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blonde, blue eyed lenape indians

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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:34 pm    Post subject: blonde, blue eyed lenape indians Reply with quote

I have heard several accounts of blonde haired, blue eyed, native americans. However, I can't seem to find any actual documentation on this subject. It would greatly help my persona and add a controversial argument, since we all know the french and english were very lonely, and not very picky in america
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Jim Cunningham

Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like your referring to the "Jackson Whites" These people live in the Ramapo mountains of lower New York and are alleged to be the offspring of Indians, Hessian deserters and black prostitutes.

The legend asserts that Jackson was a sutler to The British army during the revolution, and supplied the troops with all the comforts of home including horizontal recreation. Unfortunately a shipment of girls is diverted to the West Indies by storms, and many of them take fever and die. Not to be deprived of an opprtunity, Jackson purchases a cargo of female black slaves and transports them to New York.

Unhappily for Jackson the British soldiers won't patronize the black girls, but Jackson is able to maintain his trade by the patronage of the Hessians. The British derisively refer to the girls as Jackson Whites.

The Hessians and their black consorts desert the army, and find safe haven in the no mans land of the Ramapo Mountains between the British and American lines. They are resented and feared by those living around them but are largely left alone for 2 centuries.

The story would however seem to be as false as it is interesting. The surnames of the "Jackson Whites" or "People of the Ramapo" would suggest a Dutch rather than German parentage. New York was settled by the Dutch and not all of them prospered. It seems more likely that the people of the Ramapo are a mixture of Dutch, black and Indian heritage. An 18th century term for an escaped slave was a Jack. The original epithet was likely "Jacks and Whites" and over time it came to be pronounced Jackson Whites, and a legend was invented to explain the name.
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Dave Muns

Joined: 16 May 2007
Posts: 116
Location: Michigan
Real Name: David Muns

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My history may be a little fuzzy on this one but didn't Lewis and Clark run accross some as described amongst the Mandans??
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was thought that the Mandans, being lighter skinned, might be descendants of Prince Modoc, who was Welsh, and reputed to have traveled to the New World before Columbas. This was a contemporary legend, similar to the lost two tribes of Israel, that didnt hold water. No blonde blue-eyed Mandans tho.
It is interesting to note that discussions Jefferson and Lewis had prior to the expedition were grossly inaccurate and totally false as regards both geography and the native peoples. The French had knowledge, and, in the far north, the british, but the americans were quite ignorant of things west of the missisip.
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Rod L

Joined: 16 May 2007
Posts: 226
Location: the Forks of the Yellowstone and Missouri
Real Name: Rod Lassey

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many fur traders remarked on the generally lighter skin and, more particularly, the hair of the Mandan. For some reason, perhaps a genetic anomoly, many Mandans had grey hair, even at a very young age. One of the Spanish expeditions, if I remember correctly led by gent named Evans, was to determine if the Mandans were Welsh. Obviously, he was disappointed. As far as tales of white Mandans go, it should be remebered that they had contact with Euro explorers since the time of LaVerendrye [sp.?], in 1738. Lots of time for mixed blood children by the time of L&C.

...yet in a Short time they become disgusted with our manner of life...and take the first good Opportunity of escaping again into the woods, when there is no reclaiming them.
B. Franklin, 1753
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Jim Cunningham

Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, here's another "report" of Euro-Indians. The most interesting aspect of this is that it concerns the first English attempt at colonization, the failed Roanoke Colony.

In 1587 the English brought over 100 settlers to the site of a Fort they had built some years previously "garrisoned" by 15 men. The settlers immediately learned that those 15 men had been killed by the natives, and wanted to call it quits. It was decided to leave them anyway, while their leader went back to England to gather additional supplies and settlers. They had arrived too late in the season to plant crops, their supplies were limited, and it was thought their only chance was re-supply.

To make a long story short when the ship returns to England, the English are bracing for the Spanish Armada, and no ships are allowed to leave
until the danger is past. Oddly enough, the Spanish had caught news of an English colony, and sent a ship to evict the colonists. The Spanish arrive in 1588 to find an abandoned fort. Thinking the Indians have solved the problem, the Spanish put to sea.

The English themselves don't make it back to Roanoke until 1590, by which time they find only some rotten palisades and the single word Croatoan carved on a tree. The English put to see almost as quickly as the Spanish did, and that is the end of the story and the start of the mystery.

17 years later, the English give colonization another shot, and the Jamestown colonists are curious about what became of the missing settlers of Roanoke. According to Powhatan the Roanoke colonists had gone off to live with some friendly Chesapeake tribes, but trouble broke out shortly thereafter and the colonists were killed in tribal warfare. Captain John Smith thought it was a plausible answer, and that was that.

In 1709 an English explorer claimed to have encountered some Indians at Cape Hatteras that could read and had gray eyes. He thought this was a singular distinction, and construed it to mean that they were the descendents of the lost colonists.

Finally sometime after the Civil War a historian called McMillian claimed to have met Indians with fair hair, skin and eyes that somehow retained Elizabethan speech while otherwise going native, and managing to avoid discovery by several generations of later settlers who would have been delighted to encounter the descendents of the missing colonists.

I think it is all folklore, borne of cultural embarrassment. White Americans were disappointed that the native cultures they replaced didn't have a glorious past. There weren't any Aztecs, Incas or Mayans in North America. As far as the settlers could tell, the natives had no history worth remembering, so the settlers invented one for them... out of their own past failure. The hardy settlers were too brave simply to have perished of something as unheroic as famine,disease or massacre but somehow survived and went native. They lost every aspect of their cultural identity (except pure English speech remarkably) and the light skin and fair eyes of their ancestors.

I'm sure their were mixed race people amongst the natives, but their origins were no more mysterious than can be explained by the basic human urge to join at the waist irrespective of racial or cultural differences.
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Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 287
Location: Grand Portage, Minnesota
Real Name: Karl Koster

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:14 am    Post subject: McKay 1780s Reply with quote

John McKay's Journal describes some Native woman in the Rainy Lake area (Minnesota/Canada border) as white as any of the women back in Canada... or be it Montreal, Detroit, Michilmackinac etc..
This was in the 1780s...
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Pete McKee

Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:54 pm    Post subject: RE: White Indians Reply with quote

An account from 1607 Virginia. Not Lenape, and no mention of eye color.

From; Observations gathered out of a discourse of the Plantation of the southern colony in Virginia by the English, 1606. Written by that honorable gentleman, Master George Percy.

At Port Cottage, (called Poor Cottage in Gabrial Archers accounts.) in our voyage up the river, we saw a savage boy about the age of ten years which had a head of hair of a perfect yellow and a reasonable white skin, which is a miracle amongst all savages.

note: The Jamestown colonists set sail in December of 1606, but were becalmed and didn't arrive in Virginia until April of 1607.

Percy's Discourse is a day by day account of the early days of the colony. This excerpt is from May, 1607.

Poor Cottage was on a bend in the James River near where the Citie of Henricus would be built in 1611. That makes it a toss up whether it was in the jurisdiction of the Arrohatec or the Appamatucks.

The English did not follow up on this discovery. The Roanoke mystery was already nearly 20 years old and perhaps more important to us than to the folks on the ground at the time.

Take care,
Pete McKee
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