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Images , Artifacts and Records of the American Indian and other Indigenous people

The American Indian Mother of Ancient Moundville

Prior to 1850 federal censuses were performed primarily for tax and land ownership recording purposes, and most Indians were either not recorded, or included in the 'other free persons' or 'free persons of color' categories. Beginning in 1850, persons contracted to perform the federal census were encouraged to inquire as to a person's self-identification due to the fear of "Light skinned Negroes trying to pass themselves off as whites or Indians." Given that there were only three available categories, white, black, or mulatto; that persons who appeared to be obviously mixed-blooded of any kind were to be listed as 'mulatto'; and that persons taxed could not be listed as 'Indian' (who were inherently non-taxed); it is not surprising that there were few Indians recorded east of the Mississippi from 1850 to 1900.

Any Indian person, family, or community not living on well-known reservated areas were more likely to be recorded as mulatto than either Indian or white. In fact, some Indian individuals who were living on land set aside for Indians were still the target of this racial arrow. Recording individuals on a land reserve as mulatto, or otherwise suggesting that the inhabitants mere mixed with Negro blood, was one of the most popular methods used to usurp the natural land rights of an eastern Indian people. The list of tribal remnants who were, at some point, recorded as mulatto include the mixed Creek-Cheraws of Alabama, mixed Choctaw-Chowans of Alabama, Lumbees of North Carolina, Nanticokes of Delaware, and others. For a perfect example of the confusion suffered by lawmakers attempting to place these mixed-bloods into some neat category, read this excerpt from the 1871 North Carolina Joint Senate and House Committee as they interviewed Robeson County Judge Giles Leitch about the 'free persons of color' living within his county:

Senate: Half of the colored population? Leitch: Yes Sir; half of the colored population of Robeson County were never slaves at all… Senate: What are they; are they Negroes? Leitch: Well sir, I desire to tell you the truth as near as I can; but I really do not know what they are; I think they are a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese and Indian… Senate: You think they are mixed Negroes and Indians? Leitch: I do not think that in that class of population there is much Negro blood at all; of that half of the colored population that I have attempted to describe all have always been free…They are called 'mulattoes' that is the name they are known by, as contradistinguished from Negroes…I think they are of Indian origin. Senate: I understand you to say that these seven or eight hundred persons that you designate as mulattoes are not Negroes but are a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish, white blood and Indian blood, you think they are not generally Negroes? Leitch: I do not think the Negro blood predominates. Senate: the word 'mulatto' means a cross between the white and the Negro? Leitch: Yes sir. Senate: You do not mean the word to be understood in that sense when applied to these people? Leitch: I really do not know how to describe those people.

Ancient Moundville Alabama

Olmec Mask Temples of Belize and Cambodia

The subject of this sketch is now 76 years old and resides in Honeycutts Township, Sampson County. His wife, now dead, was Dorcas Maynor. Their children and grandchildren attend the Indian school in Herrings Township. Jonathan Goodman’s father was Timothy Goodman and his mother was Nancy Maynor. The records in the Register of Deeds’ office of Sampson County show that Timothy Goodman was a large land owner before the Civil War, and after his death his widow, Nancy Goodman, was assigned dower in this land in Sampson County, according to these records. She was a typical Croatan Indian and showed no traces of negro blood. Jonathan’s grandmother was Nancy Revell, and the Revell family are now prominent Croatans in Robeson County.

From George E. Butler, “The Croatan Indians of Sampson County, North Carolina. Their Origin and Racial Status. A Plea for Separate Schools,” (1916).

Queen Chief Elwin Warhorse Gillum is the Queen of Tchefuncta Nation and the Chief of the Chahta Tribe

Mvskoke Indians

Ancient Artifact " El Negro " in Mexico

Ancestor Mvskoke Chief Silas Jefferson

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