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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Enumeration of Blacks Immigrating to Ohio

Hi Keli1,

I think the registration of FPOC's in Ohio is somewhat misunderstood. When Ohio became a State in 1803 the very next year the Ohio Black Codes were passed.
Ohio's Black Codes

One of the stipulations of the Black Codes was that Blacks entering the State was to post Bond and Register in the County of residence as being "free". I believe this was in part Ohio's efforts to prevent escaped slaves from coming into the State. It was also a measure to assist the State in enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. Although Bond and Registration were "required", it was not strictly adhered to or enforced by all County's. The Ohio Black Code for Bond and Registration was repealed in 1849. And contrary to the practice in many southern States "follow-up" registrations as an FPOC was not required.

My Adams and Reno families arrived in Ohio ca 1810-1813. I have a copy of the registration of Lewis Adams as an FPOC in Champaign County, Ohio, but have yet to find registration papers for the Reno's. And I have yet to find where a Bond was posted for anyone registering as a FPOC. With your Davis and Imes families arriving in Ohio ca 1859 I seriously doubt that a registration was required.

Freedom Registration Paper for Lewis Adams:
Click Magnify Glass icon to enlarge

Two good books on FPOC registrations for Ohio are:
1. Joan Turpin, Register of Black, Mulatto, and Poor Persons in Four Ohio Counties, 1791-1861 (Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1985).

2. Registers of Blacks in the Miami Valley: a name abstract (1804-1857) By Stephen E. Haller & Robert H. Smith, Jr.

Hope this helps,
Art Thomas

Keli1 wrote:
"Thanks Art, or they did not require them as you said to register since they were already living there. When did your Reno's arrive? Imes and Davis's arrived late 1858 to 1859. Davis's first settled in Wayne Co. Canaan Twp, just below Westfield in Medina."

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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