flag of truce, that those men were his regular
soldiers, and that if he shot them it would be at his peril.
The names of his
soldiers were sent in, but the scout and Bose Rouss (some called him
Malungeon), who had killed a Federal detective, were not
mentioned in the list.
-Thursday 2d July 1863 --Bluegrass Confederate: The
Headquarters Diary of Edward O. Guerrant By Edward O. Guerrant
Came on to Mr Hortons for
dinner—found him in a tornado furiosus-against Virginians, who fed his
grass &c. and in ecstatic panegyrics of all Kentuckians—”all of
whom were “interesting” gentlemen”—& no “malungens”. ... (1/2 b & 1/2 w) [2 ]
From Our Own Correspondent
Fredericksburg, January 10, 1864 "the "Government organ,"
however, announces that the observed of all observers were four
negroes, "of genteel exteriour, and with the manners "of gentlemen, who
joined in the throng that 'crowded the Executive Mansion, and were
coridaly received by the President of the Untied State,'' The Molungeon Chronicle
adds; -- We are not aware that anybody was hurt on the occasion, and we
rejoice that we have a President who is a democrat in fact, as well as
Herald [New York]
March 29, 1864
Whig" makes the following comments on the last call for men.
It is certain,
therefore, that the "rebels" will now back down. Twenty millions
of mongrels have undertaken to whip them. The Yankees soon got
sick of the fight, and levied on the Dutch and Irish. The resident
Irish and Dutch began to flag and 75,000 Paddies were recruited in
Ireland, with the approval and assistance of Earl Russel. Then
100,000 n****** were enlisted. And now 200,000 n******, Yankees,
and other molungeons, half breeds, mestizoes, and Yaboes [Yaboes—a
Davis coinage for the 70,000 Yank hoboes in the armed services] are to
be drafted. What wonder that the "rebels" are completely broken
hearted? Who blames the European by-standers for advising the
"rebels" to give the cause up?
we are free to say that we are for peace. We want peace. We will
have it. We must have it, on any terms? Yes, on any terms
-- which General Lee, standing in Faneuil HHall, may choose to dictate
to the base born wretches who have sought to enslave us. The game
is a very pretty one as it stands. Our enemies must be conquered
by us, or conquered by Lincoln. They must make terms with gentlemen or
they must make terms with a blackguard and a baboon. Take your
choice, O Yankees.
Summary: Declared that all eligible voters have the duty to vote on
election day to ensure the defeat of certain sections of the Underwood
constitution and to elect Walker as Governor. Wanted to ensure at least
some form of control for white Virginians in the state.
Full Text of Article:
election which will take place on the 6th day of July next, by
appointment of the President, will decide whether the people of this
State are to be cursed with the Underwood abomination, called a
Constitution, as it came from the hands of the Molungeon Convention,
or whether it will be modified by having the test-oath and
disfranchising clauses stricken out -- whether Walker or Wells will be
our Governor, and whether proper men will be elected to represent the
State in the Legislature.