The Great Wagon Road, or How History Knocked the Professor Cold, or A Storyteller’s Story, or Why Appalachians Are Mountains and a People

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The Great Wagon Road, or How History Knocked the Professor Cold, or A Storyteller’s Story, or Why Appalachians Are Mountains and a People

by Michael Chitwood
Southern Cultures, Vol. 4, No. 2: Summer 1998

A boy of four, he killed one of the King's overlords for casting a desirous eye on his mother, and stowed away to sail the whale road.

In “The Great Wagon Road,” published in the Spring 1997 issue of Southern Cultures, historian T.H. Breen told of his encounters and adventures while attempting to trace the route of the great migration of German and Scots–Irish settlers from lands north into the Carolinas. Breen’s essay set Michael Chitwood thinking…

 

Scottish, by way of Ulster, Philadelphia,

The Valley of the Shenandoah,

 

generous, clannish, violent, kind-hearted,

they walked in (the Germans rode)

and stayed mostly out of county records
and the backs of Bibles, unlettered.

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