Browse Items (18 total)

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In the Virginia Law to Preserve Racial Integrity, "white" persons were defined as those with "no trace whatsoever of any blood other than Caucasian" or "one-sixteenth or less of the blood of the American Indian." The second part of the definition was…

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In an application for a marriage license, one had to indicate not only that he or she was not "a habitual criminal, idiot, imbecile, hereditary epileptic or insane person," but but also whether he or she was "white, colored, or mixed."

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In his application for a marriage license, Charlie Sorrells indicated that both he and his fiancee, Sophia Jane Woods, were white. A.T. Shields, the same clerk of the court who denied Atha Sorrells' right to marry, signed the license. The Sorrells'…

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In a 1943 letter to local registrars, clerks, and legislators, Plecker asserted, "[T]here does not exist today a descendant of Virginia ancestors claiming to be an Indian who is unmixed with negro blood."

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"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows…

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In a letter to A.T. Shields, Walter Plecker inquired into the problem of the "free issue" people of Rockbridge and alluded to the "unfortunate mistake made by Judge Holt in deciding that one of those families is of Indian blood and should be allowed…

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In a letter to A.T. Shields, Walter Plecker asserted that Judge Holt's decision to categorize Atha Sorrells as white despite her Indian heritage had "emboldened" the Rockbridge tribe. Nonetheless, he advised against appealing the Sorrells case to the…

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In a letter to Turner McDowell, clerk of the Circuit Court in Botetourt County, Walter Plecker probed the legality of the marriage between Grace Mohler and Samuel Christian Branham. The court ruled that Branham was a "Negro" and ordered him "never…

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A.T. Shields, clerk of the Circuit Court of Rockbridge County, denied Atha Sorrells and Robert Painter a marriage license because of Sorrells' Indian heritage. Sorrells and Painter brought action against Shields, and Judge Holt ruled in their favor,…
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