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Reconstruction Period Research Forum

Virginia Black Laws

I have had several e-mails asking me about the Virginia Black Laws
that I posted about a week ago. Most of the e-mails wanted to know
whether other states had Black Laws or Black Codes. All of the
States that had a slave population and a free black population prior
to 1865 had some type of laws governing the slaves and freed black
populations. Whether the laws had been consolidated in a book, I can
not say. But as genealogist, you should make it a priority to find
out through your state Archives or research centers where you can
locate these Black Laws or Black Codes.

I contacted a well known genealogist who has done a lot of work and
who has published several publications on North Carolina. She is
well known for her publication on the Cohabitation records. Her
three volume book on cohabitation is titled "Somebody Knows My Name"
by Dr. Bernetta McGhee White.

If you do North Carolina research, you should make yourself very
aware of Dr. White's works, just put her name in your search engine
and you will get a lot of hits.

Now, Dr. White shared with me the information concerning Black Laws
(Black Codes) for slaves and freed persons of color of North Carolina.

Dr. White recommended a book called, "The Black Codes of the South",
by Wilson, Theodore Brantner. It was published 1965.

Also there are two books that were published by Heritage Books on NC.
The first, "Against the peace and dignity of the state: North
Carolina laws regarding slaves, Indians", by William L. Byrd, III.
This book is 479 pages printed in 2004.

Second book, "North Carolina General Assembly sessions records:
slaves and free persons of color" by William L. Byrd, III. This book
is 225 pages printed in 2001.

I will continue posting by Virginia Black Laws in the next two weeks.


Char McCargo Bah, professional genealogist/historian

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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