AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
In Response To: Re: Indenture ()
You know, Erin, I have seen so many of those census that do say they could neither read nor write, and I do know they had been bonded out, it does indeed show that not very many of those masters were following the laws. Another thing that was done in some cases, was that the mother hid the children, either by incorrecting listing their ages (which is one reason the ages of the children of people of color fluctuated so much in census records) or just by not following the court orders to bring their children in to be bound out, I guess some people did everything they could to keep their children from that. In one particular case in Halifax Co., for instance, one woman with a number of illegitimate children kept being summoned to court with her children, but each time she apparently ignored it, and they had the sheriff bring her in again ordering her to present the children. It apparently went on for some time, but she eventually did bring some of the children in, where they were finally bonded out. I didn't see anything saying that they ever put her in jail for not presenting the children, but I do know that was what was supposed to happen. I guess it all depended on just how much the local authorities wanted to follow their own laws.
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