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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: GOINS in Belmont & Muskingum Cos., OH

Hi Cynthia. James and Chance were two Indian slaves who Henry Clay kidnapped from South Carolina and had their ages adjudged in Henrico County court in August 1712 [Henrico County Order Book 1710-1714, page 161]. Like the other Indian slaves in Virginia, there were not enough of them to form a community. So they mixed with African slaves. About the time of the Revolution, Virginia conceded that it had been illegal to enslave Indians and the courts began hearing cases for the freedom of any slave that could prove descent from an Indian woman (freedom depended on the status of the mother). Clay's widow and his neighbors, generations later, said that they recalled that the Indians were from the Choctaw Tribe. Others who testified another generation later said they were from the Chickasaw Tribe. In any case, they were most likely culturally the same as any other slave in Virginia.

About the mid-1820s the courts ceased hearing these cases because testimony became second and third hand, and the courts were reluctant to free slaves who differed very little in their appearance from other slaves.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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