Abstract

This article contends that although local beliefs and legal edicts attempted to discourage sexual and familial relationships between women of color and white men in North Carolina, free women of mixed ancestry and white men developed relationships that mimicked legally-sanctioned marriages. These unions often produced children who maintained frequent interaction with both parents. In nineteenth-century Hertford County, North Carolina, free women of mixed ancestry and their white partners developed creative strategies to deal with the legal limitations inherent in their situation. Women and men in these relationships found ways to secure property rights for women and children and developed methods to prevent legal scrutiny of their living arrangements.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-1897
Print ISSN
0022-4529
Pages
pp. 612-626
Launched on MUSE
2014-03-12
Open Access
No
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