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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: FPOC and the Limits of Democracy

Hi Della:

You didn't indicate what part of the south you are researching. The laws that may have protected Free People of Color and the laws that restricted them differ in various regions/states of the South.

Parts of the Lower South before 1820 were owned by the Spanish. The French also owned vast regions of the US, and their laws were different from the English Upper South.

You might try to search Afrigeneas for some excellent research. Please search the Afrigeneas mailing list archives found on the home page. Try searching this forum and the slavery Forum. David Paterson, Manager of the Afrigeneas forum wrote several interesting articles about slavery, including the Spanish coartación.

Although your query is about Free People of Color, the laws, especially the ones that restricted them are inextricably linked to slave laws. The article that is linked below compares the English French and Spanish laws under slavery. They reflect a thinking, especially those laws penned by English/Americans that Free People of Color were to be feared and distrusted, just like slaves.

Finally, it's interesting to note that some of the worst racial strife in American history occurred in Mississippi, Alabama, Lousiana and eastern Florida. These states, formerly part of colonial France and Spain were regions where laws were more flexible toward slaves and Free People of Color. Leave it to the Americans to come in and ruin the neighborhood.

Please click on the url below:

K Wyer Lane

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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