African-Native American Genealogy Forum
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Freedmen were those persons who had been held in bondage by a Cherokee citizen prior to emancipation in 1863 by Cherokee authorities and 1866 by the Federal Government.
Free persons of color were those individuals of African descent living legally in the Cherokee Nation because of their Cherokee blood or intermarriage to a Cherokee Indian. The children of black women and Cherokee men were black under the laws of the tribe. They were born free and were thus "free people of color." Unlike their mixed white and Cherokee counterparts whose mother was white and father a Cherokee, they never achieved recognition of their Cherokee blood before it was too late and the Dawes Commission dumped them on the Freedmen roll.