The South is a land of coastal swamps, red clay hills, pine trees, tobacco fields, and urban skylines. Its greatest resource is the people who came to live hereóscoundrels, schemers, dreamers, and doers. This family album contains their stories, told in the seemingly impersonal records of the Federal government.
The Bourguin Family Tree
Native Americans are well represented in the archival records of the Southeast Region because of the key role the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), a Federal Agency, played in their lives. This 1899 BIA census lists Big Cove Indians living on the Qualla Reservation in western North Carolina. The census taker recorded age, gender, degree of Indian blood and other details.
John Henry Hardin
John Henry Hardin of Cherokee County, Georgia, found himself on the far side of the law. He was indicted in 1927, in the midst of the Prohibition Era, for possessing equipment used to produce "spirituous liquors." He was convicted, sentenced to two years in the Atlanta Penitentiary, and fined $2,000.
Family Relocation - Mattie Randolph and the TVA
TVA caseworkers kept detailed notes based on visits to family homes. "This family absolutely refuses to even talk of moving" wrote a Tennessee Valley Authority caseworker about Mattie and Jim Randolph and their six children living near the Norris Dam in Tennessee. TVA offered assistance to relocate families from areas scheduled to be covered by rising reservoir waters, but relocation from an area that had been their home for generations was a difficult process for many.
The threat of rising reservoir waters flooding local cemeteries forced Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) officials to relocate entire cemeteries in southeastern Tennessee. In doing so, they found reminders of slaves as members of extended Southern families.
The TVA relocated the graves of five slaves, one unidentified, buried in the Wilson family cemetery. The inscription on their monument reads: "To the memory of Ned, Claibe, Rhoda and Ett, Negro slaves of Charles and Peggy Haley who remained faithful to the end."