AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Re: South Carolina Egyptiams - F.P.O.C.?
In Response To: South Carolina Egyptiams - F.P.O.C.? ()
Free African Americans in South Carolina sought many devices to avoid paying the discriminatory free Negro capitation tax in the early 1800s. My wife's Tann family descended from "Negro John Kicotan" and was related to former heavyweight contender Malcolm Tann of Northampton County, N.C. Some lighter-skinned members of the family moved to South Carolina where they were successful in avoiding the tax. Elizabeth Tann (born say 1770), said to be a "colored woman with thick skin and long hair" originally from North Carolina, married a white man and had a child who married a member of the free African American Patrick family (described as "colored"). Elizabeth's great grandson refused to pay the tax in a case heard in the court of appeals in May 1843. He referred to an earlier case of Isaac Winningham and his wife Rachel (very light-skinned free African Americans) who won their case on the basis that they were descendants of Egyptians from North Carolina. The cases are Johnson v. Basquere, 28 S.C.L. (1 Speers) 329 (Ct. App. 1843) and Johnson v. Boon, 28 S.C.L. (1 Speers) 268 (Ct. App. 1843) which were researched by Daniel Sharfstein.
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