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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Virginia & North Carolina Resources

I have transcribed the Free Negro Register for Bedford County, VA I will do a look up if you like. It begins in 1803 pursuant to the law passed in 1793.....the register ends in 1860.

You might want to read the Introduction to this Forum which gives a great overview. Also Gutman's Slaves Without Masters and Russell's the Free Negro in VA 1619-1865

The following abstractions are taken from the Black Laws of VA.compiled by June Purcell Guild

Beginning in 1691......Act XVI ..any English woman being free shall have a bastard child by a Negro she shall pay fifteen pounds to the church warden and in default of such payment, she shall be taken into possession by the church wardens and disposed of for 5 years..the child shall be bound out by the church wardens until he is thirty years of age.

Repeated again in 1705 with additions and child bound out till age 31, repeated again in 1753...
In changed that child is bound out till age 21, because "now declared an unreasable severity on the chidren".
1769......male children bound out till age 21 females to 18

1803....The marriage of Benjamin Butt, Jr. and a certain Lydia Bright who is of respectable family, and at the time of her marriage supposed to be unsullied in her reputation, is dissolved because Lydia has been delivered of a mulatto child and has publicly acknowledged that the father is a slave.

1814.....A marriage solemnized between Richard Jones, of the County of Northampton, and his wife Peggy is dissolved and Richard forever divorced from Peggy provided that a jury find the child of Peggy is not the child of Richard, but is the offspring of a man of color.


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Virginia & North Carolina Resources
Re: Virginia & North Carolina Resources

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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