Tag Archives: history of appalachia

Only play this game with an honest man

The game was described on images in Theban tombs. Romans played a variant called micare digitis (of which Cicero said “you must have great faith in the honesty of any man with whom you played in the dark.”) The French, who still teach it to their children, call it la mourre. And in Appalachia, starting […]

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Sevier County’s African-American architectural legacy

“The architectural landscape of Tennessee’s rural areas, small towns, and large cities is comprised of hundreds of historic buildings designed and built by African Americans. “One rural county in East Tennessee has an extraordinary history of African-American builders. Established in 1794 along the North Carolina border, Sevier County has never featured a large black population; […]

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Who’s kidnapping whom? Indians and settlers mix it up

“When Kentucky was first being settled, emigrants from either North Carolina or Tennessee, headed by a man named Cornett, reached the Kentucky River late one evening. They decided to camp and wait until daylight before crossing the river. They had wives, children, livestock and equipment with them. After supper they were sitting around their campfire […]

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Eats 2,000 mosquitoes a day?

America’s most sociable bird is getting ready to pack up and head south for the winter in the next couple of weeks. That would be the purple martin (Progne subis), whose usefulness was already recognized in Appalachia by the early Cherokees, who hung bottle gourds horizontally on long poles to attract them. Not only did […]

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