History

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift from the Liljenquist Family Collection

Virgil Bryson was a free Black man who helped register voters in Jackson County after the Civil War in 1868. He was threatened by the early version of the KKK and supported by the Freedman’s Bureau.  

Although much about Bryson remains unknown, BPR  talked with local historians and community members about his story – and what we can learn from him today.  

Ellerna Bryson Forney is a native of Jackson County, who is now 58.  She has looked deeply into her family history, but she’d never heard of Virgil Bryson. 

Cory Vaillancourt

1898 was a violent year in North Carolina.  The white supremacist coup that took place in Wilmington that year is getting more and more attention as history is re-examined.  Similar racist violence took place across the state that year, including an incident in the mountains that can still be felt today. 

History teacher John deVille convened a group of marchers in Franklin on a cold Saturday evening.

“We are here tonight to remember Mitchell Mozeley, who was killed illegally by a mob 123 years ago tonight,” said deVille.

NPR.org

North Carolina is the fifth largest producer of peanuts in America, yielding in upwards of 200,000 tons every year.  Not a single one of them are actually grown in the mountains, but plenty of them make their way to the region nonetheless—where they’re often boiled into a distinctly southern snack sometimes called "Dixie Caviar". BPR News's Davin Eldridge takes a look at the history of boiled peanuts in the South, and their impact on mountain culture.

Documents discovered a year ago at the historic Patton-Parker House in Asheville have a new home.  Property owner and attorney Jim Siemens has donated them to the Pack Memorial Library in downtown Asheville.

Bowing to the Emperor: We Were Captives in WWII

Oct 12, 2015
amazon.com

Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a Dutch family living in what was then the Dutch East Indies was imprisoned by the Japanese.  Wim Andrau was an officer in the Dutch Air Force but was working for the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell.  His wife Klara and three daughters were living in what is now Indonesia.   The youngest of the three sisters, Robine has pieced together the family's story of separation and survival in the new book, Bowing to The Emperor: We Were Captives in World War II.  Shes was in Western North Carolina to visit her sister and dropped by WCQS