Free people of color


Citing Legal Registrations

8 December 2014
Across centuries of recorded history, many classes of people have had to legally register themselves—voters, military-aged men, free people of color in slave regimes, aliens during a time of war, and "just plain folk" on the occasions of their births, marriages, and deaths.

Free African-Americans along the Atlantic Seaboard

2 May 2014
On the eve of America's Civil War, roughly one out of every eight African-Americans was considered free—either freeborn or emancipated from slavery. The census of 1860 identified 488,079 Americans as ...

Those Deceptively Simple Tax Rolls

17 February 2014
When a tax roll is arranged alphabetically—or semi-alphabetically by first letter of surname—that makes it easy to find a person of interest, right? Wrong! If we simply search under the "proper" letter of the alphabet, we'll miss much.

Slaves, Freedmen, and Laws

24 January 2014
When we set out to study slaves and freedmen in antebellum America, we learn quickly the importance of knowing the laws. Not the suppositions we hear right and left, not the broad generalizations we "learn" from the media, but the actual text of state and local laws for the time and place.