[APG Public List] [TGF] Slave Ancestry
alfonsa at cynthiaswope.com
Fri Aug 27 16:39:24 MDT 2010
(Cross sent to APG/ TGF as was the original message)
I've no idea of the correctness of assumption, but for me it raises the
idea of mixed blood. Personally I would not discount the possibility of
Native American mix into the account, even if heralding from a time when
that might have been a more easily accomplished possibility than in the
later accounts where the term seems in frequent use and geographically
widespread use on a VERY brief google review (up to the Civil War).
I did a quick search just now and discovered it found in the ads /
entries regarding slaves in various locales. I found one for Maryland in
, found also in a description of a Union Kentucky sailor in the civil
war (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~kyboone/aasailor1.htm) and also
found in description 1836 Milledgeville Georgia
(http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/williams/williams.html) , and Louisiana
1858 (http://arledgefamilyhistory.org/africamer.html) .
At The Library of American Slavery it reads:
"One specific area where inaccuracy or inconsistency may be detected by
users of this website relates to the color of individuals identified as
being slaves or free people of color. The color of an individual was
assigned based on the following two criteria. If an individual slave or
free person of color was specifically described by his or her color,
then that color was used. Examples: a person described as black or very
dark was assigned the color 'black;' a person described as mulatto, or
copper, or yellow, or dark mulatto, or light mulatto was assigned the
color ' mulatto' If an individual's color, however, was not
specifically provided, that person would be assigned the color 'black'
by default. "
Another interesting article is found at
detailing the effects of the 1807 law (in effect from 1808) prohibiting
importation, but allowing transport between states. In it is mention
regarding New Orleans manifests: "In addition to the official color
designations of 'negro, mulatto, or person of colour' many manifests
indicate the slaves' skin color as black, brown, yellow, tawney [sic],
dark, or copper. "
Karen J Matheson wrote:
> Does anyone know (and can explain) the significance of recording that a slave is "copper colored" versus black or mulatto? This is from Texas records ca. 1850-1865.
> Karen Matheson
> Austin, Texas
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