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Appalachian History. Terry Sams 4 th Grade Teacher Piedmont Elementary Dandridge, Tennessee 2003-2004. Objectives. Tennessee 4 th Grade Content Standard: 1.0

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appalachian history
Appalachian History

Terry Sams

4th Grade Teacher

Piedmont Elementary

Dandridge, Tennessee


  • Tennessee 4th Grade Content Standard: 1.0
  • Culture encompasses similarities and differences among people including their beliefs, knowledge, changes, values, and traditions. Students will explore these elements of society to develop an appreciation and respect for the variety of human cultures.
    • Learning Expectations:
    • 1.01 Understand the diversity of human cultures.
    • 1.02 Discuss cultures and human patterns of places and regions of the world.
    • 1.03 Recognize the contributions of individuals and people of various ethnic, racial, religious, socioeconomic groups to the development of civilizations.
    • 1.04 Understand the contributions of individuals and people of various ethnic, racial, religious, and socioeconomic groups to Tennessee.
appalachia what is it
Appalachia? What Is It?

The term "Appalachian" is used to describe a number of things. It is used geologically for the mountain range in Eastern North America. It is used politically for 406 counties in 13 states.

appalachia what is it4
Appalachia? What Is It?

It refers to a unique American culture; suggesting traditional crafts, music, cuisine, heritage, and beliefs. It refers to a specific ethnic group, the descendents of early settlers in the mountains. Appalachia itself is a mixture of all things Appalachian.

appalachia where is it
Appalachia? Where Is It?

Appalachia is a culturally and physically distinct area of the Eastern United States centered around the Appalachian Mountain chain and

recognized officially

by the U.S. Government

as 13 states and 406

counties representing

this unique region.

map of appalachian region
Map of Appalachian Region

Click below for an on-line map for each state:

the appalachian mountains
The Appalachian Mountains

Our mountains are the oldest surviving mountains in the world. They where pushed up between 350-300 million years ago when the North

American and African

tectonic plates collided

near the equator.

the appalachian mountains8
The Appalachian Mountains

When they were formed they were estimated to be higher than 20,000 feet, as high or higher than

the Himalayas. These

mountains are not only

older than the dinosaurs,

they are older than

land animals


before 1700
Indians settled in Appalachia. 

The Cherokees of North Carolina

were the largest group. The

early Cherokee farmed and hunted in the southern Appalachian region.

Before 1700

Sequoyah, Cherokee Chief,

that invented an alphabet

for his people so they could read.

1700 s

Settlers from England, Scotland, and Ireland began moving from colonies through the Appalachian mountains to find more fertile land west.

Learn more about America’s past at Biography of America with videos, maps, timelines, and interactive skills.

1700 s11

Cumberland Gap is located where the states of Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee meet. This gap was a major passage in the old days through Cumberland Mountain. It was discovered by Daniel Boone by following a herd of buffalo (bison).

1754 1763 french and indian war
1754-1763French and Indian War

The French and Indians fought the British and colonial troops for control of the colonies.  The French were defeated and the Indians were forced further westward.

1775 1783

Appalachians wanted to be free of British taxes and control.  The Battle of Saratoga in 1777 and the Battle of Kings’ Mountainin 1780 were fought in the Appalachian Mountains.  The British were defeated in both battles.


The Cherokees, the main Appalachian Mountain tribe, were forced to give up their land by the Indian Removal Act. President Andrew Jackson, backed by the federal government, forced the Indians from their homes. They were

moved to Okalahoma

along a route that

became known as

the Trail of Tears.

1860 s american civil war
1860’s - American Civil War

Wounded Soldiers

Most Appalachians did not

own slaves and wanted nothing

to do with the war, yet most of the region allied itself with the Confederacy while parts of Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina remained loyal to the Union. 

1860 s american civil war16
1860’s - American Civil War

General Ulysses S. Grant, Union

President Abraham Lincoln

The war was hard on the people of Appalachia, with many people fighting brother against brother and family against family.

Robert E. Lee, Confederate

late 1800 s
Late 1800’s

Businessmen recognized

the wealth of the natural

resources in the mountains,

such as coal, timber and

natural gas.  Many

Appalachians sold their

land for up to 50 cents

an acre for “mineral rights.” 

late 1800 s18
Late 1800’s

Some Appalachians were hired to work on what had been their own land, cutting timber, mining the coal, and drilling the land for natural gas.

1940 s

Industrialization and automation came to the mountains.  Machinery replaced much of the work the mountain people did for a living. 

1940 s20

Many mountain communities were broken up as Appalachians began migrating to industrial cities to find work.

1950 s to present
1950’s to Present

Although these new immigrants began blending into their new communities, many "Urban Appalachians" retained many qualities of their original Appalachian identity and heritage. 

1950 s to present23
1950’s to Present

Some Appalachians had a hard time adjusting to city life and people in the city did not always understand the ways of Appalachians.  People made fun of the way they talked, often making hillbilly jokes.  This has caused many Appalachian people to deny their own heritage, because of the stereotypes that were created.

1950 s to present24
1950’s to Present

In the years following World War II, 4 million people left the Appalachian region because of economic conditions.  This included the mechanization and closing of the mines.  As people left in search of jobs, they moved to large cities like Detroit, Chicago, Columbus, and Indianapolis. 

A paper mill in the city.

1950 s to present25
1950’s to Present

Those leaving Appalachia also moved to Cincinnati, Dayton, and Hamilton, Ohio.   People came to these cities to work in large factories and plants. 

Today 34% of

Cincinnati's, 40% of

Dayton's, and

close to 60% of

Hamilton's population

is of Appalachian



Mountain people can't read, can't write, don't wear shoes, don't have teeth, don't use soap, and don't talk plain. They beat their kids, beat their friends, beat their neighbors, and beat their dogs. They live on cow peas, fatback and twenty acres straight up and down. They don't have money.


They do have fleas, overalls, tobacco patches, shacks, shotguns, food stamps, liquor stills, and at least six junk cars in the front yard. Right? Well, let me tell you:

I am from here, I'm not like that and I am danged tired of being told I am.                    --author unknown

steps to appreciating diversity
Steps to Appreciating Diversity

1.   Be self-confident2.   Enjoy life more3.   Appreciate the world around you4.   Don't give in to prejudice, talk about it5.   Become more open minded6.   It's OK to be different       *  learn how to appreciate differences       *  it's up to you to be prepared       *  overcome fear7.   Find out more about yourself

steps to appreciating diversity29
Steps to Appreciating Diversity

8.   Make friends with people from other

cultures        *  explore their culture - do a little

research        *  learn to speak out  *  be honest        *  let your voice be heard        *  diversify and learn different languages        *  prejudice isn't funny9.    Appreciate different people10.  Try new things11.  Appreciate cultural differences12.  Learn other people's ways13.  Talk to others

famous appalachians
Famous Appalachians

To find famous Appalachians:

appalachia in the media
Appalachia in the Media

The word Appalachia means different things to different people. To those who live in the region, it may suggest one of the most beautiful places on earth. But to those outside of the region, it may be associated with dire conditions, disasters, poverty, danger, or just plain backwardness.

appalachia in the media32
Appalachia in the Media
  • Why is there this difference? Part of it may be related to the way that Appalachia is presented in the popular media.
  • Let’s discuss how these cartoons or television shows have conditioned us to think about Appalachia:
  • Little Abner
  • The Beverly Hillbillies
ten values common to appalachians
Ten Values Common to Appalachians
  • by Loyal Jones, scholar and co-founder of the Berea College Appalachian Center
  • Individualism, Self-Reliance, Pride - most obvious characteristics; necessary on the early frontier; look after oneself; solitude; freedom; do things for oneself; not wanting to be beholding to others; make do
  • Religion - values and meaning to life spring from religious sources; fatalistic (outside factors control one's life, fate, believe things happen for a reason and will work out for the best); sustains people in hard times
ten values common to appalachians34
Ten Values Common to Appalachians
  • NeighborlinessandHospitality - help each other out, but suspicious of strangers; spontaneous to invite people for a meal, to spend the night, etc.
  • 4.Family Solidarity or Familism - family centered; loyalty runs deep; responsibility may extend beyond immediate family; "blood is thicker than water”.
ten values common to appalachians35
Ten Values Common to Appalachians

5. Personalism - relates well to others; go to great lengths to keep from offending others; getting along is more important than letting one's feelings be known; think in terms of persons rather than degrees or professional reputations

6. Love of Place - never forget "back home" and go there as often as possible; revitalizing, especially if a migrant; sometimes stay in places where there is no hope of maintaining decent lives

ten values common to appalachians36
Ten Values Common to Appalachians
  • Modesty and Being Oneself - believe one should not put on airs; be oneself, not a phony; don't pretend to be something you're not or be boastful; don't get above your raising
  • 8. Sense of Beauty - displayed through folksongs, poems, arts, crafts, etc., colorful language metaphors, e.g. "I'm as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs."
ten values common to appalachians37
Ten Values Common to Appalachians
  • Sense of Humor - seem dour, but laugh at ourselves; do not appreciate being laughed at; humor sustains people in hard times
  • Patriotism - goes back to Civil War times; flag, land, relationships are important; shows up in community celebration and festivals
Quilt Blocksfrom the Quilt Pattern Collection of theCamden-Carroll Library, Morehead State University

Visit this site for over 200 quilt blocks from this region: