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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: manumission notes posted
In Response To: Re: manumission notes posted ()

Our focus has been on Petersburg where the register contains the names of individuals freed in Petersburg, in the counties with the notes we posted and in a few other counties, as well as those born free in Petersburg and elsewhere. In Petersburg, at least, there are numerous individuals who claim a Petersburg origin. The whole point of the registers was to keep track of the free black population. If one were known locally there would be less pressure to enroll except in times of anxiety such as Gabriel's Revolt etc. There was more concern expressed by authorities over the concentrations of free persons of color in the towns than in the countryside, hence the requirement of an annual registration for town dwellers, whereas those in rural areas only had to register once in three years. After Gabriel the requirement of registering was augmented by the annual tax commissioners lists of free persons of color that also identified where they were located in the county. Sometimes these show up as part of the personal property tax list, sometimes as a separate document. Mick Nicholls

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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