by Dr. Clinton A. Weslager
(retyped & edited by R. Terry 12/97)
This tape was made for the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indians of New
Jersey in 1980, based on notes taken in 1941-1942-1943 in and around
Cheswold, Delaware. Notes were taken from the people known as Moors.
should say that many of these so called Moors were aware of Indian
ancestry, even though they were vague about Tribal affiliations.
My own conclusion after very careful study, was that practically
all of them had Indian antecedents. Of course, none of them were
full blood Indians: some of them were descended from the Lenape
or Delawares while others had Nanticoke Indian background, their
parents or other relatives having moved to Cheswold from the Nanticoke
Indian community in Indian River Hundred in Sussex County.
notes are not organized. They represent raw material as I recorded
it in my notebooks. Since I was there successively more than one
time, I visited individuals more than once. I was there on different
days and may repeat the same person's name more than one time. I
also should say in retrospect that I could have done a much better
job of collecting genealogical information. At that time this was
not my objective. The genealogical information is incidental to
my main objective.
first trip to Cheswold was September 4, 1941, and the first person
I met down there was Levi Mosley, the watchman at the railroad
crossing, a very dark-skinned Moor. He told me that there was Indian
blood on his maternal side. He told me this on my first visit. Later
he gave me a great deal more information about this Indian in his
family. I was also told to look up G.A. Mosley, a contractor,
who was supposedly a good source of information.
20, 1941. I revisited Cheswold for the main purpose of meeting G.A.
Mosley. Levi Mosley, the watchman chatted with me first,
gave me some other persons' names to interview. I gave him the cigar
that I always gave him when I went down on my trips. I interviewed
and photographed John Johnson and his wife Neeley Ann
Johnson. John was called Uncle John by everyone. Now, at this
time he was 97 and still in excellent health. Both he and his wife
Neeley Ann Johnson had Indian facial characteristics. He
was light-skinned, his wife was a trifle darker. Before her marriage
she was a Hansor from Frederika and Uncle John was originally
from Herring Creek in Sussex County. He claimed that both of his
grandfathers were fullblood Indians. Of course, Mrs. Johnson considered
herself an Indian also. She showed me pictures of her mother: there's
no doubt about the Indian features there. She said her mother was
went to see G.A. Mosley. I learned that he was in Wilmington
preaching at the Adventist Church there. This was Saturday which
was their Sabbath. Enroute I photographed some children from another
Mosley family who had recently moved to Cheswold from Sussex
County. I met Orville Seeney's wife whose appearance seemed
Indian or Spanish, revealing no black characteristics whatsoever.
I also talked and photographed three girls who accompanied her.
They were on the way home from church. They suggested that I interview
Elmer Durham, which I did, on Saturday November 22, 1941.
Elmer was a descendant of the Durhams which was the oldest family
of Moors in Cheswold--at least that is what he told me. He said
that he didn't know of any Indian blood in the family. But to me
he appeared to have very strong Indian features. He was a leading
member of the Adventist Church.
were three Churches there at the time attended by these people.
One is called the Manship Church, one is called the Fork Branch
Church and the other the Adventist Church. The Seventh Day Adventist
Church was sort of a new religion down there. They had two Moor
schools--one had two Negro pupils and the rest were Moors. The Adventist
Church had a Church School which opened Labor Day, 1941. They had
27 pupils and, of course, they were all Moors and they had a West
Indian Teacher, who roomed and boarded with Elmer Durham.
The Moors were all formerly Methodist. As I said, the Adventists
were sort of a new sect down there.
Durham was very cooperative. His features were very white, decidedly
non-Negroid--very white. He gave me some names of individuals to
talk to. I also saw Mrs. Elmer Durham. She was a little darker
than her husband but I also sensed Indian in her background. Before
leaving Cheswold this day, I walked through the Manship Church graveyard
and I found many Durhams buried there, and also Deans,
Mosleys, Counsellors and a few Clarks. Someone
should go and double-check that graveyard, someone interested in
Durham, incidentally, told me that the new insurance law required
that the Moors be classified as Blacks inasmuch they were not whites,
which is perfectly silly. Formerly they were classified as Moors.
But with this new classification it is very shameful since they
are not Negroes although they are striving to keep their blood pure.
Under pressure from whites many of the young people are being forced
into Negro society.
on Saturday November 22, 1941 I went to Cheswold again. Accompanied
by Dr. Speck, a well-known anthropologist from the
University of Pennsylvania. He brought along one of his students,
Merril Haserwick who later became very prominent in the area
of anthropology. We talked to a man name Kimmey, a very Indian-looking
man. He had two corn pegs that he was making for me. I had seen
him before. I gave him some gourds which he is going to carve for
me. Mr. Kimmey knew many animal traps and other artifacts relating
to Indian culture. Dr. Speck thought he was a splendid Indian
also went to see Minous Durham who was in ill health. Now,
Minous Durham didn't claim any Indian ancestry, but Dr.
Speck said he could see the definite Indian in his features.
During our conversation it was brought out that some of Minous's
family were Hanzors. Because of the definite Indian in that
family it is definite that Minous has some Indian strain. Incidentally,
Minous said that as a boy he used to play with a bow arrow.
also saw Perry Hughes and his brother, Edward. Both
of them were very good Indian types. Perry had one daughter, but
he said, that he had raised ten or twelve head. A number of his
grandchildren were there. Perry said, his wife was crippled and
couldn't get around like she used to. He was a splendid source of
information. He had no education, couldn't read or write, nevertheless
he had a wonderful memory and his Indian background was prominent
in his appearance and his habit. He said that he had 60 cents left
when he got married. That was his whole fortune at the age of twenty.
Everything that he earned after that he earned himself. He owned
a small farm and worked it himself. He has lived in the vicinity
all his life. He knows everyone and everyone knows him.
saw and photographed an old hominy mortar and pestle, which has
been in the family as long as anyone could remember. It was made
of gumwood. Perry said it was made by hollowing out the center with
fire and chopping out the charred embers with a stone, which, of
course, is the ancient Indian technique for making a mortar before
they had metal tools. He said the mortar belonged to his maternal
grandfather, Perry Cork. Who had it before then he didn't
know. Perry said that he had used the mortar until 13 or 14 years
ago. He gave a clear-cut description of using it and making pone,
ashcakes, Johnny bread etc. This was too lengthy for notes, but
later I got more of the information from him. This mortar was 51
inches in circumference, 32 inches high and 26 inches in diameter
and the pestle was of wood.
said that the area behind him and the highway was called the Neck
and that section was called Four Hundred. He spoke of the people
that occupied the Neck thought they were ritzy, he said that they
were dicty, in other words a kind of uppity group. This section
where Perry had his farm was known as Spring Hill. His language
was very interesting. He used the word "tuck" instead of "took."
He used the words "amongst them" and "oftimes" and "broke up" which
means "ailing." We looked for a Doc Simmons who was recommended
to us. We asked some white people about him and they said he was
a "mulatto man." Well, when we finally met him he didn't look anything
to me other than someone who had Indian and White background.
7, 1941. We witnessed a tall-story contest between Clem Carney
and one of the Jacksons from Seaford, Delaware. He was Seaford
Jackson's son from Seaford, Delaware. Also Robert Coker,
who is a native of Cheswold. There were about 12 Moors in the audience
listening to these tales, which were all remarkable and witty. Clem
Carney was known to tell many, many stories. He told the story
about a man in a burning skyscraper who made rubber boots and shoes
in this factory that caught on fire. The man put on a pair of rubber
boots and jumped out of the window to the street and he kept bouncing
up and down and he bounced so much that he had to be shot to keep
from starving to death. Another man jumped from a building but the
building was so high that he stopped 15 minutes on the way down
for lunch. He said one day there was a swarm of mosquitoes so thick
down in Kent County he had to go out and shoot through them, so
they could see the sun. He said the mosquitoes punctured an old
hot water boiler where a young man was hiding. These mosquitoes
were so powerful that they punctured the boiler that he was hiding
in with their beaks. He hit their beaks with a hammer and bent them
over and as he crawled out of this boiler he found he was flying
way high out over the woods because the mosquitoes had flew away
with the boiler.
else told a story--I think it was Robert Coker--who talked
about fishing. They had caught a fish with so many hooks in him
that they had to sell the fish for scrap metal. Clem said they caught
a woman-fish in the Delaware Bay. They exhibited the fish for 10
cents. She had webbed hands and legs, breast and a woman's face.
This, of course, means a mermaid, which is a real tall story. Then
they told one about a mountain so tall that they had to put hinges
on top to let the sun go past. Then Clem talked about three girls.
Someone asked who is the prettiest? Clem said they were of one prettiness.
stories went on and on like that. Clem told me he was born in 1869.
He once worked for a white farmer. The farmer had a table for the
family and for the white hired hands, and then he had a table for
the black hired hand and then he had a table for Clem apart from
the white table. This was how he was making a distinction between
these three classes and the farmer would pass the food from table
to table. Clem told me that he took a horse saddle to a white family
and stayed overnight. They wanted him to come inside, but he said
he didn't want to. Then he said that he wasn't white. Clem looked
as white as anybody you could imagine, but he knew that there was
a racial admixture in him and he wasn't white. So they threw a horse
blanket out to him so he could sleep on the bench.
wife said to me she had two white cousins. At the Adventist school
we visited, which Elmer Durham showed us today, they have
twenty desks, two small blackboards and a teacher's desk they got
from the state. We also saw the new church--the Seventh Day Adventist
Church--which Elmer Durham said he and his two sons had built.
I see by my notes that on a later trip I went to see Salley Carney
who was born a Mosley She was supposed to be one of the oldest of
the Clan down there, but unfortunately she wasn't at home. I also
visited Minous Durham again at his farm. I spoke with him
at great length about his family. He said that his grandfather was
Bennie Durham and that he was a white man.
also went to Seven Hickories, which is a section down near Cheswold.
I interviewed John Carney. John was an ex-prize fighter and
then was in his 80's. He had blue eyes and a yellowish complexion.
He was the uncle of Minous Durham, a brother to Minous's
mother. He said there was no Indian blood in either side of his
family as far as he knew, he said that his father was Martin
Carney and his mother was a Songo, he said that both
of his parents were Moors and that is the word he used. John said
that the Carney's were an old family there, but his mother's folks
were from Baltimore or Washington. He told me that the Morgan family
and the Sanders had Indian blood but that the older members of his
family were now all dead. He said he remembered when Jim Seeney
came to Cheswold from Maryland. Prior to that there were no Seeney's
Mosley, the object of my trip, this time was preaching again
in an Adventist Church in Milford. So I missed him again. I had
more discussion with Delores and Dalton Seeney. Delores
was a young girl 14 or 15 and Dalton was 18. To all appearances
they were white. They both had deep brown eyes, straight black hair.
He was a very handsome lad, looked French. They were excluded from
the white high schools. Dalton had graduated from the colored high
school operated by the State. They both formerly lived in Detroit
where they were treated as whites. I photographed them. They were
curious about their ancestry and said the matter had often been
discussed among them. They didn't like to associate with Blacks
but were forced to do so. They had to sit with Blacks in the movie
houses and were not permitted to eat in white restaurants, yet they
looked to me exactly as white persons and reacted with white man's
feelings. I was deeply moved by these two people. Delores had been
asked for dates by Negro classmates. When she refused she was called
a snob and was treated with much disdain.
my next trip I went down to see Salley Carney again, who
wasn't at home on my last visit. She was on of the oldest Mosleys.
Her father was John Mosley and her mother was Elizabeth
Johnson, John Johnson's sister (the old Indian Uncle
John Johnson that I mentioned before). Salley had married
William Carney. One of Salley's daughters married Robert
Morris of Laurel, Delaware. Robert's father was Corliss Mosley.
I talked to his daughter who lived with Salley. Salley was in her
80's, had a very poor memory. She knew nothing about the Indian
admixture in her family but she supposed there had been some. However
she had forgotten the details.
daughter suggested that I visit Joseph Kimmey. She believed
he was a good source of information. I mentioned before that I did
see Mr. Kimmey and I went back to seem him and of course got more
information. On each trip you can add more information as these
persons became more friendly. Joseph Kimmey as the son of
James Kimmey and Zippy Mosley. His family was from
Indian River Hundred. James Kimmey, Joseph's father, was
a half-brother to Russell Clark's wife. Joseph married Nancy
Mosley. He claims that there was Indian blood on both sides
of this family. In appearance he has very pronounced white increments,
but you could see Indian features. He is about 80 and is crippled.
Several years ago while doing carpenter work he fell and broke his
back, and has done no work since. He walks on crutches. He and his
wife very much resented that the Moors were classed as colored people,
because he couldn't serve on a jury in Delaware while naturalized
foreigners, who were not as good as he, could do so, he claimed.
Seeney and I drove to see Nepolitan Morgan. He was at
one of his sons' homes. Nepolitan was 81, the oldest Morgan alive.
He said that all of his father's kin, except his own children, were
all deceased. His father was James Morgan and his mother
was Heneritta Carter. She was a half-blood Indian and her
mother was a full blood Indian from Maryland, but he wasn't sure
where. He thought it might be a town called Hillsboro. He didn't
know of any Indian blood on the Morgan side--it was on his mothers
side. He was white in appearance: Very sharp distinctive features.
also stopped in the Fork Branch graveyard there and looked at the
stones. They are very much like the ones at the Manship Church graveyard
which I mentioned. There were a number of persons buried there with
the first name of Burton--for instance there was a Burton Mosley--a
name which originated with a white family on Indian River. Someone
who is interested in the Cheswold families should check that graveyard.
then interviewed James Seeney. He is the oldest Seeney living
and the Grand Uncle of Dalton. James is the son of James, Sr.
and his mother was a Clark. James, Jr. is one of six sons:
John, Samuel, Federick, William,
James, and Joseph Seeney. James Sr.'s mother was Rhoda
Moore before she married into the Seeney family, and was said
to have been a white woman. She appears to be a relative of the
white Moore family of Cheswold. James is a very patriarchal man
with white silky hair, white mustache and a yellowish complexion
and very religious. He has eaten no meat for 40 years as part of
his faith. He is a carpenter and has worked hard all his life. He
said his father and grandfather were both from the neighborhood
of Cheswold and the Seeney's did not come from Maryland as I had
previously heard. He said he had heard of Indian blood in his family
but couldn't contribute any important information.
of tape side one.
Seeney told me that his brother Federick Seeney founded
the Adventist Church in Cheswold about 35 years ago (this was in
1941 when I recorded this) and that the Rev. Elder Frank,
a white man, held a revival meeting in a tent in Kenton, Delaware.
Seeney got religion at this meeting and brought it back to Cheswold.
At first only the Seeney family were Adventist, but the faith spread
to other families. The Forest Grove Adventist Church has about 36
members. This story about the origin of the Adventist Church was
confirmed to me by G.A. Mosley.
then visited Garfield A. Mosley, called Rea, the man I had
tried to see originally. He was the most intelligent of the Moors
that I had met. He was a large man, tall, white complexion, blue
eyes, straight hair, almost bald and his features were very Indian-like.
He was a contractor, employed a number of men and had made an outstanding
success of business. He preaches at different Adventist Churches.
Now this Garfield A. Mosley is the grandson of Wingate
Mosley and Nancy. I never got her maiden name. His grandfather
Wingate Mosley had come to Cheswold from Indian River. One
of Wingate's sons was Charles H. Mosley, this was the father
of Garfield and his mother was Annie Dean. There were twelve
head by this marriage: Garfield A. Mosley was one. Garfield
Mosley married one of the Durhams. I talked to her too. Her
father was Robert Durham. Garfield Mosley told me he thought
the Moors were a cross between Indian and Whites. He said his birth
certificate was drawn up as a Nanticoke Indian. He says there was
Indian on the Mosley side of his family and had heard his father
say it very often.
next interview was with Garfield A. Mosley's mother. She
was one of the oldest in the family. She lives in a small bungalow
and is the daughter of Robert Dean and Catharine Morgan.
Catharine Morgan's father was John Morgan. Robert Dean's
father was Jessee Dean and his mother was Hester Dean.
Annie Dean Mosley, mother of Garfield A. Mosley, was
a very pleasant and seemingly intelligent woman. She was sitting
on a chair on her front lawn writing a letter. She said she had
heard of Indian blood in the Moors but didn't know when or how it
came in. She said that her grandmother, that would be Catherine
Morgan's mother, was a white woman. She said that her father and
his father were both born in the Cheswold environs. She said that
Annie M. Durham, then deceased, claimed to have Indian blood.
another trip, I took Dr. Speck to see the people down there a second
time. Dr. Speck, of course, had done a lot of work among the Nanticokes
in Indian River Hundred, but he had never been to Cheswold before
I took him there. We went to see Uncle John Johnson, but
he wasn't home. We talked to his wife a little bit and Speck thinks
she is a very good Indian type. We saw Perry Hughes and took
his photograph. He had an old basket which he said had been in the
family for a very long time. We then drove to Frederica to see the
brother of Levi Mosley's wife. Levi Mosley had told
me that he had married Clara Hansley from Frederica. I never
asked him if this was a 1st or second wife and I don't remember
meeting her. Levi told me his wife had twin brothers who lived in
Frederica, Jim and George Hansley, so we decided to
go and visit these two Hansleys. My notes say that we met James
Hansley but I don't recall meeting George.
Hansley's wife was born Nora Harmon. He told us his mother
was a Drain born in Indian River Hundred. His wife, Mrs.
Hansley, was also born in Indian River. We saw their daughter Elva
who had married a Mosley. She was a very good Indian
type and I recall taking her picture. Mrs. Hansley was known as
the Turkey lady, because she and her husband operated a large Turkey
farm. She was of light complexion with straight hair. Her husband
had coppery, dark skin but had definite Indian facial characteristics.
this trip we went to see Uncle John Johnson again. I found
him sunning himself on the front porch. He was glad that I had called.
We had become good friends and he was eager to talk. Now, as I said
earlier, as you had successive conversations with these people you
get additional information and sometimes information that will clarify
earlier information. Earlier he told me he had come from Herring
Creek, which he had. The conversation brought out that he was from
Wyoming, Delaware, although his parents had originally come from
Herring Creek, from there to Wyoming, Delaware, then to Cheswold
when he was a boy. He said his paternal grandfather was Robert
Johnson and his paternal grandmother was also a Johnson.
And he remembers as a boy using a hominy mortar, using a wooden
corn peg, and he states that there was a number of old splint basket
in the family that are now lost. During his young manhood, John
was a well-digger and did other such odd jobs in the neighborhood.
His father was a big, strong man. Levi Mosley said that he
could chop more wood from sun to sun than any man he ever knew.
John's father always cut a blade of his knife short when he bought
a new knife: he said he just wanted to scratch a man, he really
didn't want to kill him.
went to see Joseph Kimmey again. He looked much older that
the time before we went to see him. His back had been bothering
him a whole lot. I gave him a snapshot I had taken and he was glad
to get it. He too told me about using a hominy mortar as a boy and
had seen netting needles and had made a number of corn pegs. I asked
him to make a corn peg for me which he is going to do. I learned
that he had originally came from Felton, although his folks had
originally came from downstate. I talked to his son-in-law, Leon
Carney. Leon is very light, straight hair, traces of Indian
in his features. He was the son of William Carney, who is
the son of Robert Carney. The latter's Leon grandfather (great)
was half Indian and half Irish he says, and that he came from Indian
River. Leon's mother was Mable Durham, his grandmother was
Amanda Mosley. Leon has four children, the oldest is 18.
I photographed the three younger ones. Their names were Floyd,
Lonnie, and Lloyd. I talked again to Levi Mosley
and he referred me to a white man named Charles Hickey, who
was supposed to be a good source of information. I found him deaf
and very hard to talk to.
went to see Will Sammons. He looks exactly like a white man
and Dalton told me Will's son was in the white regiment in the Army.
He was not a very good source of information, but recommended his
eldest brother who we went to see next. Now the elder brother Sammons
told me he was born in 1875, his name was Armwell, but everybody
calls him Duck, he was very Indian-like and has no black
characteristics of any kind. He claims there is nothing in his background
except white and Indian, and that all Moors are white and Indian
and the ones that aren't should not call themselves Moors. His grandfather
was from France. He has a brother, James, living in Pennsville
and his mother was a Munce or Muncey.
also saw Mrs. Sammons. I think her name was Rachel Sammons.
She showed me a picture of her grandmother, who was born a Hughes--splendid
looking women. The Sammons had five daughters, all of them married
white men, according to Duck. I saw their pictures: they were splendid
looking children. I talked to Elmer Durham, again. This time
he told me his father was George Durham, and his grandfather
was Joel Durham and Joel had a brother Isaac Durham.
Elder's sons were Horace, Clarence and Agustus. Mrs.
Durham was Anna Carney, her father was James Carney
and her grandfather was William Carney. She had many Indian
traits, despite a darkish skin. I saw Clem Carney again.
Clem, of course, is very light--he looks Irish if one were trying
to characterize him. He is an expert maker of nets, he makes nets
with a wooden netting needle, according to the old Indian Style.
this trip I went first to see Joseph Kimmey again. I found
his grandchildren driving a goat in the streets. Another one of
his grandsons, who lived in Milford Neck, Milford, Delaware, came
to see him while I was there. Kimmey gave the corn pegs and miniature
suckering cane, a gourd dipper and two bird traps he cut out for
me and also gave me some information about herb medicines which
I noted elsewhere. He tells me that they buried their potatoes each
fall through the winter by piling dirt on them to keep them from
freezing. He also tells me that they used to do the same thing with
apples and turnips. He said the artichokes were the Indian potatoes--this
is of interest. Dr. Speck had mentioned in an article on the Rappahannock
Indians mentions the same thing.
Kimmey said many Moors have gone to Bridgeton, New Jersey and
if you go there on a Saturday night, you can see them. Isn't that
interesting. That's about all he had to say about that. He said
that Uncle John Johnson's father was Burton Johnson,
he said that he was a fighting man. Joseph Kimmey said that
he was 78 years of age, his mother made corn pones, ash cakes, johnny
bread on special boards, they also made their own lye by boiling
ashes and this lye was used for cleaning purposes. He made some
reference to Perry Hughes' father: He said that Perry
Hughes worked himself out working, and that his father was so
big and strong that he had to have his hoes that he used in the
garden made by a blacksmith so he could get a big heavy one.
had a good time talking to Levi Mosley, gave him the cigar
I always took to him. He carved several things from gourds for me.
He introduced me to George Carter whose father was a herb
doctor. George was on his way to cut down a tree but he paused to
talk. I understand that he is Ida Carter's grandfather. He
is very white. Levi says that his mother was very white too. There
is a suggestion of Indian in his face.
stopped to pick up Dalton Seeney--photographed Dalton and
his mother. Dalton says that Ruben Seeney, his father's Uncle,
that's a brother of Jim Seeney, claims that his father was
part Indian. We went to see James Dean, an excellent Indian
type, the best Indian I've seen on this peninsula. He says that
one of the Durhams way back married an Indian and that the Munceys
were Indian. Durhams had come over from England. The Indians that
they married were not wild Indians, but he guesses they just lived
there. He was very vague in his background story.
in to see John Carney again and he told me he was Clem
Carney's uncle. He resembles Clem very strongly. He too confirmed
that Will Sammons' wife was a Songo, which was his
mother's name. I don't know if we can put all that together. This
trip we made December 20, 1941. I saw Fraizer Carney, this
is the husband of Nora Carney. Both claim to be a mixture
of white and Indian. They had two daughters. One married a Moor
from Cheswold and is living there, the other married a man from
Newark. I saw the daughters' pictures. They both looked very white.
Nora is going to make a brush broom for me. This is a broom made
from tree branches tied to a tree limb handle that the old Indians
used to use to clean up their camps and she knew how to make one.
She subsequently did.
some more time with Uncle John Johnson and Aunt
Neeley Ann and got some information about herbs. I took Uncle
John to see Clem Carney who had just returned from the hospital.
He had just had an operation. While we visited him, I noticed that
his wife Amanda, who had Indian features, was using a turkey wing
broom on her stove. Now that is real old Indian custom. I asked
her if I could buy that turkey wing broom. I guess she thought I
was crazy wanting to buy something like that. She laughed and said
I could have it, she could easily get another one.
we were there her daughter from Milford drove in. It was a very
profitable and enjoyable trip. Met a lot of people. I was amazed
at how these people take in children of their own kind and raise
them, one woman who had none of her own, was known to have raised
30 head. The orphans were always taken in by friends or relatives
when the parents died, which is a very interesting comment and certainly
a very Indian-like custom. Mrs. Nora Carney went to the Orphans
Home and wanted to adopt a child of their color. She said that the
authorities said that they never receive any orphans from the yellow
people. The orphans were always taken in by friends or relatives
when the parents died.
trip was made January 24, 1942 and I visited another Johnson
family and I didn't get this particular Johnson's first name it
was very negligent of me. They lived in a frame house near the railroad,
he was employed in an orchard. They had four children, all fine
looking children who could all easily pass for white. The mother
was a Carey before her marriage and her home was in Berlin,
Maryland. His mother was Jennie Ridgeway, and he was the
son by the first marriage. Next we went to see Frazier Carney
and Nora Carney again, she was a Jackson before her
marriage and lived near Seaford. Her people were Nanticoke descendants.
We talked with Clem Carney and photographed him making a
net. Then we went to Felton to see Andrew Mosley. We learned
that Andrew Mosley was one of the last basket makers and lived in
Felton. We met him and talked to him. He agreed to make a basket
for me, which he did and I later presented it to the Museum of the
American Indian in New York.
referred earlier to a Robert Coker, and I'm not sure that
name should be Croker or Coker, because when we were in Cheswold
on one of our trips we went to visit Calvin Clark of Dover
(Calvin is a brother to Charles Clark, son of Chief Russell
Clark--Calvin was an undertaker in Dover) said that he had married
a Coker. So that could be the proper name. Matter of fact as I review
my notes again I notice that Clem Carney's wife Amanda
told me she was a Coker before her marriage to Clem. Of course you
folks must be aware that I was getting a lot of other useful information
at this time. My notes are full of herb cures and folklore and weather
signs and other things like that I was primarily interested in,
and also getting a lot of artifacts made the way they made them
in the past.
also met a Benjamin Mosley who is the father of eight head,
and also Joe Mosley who is a brother to Andrew Mosley,
the man who made the basket for me. We photographed Ardella Mae
Johnson, aged about 10, and Lola Ridgeway, aged about
9. My notes don't explain who their parents were. I also learned
on that trip that Perry Hughes had a son named Fred Hughes.
here is some Johnson information--someone was interested in the
Johnson's. My notes say that Whittington Johnson was Arthur
Johnson's father. His wife Ann Johnson lived to be 87.
Now, they lived down in Indian River One Hundred. She never owned
a stove, she would bake pones all night by putting them in the fireplace
in the house. In the house there were mortar, boards, baskets and
other utensils, also dried herbs in the attic that they used in
the event of illness. Whittington and Ann had a son Authur
who married a woman named Patience. They had a son Howard
Johnson who married Liza Ann Harmon. When Dr. Speck
first visited Indian River in 1912, he went by train to Georgetown
and then by two seated surrey to Millsboro and then somebody took
him out to meet the Nanticokes and he stayed overnight with Howard
Johnson and his wife Liza Ann Johnson that I just mentioned.
They invited him to share their home and Dr. Speck said that
they had these children, Issac, Mabel, Lilly, Barnard, and
that gives you some Johnson genealogy information. Of course Lilly
Johnson is still living. She married Bud Davis and I
believe that they had five children and I believe William Davis's
son is still active in the Nanticoke Association as are his sisters
Sylvia and Doris. On one of my earlier trips, I stayed
overnight at their home. My notes also say that Barnard Johnson
married Mamie Mosley. He is of course Lilly's brother; their
daughter Edith married a Richard Sylvester Norwood
and they had, at the time I took the notes, three children. That
concludes the notes that I have at the present time.