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7 > Page 7 of Anglo-Saxons of the Kentucky mountains : a study in anthropogeography / by Ellen Churchill Semple.

Thlc Atiglo-Sa.rons of the Ken tick AMo untain s Combs brothers, related to General Combs of the Revolutionary army, came over the mountains from North Carolina. Nine of them settled along the North Fork of the Kentucky River in the mountains of Perry County, one went further down the stream into the rough hill country of Breathitt County, and the eleventh continued on his way till he came into the smiling regions of the Bluegrass, and there became the'progenitor of a family which represents the blue blood of tCie state, with all the aristocratic instincts of the old South; while their cousins in the mountain go barefoot, herd in one-room cabins, and are ignorant of many of the fundamental decencies of life. If the mountains have kept out foreign elements, still more effec- tually have they excluded the negroes. This region is as free from them as northern Vermont. There is no place for the negro in the mountain economy, and never has been. In the days of slavery this fact had momentous results. The mountains did not offer conditions for plantation cultivation, the only system of agriculture in which slaves could be profitably employed. The absence of these condi- tions and of the capital wherewith to purchase negroes made the Whole Appalachian region a non-slave-holding section. Hence, when the rupture came between the North and South, this mountain region declared for the Union, and thus raised a barrier of dis- affection through the center of the Southern States. It had no sy npathy with the industrial system of the South; it shared the democratic spirit characteristic of all mountain people, and likewise their conservatism, which holds to the established order. Having, therefore, no intimate knowledge of the negro, our Kentucky mountaineers do not show the deep-seated prejudice to the social equality of blacks and whites which characterizes all other Ken- tuckians. Till abolished by law four years ago, there existed on the western margin of the Cumberland Plateau, a flourishing college for the co-education of the Bluegrass blacks and mountain whites; and this is probably the only geographical location south of the Mason and Dixon line where such an institution could exist. Though the mountaineer comes of such vigorous stock as the Anglo-Saxons, he has retained little of the ruddy, vigorous appear- ance of his forebears. The men are tall and lank, though sinewy, waith thin bony faces, sallow skins, and dull hair. They hold themi- selves in a loose-jointed way; their shoulders droop in walking and sitting. Their faces are immobile, often inscrutable, but never stupid; for one is sure that under this calm exterior the mountaineer is doing a deal of thinking, which he does not see fit to share with 7