Defining Mixed-Blood Indians
“A Rose by any other name is a Cactus”
~ Defining mixed-blood Indians in colonial Virginia and the Carolinas ~By Steven Pony Hill
Augusta County, VA (Orders 1773-1779)
19 AUG 1777….Nat, an Indian boy in the custody of Mary Greenlee who detains him as a slave complains that he is held in unlawful slavery. Commission to take depositions in Carolina or elsewhere.
17 SEP 1777….On the complaint of Nat an Indian or Mustee Boy who says he is to be set free from service of Mary Greenlee…nothing appeared to this Court but a bill of sale for ten pounds from one Sherwood Harris of Granville County, NC that through several assignments was made over to James Greenlee deceased, late husband to the said Mary….said Mulattoe or Indian Boy is a free man and no slave. ( Nat was most likely half-Indian, so therefore Mulatto or Mustee could be used interchangeably, use of these terms were influenced by the status of his servitude)
Charles City County, VA (Orders 1687-95)
DEC 1690….Thomas Mayo an Indian belonging to Jno. Evans is adjudged 14 years old.
Chesterfield County, VA (Orders 1767-71)
6 APR 1770…On motion of Sibbell, an Indian woman held in slavery by Joseph Ashbrooke, have leave to prosecute for her freedom in forma pauperis. -
Sibbell an Indian wench V. Joseph Ashbrooke, for pltf. To take deposition of Elizabeth Blankenship and Thomas Womack. -
Sybill a Mulatto V. Joseph Ashbrooke – dismissed. (Sibell was most likely less than full blooded Indian…she was described as Indian up to the point it was determined that she was legally a slave, then she was described as mulatto…use of the term is influenced by the status of her servitude)
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