AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
In Response To: Re: Indian? ()
According to Hening Statutes.......the 1705 law defining "mulatto" referred to the children of indians and negroes
October 1705-CHAP. IV. An act declaring who shall not bear office in this country.
[The text of this act suggests that a free man of color did hold an office sometime before October of 1705. The statute contains the first definition of a mulatto in Virginia's laws.]
BE it enacted by the governor, council and burgesses, of this present general assembly, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That no person whatsoever, already convicted, or which hereafter shall be convicted in her majestys kingdom of England in this or in any other her majestys dominion, colonies, islands, territorys or plantations, or in any other kingdom, dominion or place, belonging to any foreigh prince or state whatsoever, of treason, murther, fellony, blasphemy, perjury, forgery or any other crime whatsoever, punishable by the laws of England, this country, or other place wherein he was convicted with the loss of life or member, nor any negro, mulatto or Indian, shall, from and after the publication of this act, bear any office, ecclesiasticall, civill or military, or be in any place of public trust or power, within this her majestys colony and dominion of Virginia, and that if any person convicted as aforesaid, or negro, mulatto or Indian shall presume to take upon him, act in, or exercise any office, ecclesiasticall, civill or military, or any place of publick trust or power, within this colony and dominion, notwithstanding he be thereunto in any manner whatsoever comissionated, appointed, chosen or impowered, and have a pardon for his crime, he shall for such his offence, forfeit and pay five hundred pounds current money, and twenty pounds of like money for every month he continues to act in or exercise such office or place after a recovery made of the said five hundred pounds.
And for clearing all manner of doubts which hereafter may happen to arise upon the construction of this act, or any other act, who shall be accounted a mulatto,
Be it enacted and declared, and it is hereby enacted and declared, That the child of an Indian and the child, grand child, or great grand child, of a negro shall be deemed, accounted, held and taken to be a mulatto.
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