AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Re: Estate Inventory of John Conner, Free African
In Response To: Re: Estate Inventory of John Conner, Free African ()
"In 1719, South Carolina decided who should be an "Indian" for tax purposes since American [Indian] slaves were taxed at a lesser rate than African slaves. The act stated: "And for preventing all doubts and scruples that may arise what ought to be rated on mustees, mulattoes, etc. all such slaves as are not entirely Indian shall be accounted as negro." This is an extremely significant passage because it clearly asserts that "mustees" and "mulattoes" were persons of part American [Indian] ancestry. My judgment (to be discussed later) is that a mustee was primarily part-African and American [Indian] and that a mulatto was usually part-European and American [Indian]. The act is also significant because it asserts that part-American [Indians] with or without African ancestry could be counted as Negroes, thus having an implication for all later slave censuses." (Note: This source applies only to South Carolina, not to Virginia or North Carolina, the main places of Melungeon origin.) This is especially true for the Parish of St. James Goose Creek in SC.
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