AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
FPOC - Here Comes De Judge!
Black Slaveowners; Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860
Maybe one more excerpt and I'll give it a rest.
From chapter 1; Free Black Slaveholding and the Federal Census:
"...In 1831, Judge William Harper deilvered the opinion of the Court of Appeals in a case involving the blackness or whiteness of a mulatto. Judge Harper declared that "we cannot say what admixture of negro blood will make a colored person...The condition of the individual is not to be determined soley by distinct and visible mixture of negro blood, but by reputation by his reception into society and his having commonly exercised the priveleges of a white man...it may be well and proper, that a man of worth, should have the rank of a white man while a vagabond of the same degree of blood should be confined to the inferior cast." In essence, Judge harper's decision allowed the white community to determine who was to be considered as a mulatto or a white. With the conditions for the elevation of free mulattos to the status of white citizens resting upon their wealth, conduct, and more importantly, their whitness of skin, the door to the white world was kept judiciously open for a few mulattos. And a small number of mulattos came through the door and crossed the racial barriers, thus entering the world of whiteness in South Carolina...."
Imagine two brothers, one a good guy and the other a bad guy....
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