AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Re: "Free" vs. "Freed".
In Response To: Re: "Free" vs. "Freed". ()
Hi Carmen. You make a good point about free vs freed. People whose ancestors had been free since the colonial period did not develop an African American slave culture. Some were actually descendants of slaves freed in the 1600s before the slaves formed their new culture here in the U.S. Most descended from ancestors who had been raised by white English mothers and many probably spoke and thought like their mother.
As to Indians being ranked second in a hierarchy, I have not come across a single Indian community in the colonial or pre-Civil War period in any area I researched. There were Indian slaves in Virginia in the same condition as African slaves. They did gain some benefit after the Revolution when anyone who could prove they were descended from an Indian woman could sue for their freedom. However, once they were free, they were in the same social level as freed African slaves with whom they had mixed since colonial times. There was no difference between a slave freed by his master for religious reasons and one freed because he or she could prove descent from an Indian.
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