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By Marshall McClung
A well known minister in the earlier days of Graham County and surrounding areas was Esias George called "Esau" or "Easar" George by some. Esias was a "full black man" who was adopted by a Cherokee family by the name of George. It is said that they found him near their woodpile in the yard and felt that whoever placed him there felt he would soon be found and taken care of. It is believed he was left there because his parents were too poor to care for him.
Esias was an ordained Baptist minister and preached in many of the churches of the Cherokee. He was a well known sight walking along the roads in his long black coat. One can only guess how many times he walked from Cherokee to Snowbird to preach. He would take trails through the woods and would often spend the night in someone's barn. Other times he would spend the night with a family on Cornsilk Branch past where the Jacob Cornsilk Community Center is now located. Farm crops were grown then in the area where the tennis court is located. There was a swinging bridge across the creek nearby.
Mose Wachacha and Tom Teesateskie recall playing marbles and checkers there. They. said Esias would come along, see them playing, and would lay his Bible aside and shoot marbles with them, but never for keeps. Mose said Esias would also stay with the Caroline Jackson family on Jackson Branch at times, and also with the George and. Hettie Rattler family.
Esias had a favorite hymn he loved to sing in the Cherokee language called "It Is Morning Now". He often led singing in the Cherokee churches and carried a Bible written in the Cherokee language.. It was said that Esias was never taught to read as a child. It is said he made this a matter of prayer and prayed until one day he stood up and was able to read scripture from the Bible that he was going to use for his sermon.
Several local residents befriended Esias and would give him a ride and some money from time to time. It is said that Roy Garland would give him a ride to Bryson City and also give him $10, a much more considerable sum then than it is now Jutt Snider is credited with taking him home also.
Esias had a habit of saying "this earth is not my home", then point upwards and say "that is my home."
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These pages are from the people of Graham County, North Carolina.
For additional information on Graham County Adventures
the Travel and Tourism Authority or
go to the Visitors Information Center of the Travel and Tourism Authority Webpage
or call 1-800-470-3790 or 828-479-3790 Fax 1-828-479-4733
This page is maintained by Tom Livingston, Robbinsville, North Carolina