The Diligence and the Disappearance
of Manakintown Huguenots

by Allison Wehr Elterich

Review by Lucy S. Blocker

Originally published in the August 1999 issue of The Cross of Languedoc



About the Book

A History of the Manakin Huguenots is now available. Rev. Wilbur M. Sims of The Huguenot Society Founders of Manakin In The Colony of Virginia writes that he would not have chosen the title The Diligence and the Disappearance of Manakintown Huguenots, but the title does not mean the literal disappearance of "the ethos or ambiance of the theology of the descendants of the Manakin Huguenots." Author Allison Wehr Elterich wrote this volume as a thesis for her PH.D. in History in the American Studies Program of the College of William and Mary. Rev. Sims, a respected student of Manakintown history, says "In my opinion, the book is well worth that degree."

The hard-bound volume of just over 100 pages is very readable and well indexed. It contains maps of French provinces, a list of settlers at Manakintown, a map of the 10,000 Acre Land Grant, and the actual plan of Manakintowne. Neither the map of the Land Grant nor the plan of the town shows the location of lots of individuals. Tables include statistics on countries to which the Huguenots fled during the period 1681-1720, and the percentage of passengers to settle in Manakin, neither table showing names of settlers. However, neither of these tables lists names of settlers.

A table of ships with passengers bound for Manakin shows the name of the Captain, number of passengers, and dates of departure and arrival.

The table of African slave births at Manakin, 1727-1729, shows the date, name of the child, and name of the master/owner.

In addition to the historical text, there is a section giving a collection of family anecdotes and Huguenot lore, plus another section giving a detailed bibliography.

A most interesting volume. Proceeds received by the Manakin Huguenot Society go toward their Student Scholarship Fund.


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