Persistent Borderland: Freedom and Citizenship in Territorial Florida

Posted in Dissertations, Europe, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Slavery, United States on 2011-08-01 01:41Z by Steven

Persistent Borderland: Freedom and Citizenship in Territorial Florida

Texas A&M University
August 2007
295 pages

Philip Matthew Smith

A Dissertation by Philip Matthew Smith Submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies of Texas A&M University in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in History

Florida’s Spanish borderland was the result of over two hundred and fifty years of cooperation and contention among Indians, Spain, Britain, the United States and Africans who lived with them all. The borderland was shaped by the differing cultural definitions of color and how color affected laws about manumission, miscegenation, legitimacy, citizenship or degrees of rights for free people of color and to some extent for slaves themselves.

The borderland did not vanish after the United States acquired Florida. It persisted in three ways. First, in advocacy for the former Spanish system by some white patriarchs who fathered mixed race families. Free blacks and people of color also had an interest in maintaining their property and liberties. Second, Indians in Florida and escaped slaves who allied with them well knew how whites treated non-whites, and they fiercely resisted white authority. Third, the United States reacted to both of these in the context of fear that further slave revolutions in the Caribbean, colluding with the Indian-African alliance in Florida, might destabilize slavery in the United States.

In the new Florida Territory, Spanish era practices based on a less severe construction of race were soon quashed, but not without the articulate objections of a cadre of whites. Led by Zephaniah Kingsley, their arguments challenged the strict biracial system of the United States. This was a component of the persistent borderland, but their arguments were, in the end, also in the service of slavery and white patriarchy.

The persistent border included this ongoing resistance to strict biracialism, but it was even more distinct because of the Indian-African resistance to the United States that was not in the service of slavery. To defend slavery and whiteness, the United States sent thousands of its military, millions of its treasure, and spent years to subdue the Indian-African alliance and to make Florida and its long shorelines a barrier to protect whiteness and patriarchy in the Deep South.


    • The problem
    • An imaginary line
    • First-contact Florida.
    • First Spanish Period, 1565-1763
    • British Period, 1763-1784
    • Second Spanish Period, 1784-1821
    • The Adams-Onís Treaty, 1818-1821
    • “The Province is as yet such a Blank”
    • First impressions
    • “warm climates are congenial to bad habits.”
    • “There is such a heterogeneous mass here.”
    • Who was in Florida?
    • Appendages and sustenance
    • Who can be a citizen?
    • “no law except the law of force”
    • “the retreat of the opulent, the gay and the fashionable.”
    • Citizenship, lotteries and matrimony
    • Color, race, and subjection of the borderland
    • Borderland or profitable periphery
    • Unlocking the economy
    • Infrastructure
    • “In a Spanish street”
    • “The sickness rages here.”
    • “an added peculiar charm”
    • “ – the land was not theirs, but belonged to the Seminoles”.
    • Natural and unnatural connections
    • “apprehensions of hostilities on our southern border”
    • “a separate and distinct people.”
    • “most exposed, but important frontiers of the Union”
    • “apply force to a much greater extent.”
    • “the horrors of St. Domingo enacted over again in earnest”
    • Liberty for people of color
    • Zephaniah Kingsley, Jr. and Anna Madigigine Jai
    • Kingsley’s arguments
    • “this species of our population”
    • “the grand chain of security”
    • “the materials of our own dissolution”
    • Colonization versus naturalization
    • The difference between biracial and multi-tier slavery
    • Memorial to Congress of 1833
    • Leaving Florida for Haiti
    • Other signers
    • Another white advocate
    • Legacy of white advocacy
    • Free blacks in Florida
    • Slavery laws and manumission
    • Free black rights reduced
    • Free blacks resist
    • Mixed families, white allies
    • Parents and children
    • The good old flag of Spain
    • Summary
    • True to our native land
    • The defining feature
    • The insecure Deep South
  • VITA


  1. La Florida, 1584
  2. Drake’s attack on St. Augustine, May 28 and 29, 1586
  3. Spanish missions in Florida, 1680
  4. Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine
  5. Fuerte Negro
  6. East Florida, 1826
  7. Florida, 1834
  8. Kingsley home, Fort George Island
  9. Anna’s house, Fort George Island
  10. Former slave dwellings on Fort George Island
  11. Ruins of Fort George Island slave dwellings


  • 1 Northeast Florida Non-Indian population
  • 2 Non-Spanish immigration to Florida during Second Spanish Period
  • 3 Population of St. Augustine during the Second Spanish Period
  • 4 Percent free blacks to slaves in 1830
  • 5 Percent free blacks to slaves in 1860
  • 6 Pre-emancipation census
  • 7 Free blacks in households, 1830
  • 8 Memorial signers’ households, 1830 and 1840
  • 9 Free blacks as a percent of total population during antebellum years
  • 10 Population of Nassau, Duval and St. Johns counties
  • 11 Black baptisms in St. Augustine, 1784-1821
  • A-1 1820 United States Census
  • A-2 1830 United States Census
  • A-3 1840 United States Census
  • A-4 1850 United States Census
  • A-5 1860 United States Census
  • A-6 1840 Florida Census
  • A-7 1850 Florida Census
  • A-8 1860 Florida Census

Read the entire dissertation here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Africans in Yorkshire? The deepest-rooting clade of the Y phylogeny within an English genealogy

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Articles, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2010-10-15 18:50Z by Steven

Africans in Yorkshire? The deepest-rooting clade of the Y phylogeny within an English genealogy

European Journal of Human Genetics
Volume 15 (2007)
pages 288–293
DOI: 10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201771

Turi E. King
University of Leicester

Emma J. Parkin
University of Leicester

Geoff Swinfield
Geoff Swinfield Genealogical Services, Mottingham, London

Fulvio Cruciani
Università degli Studi di Roma ‘La Sapienza’

Rosaria Scozzari
Università degli Studi di Roma ‘La Sapienza’

Alexandra Rosa
Università degli Studi di Roma ‘La Sapienza’

Si-Keun Lim
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, United Kingdom

Yali Xue
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, United Kingdom

Chris Tyler-Smith
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, United Kingdom

Mark A. Jobling
University of Leicester

The presence of Africans in Britain has been recorded since Roman times, but has left no apparent genetic trace among modern inhabitants. Y chromosomes belonging to the deepest-rooting clade of the Y phylogeny, haplogroup (hg) A, are regarded as African-specific, and no examples have been reported from Britain or elsewhere in Western Europe. We describe the presence of an hgA1 chromosome in an indigenous British male; comparison with African examples suggests a Western African origin. Seven out of 18 men carrying the same rare east-Yorkshire surname as the original male also carry hgA1 chromosomes, and documentary research resolves them into two genealogies with most-recent-common-ancestors living in Yorkshire in the late 18th century. Analysis using 77 Y-short tandem repeats (STRs) is consistent with coalescence a few generations earlier. Our findings represent the first genetic evidence of Africans among ‘indigenous’ British, and emphasize the complexity of human migration history as well as the pitfalls of assigning geographical origin from Y-chromosomal haplotypes.


The population of the UK today is culturally diverse, with 8% of its 54 million inhabitants belonging to ethnic minorities, and over one million classifying themselves as ‘Black or Black British’ in the 2001 census. These people owe their origins to immigration from the Caribbean and Africa beginning in the mid-20th century; before this time, the population has been seen as typically Western European, and its history has been interpreted in terms of more local immigration, including that of the Saxons, Vikings and Normans. However, in reality, Britain has a long history of contact with Africa (reviewed by Fryer). Africans were first recorded in the north 1800 years ago, as Roman soldiers defending Hadrian’s wall –‘a division of Moors’. Some historians suggest that Vikings brought captured North Africans to Britain in the 9th century. After a hiatus of several hundred years, the influence of the Atlantic slave trade began to be felt, with the first group of West Africans being brought to Britain in 1555. African domestic servants, musicians, entertainers and slaves then became common in the Tudor period, prompting an unsuccessful attempt by Elizabeth I to expel them in 1601. By the last third of the 18th century, there were an estimated 10,000 black people in Britain, mostly concentrated in cities such as London.

Has this presence left a genetic trace among people regarded as ‘indigenous’ British? In principle, Y-chromosomal haplotyping offers a means to detect long-established African lineages. Haplotypes of the non-recombining region of the Y, defined by slowly mutating binary markers such as SNPs, can be arranged into a unique phylogeny.  These binary haplotypes, known as haplogroups (hg), show a high degree of geographical differentiation, reflecting the powerful influence of genetic drift on this chromosome. Some clades of the phylogeny are so specific to particular continents or regions that they have been used to assign population-of-origin to individual DNA samples, and in quantifying the origins of the components of admixed populations using simple allele-counting methods.

Studies of British genetic diversity, generally sampling on the criterion of two generations of residence, have found no evidence of African Y-chromosomal lineages, suggesting that they either never became assimilated into the general population or have been lost by drift. However, here, we describe a globally rare and archetypically African sublineage in Britain and show that it has been resident there for at least 250 years, representing the first genetic trace of an appreciable African presence that has existed for several centuries…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Patterns of Mixed-Race Migration to Britain in the Eighteenth-Century Black Atlantic

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, History, Live Events, Media Archive, Slavery, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2010-01-08 02:03Z by Steven

Patterns of Mixed-Race Migration to Britain in the Eighteenth-Century Black Atlantic

American Historical Association
124th Annual Meeting
Friday, 2010-01-08 15:10 PST (Local Time)
Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
Manchester Ballroom F (Hyatt)
San Diego, California

Daniel Alan Livesay, Assistant Professor of History
Drury University, Springfield, Missouri

With tremendous gender and racial disparities, miscegenation and interracial cohabitation became the norm in eighteenth-century Jamaica.  A large number of mixed-race children came from these unions, and in many cases these individuals received financial and personal assistance from their white fathers.  Lacking schools, and with almost no professional prospects for free people of color on the island, many fathers sent their mixed-race children to Britain for a better chance at schooling and employment.  These individuals took their place in the upper ranks of metropolitan society, with large colonial fortunes behind them.  Their interactions with white relatives, and scholarly success in Britain, paved the way for continued achievement in the metropole, or for a more advanced position in Jamaican society, if they chose to return. This paper examines the wills of over 2200 Jamaican residents from 1770-1815 to provide a quantifiable look at mixed-race migration to Britain.  Gathered from the Island Record Office in Central Village, Jamaica, these wills shed light not only on the frequency and regularity of this practice over the period in question, but also on the gender and class dynamics that dictated life for mixed-race Jamaicans who traveled to the metropole.  Though primarily a male phenomenon, mixed-race migration to Britain also included a large number of women who, more often than their male counterparts, stayed in the metropolis permanently.  This paper will argue that such movement became an important component in the development of the Black Atlantic, and that the remigration of mixed-race Jamaicans from the metropole to the periphery constituted a vital force in the creolization of the West Indies.

Tags: , , , , ,

Brown Babies in Britain

Posted in Articles, History, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, Videos on 2009-11-04 04:11Z by Steven

Brown Babies in Britain

Radcliffe Quarterly
Winter 2007
Dean’s Lecture Series

Julia Hanna

When white British women met black servicemen during World War II, mixed-race children sometimes resulted from their relationships. In her November 2 [2007] Dean’s Lecture, Hazel V. Carby addressed issues of race and class by drawing on scholarship and personal experience as one of the “brown babies” who caused social consternation and marked, according to Carby, the beginnings of Britain as a racialized state. Her lecture was titled “Brown Babies: The Birth of Britain as a Racialized State, 1943–1948.”

Yet her research into memos sent between various branches of the British government shows an acute awareness of West Indian servicemen as well as black American troops stationed in Britain. Concern was expressed that a “social problem” might arise if nonwhites mixed with the local white population during the war or stayed in Britain after the war, and a program of covert racial segregation was put in place to monitor and manage black troops. When relationships and pregnancies resulted between white women and black men despite such interventions, the women were often counseled to give up their children and avoid marriage. Although her own parents ignored this advice, Carby has continued to search for the depersonalized meaning of her “half-caste” presence in the public sphere by studying memory, history, and citizenship, all of which she hopes to address in a forthcoming work, “Child of Empire: Racializing Subjects in Post WWII Britain.”

The Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Professor of African American Studies, a professor of American studies, and director of the Initiative on Race, Gender, and Globalization at Yale University, Carby is the author of Cultures in Babylon: Black Britain and African America (Verso, 1999).

To watch Carby’s lecture, click here.

Tags: , , , ,