Hello All,
One of the things that I have found so interesting in my researching of the           
family, was the varied laws that were passed during slavery times in
response to the "threat" of Free Colored People, or "Negroes", as the
expression was at times.  Many of you might be surprised to know that not
all blacks were slaves and that the majority of the black people who were
free were not the results of some kind of forced relationships between
slaves and slave owners. You might be surprised to find out that it was not
uncommon during the very earliest days in this country's history for
intermarriages between blacks and whites.  Some of our ancestors were free,
either being set free by their masters during early times (Tom GREEN and his
family in 1798, for instance), or they may have never been slaves at all
(such as the 2 separate EVANS sides I am tracing, one was originally members
of the Cheraw-Saponi Indian tribe, who first turns up in Granville
County, North Carolina in the 1750's; and the other descended from a Welshman
named Morris EVANS, born abt 1675/died 1739 York Co.,Virginia ); or they
were free from birth for various reasons, which are discussed below.
I am posting some info from the website Documenting the American South
Collections, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which has entire
books online for free viewing to the public. This is from the book
"Ante-Bellum North Carolina, A Social History", by Guion Griffis Johnson,
from Chapter XX, The Free Negro:

           By act of 1741, children of life servants in North Carolina, as
in all other southern states except Maryland, took the status of the mother.
Accordingly, a person of Negro blood, with one free and one slave parent,
had to be the offspring of a white mother to be free automatically. How much
the free Negro population was augmented from this source is difficult to
ascertain, but there are cases on record showing that occasionally white
women did cohabit with Negro men. A few whites and blacks intermarried,
despite the law to the contrary, and reared mulatto freemen. It was a fact,
undenied in ante-bellum times, that white men occasionally had slave
mistresses and frequently exerted every effort to emancipate the offspring
of these relations. It is significant that only 8,655 free Negroes out of a
total population of 30,463 in 1860 were black and that the remaining 21,808
were of mixed blood. 14

[14 U. S. Census Office, Population of the United States in 1860, p. 359. To
compare the extent of race mixing in North Carolina with that of other
southern states, see J. H. Johnston's typescript, "The Social Significance
of the Intermixture of the Races in the Colonial and National Periods."]

Throughout the ante-bellum period there were occasional
references in the newspapers, in petitions to the Legislature, and in court
proceedings, to the relation of white women with Negro men. In 1802, for
instance, John Jones of Nash County advertised for "A Bright Mulatto Fellow,
named Sion, . . . very likely and sensible," who was passing as a freeman
and had "a white tall Woman with him, . . ." 15

[15 Raleigh Register, February 23, 1802; see also Edenton Gazette, November
23, 1810; MS in Legislative Papers, in House, December 13, 1813.]

In several cases reaching the Supreme Court, it was brought out
that a white woman had willingly cohabited with a Negro man. In 1818 the
Court gave judgment for the defendant in a libel case when it was proved
that his statement was true that the woman involved had cohabited with a
Negro man prior to her marriage. 16

[16 Horton v. Reavis, 6 N. C., 380; see also S. v. Neese, 4 N. C., 691.]

In another case a certain white woman brought suit for the custody of her
two mulatto children who had been taken from her and bound out as
apprentices. 17

[17 Midgett v. McBryde, 48 N. C., 22.]

           It was a common trick at this time, when divorces were difficult
to obtain, for a husband to ask for his freedom on the ground that his wife
had "known a Negro fellow." It is as difficult now for the


Page 589

historian as it seemed for the Legislature at the time to determine when the
husband was making a false claim. In 1809 a "Citizen of Richmond," writing
from Rockingham, cited two petitions which reached the Legislature in 1808
in which the relations of the wife with a Negro man were "fully and
substantially proven." 18

[18 Raleigh Register, November 30, 1809.]

A few petitions will be sufficient to determine the sort of claims which the
husband usually set forth. In 1813 a resident of Duplin County asked for a
divorce from his wife Elizabeth saying, "The said Elizabeth for the two last
years has resided under the roof of a Slave and . . . she actually claims as
her child and has suckled at her breast an infant bearing the most certain
marks of a coloured Father." 19

[19 MS in Legislative Papers, in House, November 30, 1813. See also petition
of Joseph Hancock, in Senate, December 13, 1813.]

In 1832 a certain petitioner from Orange County stated that when he, "being
destitute of Land of his own, was induced to become a Partner in a farm with
a free negro" his wife formed an attachment for the Negro. 20

[20 MS in Legislative Papers, in Senate, November 23, 1832.]

Less frequently, white women petitioned for divorce on the ground
that their husbands had taken up with Negro women. In 1826 a wife in Iredell
County asked for a divorce, stating that her husband had "abandoned her, and
his children, and in violation of the laws of God, and man," had taken up
"with a negro woman, and still continued to live and cohabit with her." 21

[21 Ibid., in House, January 8, 1827. See also petition in Senate, December
1, 1827.]

In 1849 a suit for divorce filed by the wife of a planter in New Hanover
County reached the Supreme Court, claiming that the petitioner's husband had
taken up with a slave on his plantation and that he had allowed the slave
"to treat his wife with contempt, depriving her of all authority as mistress
of the house and conferring it on the negro." 22

[22 Hansley v. Hansley, 32 N. C., 506.]

It was sometimes brought out during the trial in cases of rape,
bastardy, and infanticide that the white woman in question willingly
cohabited with the Negro man. As in petitions for divorce so in petitions
for reprieves, the petitioners always sought to shift the blame upon the
woman involved. For example, a petition, signed by six of the jurymen, which
reached the governor in 1825 in behalf of slave Warrick, declared that the
jury's verdict of guilty was based entirely upon "the honest Indignation
with which
Page 590

our white population view" a Negro's "connection with a white woman even by
her consent." 23

[23 MS in Governor's Papers, State Series, LV, Pt. I, dated March 24, 1825.
See also ibid., dated December 8, 1825; Hillsborough Recorder, September 6,
1821. The Legislature of 1860-1861 considered a "bill to prevent
amalgamation" which would have deprived a white woman delivered of a colored
child the privilege of refusing to declare the father. The father, if a free
Negro, would have been required to leave the State at once or be sold into
"perpetual slavery"; if a slave, he would have been ordered transported. See
MS in Legislative Papers, January 31, 1861.]

A few whites married Negroes despite the laws to the contrary.
The first law in North Carolina concerning the intermarriage of the two
races was that of 1715, reŽnacted in 1741. It subjected to a fine of $50 a
white person who should marry "an Indian, Negro, Mustee or Mulatto . . . or
any Person of Mixed Blood to the Third Generation." The act also made the
minister or justice of the peace who performed the ceremony liable to a
similar fine. 24

[24 SNRC, XXIII, 65, 160; Revised Statues, 1837, Vol. 1, Chap. LXXI, secs.

For anyone wanting to read more, you can visit the website at this link:


Subject: Slaves on Slave Ships

 Some of you might be interested in seeing what a slave ship loaded with
 slaves looked like.  These photos are from one of the message boards Deloris goes
 to and she found these photos quite moving.  She says; They cause one to wonder, how on
 earth could anyone survive a voyage from Africa in conditions like these?  Deloris "When
 I think about whoever may have been our first ancestor in America, and how
 he had been put on a ship like these, taken from his family and all that he
 had ever known, and forced to work in a strange land, inhabited by people
 speaking a language he had never heard before, an overwhelming feeling of
 RESPECT comes to me, and I am humbled to think of how trivial our woes now
 seem in consideration of what our ancestor once went through".

Please click onto them to view the pictures:

Once a new screen comes up with the picture, place your mouse/arrow over
 it, and click onto the little orange icon with blue arrows that pop up, to
 enlarge the picture.

==================THANKS COUSIN

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