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AfriGeneas Brick Wall Forum

Re: Rebecca Lipscomb, Cumberland Co, VA

At the end of Melvin Patrick Ely's book Israel on the Appomattox, (about a Free Black community in Prince Edward County) he includes a section entitled "Sources and Interprettions". In this section Ely gives a review of the the recent scholarship done over the past few years of Free Black communities in VA by other historians.

Included in this section is a reference to the work done on Cumberland County VA by Ellen D. Katz, now a professor of law, Ely writes:

"...Katz..has published an article in a legal journal on free Afro-Virginians in Cumberland County, across the Appomattox from Prince Edward. She examined, among other things, every identifiable land transactions involving a free black individual and all litigation to which free Afro-virginians were parties. Katz discovered that one in four free black households in Cumberland owned real estate by 1860. White authorities there showed remarkable apathy toward registration laws and other statutes that discriminated against free blacks; no one in Cumberland was ever jailed for lack of free papers, Katz says...
Ely writes.."Katz draws a conclusion that seems especially striking coming from a legal scholar -- "that white perceptions of free blacks embodied in the state's laws are not readily evident in the daily interactions between whites and and free blacks in the county"6

The article entitled " African American Freedom in Antebellum Cumberland County,Virginia" appeared in the Chicago-Kent Law Review, 70 (1995)


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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