A DESCENDANT OF MISSING COLONY
 
Secret of the Croatan Tribe-- The Famous
Roanoke Settlers Were Not Massacred,
But affiliated With a Friendly and Powerful
Nation of Indians
 
St. Louis Dispatch
 
Former United States Senator Hiram R. Revels, of Mississippi, has always been classed as a negro.  He was a tall, well-built man, with the chocolate skin and curly hair of the African and the devout bearing of his profession the ministerial.  He served during the reconstruction period, never being known as prominent, but always as a representative colored man.  Rebels was not a negro.  Dr. C. A. Peterson of St. Louis, (See Bill Arp's Letter for more on Dr. Peterson)  who had made a study of the lost Roanoke (Va.) colony says that Revels is a descendant of that mystery-shrouded band that Sir Walter Raleigh sent to Roanoke Island in 1587.
 
..... Now for the facts which the historians have generally so singularly overlooked. In 1710 when the Huguenots and Cavaliers started to penetrate the interior of North Carolina, they found some seventy-vive miles from the coast in what is now Robeson,  N.C.,  a colony of English speaking people,  many of whom had blue eyes and light hair.  They inquired where they came from and they replied.  "From Croatan' How does it come that your speak English!' 'Our fathers were English'
 
"They wrote one letter about their discovery, a letter by the way, is in the archives of the board of trade of London.
 
It is evident that a number of the Huguenots remained in a colony and intermarried, as there are a great many names of undoubted French origin to be found among the Croatan names of the present day.
 
"these people have always been called Croatans.  There are some 4,000 of them living in robeson county, N. C. at the present time, but they have scattered all over the South and West.  I have found Croatan names among all the civilized tribes living in the Indian Territory.
 
"The Croatans have distinct racial characteristics. They are as black as Portuguese and are different in appearance from either Indians, negroes or Caucasians.  In some instances there has evidently been a mixture with negro blood, and on this account when in 1833 North Carolina and Tennessee disfranchised the negroes, they included the Croatans.
 
When the war broke out the Croatans were between two fires.  Those who did not enlist in the Southern army were liable to be impressed as negroes for work on fortifications, etc.  From this custom came the cause of the depredations of the Lowry gang which for years spread terror in North Carolina.
 
"Old man Lowry resisted impressment, declaring that there was nothing but English and Indian blood in his veins and that he was as much an American freeman, and had as good blood in him as the Harrisons, the Randolphs, or any of the descendants of the proudest colonial families.  For this stubborn stand he was shot dead.
 
"When his son, Henry Berry Lowry reached his manhood he took his gun, organized a band of sympathizers and started out on a mission of extermination.  every man suspected of having had any connection with his father's death was waylaid and killed.  the gang was finally broke up, but not until it had collect bloody interest on old many Lowry's death.
 
"The most eminent of the Croatans was United States senator Revels, who was elected from Mississippi during the reconstruction days.  he was classed as a negro, but he was in reality a Croatan, one of those with a Huguenot name and ancestry.
 
"The family names of the Croatans are the same as those of the settlers on Roanoke Island.  They were men from Devonshiren England and furthermore even the broad Devonshire pronunciation is found in certain words as used by the Croatans of today.
 
"A hundred years ago a colony of Croatans settled in eastern Tennessee, on Newman's Ridge, in Hancock county.  They can't tell today where they came from, for tradition over 50 years isn't worth anything.  These are the people called Melungeons.  They are similar in racial characteristics to the Croatans, and Dr. Swan M. Burnett, a distinguished scholar and scientitst - the husband, by the way, of Mrs. Francis Hodgson Burnett, the novelist - has traced by family names the connection between the Melungeons and the Croatans.
 
The name Melungeons is accounted for in this wise;  when the new settlers appeared among the mountaineers their unusual looks prompted inquiries as to what they were.  The answer was 'Melange" -- or a mixture -- and the mountaineers at once dubbed them Melungeons."


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