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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Colonial era Hathcocks
In Response To: Colonial era Hathcocks ()

Hello Clayton -

I think you're reading Paul's research wrong. The way I read it, he concludes that the large majority of early free persons of color were descended from unions between white women (usually but not always indentured servants) and African slaves.

For comparison, look at the history of James Brooks Sr. and Jr. on Paul's site. The older James was probably the son of a white indentured male and an enslaved African woman. But by the time HIS two sons were in their mid-20's, not only were they free, but one of them had enough money to buy his father out of slavery. And both of them could afford to patent land - very rare for FPOC at that time. And so far no record has surfaced to indicate that either son was ever bound out. So their mother must have been a free woman, black or white, from a family with some resources. Who had a stable, long-term relationship with the slave James, since both sons took his surname, and one of them bought his freedom.

The younger James is part of quite a little drama in Southampton County, which illustrates not only the changing status of FPOC on the VA frontier in the mid-18th century, but also what could happen to an energetic and entrepreneurial black man who insisted on acting as if he were white.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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