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AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum

Re: "Free White Mulattoes" in 1860

I think that the the original subject of this message has some people a bit confused. Yes, there was a "study" that was posted online sometime ago about what the author referred to as "free white mulattoes". But the author turned out to be using faulty assumptions and not thoroughly reading the pages of the census, he basically was thinking that the little "tics", or marks listed in some of the spaces on the census pages, were written by the original census takers. Using all of those little marks as a guide, he was able to create a false racial representation, and unfortunately his work was read by many people and was taken to be a new racial classification. After his work was publicized and posted online, several other genealogists took a look at the whole study, including looking over the same census pages that were the subject. What they found was that the author had counted marks that had been written at a later date by the federal officials who reviewed the census records to verify tallies and such, a practice which was done for all of the census pages. They usually just marked the lines with a small "tic", sometimes a checkmark, but which can be distinguishable from the actual census takers own writings, but in this case, the author apparently mistook them as being the original marks. I don't think that this particular case was any intention of trying to mis-identify anyone, it was just the mistaken assumptions made by one person. If you read some of the earlier messages in this thread, on August 2004, I posted a link to the article in which addressed this particular study and gave a complete report of what exactly went wrong with the whole misconception of "free white mulattoes. It might help to clear up the matter by following the link and reading about it.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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