AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
In Response To: Re: Indian? ()
what i was trying to say in my previous comment was that in the colonial period, a "mulatto" was legally defined as the child of a native american/white(according to a 1705 Virginia law). This term later became associated with people of african/white parentage as well as african/native parentage(ie.. the famous Afro-Native, Chrispus Attucks was described by some contemporary observers as being a "mulatto"). Mulatto doesnt necessary mean someone of african ancestry..it applied to many inviduals of mixed racial origins(including native americans) period. I've even read of cases of slave masters reclassifying their native american slaves as "negro" to bypass louisiana laws against native american slavery! I also remember reading about this census enumerator who changed the racial identification of native americans to "mixed" or even "negro" to further his racist agenda of erasing any presense of native americans. Sure, many of the native americans assimilated into the europeon,black american community, or mixed-race communities... I'm just u have to be careful with putting too much into racial labels as meaning the same thing all of the time in different places. I also researched a group of native american identified people in louisiana in which the census enumerator identified ALL of them as being MULATTO in 1860 and 1870. I knew from research that their origins are tri-racial(African, Native,and Europeon)..but their descendents in terrebone parish are members of the Chimacha and Houmsa Nation. Also the reason why you are probarly not finding that many native americans in the records is because if they were there... their racial designation was labeled as "mulatto" or "negro" in many cases. I think thats why its hard to trace Native american genealogy because they were almost erased in the patterns of record keeping.
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