The French on the Mississippi

Arms of Bourbon France, above the main entrance to Fort de Chartres, Randolph County, Illinois.

The City of St. Louis, founded on the west bank of the Mississippi River just south of its confluence with the Missouri River, and named for the thirteenth-century French King Louis IX, is probably the most prominent French-derived place-name in the American Midwest. But the city was only founded in 1764, i.e. right after France ceded the rights to almost all its North American territories either to Britain (east of the Mississippi) or Spain (west of the Mississippi). So St. Louis may have been founded by French people (the entrepreneurs Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxent, Pierre Laclède, and Auguste Chouteau, to be exact, who would rather have lived under the Spanish than the British), and was predominantly French in culture, but it was only ruled by France for the two years between France’s reacquisition of the Louisiana Territory in 1801 and the Louisiana Purchase by the United States in 1803. 

For earlier French-sponsored settlement along the Mississippi, one must travel south from St. Louis, where one finds evidence of it on both sides of the river. We were pleased to be able to visit some of these sites this past weekend. 

Google maps.

1. The blue star on the map marks the location of Fort de Chartres, in Randolph County, Illinois. The fort was founded in 1719 as an administrative center for Illinois and named after the duc de Chartres, son of the Regent of France at the time (Louis XV had succeeded to the French throne at age five in 1715). Illinois itself had recently been transferred from Canada to Louisiana, and hopes were high for the territory: not only could its wildlife be hunted for furs, but its alluvial plain could also serve as a breadbasket for New Orleans. Under the direction of the financier John Law, the territory became the object of a great deal of economic speculation; this “Mississippi Bubble” burst in 1721, thenceforth to become one of the case studies in Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841). But the territory survived as a French possession, and so did the fort. In fact, it was rebuilt twice, the final time in limestone in the 1750s.

A reconstructed version of this fort is what visitors see today:

The onsite museum is pretty good, as are some of the recreated interiors:

The fort passed to the British in 1763, who renamed it Fort Cavendish; they abandoned it in 1772 when they recalled its troops to Philadelphia. The United States did not make use of the fort; an encroaching Mississippi took its toll on the wall facing the river, and subsequent locals treated the fort as a quarry. The site was acquired by the state of Illinois in 1913; significant parts were reconstructed by the WPA in the 1930s. 

2. The red star marks the location of Fort Kaskaskia, Illinois. Kaskaskia was originally a Jesuit mission founded in 1703. According to a sign, in the 1730s French officials hoped to replace Fort de Chartres with Fort Kaskaskia, but instead ended up rebuilding Fort de Chartres, leaving a mere “earthen fort” at Kaskaskia. 

In 1763, along with the rest of Illinois, the fort was transferred to the British, who made no use of it. However, a “local bandit” named John Dodge made it his headquarters in the 1780s, and the U.S. Army occupied it between 1803 and 1807. It was last used during the War of 1812 as a refuge for local residents.

Not much remains of it today, although you can make out its shape by the earthworks. 

3. The black star marks the present location of the town of Kaskaskia, Illinois. This site is currently on the west bank of the Mississippi, but it was not always, and the state boundaries do not shift with the river, thus the large blob of Illinois one sees to the west of Chester, Ill. Kaskaskia only had fourteen residents in 2010, but for a year following Illinois’s admission to the union in 1818 it actually served as the state capital. 

Kaskaskia is home to the so-called “Liberty Bell of the West,” which is housed in a purpose-built structure next door to the Church of the Immaculate Conception (where Mass was being celebrated when we visited; there were a lot more than fourteen people in attendance, so it is clear that the parish has a bigger catchment area than the town itself). 

If you press a button, the door swings open, but the metal bars remain in place, so this is the closest you can get to the bell.

It was cast in New Rochelle in 1741 and given by Louis XV to the church in New France. It was rung to celebrate the capture of Kaskaskia by a company of Virginians on July 4, 1778, and continued to be rung on that date for many years afterward. It is interesting how the French of the Mississippi valley were apparently pro-American during the Revolution, when the French of Quebec remained with the British. 

I was amused to discover that this bell, like the other Liberty Bell, has a crack in it. Did someone deliberately create this, I wonder? It is claimed that the floods of 1973 and 1993 exacerbated a hairline crack first noticed in 1948. 

4. The green star marks the location of Ste. Geneviève, Missouri. In contrast to Kaskaskia, Ste. Geneviève is a thriving tourist town. 

Statue of Sainte Geneviève, above the west portal of her namesake church in her namesake town.

It was founded in 1735 and has one of the best collections of French colonial architecture in the United States, including three “poteaux-en-terre” houses. 

Louis Bolduc House, 1780s.

Green Tree Tavern, 1790s.

Jean-Baptiste Valle House, 1790s.

In the 1930s, historian Charles Peterson proposed that Ste. Geneviève developed a distinctive architectural style that blended influences from French Canada (chiefly the internal structure) and from the West Indies (chiefly the galeries, i.e. the porches). 

The National Parks Service Welcome Center has a great museum that explains all of this in some detail. Definitely worth a visit if you’re ever passing through. 

Of course, once the Mississippi valley became American, Anglophone settlers came flooding in, and absorbed the Francophones like the Borg in Star Trek. Nonetheless, some customs remain: it seems that the Roman Catholic Church is thriving in these parts, and locals still participate in the New Year’s Guiannée ceremony. 

Some Historic Flags

A day out yesterday in Illinois and Missouri allowed us to see some interesting things, including some historic flags. As is my habit, I carefully collected them for display here!

At the Fort de Chartres museum, Randolph County, Illinois.

Prior to 1763, both sides of the Mississippi were claimed by France, which could be represented, believe it or not, by a plain white flag. White, symbolizing purity, was the color of the Bourbon dynasty; the white band in the French revolutionary tricolor derives from this flag. (No, I am not going to indulge in the cheap shot that a white flag is appropriate for a people who so readily surrender. The French have more than their share of military victories.) 

At the Kaskaskia Bell State Memorial, Kaskaskia, Ill.

Still, it’s probably better to deface the white flag with something else. Here, it’s been adorned with three gold fleur de lys, that preeminent symbol of the French monarchy. This flag was used, although it is not a good design, for in heraldry one is not supposed to put gold on white because the colors do not contrast enough.

At the Ste. Geneviève Welcome Center, Ste. Geneviève, Missouri.

This is the best option, in my opinion, when representing New France – a banner of the royal arms, i.e. Azure three fleur de lys Or. The gold fleur de lys contrast nicely with the blue background, and the flag itself contrasts with the sky. 

At the Ste. Geneviève Welcome Center, Ste. Geneviève, Missouri.

In 1763, the Louisiana Territory (west of the Mississippi) was acquired by Spain, and there are several options for a flag represent that colonial power. The one on display at the Ste. Geneviève Welcome Center is said, by Wikipedia, to be the Bourbonic ensign (1760–1785).

At the Fort de Chartres museum, Randolph County, Illinois.

At the Kaskaskia Bell State Memorial, Kaskaskia, Ill.

The territory east of the Mississippi became British in 1763, and so the Union Jack might have flown there. It’s good that the local museums actually remembered to use the pre-1801 version (i.e. without the red diagonals representing Ireland). I have seen other historic Union Jacks with thin crosses of St. Andrew like the one at the top.  

At the Fort de Chartres museum, Randolph County, Illinois.

Here is a flag I had never seen before, a series of thirteen horizontal red and green stripes. This is the George Rogers Clark flag. Clark was a Virginia officer who captured Kaskaskia in 1778 and Vincennes in 1779, as part of the Illinois campaign in the American Revolutionary War. 

At the Fort de Chartres museum, Randolph County, Illinois.

At the Kaskaskia Bell State Memorial, Kaskaskia, Ill.

At Fort Kaskaskia, Illinois.

Three versions of the earliest flag of the United States, with thirteen stars and thirteen stripes. Two of these flags arrange the stars in a circle (the “Betsy Ross flag”), the other does so in an array. Either one would have been acceptable. 

At Ste. Geneviève, Missouri.

I do not know who designed the flag of Ste-Geneviève, Missouri, or when. It’s not the best design. Once again we see gold on white – and writing on a flag should be avoided too (if for no other reason it’s backward half the time). But if they got rid of the writing, and substituted a dark-colored symbol for Ste. Geneviève in the place of the cross (making it more specific to the town), it would not be a bad flag. 

At Ste. Geneviève, Missouri.

This year marks the 200th since Missouri was admitted to the Union, as a result of the Missouri Compromise of 1820. You can see a bicentennial flag in celebration of this event flying here and there in the state. Again, there’s too much writing, and a map does not make for a good flag, but it’s not offensive as such. 

The Florida Panhandle

Enjoyed a weekend on the Florida Panhandle, with its fine white sand, Spanish moss, palm trees, marine wildlife… and fascinating history!

One interesting site is San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park in Wakulla County. The museum is great, although not much remains of the fort itself. San Marcos was built at the confluence of the Wakulla and St. Marks Rivers, about five miles inland from Apalachee Bay. The fort was held successively by four powers: Spain, Britain, the United States, and the Confederacy, thus the historic flags that greet you as you walk in (all of which were flying at half-pole for Memorial Day). But one flag not flying is that of the State of Muskogee, whose representatives briefly seized the fort in 1791. 

I had never heard of this effort but it is one of a number of short-lived, self-declared states in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century America, such as the Republic of West Florida, the Trans-Oconee Republic, or the Republic of Fredonia. The State of Muskogee was the project of one William Augustus Bowles (1763-1805), a former Loyalist who, with British backing, set himself up as “Director General of the Muskogee Nation” and fought against the Spanish. But he was captured and starved himself to death in Havana in 1805. 

Who doesn’t love a good lighthouse? The one at the top is St. Marks Light, located within the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge on Apalachee Bay, and it still functions. The one at the bottom is the Cape St. George Light, and it exists more as a statement of civic pride than anything. Originally situated at the western end of St. George Island, it was decommissioned in 1994 and toppled by erosion 2005. The locals then salvaged as much of it as possible and reconstructed it in 2008 so that it welcomes you to St. George Island as you drive in on the causeway. 

We had seen the Florida State Capitol before, but I was happy to get this photograph as we were driving through Tallahassee, showing both the Old Capitol (1845) in the foreground and the New Capitol (1977) in the background. 

The Public Universal Friend

Portrait of the Public Universal Friend (1821). Wikipedia.

A Wikipedia discovery (hat tip: Robert Black):

The Public Universal Friend (born Jemima Wilkinson; November 29, 1752 – July 1, 1819) was an American preacher born in Cumberland, Rhode Island, to Quaker parents. After suffering a severe illness in 1776, the Friend claimed to have died and been reanimated as a genderless evangelist named the Public Universal Friend, and afterward shunned both birth name and gendered pronouns. In androgynous clothes, the Friend preached throughout the northeastern United States, attracting many followers who became the Society of Universal Friends.

The Public Universal Friend’s theology was broadly similar to that of most Quakers. The Friend stressed free will, opposed slavery, and supported sexual abstinence. The most committed members of the Society of Universal Friends were a group of unmarried women who took leading roles in their households and community. In the 1790s, the Society acquired land in Western New York where they formed the township of Jerusalem near Penn Yan, New York. The Society of Universal Friends ceased to exist by the 1860s. Many writers have portrayed the Friend as a woman, and either a manipulative fraudster or a pioneer for women’s rights, while others have viewed the preacher as transgender or non-binary and a figure in trans history.

Read the rest of the article for more on this fascinating character. 

The Seal of the Public Universal Friend. Wikipedia.

The Dismal Swamp

From Smithsonian Magazine:

Deep in the Swamps, Archaeologists Are Finding How Fugitive Slaves Kept Their Freedom

The Great Dismal Swamp was once a thriving refuge for runaways

The worse it gets, as I wade and stumble through the Great Dismal Swamp, the better I understand its history as a place of refuge. Each ripping thorn and sucking mudhole makes it clearer. It was the dense, tangled hostility of the swamp and its enormous size that enabled hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of escaped slaves to live here in freedom.

We don’t know much about them, but thanks to the archaeologist hacking through the mire ahead of me, we know they were out here, subsisting in hidden communities, and using almost nothing from the outside world until the 19th century. The Dismal Swamp covered great tracts of southeast Virginia and northeast North Carolina, and its vegetation was far too thick for horses or canoes. In the early 1600s, Native Americans fleeing the colonial frontier took refuge here, and they were soon joined by fugitive slaves, and probably some whites escaping indentured servitude or hiding from the law. From about 1680 to the Civil War, it appears that the swamp communities were dominated by Africans and African-Americans.

Read the whole thing.

Links, Various

The Conversation: “How the extinction of ice age mammals may have forced us to invent civilisation”

Why did we take so long to invent civilisation? Modern Homo sapiens first evolved roughly 250,000 to 350,000 years ago. But initial steps towards civilisation – harvesting, then domestication of crop plants – began only around 10,000 years ago, with the first civilisations appearing 6,400 years ago.

For 95% of our species’ history, we didn’t farm, create large settlements or complex political hierarchies. We lived in small, nomadic bands, hunting and gathering. Then, something changed.

We transitioned from hunter-gatherer life to plant harvesting, then cultivation and, finally, cities. Strikingly, this transition happened only after the ice age megafauna – mammoths, giant ground sloths, giant deer and horses – disappeared. The reasons humans began farming still remain unclear, but the disappearance of the animals we depended on for food may have forced our culture to evolve.

New York Times: “Marvin Creamer, a Mariner Who Sailed Like the Ancients, Dies at 104”

It is daunting enough to circumnavigate the Earth with the aid of modern global positioning technology, much less with medieval and Renaissance tools like a mariner’s compass and sextant.

But Professor Creamer, in the grip of an obsession that had held him for years, shunned even those newfangled contrivances, as well as a radio, a clock and a wristwatch.He chose instead to rely on his deep knowledge of the planet and its vagaries, and be guided by nothing more than wind, waves, the sun by day, and the moon and stars by night.

Under cloud-massed skies, he could divine his location from the color and temperature of the water, the presence of particular birds and insects and even, on one occasion, the song of a squeaky hatch.

Skills like these, he long maintained, had let the master mariners of antiquity answer the seafarer’s ever-present, life-or-death question — Where am I? — and in so doing sail safely round the world.

“From everything I’ve read, the ancients didn’t feel uncomfortable out there,” Professor Creamer told The New York Times in 1978. “They didn’t have navigational tools, but they didn’t seem afraid to go to sea. I felt they might have known what they were doing, that they might have made predictable landfalls and having once hit a coast could have returned there.”

Newsmax: “‘Mystery Is Over’ Regarding Lost Colony of Roanoke”

The English colonists who came to what became known as the “Lost Colony” never actually disappeared, according to a new book.

Rather, they went to live with their native friends, the Croatoans of Hatteras, The Virginian-Pilot reports.

“They were never lost,” said author Scott Dawson, who has researched records and dug up artifacts where the colonists lived with the Indians in the 16th century. “It was made up. The mystery is over.”

Dawson’s book, The Lost Colony and Hatteras Island, which was published in June, highlights his research.

We Are the Mighty: “The last shots of the American Civil War were fired in Russia”

Historians don’t talk much about naval action during the Civil War, certainly not as much as they do about the ground combat. If it’s not about a riverboat, the Monitor and the Merrimack, or damning torpedoes, it just doesn’t get the same attention.

The CSS Shenandoah did a lot of things worth talking about.

Her flag was the last Confederate flag to be lowered and she was the ship that took the Civil War to the global stage, looting and burning Union merchant shipping from Africa to India to Russia and back.

She took 38 prizes and more than a thousand prisoners, some of them joining the Confederate ship.

Shenandoah was built by the British. A fast, steam-powered screw ship, the Brits transferred her to a Confederate skeleton crew under Capt. James Waddell off the coast of Africa. From there, Shenandoah terrorized American ships in sea lanes around the Cape of Good Hope, through the Pacific, and into the Bering Sea off Alaska.

At the time, however, Alaska belonged to the Russian Czar. And the Czar was friend to the United States. When Shenandoah began burning American whaling fleets in his territory, the Czar was not at all pleased.

Even after the Civil War was over, Shenandoah continued her Pacific rampage. The skipper just didn’t believe Lee’s surrender ended the war, even when American whaling captains told him so.

Pretty soon, he was the only Confederate still fighting. So he moved to shell the defenseless city of San Francisco. It was on his way to California that he met a British ship who confirmed the news: The Confederacy was gone and the captain and crew of the Shenandoah were going to be tried and hanged.

With every Navy in the world looking for Shenandoah and a hefty bounty on his head, Capt. Waddell disguised the ship, stowed its weaponry, and made a mad dash for Great Britain – the long way around.

Mason-Dixon Line

The Mason-Dixon Line, which separates Pennsylvania from Maryland, became emblematic of the divide between slave and free states prior to the Civil War (thus is it sometimes erroneously called the “Mason-Dixie Line”). It was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon to end a territorial dispute between the Province of Maryland and the Province of Pennsylvania.

Wikipedia.

What I did not know is that this dispute actually broke out into violence in the 1730s. From the Wikipedia entry on Cresap’s War:

Hostilities erupted in 1730 with a series of violent incidents prompted by disputes over property rights and law enforcement, and escalated through the first half of the decade, culminating in the deployment of military forces by Maryland in 1736 and by Pennsylvania in 1737. The armed phase of the conflict ended in May 1738 with the intervention of King George II, who compelled the negotiation of a cease-fire.

I do not know how many people actually died as a result of Cresap’s War (which is also gloriously known as the Conojocular War, after the Conejohela Valley where it was fought).

The American Heraldry Society posted some pictures of the demarcation stones of the Mason-Dixon Line to Facebook:

These feature the arms of the respective colonial proprietors: William Penn on the left, and Lord Baltimore on the right.

Samuel de Champlain

Samuel de Champlain (1567-1635) was a French navigator, cartographer, and explorer, who is commonly designated “The Father of New France” for his role in founding that particular colony in 1608. He died and was buried in Quebec City – but the exact location of his grave is currently unknown, and has become a holy grail of sorts for archaeologists. A recent article in the Globe and Mail (hat tip: Robert Black) rejoices in the discovery of a seventeenth-century palisade at Quebec, but laments that Champlain’s grave is still unfound. From the article:

Records suggest Champlain died on Christmas Day in 1635, and his remains were moved to a chapel that was later burned to the ground. A Jesuit text from 1642 refers to a priest who was buried alongside the founder and another friend, but there is no record of where that burial took place.

“It is likely the remains were moved, but nobody knows when or where,” Mr. Lavoie said.

Serious efforts to find the tomb began in the mid-1800s. Scientists began “digging left and right” to find Champlain, he said, but without success. More recently, an archaeologist who shared the name of former Quebec premier Rene Levesque led a series of digs in the 1980s and 1990s that proved equally fruitless.

Mr. Lavoie believes the location of the original “Champlain chapel” to which his remains were moved has been found in the old city. Mr. Lavoie believes there’s a good chance Champlain could be lying somewhere beneath Quebec City’s basilica, either on his own or in a common grave.

But the search for the founder’s remains are at a standstill, and even if found, they would not be easy to identify. Champlain fathered no children and left no descendants, which eliminates the possibility of DNA matching. To confirm the identity, researchers would have to match up remains with what little that is known about Champlain physically — for example traces of the arrow wounds he suffered during a 1613 conflict with the Iroquois.

Robert comments:

Champlain was a Protestant, was he not? And the prevailing theory for many decades has been that he and other Protestants were buried apart from later cemeteries (and therefore, not under the Basilica). If anything his remains have for a very long time thought to be buried under the Anglican cathedral, either the car park or the outbuildings.

I did not know this. Wikipedia claims that:

He belonged to either a Protestant family, or a tolerant Roman Catholic one, since [Champlain’s birthplace of] Brouage was most of the time a Catholic city in a Protestant region, and his Old Testament first name (Samuel) was not usually given to Catholic children.

A note elaborates:

According to many modern historians… Champlain could have been born a Protestant. Professor [Alain] Laberge [of Laval University] suggested that Champlain’s Protestantism would have been downplayed or omitted from educational materials in Quebec by the Roman Catholic Church, which controlled Quebec‘s education system until 1962.

I discover that the Champlain monument in Orillia, Ontario, which I remember seeing as a kid, has been removed for restoration – perhaps indefinitely, given concerns expressed “over the monument’s representations of Indigenous peoples raised by members of the public and by Indigenous communities.”

Dare Stones

I have just discovered the existence of South’s version of the Kensington Runestone. From the Brenau Window:

In November 1937 as America clawed its way out of The Great Depression, a Californian man showed up at the history department of Emory University in Atlanta with a most peculiar object – a 21-pound chunk of rough veined quartz with some foreign looking words chiseled into its surface. The man said he found the rock in a North Carolina swamp, about 80 miles from Roanoke Island, while he was driving through on vacation. The strange stone caught the attention of one of the professors, Dr. Haywood Pearce Jr., who also served as vice president of Brenau, where his father was president. The inscription on the stone read “Ananias Dare & Virginia went hence unto heaven 1591,” and a message to notify John White of that news bore the initials of the author of the carved writing, EWD, presumably those of Eleanor Dare.

Although Emory’s historians weren’t interested, Pearce and his father certainly were. Perhaps they concluded that, if this chuck of rock indeed marked the graves of America’s “first white child” and her father, it might well be the thing to put their college on the map. They wound up paying the California man $1,000 for the treasure.

Anyone who has used tiller, plow or trowel in Appalachian dirt will swear the region grows rocks. But nothing plows better than cold cash. To make a long story short, over the next four years, similar rocks popped up all over the place, mostly found by four people. Pearce and his father over the years acquired close to 50 of the huge stones, all with similar inscriptions unearthed as far south as the banks of the Chattahoochee River near Atlanta. Although the Pearces’ fervent explorations and money never turned up graves or any other evidence to authenticate the stones, a team of Smithsonian Institution-commissioned historians – headed by the venerable Samuel Eliot Morison of Harvard – traveled to Gainesville and, in a preliminary report, assigned some validity to what had then come to be known as “The Dare Stones.”

David Morrison’s article notes that the Saturday Evening Post, in 1941, conclusively proved that most of these stones were forgeries, but what about the original one? From the Washington Post on July 5 (hat tip: Ron Good):

In the past few years, researchers have been taking another look. For one, the letters etched on the first stone look very different from the others. It doesn’t contain any suspiciously modern words as the others do. Plus, Dare was “moderately educated,” Schrader says, and her husband was a stonemason. It’s reasonable to think she may have learned the skill from him.

In 2016, Schrader had a sample of the stone analyzed by the University of North Carolina at Asheville, exposing the quartz’s bright white interior.

“The original inscription would have been a stark contrast to the weathered exterior,” science writer Andrew Lawler wrote for National Geographic. “A good choice for a Roanoke colonist but a poor one for a modern forger.”

Schrader said he would like to marshal the funds for an “exhaustive, geochemical investigation,” but first, this fall, a Brenau professor will assemble a team of outside experts to analyze the language more thoroughly.

“The type of English that’s on the stone was really only used for about a hundred years, so it’s a nice time marker to be able to study,” Schrader said.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out. (I make no comment on the use of “Virginia Dare” by white nationalists – if the rock is authentic, then it’s authentic, and if it’s fake, then it’s fake. What “uses” it is put to are beyond the investigator’s concern.)

Gaelic Slaves

An interesting article in the Scotsman (courtesy Robert Black):

The Gaelic speaking slaves of 18th Century America

It was jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie who inspired research into the Gaelic speaking black slaves of 18th Century America who spoke in the tongue of their Highland masters.

Gillespie had long shared with his friends stories of slaves who spoke Gaelic, as told to him by his own parents. The musician led Willie Ruff, retired music professor at Yale University, who played with greats such as Duke Ellington and Miles Davies, to investigate further.

Ruff, a bassist and French horn player, had always been mystified by the line singing of hymns he first heard as a child in the Baptist churches of the American south.

Long struggling to pinpoint its origins, Ruff was led to Presbyterian churches in his home state of Alabama and then, ultimately, to the Wee Free churches of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides in search of the roots of this emotional, stripped back form of worship.

It has been widely held in the United States that the method of praise, where the congregation repeats back a line of a song to those leading the sermon, originated in Africa and then taken to the plantations by slaves.

But Ruff, following his research, believes that the music originated in the Hebrides and Highlands before being transported to the American colonies along with Scots emigrants, some who became slave owners.

Ruff earlier said: “I have been to Africa many times in search of my cultural identity, but it was in the Highlands that I found the cultural roots of black America.

“We as black Americans have lived under a misconception. Our cultural roots are more Afro-Gaelic than Afro-American. Just look at the Harlem phone book, it’s more like the book for North Uist.

“We got our names from the slave masters, we got our religion from the slave masters and we got our blood from the slave masters.”

More at the link.