AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Re: South Carolina Egyptiams
In Response To: Re: South Carolina Egyptiams ()
I do not believe any of these stories about Egyptians, Portuguese or Gypsies because I have seen no documentation. I have seen documented cases where persons were at first denied their rights because of suspicion that they were of African descent but then cleared because they could prove they were Portuguese (who were considered white).
There is also the question about how someone from anywhere but the British Isles could manage to have enough colonists here to maintain a separate, self-sustaining community and go unmentioned in colonial records. A self-sustaining community would probably require at the very minimum 300 people.
The Weaver family who came to Lancaster County as East Indians, for example, blended into the free African American community--probably from the first generation-- and were soon indistinguishable from free African Americans. Like their countrymen in Maryland, they had to sue for their freedom because their masters intended on keeping them as slaves.
I have worked overseas with East Indians who were darker than many Africans. This is because African slaves were a significant part of the Muslim armies of the region. They blended into the Indian population and some rose to power there in the 1500s. See Ronald Segal's wonderful book "Islam's Black Slaves."
Messages In This Thread