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Archiver > Melungeon > 2003-02 > 1046029450


From: "vhowery" <>
Subject: Re: [Melungeon] mulatto designation
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 13:44:10 -0600
References: <20030223184248.27280.qmail@web41402.mail.yahoo.com>


I agree My gggrandfather Moore looked African but never have found
any...Marie
Marie Worley Howery List Mom for
MAY
HARSHMAN
MELUNGEON-KIN(Co-List Mom)
GUERRANT
NEFRONTI
SCHLOMER
FEHLINGS










----- Original Message -----
From: "Brent Kennedy" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, February 23, 2003 12:42 PM
Subject: Re: [Melungeon] mulatto designation


>
> Amen...I know full well that there's African (and just about everything
else) in my various family lines. I thin that makes us "human beings." <G>
>
> Best
>
> Brent
> Barbara Ellison <> wrote:Hello Brent..
> I agree people need to keep hunting records on the family...but I still
say
> that Mulatto designation on a US census does indicate some degree of
African
> ancestry, and that there was either the outward appearance of African
> features, or knowledge of African heritage regardless of appearance, in
> order for Mulatto designation to be made...and folks need to quit trying
so
> hard to make their African ancestors not be African ancestors...
> I also have Nashes, Mullins, Bells, Berrys, Kennedys, and more married
into
> my Goins family, by the way...Don't know where they were born or what
their
> designation on census were, but they married into a 3-way mixedblood bunch
> of Choctaws...LOL
> B.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Brent Kennedy"
> To:
> Sent: Sunday, February 23, 2003 10:32 AM
> Subject: Re: [Melungeon] mulatto designation
>
>
> >
> > Barb,
> >
> > Your and Joanne's posts point out the sometimes
> > contradictory nature of census reports, and I greatly
> > appreciate the questions and information you both are
> > presenting. There's so much more involved than a
> > simple checking off of "race" on a piece of paper. While the
> > censuses are a critical , or even THE critical, piece of the
> > puzzle, so much more can be at play just under the surface.
> >
> > As you both have pointed out, the truth is that
> > there was no cut and dried criteria for pronouncing
> > someone "mulatto" or "free colored" or even "white"
> > or "Indian" for that matter. We often think of the early
> > census takers as this "army" of trained observers/record
> > keepers coming from the east to do a uniform job wherever
> > they went. Nothing could be further from the truth. I believe
> > it was at First Union where Darlene Wilson presented a
> > speech that said, in essence, up in these mountains our
> > forefathers (the first to arrive in most cases) re-defined what
> > "white" meant. So a "white" classification in the early 1800s
> > in what today is Wise County, Virginia probably was a great
> > deal more "flexible" than what "white" meant in tidewater
> > Virginia. The "free colored" and those in question elsewhere
> > finally had the opportunity to set the ground rules in the areas
> > where THEY set up the government, and you can bet they
> > chose the census takers from amongst themselves whenever
> > possible. L.F. Addington in his History of Wise County, Virginia
> > talks about the founders of these early county governments and it's
> > pretty clear from the surnames who they were (us!). W.A. Plecker
> > caught on to this continuing practice, as we all know, and tried
> > his best to "correct" it. Soooo, long story to say that we need to
> > remember that the censuses were conceived, planned and
> > administered by human beings with various agendas, some good,
> > some bad.
> >
> > I think we're also well served to keep digging in our family
> > records beyond the censuses to gather a more complete picture.
> > My Nashes, Halls, Mullinses, Robersons, Bennetts, Bowlings,
> > etc. all have family origin stories of something different than
> > northern European. Here's an early example of my
> > Reeves/Rives/Ryves family where "reality" conflicts with
> > census. I include this to simply say that so many of our
> > mixed race ancestors undoubtedly made it to the mountain
> > refuges where, in many cases, they either set up the local
> > government or literally married into it (as the Reeves likely did
> > with the Phipps family).
> >
> > >From the Phipps Family of North Carolina and Virginia, by F.
> > Duval Craven and John C. Mullins, 1982
> >
> > >From Mary Killen Holifield, related to Mr. E. J. Sutherland on
> > May 22, 1929 in Clintwood, Virginia, in discussing my gggg
> > grandparents, Samuel Phipps (1762-1854) and Elizabeth
> > "Betty" Reeves (1765-1845):
> >
> > "...(Samuel's) wife was Betty Reeves. The Reeves are said
> > to have come from Portugal. They had brown eyes and black
> > hair. I've heard it said that they were part Indian, too.
> > The Phipps, I reckon, were raised right there in North Carolina."
> >
> > My great Aunt, Helena, says to this day that the
> > Reeves were "Portuguese Indians" and that Samuel's and
> > Betty's son, Joseph, married an Indian girl, Patty White.
> > But there's no census classification to prove any of this, at
> > least that I've found. On the other hand, it doesn't take a
> > genius to see the features in that line of the family as evidence
> > of something other than Scandanavians running around in these hills .
> > In any event, a good thread.
> >
> > Brent
> >
> > Now, the census may never "catch" folks like this who married into the
> "right" families, but it sure sends a message that, while helpful, a
> designition on a census is not necessarily the whole truth and nothing but
> the truth. WHich, of course, is part of what I've been preaching for
years.
> >
> >
> > Barbara Ellison wrote:I would like to see an actual
> record (copy, image, whatever) that showed clearly and undeniably a
> non-African blooded person designated as Mulatto...A person who had one
> white or Indian parent and one Black parent was not a Negro, but he was a
> Mulatto...tho he could be designated either way..
> > Censuses were supposed to have legal designations of the race of the
> person being counted...Are there censuses from 1705? I have been talking
> about US census designations, and I didn't think there were US census
before
> 1790....? But as far as that goes, I would like to see ANY kind of record
> that proves a non-African blooded person as having been designated as
Negro
> or Mulatto...
> > Yes, Free Indians and Free Africans and other Free non-whites were often
> designated as Free Colored...but not always...
> > Some mixedblood Africans were also designated as white, even when the
> powers that "were" knew they weren't really white..
> > B.
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From:
> > To: ;
> > Sent: Saturday, February 22, 2003 9:44 PM
> > Subject: Re: [Melungeon] mulatto designation
> >
> >
> > In a message dated 2/22/2003 10:08:00 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> writes:
> >
> >
> > That's what I'm saying...Indians were not called Mulatto or Black unless
> > they had African blood...If they had white blood, they might get called
> > white, but sometimes even if they didn't, they got called white
> >
> >
> > "During the entire first half of European-American history, there was
> little or no incentive to legally define the precise racial origin of a
> person who was otherwise culturally indistinguishable from the
> European-American community. Before the Revolution, only Virginia and
North
> Carolina legally defined a person's race in terms of ancestry.Although it
is
> today taken to mean mixed black and white, the word "mulatto" in the
> seventeenth and eighteenth centuries generally applied to anyone with dark
> skin who was not a Negro. In the West Indies, the term was applied also to
> mixed black-Indian individuals. Another meaning was a person who was
> "half-Christian," born of a union between a Spaniard and a non-Christian.
> Definitions in Delaware official documents were no more precise (Heite and
> Heite 1985).
> >
> > A Virginia law of 1705 defined the child of a white and an Indian as a
> mulatto, but it stated that the child, grandchild, and great-grandchild of
a
> Negro would be a mulatto legally. For Indian/white unions, the mulatto
> status would disappear when the issue of such a union married a white
> person. For Negro/white unions, the designation was effectively permanent.
> While the progeny of Indian/white unions mated among themselves, Virginia
> law would identify the offspring as mulatto. Maryland had a similar
> definition, which was not explicitly stated (Cissna 1986:204-205). The
> Oxford English Dictionary cites an example from 1709 in which a person was
> both a mulatto and an Indian."
> >
> > "For purposes of census and enforcement of discriminatory laws, race in
> America has been defined, throughout the nineteenth century and much of
the
> twentieth, by the subjective opinion of the white record keeper, who can
be
> expected to have been ignorant of the nuanced meanings of race terminology
> and often uninterested in ethnic origins.Taxed Indians were enumerated in
> the census together with African Americans under the classification of
"free
> persons of color." Some Indians were classified as white, especially if
they
> were financially well off. The 1800 census of Delaware (the 1790 returns
> having been lost) did not identify any person as an Indian. Because there
> were then no reservations in Delaware, where untaxed Indians would reside,
> an Indian could be classified as either "colored" or "white," but not
"red."
> Many were called "mulattoes," an ambigous term that encompassed any
nonwhite
> person, regardless of ancestry.At the same time, different enumerators
were
> counting!
> > the same households for county tax purposes. In some years the tax
> assessors identified Indian-descended families as "mulattoes" and reserved
> the term "negro" for any person of African descent, regardless of mixture.
> In other years, every nonwhite was classed as " negro." Race depended
> entirely on the collector's perception."
> >
> > http://www.heite.org/Indians/invisibleindians.html
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Joanne Pezzullo
> > http://www.geocities.com/ourmelungeons/front.html
> > To weet a wicked villaine, bold and stout,
> > Which wonned in a rocke not farre away,
> > That robbed all the countrie there about,
> > ---------------------------------
> > For he so crafty was to forge and face,
> > So light of hand, and nymble of his pace,
> > So smooth of tongue, and subtile in his tale,
> > That could deceive one looking in his face;
> > Therefore by name Malengin they him call,
> > Well knowen by his feates, and famous ouer all.
> > ------------------------------
> > Spencer's FAIRE QUEENE 1596
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ==== Melungeon Mailing List ====
> > Helen Campbell's Melungeon Homepage:
> > http://www.melungeons.com
> > Contains an abundance of Melungeon related articles and links.
> >
> >
> >
> > ---------------------------------
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> >
> >
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