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Patrick Minges

6620 Bringle Ferry Road

Salisbury, N.C. 28146

(704) 212-7436




Welcome to my home page

A short story

Hi! My name is Patrick Neal Minges and welcome to my website. I was born in the mountains of North Carolina in the middle of the valley towns of the Cherokee homelands. My family goes back seven generations in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, so I guess that would make me a "highlander." In Cherokee, the word for highlander is Goodoowah. That was the subject of my dissertation.

When I graduated from college at East Carolina University with a Master's in Counseling, I spent a few years as a public school teacher in South Carolina and North Carolina. In 1986, I decided that I wanted to do something different so I moved to New York City and began pursuing an M.Div. at Union Theological Seminary. Within that same year, I began working for Amnesty International USA in the Communications department and by the time I left, I had done the organization's first website. In 1997, I left AIUSA to go to work at Human Rights Watch  as the Director of Publications  and was responsible for the publication of its research in print and electronic format. After about seven years there, I decided that I wanted to do something else. At the  beginning of the new millenium, we moved from New York City to a thousand acre farm just southwest of Manassas Virginia. I also started pursuing an Ed. Spec. degree at the University of Virginia Not long after that I left Human Rights Watch and took a job teaching at a public school less than ten miles from my home.

My doctorate is in American Religious History from Union Theological Seminary  and the focus of my research is on the cultural interactions between African Americans and Native Americans in the nineteenth century. I have been lucky enough to have participated in several groundbreaking conferences on the subject matter and have published several papers in journals and anthologies. I have rewritten my dissertation as a book and it is being published by Routledge Press as "Slavery in the Cherokee Nation: The Keetoowah Society and the Defining of a People: 1855-1867."  It is a fascinating subject matter and one in which there is developing interest by academics and the public alike. My second book was published by John Blair Publishers in 2004 and it is entitled The Black Indian Slave Narratives.

Not too long ago, we decided that we wanted to be closer to our aging parents, so we left out wonderful home in Northern Virginia. Unfortunately, just before we left we lost one of oldest and dearest friends when our beautiful Deva passed away on a walk one afternoon. We were both with her and her passing was a tribute to the way that she lived her life; she never compromised in her love for life and she lived every minute as if it were her last. When her last moments finally came, she shared them with us in one of the more moving experiences of our lives...as she passed she wagged her tail at us and smiled. We spread Deva's ashes on the farm in Catlett that she loved so very much.

I'm married to Penn Payler, a wonderful artist and educator and, incredibly enough, we have stayed together through graduate school, New York City, and even my dissertation. Her patience with and support for me has been my lifeline. We have two dogs, Boon and Selu and two cats, Satori and Ashoka. We now live in a house built on the property of Dan Nicholas Park near High Rock Lake in Rowan County just outside of Salisbury North Carolina. I work at Davidson Early College in Lexington, N.C. teaching honors English, Civics, and United States history to students who receive both college and high school credit for the work that they do at DMC. When they graduate from high school, they can enter college as a junior. It is a wonderful place and they are delightful kids and I am excited to be able to participate in such a unique experience.