Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/496
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY
males of sixteen and upward, including heads of families; free white males under sixteen; free white females who are heads of families; all other free persons; and slaves. In the lists of names, the free negroes and mulattoes are always distinguished from white persons. Therefore in studying this census it is a simple matter to ascertain the number of free negro slaveholders reported and the number of their slaves.
In this census we find that there were in Maryland in 1790 forty-eight free negro slaveholders, owning one hundred and forty-three slaves. It is probable that the number of slaves was somewhat larger, since in several instances the figures in the slave column are illegible in the original manuscripts of the census; in the printed volume these illegible figures are marked as such by a star; when a star is found in a column set apart for slaves, this must mean that there was at least one slave held by the person whose name is opposite the star; we have in such cases counted one slave. In passing, it is curious to note that in this first census we find in Charles County, Md., in 1790, one Eleanor Linkin, mulatto, had in her household three free persons and two slaves; if this Eleanor were not dated 1790, or some other early year, she would certainly have been thought one of the many namesakes of the great emancipator.
The "List of the Taxpayers of the City of Charleston, S. C, 1860," names one hundred and thirty-two colored people who paid taxes on three hundred and ninety slaves in Charleston. In this class were included eleven Indian families who had consorted with the negroes. In or near Charleston "free colored people," as they were there known, were generally of mixed blood, sometimes of Caucasian and African and sometimes of Caucasian and Indian. They obtained slaves by inheritance, by gift and by purchase. Some of these slaveholders were children of rich planters; they were not considered illegitimate or slaves, but as children and were educated and bore the name of the father. Upon the death of the father, these children would come into possession of his estate, including slaves.
There was a rich planter in Charleston named Fowler who took a woman of African descent and established her in his home. It is not recorded whether or not he married her, but be had no other family. There was a daughter born, who was called Isabella; the planter insisted that she should be known as Miss Fowler. She grew to womanhood and was married to Richard De Reef, a young man of Caucasian Indian blood. Her father gave her a wedding gift of a plantation and enough slaves to work it. At emancipation Mrs. De Reef had forty slaves liberated. In Charleston in 1846 there was a free woman of color whose father had been her master and who manumitted all of his children. She bought a slave for several hundreds of dollars; she was satisfied with her bargain and in a short time they were married.