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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Who were Free People of Color?

I never realized the diversity and the complexity of the experiences of free persons of color in the United States until I started reading and doing research of my family. I, Myself, am a Louisiana native whose has free ancestors into the colonial period on my paternal grandmother AND grandfathers side. My paternal grandfather descends from a group of 20 slaves(africans and native americans) that were freed by a French trader in southwest Louisiana starting in 1756 to 1772. Many of the descendents of these former slaves were the products of slave fathers/native american mothers(free or slave), free native americans/african slave mothers. The origins of "free people of color" came be traced to the mixing of native americans and africans as well. Another ancestor was owned and later freed by his free mulatto master and his free black wife. I have several ancestors who manumitted by free men of color slaveowners on my paternal grandmothers side. Much of my grandmothers side are descended from free persons of color of mixed-raced which came from liasons between europeon men/ free woman of color more than the stereotypical white planter/slave woman motif.
They were free people of color who owned slaves. In doing my research,I have been able to discover more complex and varied world of pre-Civil War America that what I have been learning in standard histories. I have discovered a world full of mixed-raced and black slaveowners, relationships between europeon men and free women of color(black or multi-racial) that were more fluid than what he have believed in the past. I even found slave mistresses freed by their black or mixed-race slaveowners in the documents.This does not include the origins of free people of color in the southeastern United States which Paul Heinegg has studied in such detail. Free men of color in the American revolution and also found out men of color and slaves who enlisted in the Spanish Militia for Louisiana as an alley to the Americans in 1776. And I do agree with a posters definition of a free person of color as a non-white person of who was not enslaved or bond out before the Civil War because not all free persons of afro-euro or even black for that matter.

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Who were Free People of Color?
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Re: DOUGLAS, WRIGHT, PA & NY
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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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