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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Anyone Experienced with FB Tax Lists in VA?

No actually these were special lists compiled by the Commissioner of the Revenue. These lists differ from other tax lists because they are supposed to list all fpc's living in a given area. I regard them as being "like a census," but am not completely sure of this. Land and personal property tax lists are distinct from the free negro lists, although after 1850 there was a capitation tax levied on free black males.

I was trying to find other researchers who had experience in using these records because I want to be certain that my interpretation is accurate. I'm looking for other examples or descriptions of the process. For example, I'd like to know if someone found a case where a slave was incorrectly listed as a free person because he/she was living in a household of free people. Or, perhaps the special tax list identified a free person who wasn't identified as such on the land or personal property tax list.

I'm also interested in the process whereby taxes were assessed or levied and paid. Did the tax assessor travel from place to place and levy a tax? Did he, while making notes on personal and real property, also identify free blacks? Having an understanding of the process will help me analyze the tax records. It might also help me explain discrepancies in records.

I was also hoping that someone knew of a study on any group of people, that included analysis of tax records and the process of taxing and paying taxes in Virginia.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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