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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: When did the classification of "Free Negro" en


Like Hollis, I have seen evidence of a possible distinction made in the early years of emancipation between "freedpeople" (those emancipated by the war) and "free persons of color" (those who apparently had free status during slavery times). The examples I saw were in Upson County, Georgia, marriage records 1865-1869, in which former owners of ex-slaves were identified. In six cases (four of them involving persons named Graves), the bride or groom is reported to be "a free man [or woman] of color," with no former owner indicated.

I speculate that this wording was deliberately chosen to contrast "free person of colour" with the terms "freedman" or "freedwoman." To prove this theory, however, I would have to do more research into the background of these six persons.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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