Support the sojourn through a true history

| September 13, 2016
Eric D. Hackley

Eric D. Hackley

By Eric D. Hackley

I was recently asked what fueled my interest in American history, Black history, and my Hackley genealogy? I became intrigued by genealogy in 1977 during my junior year at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. This is when Alex Haley’s “ROOTS” first aired on television. For the next almost 40 years, I’ve been checking phone books in the cities where I’ve lived, and I began to accumulate quite a list of stories about English Hackley’s, Black Hackley’s and the impact of their exploits that I didn’t write.

My Black Hackley genetics flowed through the veins of abolitionist the Rev. J.W. Hackley of Niles, Michigan. The Rev.’s genetics were deeply rooted in Virginia African/English American family stock. Through the Hackley Family Tree, I can trace back 17 continuous generations to Henry Hackley, born in the Isle of Wight, the United Kingdom in 1540. As far back as 1290, Hackley’s were members of Parliament, sheriffs, lawyers and served in authoritative and leadership capacities during the European Renaissance, especially Richard Hakluyt.

Eric Hackley (left) interviews future Frost Illustrated editor Michael Patterson nearly 40 years ago.

Eric Hackley (left) interviews future Frost Illustrated editor Michael Patterson nearly 40 years ago.

The photo of Michael Patterson and myself represents my almost 40-year Study of Hackley history, genealogy and interpreting Richard {1522-1616} Hakluyt’s vision of colonizing America. Hakluyt’s work specifically explains how he sold Queen Elizabeth on the idea of “why England should colonize America.”

Richard Hakluyt and Sir Walter Raleigh’s initiative resulted in them both and other leaders being signors on the original Virginia Colony Charter of 1606, that led to the first American English Colony of Jamestown in 1607, and the beginning of full-employment free labor provided by enslaved Africans. Hakluyt’s research arsenal containing New World maps, sea-logs, adventurer’s tales and interviews with sea captains, was the evidence used to sell Queen Elizabeth on the idea of financing his and Sir Walter Raleigh’s expedition to colonize Roanoke in 1585.

This “Lost Colony of Roanoke” catastrophe literally led to the creation of the New World. Today in 2016, I have the same type of stories in my arsenal intended to change the world, only they’re updated with histories and “perspectives” featuring Fort Wayne Blacks in starring history roles.

With small financial assistance from those of you who think my initiative makes sense, I will be honored to represent Fort Wayne Blacks, Fort Wayne’s larger community, and Hackley’s of Virginia origin, Michigan, Indiana and South Africa at the upcoming Nov. 24 and Nov. 25, 2016 Oxford University Richard Hakluyt 400th-Anniversary of his death.

I plan to cover this World Historical event with the same tenacity that I use when I cover a Fort Wayne Black public event, an Urban League or NAACP Banquet or a Community Forum.

For more than 30 years, Fort Wayne pastors, political, business leaders, Blacks and Whites have seen my work and experienced my tenacity to get an interview that will create new dialogue and insights. As you may already know, I will be in no way intimidated to talk about the relevance of Fort Wayne History on a world stage to historians in attendance at the Hakluyt Conference, no matter if it’s at the Oxford Bodleian Library, Christ Church or anyplace I explore during my three-week stay in the United Kingdom.

And, I’m not shy about discussing how Hakluyts’ colonization idea eventually lead to the greatest number of American deaths resulting from the long United States history of Warfare concerning Indian land issues. The Indian Coalition War Victories were led by War Chief Little Turtle. He vs. George Washing vied for control of the land called KEKIONGA, now it’s called Fort Wayne. This lost and unspoken knowledge is now lost, but illustrates Fort Wayne’s land geographic relevance, and why Kekionga’s land resources were in great demand in Europe.

In summary, I use the same facts that may still be taught in Fort Wayne high school US History and American history class. However, my ending version differs only slightly by revealing the rest of this untold story. My version starts with Hakluyt selling many Englishmen on the idea of voyaging to America to colonize, conquer and dominate it.

Consequently, when you are motivated by God and the mindset of taking something from someone else, a conflict will ensue that will most likely lead to war. In wars, people die, meaning that if someone is keeping stats, somewhere in this new land of warfare, one location will be forever defined as being the land where the most Whites in the entire history of Indian warfare were killed. And yes, you guessed it, this land yesterday was called Kekionga, today it is called Fort Wayne.

Ironically, the Indian victories that led to the record American death totals were led by genetic-in-law War Chief Little Turtle, who was located at Kekionga. Little Turtle’s granddaughter Rebecca Wells married Captain James Hackley Jr. in Fort Wayne in 1817, the year after Indiana became the 19th State of the Nation. George Washington’s cousin Judith Ball married Major John Hackley of the French and Indian War and American Revolutionary Wars making Washington and the Hackley’s in-laws.

And yes, John Hackley’s grandson is Capt. James Hackley Jr., who with his marriage to Rebecca Wells makes George Washington and War Chief Little Turtle in-laws through the Hackley family. Even Hakluyt, George Washington, Little Turtle and myself are in-laws and family.

Folks, there’s so much more to this story. This is why I will be asking Hackley’s across the world, Fort Wayne citizens, Facebook friends, and others to support this initiative to help me get to the United Kingdom and represent those I have previously mentioned.

More details on what you will get will be coming very soon with directions to my go-fund-me account:


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Category: Community, History, International, Local, National

About the Author ()

Eric Hackley is a veteran independent journalist, television show host and producer focusing largely on history, particularly family history in the black community. His award-winning public access television shows have featured a host of local and national icons. Hackley can be contacted at

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