masteradept

about natives in virginia

deluxvivens:

So in the latest go round about who gets to be native, I saw a reference to people not really being native b/c they cant really prove who they are via genealogy so they arent really native at all, or something. For the umpteenth time I am going to post Walter Plecker’s letter from 1943.

This man *deliberately* created a paper genocide policy for all virginia natives and mixed virginia natives that was in effect for decades.  Note the second part where he went after specific entire families. I’d also like to remind people that this man was reached out to by the Nazis on their eugenics program. You can find the original letter here.

January 1943



Local Registrars, Physicians, Health
Officers, Nurses, School Superintendents,
and Clerks of the Courts

Dear Co-workers:

Our December 1942 letter to local registrars, also mailed to the clerks, set forth the determined effort to escape from the negro race of groups of “free issues,” or descendants of the “free mulattoes” of early days, so listed prior to 1865 in the United States census and various types of State records, as distin-
guished from slave negroes.

Now that these people are playing up the advantages gained by being permitted to give “Indian” as the race of the child’s parents on birth certificates, we see the great mistake made in not stopping earlier the organized propagation of this racial falsehood. They have been using the advantage thus gained
as an aid to intermarriage into the white race and to attend white schools, and now for some time they have been refusing to register with war draft boards as negroes, as required by the boards which are faithfully performing their duties.
Three of these negroes from Caroline County were sentenced to prison on January 12 in the United States Court at Richmond for refusing to obey the draft law unless permitted to classify themselves as “Indian.”

Some of these mongrels, finding that they have been able to sneak in  their birth certificates unchallenged as Indians are now making a rush to register as white. Upon investigation we find that a few local registrars have been permitting such certificates to pass through their hands unquestioned and without
warning our office of the fraud. Those attempting this fraud should be warned that they are liable to a penalty of one year in the penitentiary (Section 5099a of the Code). Several clerks have likewise been actually granting them licenses
to marry whites, or at least to marry amongst themselves as Indian or white. The danger of this error always confronts the clerk who does not inquire carefully as to the residence of the woman when he does not have positive information. The
law is explicit that the license be issued by the clerk of the county or city in which the woman resides.

To aid all of you in determining just which are the mixed families, we  have made a list of their surnames by counties and cities, as complete as possible at this time. This list should be preserved by all, even by those in counties and cities not included, as these people are moving around over the State and changing race at the new place. A family has just been investigated which was always recorded as negro around Glade Springs, Washington County, but which changed to white and married as such in Roanoke County. This is going on constantly and can be prevented only by care on the part of local registrars, clerks, doctors, health workers, and school authorities.

Please report all known or suspicious cases to the Bureau of Vital
Statistics, giving names, ages, parents, and as much other information as possible. All certificates of these people showing “Indian” or “white” are now being rejected and returned to the physician or midwife, but local registrars hereafter must not
permit them to pass their hands uncorrected or unchallenged and without a note of warning to us. One hundred and fifty thousand other mulattoes in Virginia are watching eagerly the attempt of their pseudo-Indian brethren, ready to follow in
a rush when the first have made a break in the dike.

Very truly yours,

W. A. Plecker, M.D.
State Registrar of Vital Statistics

Page 2


SURNAMES, BY COUNTIES AND CITIES, OF MIXED NEGROID VIRGINIA
FAMILIES STRIVING TO PASS AS “INDIAN” OR WHITE.

Albemarle: Moon, Powell, Kidd, Pumphrey.

Amherst (Migrants to Alleghany and Campbell): Adcock (Adcox), Beverly (this family is now trying to evade the situation by adopting the name of Burch or Birch, which was the name of the white mother of the present adult generation), Branham, Duff, Floyd, Hamilton, Hartless, Hicks, Johns, Lawless, Nuckles (Knuckles), Painter, Ramsey, Redcross, Roberts, Southards (Suthards, Southerds, Southers), Sorrells, Terry, Tyree, Willis, Clark, Cash, Wood.

Bedford: McVey, Maxey, Branham, Burley. (See Amherst County)

Rockbridge (Migrants to Augusta): Cash, Clark, Coleman, Duff, Floyd, Hartless, Hicks, Mason, Mayse (Mays), Painters, Pultz, Ramsey, Southerds (Southers, Southards, Suthards), Sorrells, Terry, Tyree, Wood, Johns.

Charles City: Collins, Dennis, Bradby, Howell, Langston, Stewart, Wynn, Adkins.

King William: Collins, Dennis, Bradby, Howell, Langston, Stewart, Wynn, Custalow (Custaloe), Dungoe, Holmes, Miles, Page, Allmond, Adams, Hawkes, Suprlock, Doggett.

New Kent: Collins, Bradby, Stewart, Wynn, Adkins, Langston.

Henrico and Richmond City: See Charles City, New Kent, and King William.

Caroline: Byrd, Fortune, Nelson. (See Essex)

Essex and King and Queen: Nelson, Fortune, Byrd, Cooper, Tate, Hammond, Brooks, Boughton, Prince, Mitchell, Robinson.

Elizabeth City & Newport News: Stewart (descendants of the Charles City families).

Halifax: Epps (Eppes), Stewart (Stuart), Coleman, Johnson, Martin, Talley, Sheppard (Shepard), Young.

Norfolk County & Portsmouth: Sawyer, Bass, Weaver, Locklear (Locklair), King, Bright, Porter, Ingram.

Westmoreland: Sorrells, Worlds (or Worrell), Atwells, Gutridge, Oliff.

Greene: Shifflett, Shiflet.

Prince William: Tyson, Segar. (See Fauquier)

Fauquier: Hoffman (Huffman), Riley, Colvin, Phillips. (See Prince William)

Lancaster: Dorsey (Dawson).

Washington: Beverly, Barlow, Thomas, Hughes, Lethcoe, Worley.

Roanoke County: Beverly. (See Washington)

Lee and Smyth: Collins, Gibson (Gipson), Moore, Goins, Ramsey, Delph, Bunch, Freeman, Mise, Barlow, Bolden (Bolin), Mullins, Hawkins. — Chiefly Tennessee “Melungeons.”

Scott: Dingus. (See Lee County)

Russell: Keith, Castell, Stillwell, Meade, Proffitt. (See Lee & Tazewell)

Tazewell: Hammed, Duncan. (See Russell)

Wise: See Lee, Smyth, Scott, and Russell Counties.

deluxvivens-deactivated20130417
deluxvivens:


As for those who “mingled their blood” with African-Americans, they, too,  would be absorbed—though they might not like the consequences.  Let us consider the  example of the Gingashins.  This eastern tribe had two strikes against it:  Its members  refused to give up their traditional lifeways; even worse, they intermarried freely and  unashamedly with blacks.
This was anathema to Virginia elites.  Intermarriage with whites could be, and was,  tolerated.  Intermarriage with blacks, however, was an intolerable challenge to the arbitrary  color line that had been in place since the first chattel slavery law passed in 1661.  Thus, in  1813, the Gingashins made their way into the history books, becoming the first U.S. tribe  to be terminated.
Needless to say, Gingashin identity did not die with the legal decree.  As late as 1855,  Rountree notes, county maps showed an “Indian Town,” an Indiantown Creek,  and a settlement of seven houses.  Eventually, however, white antagonism, not to mention  opportunism, forced the Gingashins to merge into a sympathetic African-American  community.  Tribes such as the Pamunkeys, Mattaponis, Upper Mattaponis, Nansemonds,  Rappahannocks, and Chickahominies took note of the lesson—and learned how to resist.
A century later, armed with the awesome power of the state, Plecker declared war on  these people.  Consulting a listing of surnames associated with Native American ancestry— such as Beverly (from beaver), Sparrow, Penn or Pinn, Fields, Bear, and so on—and  drawing his authority from century-old census records that were likely to list Indians as  “mulattoes”—particularly if the census were taken in summertime, Houck notes— Plecker embarked on a crusade to re-classify every Native American in the state as an  African-American.

Battles in  Red,  Black, and White: Virginia’s Racial Integrity Law of 1924

deluxvivens:

As for those who “mingled their blood” with African-Americans, they, too, would be absorbed—though they might not like the consequences. Let us consider the example of the Gingashins. This eastern tribe had two strikes against it: Its members refused to give up their traditional lifeways; even worse, they intermarried freely and unashamedly with blacks.

This was anathema to Virginia elites. Intermarriage with whites could be, and was, tolerated. Intermarriage with blacks, however, was an intolerable challenge to the arbitrary color line that had been in place since the first chattel slavery law passed in 1661. Thus, in 1813, the Gingashins made their way into the history books, becoming the first U.S. tribe to be terminated.

Needless to say, Gingashin identity did not die with the legal decree. As late as 1855, Rountree notes, county maps showed an “Indian Town,” an Indiantown Creek, and a settlement of seven houses. Eventually, however, white antagonism, not to mention opportunism, forced the Gingashins to merge into a sympathetic African-American community. Tribes such as the Pamunkeys, Mattaponis, Upper Mattaponis, Nansemonds, Rappahannocks, and Chickahominies took note of the lesson—and learned how to resist.

A century later, armed with the awesome power of the state, Plecker declared war on these people. Consulting a listing of surnames associated with Native American ancestry— such as Beverly (from beaver), Sparrow, Penn or Pinn, Fields, Bear, and so on—and drawing his authority from century-old census records that were likely to list Indians as “mulattoes”—particularly if the census were taken in summertime, Houck notes— Plecker embarked on a crusade to re-classify every Native American in the state as an African-American.

Battles in Red, Black, and White: Virginia’s Racial Integrity Law of 1924