The Lee Side: 81 years and counting

My ancestors were the very first settlers in Saluda, South Carolina.

Posted on 10/19/13

By Lee Coleman

Four brothers hopped a boat in England and made their way to the new land.

Imagine stepping off that boat and looking around at a completely new and unexplained land. I don’t imagine that was for the weak of heart.

But alas, they settled.

I wonder what it felt like when they noticed the first set of peering eyes coming from the deep forest.

And then another. And another.

As our family tree goes, little did they know they were mixing it up with the Cherokee Indians.

As social as anyone could have been then, it came to the point where our blood lines were crossed.

Since my great grandmother told me the story for the first time, I have always been proud to tell anyone that I am part Cherokee Indian.

Since I was named a Junior, the future of our family line fell directly on my shoulders. There was no one else to carry on the Coleman name.

I was it and sad to say, I failed. I think back to my ancestors and I feel horrible about letting so many generations of Coleman’s down.

But yet, I remain proud of my heritage and legacy.

And I felt it recently when a group of Indians demanded the Washington Redskins of the National Football League change their name to something less offensive than Redskins.

We are talking about 81 years of Redskin football. We are talking about tradition and heritage and all those words that put the Redskins atop the board as one of the most storied franchises in sports history.

I respect the Indian group citing the disrespect drawn from the name Redskins that used to be a slang word that likened the use of an ugly word used to describe African Americans.

I truly respect people fighting for what they believe is right and just. I really do,

But in this case, give me a dang break.

The president of the Redskins said the change would never happen.

Maybe, maybe not. Things change quickly in today’s mixed up society.

But there is one thing that will never change and that is 81 years of creating a legacy that is the Washington Redskins.

History has already been made. You cannot change that.

Just like you shouldn’t change the name that is the legacy.

Coleman is the editor of the Republican and can be contacted at