Browse Items (18 total)

Wright divorce 12_1078_001.JPG
Robert Wright, a free black, married Mary Godsey, a white woman, in 1806. In January 1815 she eloped with a white man, taking with her a slave and other property. Wright overtook the couple and persuaded his wife to return. That November, she fled…

Plecker 10_0878_001.JPG
Every person living in Virginia had to register as either "white" or "colored." This designation determined whom a person could marry and where he or she could attend school, among other things.

Sorrells family tree 09_1374.JPG
Atha Sorrells presented her family tree as evidence that she was white in her suit to obtain a license to marry Robert Painter.

Plecker 10_0878_004.JPG
Walter Plecker circulated a list of surnames of "mixed negroid Virginia families striving to pass as 'Indian' or white" in each county.

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