RED SPRINGS, N. C., July 17, 1890.
* * * The Croatan tribe lives principally in Robeson County, N. C., though there is quite a number of them settled in counties adjoining in North and South Carolina. In Sumter County, S. C., there is a branch of the tribe, and also in east Tennessee. In Macon County, N. C., there is another branch, settled there long ago. Those living in east Tennessee are called “Melungeans,” a name also retained by them here, which is a corruption of “Melange,” a name given them by early settlers (French), which means mixed. * * * In regard to their exodus from Roanoke Island their traditions are confirmed by maps recently discovered in Europe by Prof. Alexander Brown, member of the Royal Historical Society of England. These maps are dated in 1608 and 1610, and give the reports of the Croatans to Raleigh's ships which visited our coast in those years. * * * The particulars of the exodus preserved by tradition here are strangely and strongly corroborated by these maps. There can be little doubt of the fact that the Croatans in Robeson County and elsewhere are the descendants of the Croatans of Raleigh's day.
Across the line in South Carolina are found a people, evidently of similar origin, designated “Redbones.” In portions of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee are found the so-called “Melungeons” (probably from French melange, “mixed”), or “Portuguese,” apparently an offshoot from the Croatan proper, and in Delaware are found the “Moors.” All of these are local designations for peoples of mixed race with an Indian nucleous differing in no way from the present mixed-blood remnants known as Pamunkey, Chickahominy, and Nansemond Indians in Virginia, excepting in the more complete loss of their identity. In general, the physical features and complexion of the persons of this mixed stock incline more to the Indian than to the white or negro.