A Genealogical Quest in the Triracial South
What began as genealogical research into the author's ancestry soon grew into a fascinating tale with lessons for us all. Among his ancestors, Johnson uncovered: unpunished murderers, infidelities that produced stronger families than formal marriages, entire units of North Carolinians who fought and died to preserve the Union in the Civil War. The tale holds enough plot twists for a half-dozen novels.
But most of all, it reveals in a personal way what molecular anthropologists have been trying to explain all along. The fact is that we are all of multiple ancestries. Inhabitants of the New World are a genetic mix of three great populations, Native Americans, European colonists, and African slaves. Nowhere is this more vivid than in Pell Mellers, the story of one man's search for his tangled roots.
"In Paul Johnson's engaging journey into his roots in Bertie County, North Carolina, he discovers an intriguing family of pocosin dwellers who personify the South's multiracial heritage and its political minorities, including Unionists and the original Buffalo Soldiers. Pell Mellers is a solid contribution to the history of the "other South" that complements the well-traveled mainstream, illustrating our rich and textured past." -- Lindley S. Butler, author of Pirates, Privateers, and Rebel Raiders of the Carolina Coast..Read full description of episode here!
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