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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Free Negro vs. Mullato

I recently went through the 1810 census of Culpeper County, VA page by page and realized that some free colored persons were notated as Free Negro and others as Mullato. Up to now, I have been somehow thinking these terms were interchangable, but apparently not. So does that mean that mullatoes were designated as such because of their skin color or does that acknowledge mixed parentage? And does Free Negro indicate a darker complexion or someone who not born free or an individual of pure(?) African descent?

Then there were even a few that were counted as Free Persons of Color but neither designation was indicated. I wonder did that mean they were Native American?

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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