Thursday, December 29, 2016

How Putin Became President: by David Satter

from: The American InterestThe summer of 1999 Russian apartment bombings:
In the summer of 1999, the Yeltsin era was coming to an end and those at the pinnacle of power feared for their freedom and even their lives. There were the first signs of an economic recovery, but ordinary citizens were still living in poverty and waiting months to be paid. The Yeltsin entourage, which was widely hated for its role in pillaging the country, was increasingly isolated. According to Russians and Westerners with access to the Kremlin leadership, the leading members of the Yeltsin “family”—Tatyana Dyachenko, the President’s daughter, Boris Berezovsky, the country’s richest man and her close adviser, and Valentin Yumashev, a member of the Security Council and Dyachenko’s future husband—lived in fear of a cruel reckoning. Many ordinary citizens were convinced they would never surrender power.
David Satter has written about Russia for four decades. 
He is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a fellow 
at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). 
The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep, from which this essay is adapted, is his fourth book.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Andrew Jackson calls for Indian removal: Submitting to the laws of the States, ~~ merge(s) in our population.

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Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson had long wanted to remove American Indians west of the Mississippi. When he became President in 1829, he pushed for Indian removal to become official U.S. policy. About the painting
The condition and ulterior destiny of the Indian tribes within the limits of some of our States have become objects of much interest and importance. It has long been the policy of Government to introduce among them the arts of civilization, in the hope of gradually reclaiming them from a wandering life. This policy has, however, been coupled with another wholly incompatible with its success. Professing a desire to civilize and settle them, we have at the same time lost no opportunity to purchase their lands and thrust them farther into the wilderness. By this means they have not only been kept in a wandering state, but been led to look upon us as unjust and indifferent to their fate. Thus, though lavish in its expenditures upon the subject, Government has constantly defeated its own policy, and the Indians in general, receding farther and farther to the west, have retained their savage habits. A portion, however, of the Southern tribes, having mingled much with the whites and made some progress in the arts of civilized life, have lately attempted to erect an independent government within the limits of Georgia and Alabama. These States, claiming to be the only sovereigns within their territories, extended their laws over the Indians, which inducedthe latter to call upon the United States for protection.
Under these circumstances the question presented was whether the General Government had a right to sustain those people in their pretensions. The Constitution declares that “no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State” without the consent of its legislature. If the General Government is not permitted to tolerate the erection of a confederate State within the territory of one of the members of this Union against her consent, much less could it allow a foreign and independent government to establish itself there.
Georgia became a member of the Confederacy which eventuated in our Federal Union as a sovereign State, always asserting her claim to certain limits, which, having been originally defined in her colonial charter and subsequently recognized in the treaty of peace, she has ever since continued to enjoy, except as they have been circumscribed by her own voluntary transfer of a portion of her territory to the United States in the articles of cession of 1802. Alabama was admitted into the Union on the same footing with the original States, with boundaries which were prescribed by Congress.
There is no constitutional, conventional, or legal provision which allows them less power over the Indians within their borders than is possessed by Maine or New York. Would the people of Maine permit the Penobscot tribe to erect an independent government within their State? And unless they did would it not be the duty of the General Government to support them in resisting such a measure? Would the people of New York permit each remnant of the six Nations within her borders to declare itself an independent people under the protection of the United States? Could the Indians establish a separate republic on each of their reservations in Ohio? And if they were so disposed would it be the duty of this Government to protect them in the attempt? If the principle involved in the obvious answer to these questions be abandoned, it will follow that the objects of this Government are reversed, and that it has become a part of its duty to aid in destroying the States which it was established to protect.
Actuated by this view of the subject, I informed the Indians inhabiting parts of Georgia and Alabama that their attempt to establish an independent government would not be countenanced by the Executive of the United States, and advised them to emigrate beyond the Mississippi or submit to the laws of those States.
Our conduct toward these people is deeply interesting to our national character. Their present condition, contrasted with what they once were, makes a most powerful appeal to our sympathies. Our ancestors found them the uncontrolled possessors of these vast regions. By persuasion and force they have been made to retire from river to river and from mountain to mountain, until some of the tribes have become extinct and others have left but remnants to preserve for a while their once terrible names. Surrounded by the whites with their arts of civilization, which by destroying the resources of the savage doom him to weakness and decay, the fate of the Mohegan, the Narragansett, and the Delaware is fast over-taking the Choctaw, the Cherokee, and the Creek. That this fate surely awaits them if they remain within the limits of the States does not admit of a doubt. Humanity and national honor demand that every effort should be made to avert so great a calamity. It is too late to inquire whether it was just in the United States to include them and their territory within the bounds of new States, whose limits they could control. That step can not be retraced. A State can not be dismembered by Congress or restricted in the exercise of her constitutional power. But the people of those States and of every State, actuated by feelings of justice and a regard for our national honor, submit to you the interesting question whether something can not be done, consistently with the rights of the States, to preserve this much-injured race. As a means of effecting this end I suggest for your consideration the propriety of setting apart an ample district west of the Mississippi, and without the limits of any State or Territory now formed, to be guaranteed to the Indian tribes as long as they shall occupy it, each tribe having a distinct control over the portion designated for its use. There they may be secured in the enjoyment of governments of their own choice, subject to no other control from the United States than such as may be necessary to preserve peace on the frontier and between the several tribes. There the benevolentmay endeavor to teach them the arts of civilization, and, by promoting union and harmony among them, to raise up an interesting commonwealth, destined to perpetuate the race and to attest the humanity and justice of this Government.
This emigration should be voluntary, for it would be as cruel as unjust to compel the aborigines to abandon the graves of their fathers and seek a home in a distant land. But they should be distinctly informed that if they remain within the limits of the States they must be subject to their laws. In return for their obedience as individuals they will without doubt be protected in the enjoyment of those possessions which they have improved by their industry. But it seems to me visionary to suppose that in this state of things claims can be allowed on tracts of country on which they have neither dwelt nor made improvements, merely because they have seen them from the mountain or passed them in the chase. Submitting to the laws of the States, and receiving, like other citizens, protection in their persons and property, they will ere long become merged in the mass of our population.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

On Saponi Collins Family: Robert K. Thomas Aug 1980

12, 1980
Dear Mrs.******
I am writing to you to thank you and your husband for your kindness to me when I was in Coeburn last month. I am now finished with my survey of the Indian groups in the southern Appalachian area and am back in Michigan. Since you seemed interested in the history of the Collins family in your area, I will pass along to you what I know of their

As far as I can determine, all the Collins of Northeastern Tennessee, Southeastern Virginia, and Eastern Kentucky are descendants of one household of Collins who resided in Orange County, N.C. in 1760: a family of Saponi Indians. I know that it must be “mind-boggling” to imagine that the thousands of Collinses in your area are all descended from just one household, but such is the case. Further, this is not so amazing as it sounds.

 It is common among pre-Revolutionary American families. For instance, all the Carters in the South are descended from three brothers who came to Virginia in the late

Let me start at the beginning , with the Saponi Indians.

 The Saponi were an advanced tribe who originally lived on the Roanoke River about where it crosses over into North Carolina from Virginia. In the late 1660’s, they moved
further west to the area of modern Clarksville, VA. Here they allied with the
neighboring Tutelo and Occanuki Indians. All of these tribes spoke similar
languages, a variety of language akin to modern Sioux of the Dakotas. In the
1670’s, they got into a war with Virginia whites, the so-called Bacon Rebellion,
and moved west to the Yadkin Valley around modern Winston Salem. In the early
1700’s, the Saponi started migrating east, returning to their original homeland.

In 1714 Governor Spotswood of Virginia established Ft. Christanna
near modern Lawrenceville,VA and convinced the Saponi, Occanuki, and Tutelo to
settle there. In about 1722, the Tutelo left and joined the Iroquois in New York and during the Revolution, fled to Canada where they now live on the Six
Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario. The Occanuki were absorbed by the
Saponi in this period. About 1728, the Saponi became involved in a war with
the Tuscarora and Nottowa Indians who lived further east. They fled from Ft.
Christanna, and went to live with the Catawba in South Carolina.

In the early 1740’s, the Saponi left the Catawba country and started north. By 1740, Collins and Bowling (Scien, Bolling, etc.) were common family names among the Saponi. One band of Saponi headed north to the Iroquois area and were adopted by the
Cayuga and Seneca. There are descendants of the Saponi now on the Caltaraugus’s
reservation near Buffalo; some of them named Collins. [We need to find these
Collins among the reserve.] Another band of Saponi stopped in North Carolina
and settled on the plantation of Colonel William Eaton, near what is now
Henderson, N.C. The Saponi had fought with Eaton in the wars with the Ohio
Valley tribes. Eaton’s plantation was on the frontier and the Saponi were,
no doubt, his protectors.

Around 1750, several tribes further east --- the Nansemond, Yeopin, and Poroskite --- lost their lands and began to fragment into individual family groups. These Indian families began to migrate to the frontier and settle near the Saponi. In 1760, Eaton died and the frontier had moved on. The Saponi lost their land base then and also began to fragment into individual families, and move west. In 1760’s, I can pick up the Collins in Orange County, on the frontier, west of Hendersonville, N.C.

1755 Edition of the Fry-Jefferson map shows the location of Occaneechi

By 1790, many of these Indian families, including the Collinses, had “bunched up” in the counties of extreme northeastern North Carolina. Then in the 1790’s, they spread all over
Northeastern Tennessee, Southwestern Virginia, and over into what is now Letcher and Knott Counties, Kentucky. Many of them , like the Bollings of Wise County, became prominent families in their areas.

Then, in the 1830’s, Virginia became one of the more consciously racist and deliberately elitist states in the Union. First,  most poor whites were disenfranchised by a property value requirement; most Virginians west of the Blue Ridge, as well as the poor further east, could not legally vote in Virginia. Further, a new legal category included citizen Indians, free blacks, and all non-whites. These “free colored” could not vote, bear arms, travel freely, etc. In southwest Virginia and neighboring parts of Tennessee, the more established Indian families “weathered the storm”.

The Bollings in Wise County, redefined their status as being descendants of
Pocahontas and John Rolfe, thus escaping the free colored category. Other
families who were less wealthy, darker, and concentrated in one area, got caught
in the free colored category; and, thus the Melungeons of southern Wise County
came into existence.

By 1840, the situation became intolerable for some Indians in Southwest Virginia, and they began to head for Kentucky, a less repressive social and legal atmosphere. In the 1840’s, three Collins families moved into Kentucky, into Letcher County. In the 1850’s, two Collins families moved to Johnson County, just south of Paintsville (Grandpap William Collins and brother). {Frankie’s note here: This is where my 2nd great grandparents Griffin and Rachael Collins went also, and were listed as Mulatto on Johnson County census records} These Collinses were very Indian looking and dark. They must have been almost full-blood Indians.

In Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, Indians were just another variety of “n----r” in the 1850’s, but Kentucky was much more liberal, at least in regards to Indians.
By World War I, the situation had changed. Being Indian had almost a romantic prestige about it, and many families like the Collinses in Kentucky, had become successful
mainstream citizens. It was at this point that the Melungeons began to be seen as possibly being part black, in order to explain their low rank and exclusion.

Of course, the Collinses did not stop in Johnson County. The lower Big Sandy drainage and Southern Ohio is full of Collinses who migrated to those areas from further south in Kentucky and Virginia after the Civil War. [Where are all these Collins?]

Freeling and Hannah Stephens Collins
Not all the Collinses headed west in 1760 after Colonel Eaton died. Some few went south to what is now Robeson County, North Carolina, and became part of the modern Lumbee Indians in that region. The history of the Collins family is both remarkable and fascinating. They are almost an “ethnic group” all by themselves. There are Seneca Cayuga Collinses in New York [Again we need to find these Collins families], White and Melungeon Collinses in east Tennessee and Southeast Virginia, part-Indian Collinses all down the Big Sandy and into Southern Ohio, Lumbee Indian Collinses in North Carolina --- all, at least distantly, related and all descended from two or three households of Saponi Indians in 1740.

 Someone should write a novel about your family; at least, you should rent a stadium and have a family reunion. What an “outfit”! I hope this brief sketch of the Collins family
history repays you for your kindness to me, some small measure.

Robert K.Thomas
1980, submitted by Keri Conley:
August 12, 1980