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AfriGeneas Discuss! Forum

Re: Social Systems & Slavery
In Response To: Social Systems & Slavery ()

Carmen, I agree with most of what you are saying and I do see your point of view. I'm a co-moderator of the FPOC forum and I do very in-depth research of the FPOC in antebellum NC and some of my research has extended beyond into reconstruction. In my research, I am not just looking at names and dates, I also look at the socio-political climate and the laws in place affecting their lives (both free born and freed fpoc). Here are a few of my observations:

1. The laws in NC did not differentiate between free born and freed fpoc - once free, all fpoc are treated the same under the law, legally speaking, there were no class differences. The only possible exception that I have found is a law in 1715 that required churchwardens to bind out all children born free from the union of a white woman and a black man until they were 31 whereas all other fpoc children were bound out until age 21, but in this case the issue was not whether they were freed vs. free-born, the issue was that they were trying to discourage white women from having interracial relationships.

2. Laws in the 1800s regarding manumission required freed slaves to leave the state within 90 days, but this was often not followed. I have traced many freed slaves to see what they did and I can easily group them into 2 groups - those that hightailed it up north, particularly to OH, IN, and IL and those that moved into already established free black communities that were a mixture of both free born and freed blacks.

Of course I have not researched every single freed slave and free born African American in antebellum NC, but these are my observations on the ones I have. I'm not trying to get into an argument with you, I just wanted to share my own observations of antebellum NC since you did mention NC.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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