Old man among the Cherokees

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BruceHuxford

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I AM an old man. To make it easier for me to remember dates I use the current date and subtract 200 years. So, it is now November, 1822, soon to be 1823.
Using my real family genealogy and a lot of fantasy, here is what I have come up with.

Born in 1748 in Burlington on the Delaware in the colony of West Jersey to a Moravian father and an English mother. Father was a cobbler and tried to instruct me in that trade. However, I preferred running around in the woods. So, in frustration, my father apprenticed me to my uncle who operated a shallop on the Delaware River, carrying passengers and cargo between Philadelphia, Burlington, and other places along the river below the Falls of the Delaware.

The winter of 1765-66, when I was 17, my uncle decided to travel far up the Delaware and spend several months hunting and trapping. Six of us, all told, went up the river in a 20 foot bateaux. We built a small cabin and had some small success with our hunt.

Upon our return in the spring of 1766 I went back to work on the shallop until the summer, when I then shipped out on a brig bound from Philadelphia to Barbados. I continued as a merchant seaman on a variety of coastal vessels until the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. At that time I joined a privateer as 2nd mate.

Having been moderately successful as a privateer, after the war I had enough money to buy my own schooner and engage in carrying cargo and trading all up and down the Atlantic coast of America and into the West Indies. I prospered and bought another schooner and a brig to add to my fleet.

I married and raised a family in my native Burlington.

During the War of 1812, I again engaged in privateering, and did fairly well.

My wife died of smallpox, and with my children grown, and myself tiring of the shipping business, I turned the business over to my sons, and together with my friend, a botanist from Philadelphia, we decided to make a scientific exploration trip to the southern mountains. However, after leaving Charlestown, in South Carolina, with a string of pack horses, as we neared the mountains, my friend came down with yellow fever. He decided to turn back. However, he insisted that I continue on to see the mountain country and to gather plant specimens for him.

I did and ended up in the Tennessee River Valley, living the past two years among the Cherokee. And so, here I am.
In 1822/23 I have a late Lancaster .50 flintlock, and also a smoothbore .62 chief's grade fowler.

So, what do you think of that? ():~)
I truly enjoyed reading this. You're right about the Cherokee. My mom's family is Eastern Band, great grandpa moved down to South Carolina. His name was Adolph Ross.
 

gunnerasch

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It's kind of sad when a language/culture is lost, but pretty much inevitable... like all changes.
My mothers family is from Finland. When Great Granma Emmi came to America in 1896 and married and had children, despite living in a Heavily Finnish speaking part of northern Michigan, she refused to speak or let her family speak Finn. "Youse are Americans, zo you speak American!" She had 8 kids. When she had a stroke in the late 50s, she lost her ability to speak English and could only speak in Finn. So all of her kids (and grand kids and great grand kids) had to learn some level of Finn to be able to talk to her without another to translate.
My Great Grandfather on the other side was German (Bohemia) and the same thing happened from what I understand. After my Father and his brothers and sisters left home, after WW2, the upstairs of the (Very large) home was converted into apartments and use rented to college professors from Michigan Tech (this in Houghton Michigan) in the late 1940s-50s.. to German college professors, often distant family members from post war Germany, so German became something of a defacto background language in the home, despite my Grandmother being from Ireland. So when I made my way out into the Real World (tm) I could already speak English, Finn and German to some degree. When I had my stroke in 2009 I lost 5 languages over night.. and am barely competent to speak english (chuckle)
 

BruceHuxford

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My mothers family is from Finland. When Great Granma Emmi came to America in 1896 and married and had children, despite living in a Heavily Finnish speaking part of northern Michigan, she refused to speak or let her family speak Finn. "Youse are Americans, zo you speak American!" She had 8 kids. When she had a stroke in the late 50s, she lost her ability to speak English and could only speak in Finn. So all of her kids (and grand kids and great grand kids) had to learn some level of Finn to be able to talk to her without another to translate.
My Great Grandfather on the other side was German (Bohemia) and the same thing happened from what I understand. After my Father and his brothers and sisters left home, after WW2, the upstairs of the (Very large) home was converted into apartments and use rented to college professors from Michigan Tech (this in Houghton Michigan) in the late 1940s-50s.. to German college professors, often distant family members from post war Germany, so German became something of a defacto background language in the home, despite my Grandmother being from Ireland. So when I made my way out into the Real World (tm) I could already speak English, Finn and German to some degree. When I had my stroke in 2009 I lost 5 languages over night.. and am barely competent to speak english (chuckle)
My dad's side is French German Scottish and Irish. My grandfather spoke English, French and German. My grandmother Gaelic ,French, German and Latin. I only speak English and bad English.
 

Rancocas

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I truly enjoyed reading this. You're right about the Cherokee. My mom's family is Eastern Band, great grandpa moved down to South Carolina. His name was Adolph Ross.
Then you probably have a family connection with John Ross (Guwisguwi) who was the principal chief of the Cherokees from 1828 to 1866. He has been described as "The Moses of The Cherokee" because he lead his people out of the east on The Trail of Tears to Oklahoma.
There is currently an area of downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, beside the Tennessee River, that is known as Ross' Landing.
 

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Then you probably have a family connection with John Ross (Guwisguwi) who was the principal chief of the Cherokees from 1828 to 1866. He has been described as "The Moses of The Cherokee" because he lead his people out of the east on The Trail of Tears to Oklahoma.
There is currently an area of downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, beside the Tennessee River, that is known as Ross' Landing.
I know a Donny Ross who frequents Fort Loudoun in Vonore, TN who is a descendant of John Ross. He is a great guy and does what he can to perpetuate his culture.
 
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A group of indian iron workers came to Philadelphia for a construction project during the 1970's. I seem to remember that they were Mohawk. They stayed at an SRO hotel in the vicinity of 12th & Spruce Streets (?). The hotel had external fire escapes and on a Saturday night you could watch them run along the top of the railings and swing from one level to the next. I believe the building was eight stories.

One of my maternal great grandparents was said to have been Cherokee. Hard to know for sure. Seems like the only written records from that time in the mountains of SW Virginia were on the flyleaves of bibles.
 

Rancocas

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I know a Donny Ross who frequents Fort Loudoun in Vonore, TN who is a descendant of John Ross. He is a great guy and does what he can to perpetuate his culture.
I live about 50 miles south of Vanore, and I have been to Ft. Loudoun many times. I miss the colonial trade faire they used to have there before covid put a halt to it.
I wish there was a civilian re-enactment group there that I could join, but I think they all portray military personnel, which I am not interested in. Anyway, I think most of the military guys come over from the Carolinas for their "garrison weekends".

Wow. All this sudden activity on my post caught me by surprise. Thank you all for your kind words.
My initial post was just a very brief synopsis of my fictional persona, really not a story. This makes me wonder how a two book series on this guy (my persona) would go over.
 
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I used to go to the Trade Faire at Fort Loudoun every year until the Covid thing. This year was supposed to be the return to normal but the management cancelled the event, and not because of Covid concerns. I didn't go to the the Christmas garrison either, but it was because of other things. You are correct that the units are all military, but there used to be a strong Native contingent and I had a few really good friends in that group. The Sequoyah Site is a short distance away and a friend manages it. I always make it a point to visit when I am in the area.
 
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When doing the ancestry thing I realized the brother of my 4th great grandfather married an Indian in the Kentucky area. My 4th great served in the RW as did all his three brothers. I did the research so my 3 young grand daughters will know they are DAR.
I had worked with many Mohawks that were iron workers on the tall stuff in NYC. The crazy dangerous stuff I saw them doing amazed me. Walking the steel 66 stories up with a freezing rain is truly nuts, Never saw one hurt though even with their liquid lunch's.
 

flashpoint

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I AM an old man. To make it easier for me to remember dates I use the current date and subtract 200 years. So, it is now November, 1822, soon to be 1823.
Using my real family genealogy and a lot of fantasy, here is what I have come up with.

Born in 1748 in Burlington on the Delaware in the colony of West Jersey to a Moravian father and an English mother. Father was a cobbler and tried to instruct me in that trade. However, I preferred running around in the woods. So, in frustration, my father apprenticed me to my uncle who operated a shallop on the Delaware River, carrying passengers and cargo between Philadelphia, Burlington, and other places along the river below the Falls of the Delaware.

The winter of 1765-66, when I was 17, my uncle decided to travel far up the Delaware and spend several months hunting and trapping. Six of us, all told, went up the river in a 20 foot bateaux. We built a small cabin and had some small success with our hunt.

Upon our return in the spring of 1766 I went back to work on the shallop until the summer, when I then shipped out on a brig bound from Philadelphia to Barbados. I continued as a merchant seaman on a variety of coastal vessels until the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. At that time I joined a privateer as 2nd mate.

Having been moderately successful as a privateer, after the war I had enough money to buy my own schooner and engage in carrying cargo and trading all up and down the Atlantic coast of America and into the West Indies. I prospered and bought another schooner and a brig to add to my fleet.

I married and raised a family in my native Burlington.

During the War of 1812, I again engaged in privateering, and did fairly well.

My wife died of smallpox, and with my children grown, and myself tiring of the shipping business, I turned the business over to my sons, and together with my friend, a botanist from Philadelphia, we decided to make a scientific exploration trip to the southern mountains. However, after leaving Charlestown, in South Carolina, with a string of pack horses, as we neared the mountains, my friend came down with yellow fever. He decided to turn back. However, he insisted that I continue on to see the mountain country and to gather plant specimens for him.

I did and ended up in the Tennessee River Valley, living the past two years among the Cherokee. And so, here I am.
In 1822/23 I have a late Lancaster .50 flintlock, and also a smoothbore .62 chief's grade fowler.

So, what do you think of that? ():~)
Wow! So my Rancocas Creek (NJ) empties directly into the Delaware. I lived on the Neshaminy Creek (PA) below Bristol and across from Burlington and just North of Philadelphia. The Neshaminy also empties into the Delaware. Shot many a Railbird as a kid while being "pushed" on the river marshes during a high tide by my Dad in our Railbird Skiff in the 50s.
 

Rancocas

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Wow! So my Rancocas Creek (NJ) empties directly into the Delaware. I lived on the Neshaminy Creek (PA) below Bristol and across from Burlington and just North of Philadelphia. The Neshaminy also empties into the Delaware. Shot many a Railbird as a kid while being "pushed" on the river marshes during a high tide by my Dad in our Railbird Skiff in the 50s.
Oh yeah! My main memory of Bristol is the stench from the Rohm and Haas factory. And, a dance that we went to sometimes on a Saturday night. Don't remember exactly where that was. But, I spent many wonderful days in PA.
My hometown is actually Mt. Holly, NJ., which is about 7 miles from Burlington. I spent many wonderful days on (and in) the Rancocas Creek. Too many changes. Sad. I don't ever want to go back.
One of my ancestors really did have a permit, in, 1704, to operate a shallop for passengers and cargo on the Delaware.
 
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