The date for the second set of Indian certificates was July 20, 1833, not July 15 given in yesterday's post.Don Collins provided Paul Heinegg's narrative of the Bass family as a reference.These certificates of Indian ancestry and associated records are studiously avoided in Heinegg's Bass narrative.
Jan. 29, 1833On the motion of Mr. Murdaugh, Resolved, That the comittee for courts of Justice be instructed to inquire into the expediency of authorizing the county courts to grant certificates to the descendants of indians and other persons of mixed blood, who are not free negroes or mulattoes, in like manner as certificates of freedom are granted to free negroes and mulattoes, which certificates shall exempt such persons from the penalties in force against free negroes and mulattoes..........
This practice remained in force in Norfolk County until 1850, at which time Indians were included in the Register of Free Negroes and mulattoes with the notation that they were Indians and were excluded from paying the tax placed upon free Negroes and mulattoes in order to fund repatriation to Africa.Understandably the American Indians, East Indians, and Gypsies had no interest in going "back" to Africa.
Notice that Virginia for the first time since 1705 made a distinction between Indians and mulattoes/free Negroes.Notice further that a distinction was made between "persons of mixed blood" and mulattoes and free negroes.Compare to the Tennessee Melungeon court cases.In practice this distinction was made almost exclusively in Norfolk County, where the Bass family had since 1727 defended against the 1705 act which declared that the child of an Indian (and a white person) shall be held and deemed to be a mulatto.
1851 Norfolk County Free Negro Register
# 1599 Samuel Harman 25yrs5 ft 6 Indian complexion with a small scar near the Corner of the right eye from a cut How free – Indian descent Jany 25, 1851, Jany 27, 1851 no tax
# 1600 Edward Harman 22yrs 5 ft 8 1/2 Indian complexion with a large scar….. How Free - Indian descent do (date) do no tax do (dates)
# 1603 Enoch T. Bass 215 ft 9 Indian complexion with several marks of India ink On the back of the left hand …… How Free - Indian descent Janry 25 1851 Janry 30 1851
# 1604 Southall Bass 225 ft 8 ¾ Indian complexion with a scar…… How Free - Indian descent do (date) do (date)
# 1620 Noah Nickens565ft 9” Indian complexion with a scar under the lip.... How Free - Indian descent Directed to be certified 22 April 1851 Registered & copied 3 May 1851
# 1621 Elvin Bass*285ft 5 1/2” Indian complexion, with a small scar..... How Free:Indian descent Ditto dates for Noah Nickens
File 2006 by James H. Nickens, M.D. for the Virginia Indian Historical Society.Derived directly from the work of Helen R. Rountree