I’m tuning in for the first time. If you live in Appalachia, you might want to subscribe to these guys:
Update: A few thoughts on The Briar and The Thistle podcast:
1.) First, the Appalachian Mountains got their name from the Apalachee Indians of the Florida Panhandle who told the Spanish in 1528 that gold could be found in the distant mountains to the north.
2.) Second, Appalachia is identified with the Scots-Irish in popular culture, but the settlement of Appalachia was more complex. From what I understand, a third of the founding stock was Scots-Irish, another third was German or Swiss and another third was English from the coastal colonies.
3.) Third, Scots-Irish isn’t synonymous with Appalachia. South Carolina is more Scots-Irish than Kentucky or Tennessee. The Scots-Irish came down the Great Valley and spread out from there to settle all over the Southern backcountry. The Piedmont was heavily settled by the Scots-Irish. Mississippi was settled by the Scots-Irish via the Natchez Trace and the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The Tennessee Valley in North Alabama, Northern Louisiana, Arkansas and much of Texas was settled by the Scots-Irish. Tennessee and Kentucky as a whole were settled by the Scots-Irish.
4.) Fourth, the Southern cultures mixed and blended in the backcountry. Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun were Scots-Irish. They were also planters.
5.) Fifth, Appalachia had slavery and its elite was generally pro-slavery, or so I have read. It had a tourism industry that attracted planters who went there for the spas and to escape malaria and yellow fever. The Deep South and Appalachian elite intermarried.
6.) Sixth, Appalachian identity was a postwar phenomenon. The mountaineer became an object of interest and study by the Local Color School of writers after the war.
7.) Seventh, geography more than anything else is responsible for creating an enduring Appalachian culture. The Scots-Irish live all over Tennessee and Kentucky. They live in the Piedmont on the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains. It is the rugged terrain which created the perception of a division. Needless to say, the mountains created transportation barriers which led to economic underdevelopment.