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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: Sad day for freedmen
In Response To: Re: Sad day for freedmen ()

I am Apache Indian from Arizona. As an engineer, I have moved around the country several times, and I now work in Florida. I am an Apache mountain runner and enjoy hiking up Mt. Enotah, the former Cherokee capital of the 1820s before the Trail of Tears. It is the closest mountain to my home in Florida.

I read about the history of how the freedmen were discerned from regular Cherokee enrollment. It was based entirely upon physical appearance. If a Cherokee was 1/8 black, 1/8 white, and 3/4 Cherokee but looked "full-blooded" Cherokee, then that person was labeled "Cherokee." But if a person was 1/2 Cherokee and 1/2 black and had noticable black features, then that person was labeled "freedman."

They really needed a DNA test to make the proper blood quantum analysis, but if that were done, the results would have been all over the spectrum of mathematical percentages probably ranging from 1/64 to 31/32 with most not being full-blooded. But that is common for most tribes (even modern Navajos, who are actually part Spanish).

Most tribes were wiped out by smallpox with few proximal survivors. The only way a tribal member could be "full-blooded" was if the small population was inbreeding, but I know most Natives chose NOT to do that. There are exceptions (i.e. Zunis). But it was often a taboo.

Unfortunately, I know some southeastern tribes chose to adopt slavery of Africans. The election does appear to show genuine racism against African-Americans who are often mixed with white and Native ancestry. A Comanche elder told me most Cherokees and Creeks are really part African. Given the historical pattern of the southeastern USA, that wouldn't surprise me. I noticed that curly hair is common among the east coast Natives along with African features. I saw that with the Seminoles of south Florida, but they were more accepting of Africans who escaped slavery. But in modern Oklahoma, it seems different.

As for Apaches, there was a slave trade against them for hundreds of years by Colonial Spain. The Apaches escaped too many times, so the King of Spain ordered them sent to Cuba. When I see a Cuban person, sometimes I wonder if he or she has Apache ancestry from hundreds of years ago. Some of the Cubans definitely look part Native here in Florida. They are likely part Taino Indian.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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