Friday, January 21, 2011

Will Allen Dromgoole

Will Allen Dromgoole wrote the following articles about the Melungeons.

Land of the Malungeons
A Strange People
The Malungeons
The Malungeon Tree and It's Four Branches
Mysterious Tribe Known as the Malungeons

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Will Allen Dromgoole (October 26, 1860-September 1, 1934) was an author and poet born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She wrote over 7,500 poems; 5,000 essays; and published thirteen books. She was renowned beyond the South; her poem "The Bridge Builder" was often reprinted. It remains quite popular. An excerpt appears on a plaque at the Bellows Falls, Vermont Vilas Bridge, spanning the Connecticut River between southern Vermont and New Hampshire.

Early life and background

Will Allen Dromgoole was the last of several children born to Rebecca Mildred (Blanche) and John Easter Dromgoole in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.[1] Her paternal grandparents were Rev. Thomas and Mary Dromgoole. Her great-grandparents were Edward Dromgoole, a Scots-Irish trader from Sligo, Ireland, and his Cherokee wife Rebecca Walton. He married her after immigrating to the North American colonies.
Dromgoole's parents sent her to the Clarksville Female Academy, where she graduated in 1876. She studied law with her father, but women were not allowed to become lawyers. She was appointed as staff to the state legislature, where she started working in 1883.


Dromgoole was a prolific writer, publishing both prose and poetry. She was also a journalist for the Nashville American, a newspaper based in the Middle Tennessee city.
She first published a story in Youth's Companion in 1887. It was about the Tennessee governor, Bob Taylor. She had a best-selling novel in 1911, The Island of the Beautiful.

Dromgoole taught school in Tennessee one year, and one year in Temple, Texas. There she founded the Waco Women's Press Club.[2] During World War I, Dromgoole was a warrant officer in the United States Naval Reserve. She lectured to sailors on patriotic topics.

Dromgoole wrote a series of articles on the Southeastern ethnic group known as the Melungeons, published in the Nashville Daily American (1890) and the Boston Arena (1891).[1][3] This historically mixed-race group was then living mostly in southeastern Tennessee and southwestern Kentucky. Her derogatory comments about them, while based more on hearsay than fact, expressed the biases about mountain people typical of her society and the period in which she was writing. Since the early 20th century, Melungeons have increasingly intermarried with European Americans and integrated into mainstream white society.[4]

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