AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
In Response To: Re: Grinsteads ()
Elizabeth Key sued for her freedom in 1655/1656 arguing that her paternity (her father Thomas Key was white), her religion and contractual arrangement that her father had made entitled her to her freedom". She won. She would marry her white attorney in July 1656
The impact of that decision was profound, and in my mind was the most important decision in regards to slavery in British North America.
Less than 10 years later in Dec. 1662 the VA Assembly would enact the Act of Defining the Status of Mulatto Bastards.
"Whereas some doubts have arisen whether children got by any Englishmen upon a Negro woman should be slave or Free, Be it therefore enacted and declared by this present grand assembly, that ALL children borne in this country shalbe held bond or free only according to the condition of the mother".