AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Re: Assumptions about the racial origins of "fpoc"
In Response To: Re: Assumptions about the racial origins of "fpoc" ()
Hi, Mr. Heinegg. I do remember Forbes supporting the Native and europeon ancestry of the Chavis and Bass family without actually investigating it himself. There are a BUNCH of Chavis spread all over the place. A branch migrated to Louisiana sometime during the Spanish period of Louisiana and intermarried with some of my fpoc ancestors in Opelousas. I found "John Shivers",mulatto, listed on the 1793 Spanish census of Free mulattos/Negros while going through the Cuban papers. His family resided in st. martin and opelousas. The catholic records mention North Carolina as their origins. And many of them have african ancestry. Proving a Native American branch is very difficult because many of the members were referred to as "mulattos" starting from the 17th to the 19th century. I read a bunch of ads for runaway slaves from the 18th century. The persons putting out the ads referred to slaves of native or part-native/african ancestry as mulatto. I've seen this in my research on fpoc in Southwest Louisiana. I saw three siblings labeled as a "griffe libre"(native am/African) in the 18th century. Later in the 19th century, they were labeled "mulatto libre" and "negre libre". In the catholic records of Father Hebert, all slaves or free persons from the 18th century with native american ancestry had the term, "griffe" tagged to their name.
The only thing about the book that I wasnt sure whether or not he was OVERSTATING the degree of mixture of african/native americans in the Americas(specically North America). I believe that many of the Lumbee Indians OVERSTATE the native american part because they DONT want to be associated as having a degree of African ancestry. He seems to uncritically accept their testimony. Before I read this book, I didnt realize that "mulatto" also referred to people of native american/african parentage as well as the typical "afro-euro". Many of my Louisiana relatives are labeled "mulatto" and "quadroon"(even those this term seems to have vanished later in some of the records I checked out. All persons of multi-racial ancestry were listed as "mulatto". I also noticed how a group I have researched who were mostly of native american ancestry and europeon ancestry with a small mixture of african ancestry were labeled as mulatto in the 1850-1870 census in Louisiana. Their descendents today are members of the Chimacha nation in Louisiana. Im thinking that it was the recorders interest to reduce the mention of individuals with native american ancestry. But this book opened my eyes a little bit.
FYI, I have one ancestor whose racial labels were "metif", "quatrone libre" and "gen de coleur" in the records.
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