Primary Resource

An act declaring what persons shall be deemed mulattoes (October 1785)

In "An act declaring what persons shall be deemed mulattoes," passed in October 1785, the General Assembly provides a legal definition of the word "mulatto."

Transcription from Original

CHAP. LXXVII.

An act declaring what persons shall be deemed mulattoes.

 I. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That every person of whose grandfathers or grandmothers any one is, or shall have been a negro, although all his other progenitors, except that descending from the negro, shall have been white persons, shall be deemed a mulatto; and so every person who shall have one-fourth part or more of negro blood, shall, in like manner, be deemed a mulatto.

 II. This act shall commence and be in force from and after the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven.