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AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum

Re: "Free White Mulattoes" in 1860

Thanks for your response. Let me add some clarity to my statements.

I agree, it’s true that in one since it was never a secret, otherwise all the laws that were passed to prevent Black/White miscegenation would have never been enacted to attempt to curtail that which was obviously happening, but I think the facts that you posted made my point.

Being the fact that the early legislators throughout the colonies began to make miscegenation punishable and/or finable, as well as the possible enslavement of the child birthed from such a relationship, I think it’s obvious historically, why secreting ones African heritage became a life or death priority for those who believed they could pass in order to be free or exercise white privilege.

This is why today, so many white Americans are unaware of any African ancestry in their family tree, and are absolutely amazed when it is revealed! As you know, many times so-called mulattoes who attempted to pass, if questioned deemed themselves as being in part, of Southern European, Middle Eastern, or even Native American ancestry to explain away dark complexions or curly hair.

There is story of a historian researching the early history of a small southern town in Louisiana by going through courthouse records, such as local census, birth certificates, and so forth. In a town that supposedly had an overwhelmingly white population, over and over again he found the phrase “free man of color” denoted on some the oldest documents which referenced surnames and ancestors of the towns supposedly “white” elite. Well reportedly, for some mysterious reason the courthouse burned the next day. (I read this story decades ago, and the incident was even dated then)


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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