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Gypsy Folk Tales, by Francis Hindes Groome, [1899], at

In North America.

As to America it was till recently supposed that there were not, had never been, any Gypsies there. In 'The Fortune-teller,' a story reprinted in Chambers's Journal for November 25, 1843, from The Lady's Book, an American publication, a Mrs. Somers is made to exclaim, 'An English gipsy! Alice, you must be deceived. There never has been a gipsy in America.' And, sure enough, the fortune-teller turns out to be no Gypsy. Nay, in a work so well-informed as Appleton's

p. xvi

[paragraph continues] American Cyclopædia (1874), the writer of the article 'Gipsies' pronounces it 'questionable whether a band of genuine Gipsies has ever been in America.' Yet in 1665 at Edinburgh the Privy Council gave warrant and power to George Hutcheson, merchant, and his co-partners to transport to Jamaica and Barbadoes Egyptians and other loose and dissolute persons; and on 1st January 1715 nine Border Gypsies, men and women, of the names of Faa, Stirling, Yorstoun, Finnick (Fenwick), Lindsey, Ross, and Robertson, were transported by the magistrates of Glasgow to the Virginia plantations at a cost of thirteen pounds sterling (Gypsy Lore Journal, ii. 60-62). That is all, or practically all, we know of the coming of the Gypsies to North America, where, at New York, there were house-dwelling Gypsies as far back as 1850, and where to-day there must be hundreds or thousands of the race from England, Scotland, Hungary, Spain, one knows not whence else besides. Some day somebody will study them and write about them; meanwhile we have merely stray jottings by Simson and Leland.

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