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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: 1833 Census
In Response To: Re: 1833 Census ()

I have been waiting for Selma to respond to this. :) I am not sure where the information was obtained, but it is listed alphabetically by surname for Charles City and divided into male and female. I think there was also an age cut off point, but am not sure. Also, it is my understanding that it was for the express purpose of enumerating FPOC to be sent back to Africa.

I also found this online:

"Race and history and matters
March 18, 2008, 11:50PM

In Charlottesville, Virginia late 2003, I arrived with great expectations of following up on research I began four years earlier.

It was a beautiful October day when I climb the steps of the courthouse in that college town. I sifted through Order Books, Law Orders, Chancery Orders and Wills. I was overwhelmed that records held in Charlottesville confirmed some of the information I had prior to my trip.

The information which brought me to this place included an article published in The Magazine Albemarle County History. The article, A Just and True Account, Two 1833 Parish Censuses of Albemarle County Free Blacks attempts to shed light on often neglected populations in the country. Mr. Ervin L. Jordan, Jr. who wrote this article 1995 says these "two remarkable documents [held at the Library of Virginia] is a list of Free Negroes and Mulattoes taken by Ira Harris, County Commissioner in 1833". These documents are remarkable because the Virginia Assembly passed laws forcing the County Commissioner to take a census of every person of color in Albemarle for reasons based in fear.

Futhermore Mr. Jordon, says this legislation was "designed 'to persuade' Afro-Virginians to accept deportation back to Africa and specifically Liberia." This is in part due to Nat Turner's rebellion which happened in Virginia countryside in 1831. This set the scene for Virginia mandating censuses of free black and colored people in the Commonwealth. It also was the reason I believe my family left Virginia. The census of free black and colored people inadvertently left a record about race and the history of the people enumerated. Mr. Jordan exclaims "that these censuses are in several ways more detailed than the Federal census of 1830."

Incidentally, these two documents captured the names of Sally, Eston and Madison Hemings. It also includes the names of several individuals with whom I strongly believe I have kinship. When I looked at these documents I was overwhelmed by number of black and colored families listed. This is important because there is almost nothing in American history books about these people with exception of the Hemings and how they relate to Thomas Jefferson.

The attempt to deport black and free people of color started a mass migration from Virginia. Again, the state wanted to deport all of this individuals to Liberia. However I believe that the most important detail of this legislation was to remove black and free color by any means necessary. This includes selling blacks and people of color to southern states. It also prompted these free people to move to places like the Old Northwest Territory. The territory is currently a good portion of what is now northern, southern and eastern Ohio. The first record I have of my family in this area is a marriage record of 1836. Even though Ohio offered this opportunity, the individuals who left Virginia for Ohio faced Black Codes. These codes required that black and free people of color register to monitor and restrict their movement.

When I started genealogy I never that I would find records before 1870. This year is important in American history because it was the first decade in which the government made a transparent attempt to officially count all blacks in the United States. However, there are places in the United States where the full names of black and free people of color where included in census schedules while others places maintained the practice of not counting blacks at all. I found my family in the 1850 and 1860 Federal census for Ohio. These censuses say that my relative was a native of Virginia and his obituary confirmed what I had come to strongly believe about where and when he was born.

I believe he was born circa 1806. in Albemarle County. This is also approximately the same year that Madison Hemings was born in Ablemarle County. He also migrated to Ohio. Let me make it perfectly clear that Madison Hemings is not a kinsmen. I include him in this post because it gives offers some insight on racial relations during this period in American history. I believe learning this history provides a seldom peek into our history together in the United States."

There is no information on who the blogger was.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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