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*Editors Note - "It is important for us to point out that, many of these articles printed in notoweenation.org are from an outside perspective. Unfortunately, when dealing within the Colonial Society construct, it is of the up most importance to provide any documentation considerable. By having to rely on these sources, makes room for much conjecture and bias opinion. When one thinks of a community in existence for over 400 years clinging to it's own culture, in a very hostile environment. Many articles, scientific research and speculation, has only led to more confusion about our people. It is interesting that under these conditions we have come to be known by many names, and labels have been attached to us, thereby projecting a biased view point.  We are a tribe and we have always considered ourselves so, despite the viewpoints of those whom would find it disadvantageous to believe so. It should be simple enough to write our own story, or is it?"

WASHINGTON ACADEMY OF SCIENCES Volume 36 January 15, 1946 No. 1
ETHNOLOGY. — Mixed bloods of the Upper Monongahela Valley, West Virginia. 1
William Harlen Gilbert, Jr., Library of Congress.

We are accustomed to think of West Virginia as a racially homogeneous State populated by Old Americans of English, Scotch, and Scotch-Irish descent with an additional contingent in recent years of Poles and Italians in the mining areas. It may come as somewhat of a surprise to many to learn that there exists in the northern counties of the State a racial island of mixed bloods, known locally as "Guineas," numbering several thousand persons. The origin of this mixed race is unrecorded, and the relative proportion of white, Negro, and Indian blood entering into its makeup is difficult to ascertain. The main seat of this people is in northern Barbour County and southern Taylor County, but small groups are to be found in over half a dozen adjoining counties and in Garrett County, Md. From their homes in the hill country many have gone in recent years to the factory cities of West Virginia, Ohio, and Michigan in search of economic opportunity and social betterment. It is difficult to find a completely acceptable term to designate these mixed people. Stigmatized by white public opinion as a sort of outcast group, they dislike and resent any designation used by outsiders for themselves. They especially resent the terms "Guinea" or "Guinea Nigger," which are most generally applied to them by their white neighbors. 2 There are several possibilities in explaining the origin of this sobriquet.

1 Received December 4, 1945
Many suggestions concerning the Guineas were collected in correspondence with persons interested, notably Mrs. Eva Margaret Carnes, of Roanoke, Va.; Mrs. W. H. Conaway, librarian of Marion County, W. Va., at Fairmont; and Mrs. Howard Grant, of Philippi, W. Va. Mrs. Grant kindly made available extensive genealogical material on the Guineas collected by her late husband. In addition, considerable material was gleaned from the census schedules at the National Archives and at Suitland, Md. In November 1945 a short field trip was made to Philippi and Grafton, W. Va., and extensive interviews were had with W. M. Watkins, attorney of Grafton; Vergil Rohrbough, superintendent of schools in Taylor County; E. A. Hunt, superintendent of schools in Barbour County; Charles W. T. Lockard, editor of the Grafton News; V. C. Willhide, of Grafton; as well as a number of the Guineas themselves. Finally, full credit must be given to the steady cooperation and unfailing enthusiasm of Philip S. Proctor ("Chief" Turkey Tayac), of Washington, D. C, to whose initial suggestion this research is due.

An educated member of this group is said to have worked out a genealogy for them several years ago in which he claimed that an English nobleman went to the Guinea coast of Africa in the early days (possibly as a remittance man), married a native Negro woman, and produced a large family of crossbreeds. Later some of these descendants came to America and became the ancestors of the "Guineas." Hu Maxwell, in his History of Barbour County (pp. 310-311), asserts that the mixed bloods of that county are called "Guineas" under the mistaken notion that they are Guinea Negroes. They are said, however, to have claimed for many years a descent from one of the Guineas (British, French, or Portuguese) in Africa or from one of the Guianas (British, French, or Dutch) in South America, and that their blood was native Negro or Indian.

2 In the following discussion although the word "Guinea" is employed without quotes it is not meant to condone an approbrious epithet. Rather it is used for lack of any other single term to designate these people.

It is worthy of notice that during the nineteenth century the name " Guinea" was applied as an epithet to things or persons of foreign (especially Italian and Polish) and uncertain origin in many parts of northeastern United States (Mencken, 1936, p. 295, a^nd Dictionary of American English 2: 1193).

The term was also applied to Italians of the laboring class because of an incident which took place in early American history when English pennies (jestingly called " Guineas") were circulated in North America and Italian help would receive them freely and even save them as valuable coins. From the coins the term was transferred to their recipients (Roback, p. 37). Undoubtedly there is some linkage of the West Virginia mixed bloods with Italians in the popular mind because the two races are frequently said to intermarry rather freely. The term " Guinea" does not seem, however, to have any significance in relation to the appearance of the mixed bloods, even though "Guinea Negro" has generally meant a very black member of the African race, and it probably has no reference to the yellow-colored gold pieces made from Guinea gold. The mixed bloods are certainly not black, nor can their color be adequately described as yellow. Much more to the point is the locality idea, a vague tradition of a place called "Guinea" from which these mixed people spring. It is said that the name "Guinan" or "Guinea," locally pronounced "Guinny," has long been applied to an area northwest of Philippi in Barbour County where these mixed people are centered. This area, also known as "Chestnut Ridge," was regarded by the whites as lowering the value of property in the adjacent parts owing to the nature of its inhabitants.

In Gloucester County, Va., there is said to be a section called "Guinea Neck" inhabited by a peculiar people, isolated by the coastal land formation. It is possible that the ancestors of the Guineas may have migrated from some such a region westward to Berkeley or Hampshire County in Virginia, where we first hear of them from the census records.

It must be admitted, when all is said and done, that none of these theories of the origin of this term is quite satisfactory, and we are just as much in the dark as before so far as a real etymology of this name is concerned.

There are several other terms sometimes employed to designate the Guineas. One of these is "West Hill Indians" from the community of West Hill, which is their principal center in Taylor County at the present time. Formerly the term "Cecil Indians" was heard, derived from the community of Cecil, now flooded by the Tygart Reservoir. Since many of these people lived near the Grafton & Belington Railway (or G. & B. Railway) and traveled on this line extensively, they were sometimes referred to as the "G. and B. Indians." Sometimes the Guineas employed the circumlocution "Our People" to designate their own kind or again the name "Maleys," referring to the commonest surname (Male) among them.

The family names of the Guineas are limited in number and are the most important items for identification of members. The characteristic names are Adams, Collins, Croston, Dalton, Dorton, Kennedy, Male, Miner or Minard, Newman, Norris, and Prichard. Of these by far the most frequent in occurrence is Male. The name Croston is next in frequency. The Males, who also spell their name as Mayle, Mail, and Mahle, trace their descent back to an ancestor who was said to have come over from England during colonial times. One observer thinks that there may be some connection between the Males and the Malay Race. It is said, moreover, that in the Male clan the white and Indian blood is much more prominent than the Negro. The Crostons, who have also spelled their name Crosten, Chroasten, Croaston, and Crostin, claim to be of Dutch descent and trace their ancestry back to Hampshire County, Va., along with the Males.

There is nothing singular about the personal names of the Guineas, but it is worth noting that nicknames of a sort are frequently applied, such as "Pizen John," "Screech," and "Whistling George." As Jan. 15, 1946 gilbert: mixed bloods of west Virginia in many other groups some given names recur again and again in certain family lines over several generations. The importance of names will be mentioned again in a later context in this paper.

Before proceeding further with a description of this peculiar minority it would be well to note the natural conditions of the geographic environment of these people and how these influences have shaped their manner of life. Barbour and Taylor Counties are located in the northern part of West Virginia along the axis of the Tygart River, a branch of the Monongahela. Barbour County is less rugged than the mountainous counties to the east and south, although there are a few cliffs of some boldness along the watercourses. To the eastward are Laurel and Chestnut Ridges, which sink into hills with rounded tops in Barbour. There are no wide valley areas in "Barbour, however, and the level lands are to be found for the most part on the ridges or uplands. In the bottoms along the Tygart and its branches the " Great Laurel" {Rhododendron maximum) formerly grew most luxuriantly. This plant flourished especially where cool and shady glades prevailed and often covered large areas with impenetrable laurel thickets. In the early days these thi ckets were the retreat of wild animals and a great barrier to the hunter. Since the Tygart flowed northeastward through the center of the county and had numerous branches running out at an angle from its bottoms, it furnished an ideal hiding place for the various refugee families from whom the Guineas are believed to have sprung.

Taylor County is similar in geographic character to Barbour. Ljdng at some distance to the west of the Allegheny ridges, its surface is of an irregular type, with numerous rounded hills. In large areas the land is comparatively level, however, and easily cultivated. As in Barbour County the Tygart River flows through the center of Taylor County but in a northwesterly direction, dividing it into two almost equal parts.

Between Barbour and Taylor Counties the Tygart River executes a change of direction, from a northeasterly to a northwesterly course, and in doing so forms on its left bank a loop or horseshoe-shaped peninsula called "the Narrows." This loop of land, surrounded on three sides by the glades of Tygart River and on the fourth or western side by equally impenetrable thickets of laurel, served as an ideal place for the hiding of runaways and refugees of all kinds. So isolated was this peninsula that even as late as 1880-1900 it was accessible only on horseback.

Not far to the south of the Narrows in Barbour County ran the old Indian Trail called "Horseshoe Run Trail," which started from the region of the Northern Branch of the Potomac in Maryland and ran across the Cheat River, up its Clover River Branch, crossed the Tygart slightly to the north of Philippi, and then con tinued westward into Harrison County (Hu Maxwell, 1899, map). Along this trail bands of Shawnee, Cherokee, Delaware, Hurons, and other tribes made their way in going across the central Alleghenies in the Colonial period. The natural game refuge in the Narrows not far off to the north along the Tygart could not have failed to attract the attention of hunters who were traveling this trail.

A considerable period of isolation must be assumed to account for the long-continued inbreeding which has characterized the Guineas for a number of generations. Before the 1840's Harrison County comprised all the area west of the Tygart, and Randolph County all the area to the east. In both of these counties Guinea family names began to appear about 1815 and to increase with the formation of Barbour County in 1843 and Taylor County in 1844.

Originally hunters and farmers on the ridges, the economic life of the Guineas expanded with that of the region in which they grew. They began to cultivate wheat, buckwheat, corn, hay, and orchard crops such as apples. Dairying, as well as poultry and cattle raising, became frequent. Garden vegetables were raised also. The predatory industries such as lumbering (in the oak, poplar, maple stands) and coal-mining engaged their labors. The building of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and other rail lines employed these people, along with Irish and other immigrant contingents. Some hauled coal while others became domestic servants in homes of nearby whites. Some became hucksters on market day, selling blackberries or other produce in nearby towns. In the coal mines the Guineas often worked in gangs made up of their kind. There was undoubtedly considerable contact with the Irish at one time. In the mines of Marion County they encountered at a later date the Poles and Italians of the New Immigration.

As many left the ancestral hive and settled in cities they took up occupations of various sorts and took on new names. In Ohio they settled near Canton, Zanesville, Athens, Chillicothe, Sandusky, and Akron, while some went even as far as Detroit.

In these localities their work varied from gypsum works at Sandusky to gardening in the suburbs of Chillicothe. Migration back and forth into Ohio seems to have been going on from 1880 or earlier.

In Grafton, county seat of Taylor County, the Guineas were almost unknown as a group until recent years. Only once a year, on Memorial Day, did any large number come into town and that was on the occasion of a ball game. Since the building of the Tygart Dam in 1937 and the formation of the Reservoir, which flooded out large areas of their original domain, they have moved increasingly into the suburbs of Grafton, especially Blueville. Grafton restaurants and barber shops have now occasionally put up signs bearing the inscription " white patronage only," and color classification of the mixed bloods has bothered the hospitals and schools.

In Philippi, the county seat of Barbour County, the Guineas have been known from the very foundation of the settlement and were said to have been among the first settlers of the vicinity (1780). The chief settlements in this county are at Chestnut Ridge Community northwest of Philippi, at Meriden nearby on the Tygart, around Moatsville, Lick Run, Buchanan, Galloway, and Clemtown. Clemtown is in the central area of the Narrows. Almost all the Guineas are located in compact masses as small landholders on the ridges in the central and northern parts of the county.

In Taylor County the chief centers are West Hill to the south of Webster, Knottsville, and the vicinity of Flemington. The flooded area around Cecil, now occupied by the Tygart Reservoir, was also a former center. Most of the Guineas are in the southern part of Taylor County, but with the flooding of large areas in 1937 many scattered to other parts, thus giving rise to school troubles. In Marion County coal towns these mixed bloods are said to live in the less-favored parts of town along with the foreign born and the Negroes. The Guineas, however, have not gone to the city and industrial areas to the same extent probably as the West Virginia Negroes.

A number of other counties in northern West Virginia have small groups of Guineas. These are Monongalia (to the north around Morgantown), Grant, Mineral, Preston, and Tucker to the east, Wirt to the west, and Braxton and Randolph on the south. At Big Island Run in Wirt County there has long been a group of the Male family, rather dark in color, who were widely respected by their white neighbors for their industry and honesty. This colony has decreased much by migration in recent years. In Garrett County, western Maryland, the Guineas long had a small colony whose significance will be mentioned later.

As in all cases of unusual little groups of isolated peoples we are constantly met with the query, "What do they look like?" This is a question much easier to pose than to answer. From the accompanying photographs of Guinea school children it may be seen that although there is a considerable range in variation none seem to exhibit the marked features of the Negro nor for that matter of the Indian. Most appear to be of the classification of "Near Whites" or what in the West Indies is called the "Mustee" type. In fact, the Guineas do pass for whites outside of the communities where they have long been known.

Hu Maxwell, in the work previously referred to, speaks of them as "partlycolored people" and says that they vary in color from white to black, often possessing blue eyes and straight hair. According to another observer a single family of brothers and sisters may range from the blackest Negro to a blonde, blue-eyed, fairskinned person, with all the shades in between. Some are perfect Negroes, while others have a marked Indian look. Most of the neighboring whites seem to regard the Guineas as mulattoes, while a few, noting the angular facial features and the hawklike eye and nose, will concede an Indian element. Several informants commented that the Guinea women seemed to be either very ugly or very good looking with few in-betweens.

There can be little doubt that the Guineas, in common with the Wesorts of southern Maryland and the Croatans of North Carolina, are another example of the triple racial admixture of Indian, Negro, and white to be found in a number of places in this country where circumstances have favored their development. Only a detailed anthropometric analysis at some future date will yield the evidence for physical typology and the relative proportions of each group. Several of the Guinea genealogies refer back to full-blood and half-blood Indian ancestry, but the entry of Negro blood into the group is not recorded.

According to local white opinion the habit of inbreeding has weakened the Guineas. Several informants mentioned the deformities of the joints, especially of the arm and leg joints, as occurring at birth among them in a number of instances. Among other defects mentioned as occurring are bad hearing, poor sight, harelips, humpbacked conditions, and mental deficiencies and aberrations. In the line of diseases tuberculosis and typhoid fever are given a prominent place.

The size of the family is said to be above average. One observer mentioned three families in his neighborhood who had fourteen or fifteen children each. A family size of six or seven children is thought to be common within recent years.

The numbers of the Guineas are not subject to easy estimate. Hu Maxwell asserted that at the time he wrote (1899) they totaled 1,000 in Barbour County alone. If this figure be accepted as a conservative estimate, it must be admitted that since that time their numbers must have increased considerably in the county. It is thought by local informants that between 500 and 800 adult voters were of this race in Barbour County during 1944 and that this ought to represent a total population of 3,000 to 4,000. An additional 500 voters in Taylor County of this race would add perhaps 3,000 more, bringing the total for the two counties to a possible 7,000. To this aggregate must be added an unknown number scattered in other counties of West Virginia, Ohio, and Michigan. It is probably safe to say that the total number of the Guineas is somewhere between 7,000 and 8,000. 



Some light may be thrown on the numbers question from Table 1, giving the population by race in Barbour and Taylor Counties from 1850 to 1940 {Negroes in the United States 1920-1932; Negro Population in the United States, 1790-1915). In a rural county such as Barbour it seems unusual to perceive such a marked increase in Negro population from 1920 to 1940. This taken in conjunction with the relative proportions of free Negroes and slaves and of blacks and mulattoes in 1910 would indicate something of the growth in numbers of the Guineas. In Taylor County conditions are reversed and the Negro population seems to outrank the Guineas in numbers.

According to the 1930 census only 33 percent of the "Negro" (i.e., nonwhite or mixed) population of Barbour County between the ages of 7 and 13 years were attending school. This contrasts with the West Virginia average figures for these age groups in the "Negro" population of 93.5 percent for that year and a county range within the State (outside of Barbour County) of 89 to 100 percent "colored" attending schooll The same 1930 census gives a figure of 32.3 percent illiteracy for the "Negro" population of Barbour County, which is the highest in the State of West Virginia for that year. The preliminary figures for the 1940 census showed 97.7 percent of the "Negro" population of Barbour County between the ages of 7 and 13 attending school.

The school question regarding the Guineas has been an acute one for a number of years in both Taylor and Barbour Counties. According to West Virginia law white schools are to be separate from colored. For at least 30 years the Guinea children have been attending schools separate from the white. At the present time there are two such schools in Taylor County, a two-room building at West Hill and a one-room structure at Mount Airy, southwest of Knottsville. In Barbour County there are five or six such schools, at Prichard, Lick Run, Buchanan (Sutton School), Meriden (Hanging Rock School), and two at Chestnut Ridge.

School troubles have developed in both counties from time to time over the segregation issue and the classification of these schools as "colored." Apparently, no Negroes attend these Guinea Schools and there are several Negro schools in the two counties also. The following citation from the Grafton News of September 15, 1944, will explain something of the situation faced in Taylor County:

Another problem ... is the matter that concerns the failure to open the Mt. Airy one room colored school. Although the school was scheduled to open, its teacher, Earl G. Mayle, failed to open it Wednesday, September 6, when the other schools of the county began the current term.

From the information available it appears that the residents of that community objected to sending their children to a school that was designated as a colored school. Apparently fearing that some difficulty might develop over the matter Mayle failed to open the school and this week tendered his resignation to the Taylor County Board of Education. Mayle had been the teacher at Mt. Airy for a number of years.

The enrollment at Mt. Airy school, which is located in Knottsville district, last year was 18 pupils. Unofficial observers have it that only seven or eight children reported for school on the opening day, with the other children presumably being kept home by their parents.

According to stories reaching Grafton there appears to be an organized movement, on the part of the parents, objecting to their children attending a school designated as a colored school.

No indication has been made as to what steps the board of education will take toward opening the school or attempting to settle the pertinent question as to whether the children of the many families of mixed or unknown races which reside in that section must attend a colored or white school.

Much of the recent school problem in Taylor County has been due, it is claimed, to the building of the Tygart Dam in 1937 and flooding of area formerly inhabited by many Guinea families with consequent scattering to other parts of the county. Here the children were faced with trouble when they tried to enter the white schools.

In Barbour County there has been considerable trouble where white school administrators have occasionally failed to deal with the problem intelligently. It is said that over 20 members of the Guinea group were in jail at one time over failure to send their children to school. The teachers in the Guinea schools have been mulattoes and Guineas. Within the past year two schools have been burned down by persons unknown. One of these was a new school with much of the latest equipment. A number of court suits have been initiated to determine whether the Guineas were white or colored. Factionalism among the Guineas themselves is blamed for some of the school troubles in this county. One faction is said to desire the monopoly in the use of one school over another.

The religious affiliation of the Guineas appears to be almost entirely Protestant. Many are members of the Free Methodist denomination, while others belong to the United Brethren and the Pentecostal Faith. In Barbour County the major groups among the whites are the Methodists and United Brethren, with the Baptists ranking far behind in numbers. The Negroes of the county, however, appear to be mainly Baptist. In Taylor County, on the other hand, the Baptists are in a majority among the whites with the Methodists somewhat less numerous. There are some half a dozen exclusively Guinea churches in the two counties of which the ones at Chestnut Ridge and West Hill are examples. The Guineas have their own cemetery at Mountain View. Other cemeteries mentioned in connection with their burials are Shiloh, Chestnut Ridge, Silent Grove, Prichard, and Welch.

Politically the Guineas have shown a strong trend toward the Republican Party in an area where the general voting list shows a tendency for Democratic voters to outnumber the Republican. It is claimed that in Barbour County the Guineas hold the balance of power between the two parties. White politicians, it is said, exert every eft^prt to swing the Guinea vote in their favor. One such propounded a theory with which he hoped to win votes from this group several years ago. He asserted that just after the Revolutionary War a scientist bent on breeding a race of supermen brought the ancestors of the Guineas into the Narrows on the Tygart River to raise them in isolation from the rest of the world. We are not told whether this attempt at flattery gained the votes he desired. Another political figure asserted on the witness stand that he would be proud to have his daughter marry a member of the Guinea race. Neither of these statements accorded with local white public opinion.

The contempt of some of the neighboring white people for the Guineas is marked. They are regarded as the dregs of society, as outcasts of little consequence or importance. Others among the whites feel much more sympathetic toward the Guineas and speak of them as capable people when they are given opportunities for advancement. The chief complaints which one hears made are chicken-thieving, bootlegging of illicit liquor, and similar derelictions. Occasionally there are serious altercations within the group, ending in homicide or other serious assaults. As before noted, cases of arson have also been charged to the Guineas.

The mixed bloods, along with other country folk, congregate in the town on Saturday afternoon and evening to gossip and meet their friends. In Philippi the courthouse is a favorite rendezvous for Guineas, and some may be found there at almost any time. In Grafton they congregate in front of the A. and P. Store. Fiddle-playing and singing were favorite recreations with the older generation. They are said to be particularly addicted to the old, well-known Negro spirituals. There is an annual fair held in September by the Guineas near Philippi, and this is entirely organized and conducted by them. Jan. 15, 1946 gilbert: mixed bloods of west Virginia

In the military draft for World War II the Guineas of Taylor County have gone for the most part into the army as whites. Apparently there was some sort of prior agreement among them to register as white rather than as colored. In Barbour County, on the other hand, draftees are said to have gone under both categories. The type of racial classification for the draft can be ascertained by watching the lists published in the newspapers whereby the two races (white and colored) are reported separately.

When Guinea youths migrate or go into the army they often return to the ancestral hearth bringing white girls as brides, and the latter are faced with the social problem of meeting their varicolored in-laws. This situation has been said to result occasionally in divorce or annulment due to the difficulties of adjustment. One such case was mentioned in which a dramatic racial denouement occurred when a wealthy bride drove up to the poor dwelling of her husband's people in her "fancy" car and was shocked beyond words to discover that they were locally considered as colored.

In recent years there has been apparently an increasing resistance on the part of the Guineas to their classification as "colored." One doctor in a town hospital had trouble with a Guinea mother who threatened a lawsuit because he had listed the child born to her as "colored." Permanent migration out of Barbour and Taylor Counties has been recommended by local white officials as the best solution for the individual Guinea. By moving to a community in which there is no knowledge of the Guineas as a group it is quite possible for the individual to pass into the white classification in many instances.

Two incidents of this type might be cited. In a nearby county seat there was a Guinea man of unusual physique, tall and sturdy, who worked with a paper and pulp company. As time went on, by reason of his skill and industry, he was promoted to the position of foreman and finally to plant superintendent. Possessed of a good income and reputation, he stood high in the estimation of his neighbors in spite of the known fact that he was of mixed-blood descent. His attractive daughter was sent to a girls' finishing school in Virginia and passed without question as white. A man instructor was attracted to her and the two were married. Soon afterward the new bridegroom met his father-in-law and the latter took him aside and told him the whole story of the Guinea racial background with the suggestion that the marriage might be annulled if he so desired. The bridegroom did not flinch, however, and accepted the situation, taking a position with the paper mill, and never returned to his former teaching post. He and his wi/e never had any offspring, however, so the story goes.

In another instance a Guinea youth played on a high-school football team in a town nearby and made a splendid record. Subsequently he went to a Virginia college for four years, graduated, and married into a white family of good status with apparently no trouble ever arising over his race.

In the local courts of Barbour and Taylor Counties a series of lawsuits over school attendance took extensive testimony from neighbors, local reputation, birth records, marriage records, voting records, and school and church attendance records, regarding the race of the Guineas. In the census records persons with Guinea family names in Barbour and Taylor Counties are classified as "mulatto" in the period from 1810 to 1880.

If there is such a thing as group character one of the traits assignable to the Guineas is an interest in skill and cleverness. It takes the form of a real dexterity and an emphasis on the clever and the genuine use of skill. At West Hill the Guineas are said to have a special "telegraphic" system of their own for transmitting news almost instantaneously, for everybody there seems to be immediately aware of any stranger approaching the top of the hill. Quite a number, moreover, have gone to college and later served as teachers or professional men among their own kind or elsewhere. There is apparently a very marked emphasis on education and higher learning.

An instance of cleverness may be cited from a case occurring about 40 years ago. A certain mixed-blood man, A. N., owned an old gristmill in the Cove District of Barbour County. For several years his son R. A. was with a circus but later came back to work in the mill and put the tricks he had learned into practice to mystify his neighbors. It soon came to be noised about that the old mill was haunted. Boxes and barrels would move mysteriously across the floor and other strange things happened. The local populace for miles around came to see the curious antics of the ghost. A certain "Capt." J. R. undertook to "lay" the ghost. He went to the mill one evening and after considerable wrangling R. A. consented to be tied up; this, "Capt." said, would show whether R. A. was the ghost. Barrels began to roll over the floor and down the stairs, while R. A. struggled with his bonds and shouted loudly about losing his grain. A rock or small piece of quartz dropped mysteriously upon a scale, and "Capt." wrapped it up in his handkerchief and took it home for examination in the daylight. Upon arriving home he locked the handkerchief and quartz in the drawer. When morning came he unlocked the drawer, took out the handkerchief and untied it, but the quartz had disappeared. That put an end to "Capt.'s" attempt to lay the ghost.

According to one informant the Guineas can be divided into three sets, locally illustrative of variation in character. These are (1) the West Hill group of Taylor County, (2) the Chestnut Ridge group of Barbour County, and (3) the Clemtown group on the borders of Barbour and Taylor Counties.

The first group were characterized by fairly good behavior, industriousness, and the fact that they got along very well with their neighbors. They were still regarded as in a separate status from the whites, however, and a few years ago when one of these persons, a prosperous farmer, attempted to buy a farm in another part of Taylor County where Guineas were not previously settled the white neighbors got together and effectively barred the sale.

The second group lived in an isolated section somewhat apart from all neighbors and were extremely backward because of the poor quality of their land. They were said also to be more "mixed up" racially than the other two groups. Their position was definitely not good.

The third group had good farmland and for a long time were very progressive and frequently prosperous rural folk. They kept up their taxes and were careful of their racial affiliations, mixing only with the equally respected West Hill "crowd." But during Prohibition they went in rather heavily for bootlegging, and this has sadly deteriorated their previous good reputation in the region.

The Guineas as a whole are strongly characterized by the spirit of cooperation in spite of the factions and internal disputes. Whenever the advantage of the group as a whole is at stake they are quick to notice it and to bring to bear a common effort. This is shown in the attitude regarding school classification as "colored" and in the agreement to register uniformly in one county as white for the draft. As previously noticed, the phrase "our people," is employed for themselves and betrays a certain degree of consciousness of kind. A certain aggressiveness is also exemplified in the interest in court or legal procedures, especially those involving their own status.

The history of a racial minority of this type must be gleaned from local records of births, deaths, and marriages and from the census records of persons with the Guinea family names in the "free colored" or the "mulatto" categories. One thing that can be established from the outset is that for a long time the Guineas have been intermarrying among themselves and that matings with outsiders have been definitely in a minority. For instance, an examination of 31 marriages of Collinses from 1856 to 1915 discloses that only three were with persons of non-Guinea family name (Douglas, Stalnaker, and Davis), about 10 percent. Similarly, in a list of 81 Croston marriages from 1858 to 1931 only 8 were with persons of nonGuinea family names (Kisner, Hunter, Hendrick, Parsons, DeCost, Ross, Wilson, and Moore), again about 10 percent.

In explaining the origin of the Guineas Jan. 15, 1946 gilbert: mixed bloods of west Virginia some attention must be given to the existence of still smaller knots of people settled here and there in the region farther east. For instance, there is the small colony of half a dozen families of mixed Indian descent at present located on the Blue Ridge Mountains near Boonesboro (Washington County), Md. These may be descended from two family groups named Perl and Patterson, which were located in the vicinity of Jefferson, Lander, and Catoctin Mills in 1889. In that year James Mooney, the Smithsonian anthropologist, sent out questionnaire forms to a number of communities in Maryland, Delaware, and North Carolina on various topics having to do with Indians and Indian remains still in the vicinity. The results are still in the archives of the Bureau of American Ethnology at Washington. Among them is the notice of the above-mentioned small group.

He gives similar notice about the existence of three or four families going by the name of Mail or Male, living in the extreme western part of Maryland near Oakland and Deer Park who had traditionally migrated from Hampshire County, Va., a few generations before. It is likely that from these much smaller pockets of Indian remnants the recruits were drawn together sometime during the nineteenth century to form the nucleus of the larger present-day settlement of Guineas in Barbour and Taylor Counties, W. Va. (Gilbert, 1946).

In Table 2 is shown the development of Guinea family names in selected counties of Virginia, later West Virginia, and the increase of their number with each decade is evidently an index of some process of multiplication within an isolated area and with consistent inbreeding. The history of the race, then, is written largely in the increase in the family names in limited areas of the State (Woodson, 1925, pp. 175, 187, 188).

The name "Male" occurs in a few scattered instances in Chesterfield, Norfolk, and Hampshire Counties of Virginia, in York and Bedford Counties of Pennsylvania, and in New York City in the census lists of 1784 and 1790 for these areas. None of these are in connection with persons designated as nonwhite.

In the Virginia census of 1782-1784 there were a number of Collinses, Norrises, Pritchards, and Newmans, whose racial character, outside of the fact that they were not slaves, is unmentioned. The county records seem to indicate that the Newmans stem from Loudon County, Va., while the Crostons and the Males both appear originally in Hampshire County of that state. According to one account the Pritchards are of slave origin from Hampshire County, Va. The Minards have a tradition of their Pennsylvania origin. While the Newmans claim an Irish background, and the Males an English, the Minards and Crostons assert a Dutch origin for their family names. Both Norrises and Males have ancestors of Indian or half -Indian race in their family genealogies. One or two cases of Portuguese intermarriage with Males are recorded. It is interesting to note that one theory of Guinea origins traces them back to Spaniards, perhaps some lost followers of De Soto. The name Adams is a rare one among the Guineas but is shared by them with mixed Indian groups in Virginia and with the Wesorts in Maryland, another mixed group. The name Collins, it is also worth while to note, is one of the commonest surnames among the Melungeons of Ten12  nessee, a mixed group similar to the Guineas. In addition to Adams, the surname Newman is shared by the Guineas with the Wesorts of Maryland. The name Norris or Morris is shared with the Nanticoke mixed bloods of Delaware.

The derivation, then, of the Guineas is an extremely complex picture. We can reconstruct their history tentatively on the basis of partly runaway slaves, partly freedmen, partly mulattoes, some stray Indian families, and perhaps partly recruits from neighboring mixed peoples of the same kind such as the Virginia tidewater groups, the Wesorts and the Melungeons. How this group first came together, why certain family lines only were selected for the inmarrying group, and where the dividing line exists between true mulatto and Guinea, are unclear parts of the picture. The tendency to marry only within certain family lines reminds one of the preferential mating rules of some of the primitive Indian societies of North America.

Another puzzling problem is the origin of the stigmatization attaching to the Guineas. There are many families of West Virginia, as in other parts of the United States, who are proud to claim Indian blood in their veins and who are not stigmatized for it. In the case of the Guineas the inference is that they are all in some degree part Negro in blood, but this again is difficult to prove and also difficult to believe. There may be a lingering idea that these mixed bloods are mainly of runaway slave origin.

In considering the future prospects of the Guineas it can not be too strongly emphasized that the more thoroughly they are studied and their origin understood the better will be their chances of ultimate absorption and acceptance as members of the larger ethnic group of undifferentiated citizens in the United States. Already they have achieved progress in this direction as compared with some of their similar mixed relatives in neighboring States. It might be worth while to itemize a few of their characteristics in comparison with the Wesorts, a similar racially mixed group some 200 miles eastward near the mouth of the Potomac (Gilbert, 1945).

The environmental circumstances of the two groups are somewhat contrasting, the Wesorts being located on the Coastal Plain and in the neighborhood of tidal or neartidal swamps, while the Guineas are located in the Allegheny Plateau area on the ridges and narrow river valleys protected by laurel thickets. The economic development of the Wesorts has been mainly along agricultural lines, while that of the Guineas has been in both agriculture and the extractive industry of mining. The Wesorts have been forced by a variety of factors into Negro institutions or into institutions whose membership is largely Negro (schools and churches), while the Guineas have segregated out in their own schools and churches. One of the important factors in Wesort development has been the large amount of trade relationships these people have had with Negroes, especially in urban or suburban environment. The Wesorts have many, if not most of their business dealings with Negroes, such as selling farm produce and buying up material for salvage. The Guineas do not seem to have gone much into trade, and where they have the business dealings have been more with whites. The Guinea churches, being organized on an independent congregational basis, have been easier to segregate by themselves than in the case of the Wesorts, who are Roman Catholics and attend parish churches in which either Negroes or whites preponderate.

The location of the Wesorts is in an area where Negroes make up practically half of the population, while that of the Guineas is in an area where Negroes are scarcely as numerous as the Guineas themselves. The result is a situation of "southern" social surroundings for the former and • 'northern' ' social surroundings for the latter. The overflow of Wesort population has been into cities such as Washington and Baltimore with strongly fixed racial traditions of segregation, while that of the Guineas has been to cities of Ohio and Michigan where conditions are fluid and possibilities of "passing" are more frequent.

In the rural environment there has been Jan. 15, 1946 gilbert: mixed bloods of west Virginia 13 much more of the dependency relationship in the case of the Wesorts than in the case of the Guineas. The former have been mainly tenant farmers, scattered about over a wide area, while the latter have been primarily small landholders concentrated in large masses within small neighborhoods. The economic life of the Guineas is considerably more variegated than that of the Wesorts and their possibilities of making a living at present seem much better. On the other hand, there is no tradition of craftsmanship or fine artisan work among the Guineas as there has been in past times among the Wesorts.

The sum and substance of this comparison seems to indicate an increasing identification, in the case of the Wesorts, with the Negro minority while on the contrary the ties of the Guineas have become increasingly stronger with the whites. In a biracial society such as the United States has long possessed the in-betweens tend in the long run to go over as a body into either the one or the other of the two larger groups. In the present comparison the Guineas seem in a better way to solve their minority racial status problem than do the Wesorts through absorption in the larger racial group.

In the case of the Guineas independent organization for group ends would seem to be largely superfluous, if not positively harmful, in the sense of emphasizing minority status. In the case of Wesorts it would seem that group organization would be of the greatest value in preserving an identity of group status which is fast being lost under present tendencies.

It is to be hoped that the present school controversies involving the Guineas will soon be solved. Recognition that Guinea schools are not "Negro" would be of the greatest assistance in this direction. A policy of encouraging greater dispersal for these mixed bloods would also be helpful. A modification of segregation to the extent of granting greater leeway for social participation in white churches and schools by Guineas is to be anticipated. In the long run complete absorption of these mixed bloods into the white community is very likely to take place.

LITERATURE CITED
Anonymous. Board will air Mt. Airy School problem Thursday. Grafton (W. Va.) News, Sept. 15, 1944, p. 1, col. 2.

Craigie, Sir William A., and Hulbert, J. R. (editors). A dictionary of American English!: 1193. Chicago, 1940.

Gilbert, William H., Jr. The Guineas of West Virginia (brief communication). Amer. Anthrop. 48. 1946. .
The Wesorts of southern Maryland. An outcasted group. Journ. Washington Acad. Sci. 35 (8) : 237-246. 1945.

Maxwell, Hu. The history of Barbour County, West Virginia: 310-311. Morgantown, W. Va., 1899.

Mencken, H. L. The American language: 295. New York, 1936.

Roback, A. A. A dictionary of international slurs: 37. Cambridge, Mass., 1944.

U. S. Census Bureau. Negroes in the United States, 1920-1932. Washington, 1935. .
Negro population in the United States, 1790-1915. Washington, 1918.

Woodson, Carter G. Free Negro heads of families in the United States in 1830: 175, 187, 188. Washington (Association for the Study of Negro Life and History), 1925


 

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