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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Henry Watts' freedom status

I have an example in my family, where my ggg aunt was freed in 1816 along with her two-year-old son. State laws required that anyone freed after March -- 1806 was required to leave the state. Children born to these mothers could remain in the state until they reached a certain age (I think 21). After that age, they too had to leave the state like their mothers. Thus my ggg aunt and her son fell under the rulings of this law. The local courts treated her differently than they did her son. She never registered and was never summoned to court to register. Her son however, was frequently summoned to court to register. He finally left the state and emigrated to St. Louis.

Hello Hollis,

I have a similar circumstance. My ggg gfather was manumitted 15 Mar 1813, he had 3 children and they were not to be freed until later dates. One was to be freed in 1828, one in 1830 and one in 1832. It appears that those would have been the years when they each reached age 21.

One of the very sad aspects of their case is that only one of three lived unitl age 21 and consequently even with a paper on file to free them on such and such a date, they never became free.

A rose may be a rose may be a rose, but a manumission ain't a manumission ain't a manumission :)

Art Thomas

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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