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From the very onset of the areas existence; the Native Americans played a major role in the culture of Appalachia. The area that we know now as Appalachia received its name from the coastal Indians of northwest Florida, who were called the Apalachee. Then in the 1500’s the Europeans began to move from the coastal areas inland and encountered many different tribes of Native Americans. They fought at almost every turn, the Europeans attempting to gain ground and the Native Americans trying to keep it. These Europeans had moved to this country to escape famine and depressed living conditions, which was brought on by their respective governments. These people, I’m sure, did not think that they would have to fight for their lives or land, but fight they did. I believe that these wars and battles gave the Europeans the beginnings of the culture in Appalachia, due to the loss of life and hardships they endured only to develop a home where their culture could begin. Furthermore, these early hardships grew the Europeans into the brave and strong cultures that we see today. The very geographical area of Appalachia owes its very beginnings and eventual names to the Native Americans. The names of well known rivers, mountain ranges, communities and settlements find their origins from Native American tribes. These names or the derivative of the original names are still present today. I’m sure that if you spoke to anyone that is native to Appalachia, after only a short time, you would be immersed in the pride of their homelands and the culture their family has passed down from each generation. One such name that I found to be interesting was Conestoga Creek , which later was attached to the Conestoga Wagons that were built by Germans in the early 1800’s. My hometown of Winston-Salem, which is steeped in Moravian history, is the former home to the Nissen Wagon Works, who during 1850 built 65 Nissen wagons a year. The...
References: Chester Davis, "Locally Built Wagons Changed Face of the U.S.," Winston-Salem Journal and Sentinel, 10 Apr. 1966.
Adelaide L. Fries, Stuart T. Wright, and J. Edwin Hendricks, eds., Forsyth: The History of a County on the March (rev. ed., 1976).
Williams, J. (2002). Appalachia a history. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.
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