Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

Southern Appalachians songs with lyrics, commentary & some sheet music.

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Introduction
lies through Brasstown Gap to Neel Gap and down the great Appalachian Trail to Mt. Oglethorpe.
Whereas the calm and peace of the friendly spirit are always with one in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Great Smokies have in their wildness and ruggedness that which forbids intimacy.
"The basic foundation of the Smoky Mountains is a terrible, giant mon­olith of varied conglomerate sixty-five miles long, of rather forbidding countenance when viewed in the more serious and lonely aspects of Nature, such as storm, frozen fog, or thundercloud. It is then that the beholder is rather estranged from intimacy with the sixty-five miles of solid rock buttress­ed and braced with its cross-and-counter ridges countless in number, clothed in the abundant garments of soil and tree and shrub, when its serene moments of vast benignity and grandeur are for the moment withdrawn or veiled in a more forbidding presentment."8
The chief interest to most tourists at the present time is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Although the Great Smokies are America's oldest mountains it is only recently that the general public has begun to know their charm and beauty.9 Within the confines of the park, a veritable paradise of
8  Robert L. Mason: J he Lure of the Great Smokies, Boston, Houghton MifTlin Co., T927, p. 11.
9  Since writing the above, the new highway over the Great Smokies has been com­pleted. One can now quickly pass from Whittier, North Carolina, through the Cherokee Indian Reservation to Knoxville, Tennessee. There has nevei been any other road over the Great Smokies except the one built by Colonel W. H Thomas in 1861 by help of the remnant of the Cherokee Indians It fell into disuse, became impossible for travel even on horse back, and at last was almost obliterated and imperceptible. The new highway <>n the Tennessee side utilizes the course of the old road for some distance but swings into Newfound Gap in its passage over the great divide. Robert Lindsay Mason in 1 be Lure of the Great Smokies, p 6, gives the following interesting information in regard to Colonel Thomas and the road he built through Indian Gap:
"Colonel W. II Thomas — Will Usdi (Little Will), as the Cherokees lovingly called him — was adopted when an orphan by one of their counsellor chiefs, Youna-guska (Drowning Bear), and was made chief upon the death of the latter at the Indian's sug­gestion. Thomas was placed in charge of Cherokee affairs at the Yellow 1 lill Reservation, North Carolina, by the United States Government in 1841 This little remnant of the Cherokee Nation, after the removal to the Indian Territory in 1838 numbered only 1220 souls. The removal was conducted in such a vicious and disgraceful manner that it was no wonder that the white chief turned against his government and adopted the cause of the Secessionists upon the outbreak of the Civil War.
"He resigned his position as government agent at the Qualla Reservation in 1861 to join the Confederate cause, and, as a strategic measure to hold the wavering Cherokees who were offered bribes of all soits to desert their 'Little \X ill*, he employed the total number of fighting men — about six hundred — to build the only road that has ever
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III