Re: ATTN: David, War of 1812 & WBTS
Researchers have shown that the historical evidence through numerous court records demonstrates that the Melungeon families sought to identify as and to be accepted as white.[ An example is the marriage patterns of the Joshua Perkins family of Johnson County, Tennessee, whose descendants Paul Heinegg traced. He showed that generations of the family had married white or mulatto people, which led to increasingly European-American or white appearance among descendants. As the scholar Ariela Gross has shown by analysis of court cases, the shift from "mulatto" to "white" was often dependent upon appearance and community perception of a person's activities in life, who one associated with, and whether the person fulfilled the obligations of citizens. Census takers often were people of a community or classified individuals as they were known by the community. Definitions of racial categories were often imprecise and ambiguous, especially for "mulatto" and "free person of color." In the British North American colonies and the United States at various times in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, "mulatto" could mean a mixture of African and European, African and Native American, European and Native American, or all three. At the same time, these groups did marry with each other, and there were questions about which culture took precedence, if any.