The Ramapo Mountain People

The Ramapo Mountain People

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The Ramapo Mountain People by David Steven Cohen

Northwest of Manhattan where the New York-New Jersey boundary crosses the tree-covered ridges and hollows ridges and hollows of the Ramapo Mountains there is a group of about 1,500 racially mixed people who have long been referred to by journalists and historians as the "Jackson Whites."

In a study combining tee disciplines of anthropology, sociology, folklore, and history, David Cohen found that the old stories about these people were legends, not history.

He found no reliable evidence that their ancestors were Tuscarora Indians, Hessian deserters from the British army, escaped slaves, and British and West Indian prostitutes imported by a sea captain named Jackson for the pleasure of British soldiers occupying Manhattan during the War for Independence.

David Cohen lived among the Ramapo Mountain People for a year, conducting genealogical research into church records, deeds, wills, and inventories in county courthouses and libraries. He established that their ancestors included free black landowners in New York City and mulattoes with some Dutch ancestry who were among the first pioneers to settle in the Hackensack River Valley of New Jersey.

In describing his findings and his experiences, Professor Cohen shows how their racially mixed ancestry, their special family and kinship system, and their intergroup attitudes and folkways distinguish and socially isolate these people as a separate racial group today, despite modern communications and transportation and their proximity to New York City.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813511955
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 09/19/1986
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

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The Ramapo Mountain People 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
well actually, its written as "DeFreese" . I grew up in Mahwah on what they call "the mountain" also knwon as "stag hill" or as we call it "the kipp" .I am rampough mountain indian; infact my grandmother does every ramapough mountain indians ancestry family tree (can date mine back in the 1700's) and not only that i know every single family VanDunk, Dennison, Manns, Morgans, Degroats, Defreese, Burris, Milligans. You may also find that they populate places like ringwood, nj and hillburn, ny. If anyone knows about this ancestry it is me. I am rampough mountain indian and proud of it !
shortyDD More than 1 year ago
My grandfather "William DeFreece" also contributed to this book. Mr. Cohen
spoke, and interviewed him. I had the original book; but unfortunately the
book was burned up in a fire. I still love the history of my people.
The_Truth More than 1 year ago
This tripe is not worth the paper it's printed on. Cohen embellished on rumors and lies instead of reporting the truth. Interesting enough, he is a historian, not a geneologist and tries to denounce the facts of two of the top three geneologists on the origins of the Ramapough. Akin to J. C. Storms, his reporting on half truths and inuendos perpetuates the stigma surrounding the Ramapoughs. Read it if you must but rent it at your local library as he has made enough money on the backs of others.