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Rejection of Elizabeth Mason - Prologue Summer 2011

Rejection of Elizabeth Mason - Prologue Summer 2011

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Published by Prologue Magazine
Genealogy Notes

The Rejection of Elizabeth Mason
The Case of a “Free Colored” Revolutionary Widow
By Damani Davis
Genealogy Notes

The Rejection of Elizabeth Mason
The Case of a “Free Colored” Revolutionary Widow
By Damani Davis

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Published by: Prologue Magazine on Oct 26, 2011
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10/26/2011

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gENEALOgY NOTES
The rejection
of  
 
elizabeth Mason
The Case of a “Free Colored” Revolutionary Widow
By Damani Davis
 
I
 my  1854, 90-ye-l Elizbeth ms,  “ee w  cl”  Cpbell Cuty, viii,ppee bee  lcl Justice  the Pece t pply 
  iliy wiw’ pi.
1
Sh cl h h
ecese husb, Ts ms—ls  “ee   cl”—ws  relutiy W ete wh h st
lu i 1777, jii  ilii cpy bi hi i Cwll Cuy, nh Cli.
Ts ms ws e  ppxitely 5,000 aic aeics wh see i Ptit ility ces ui the relutiy W.
2
 Iitilly, st Ptit lees—iclui ge. gee Wshit—
 w iicli  ccp aic aic ic i h 
ces. ofcils i se  the e clies wee eheetly ppse,
pcilly i uch   Suh Cli  gi, wh lpui h i  blck picipi  h iy  h w.
But s ecits i pwe  the ee  ew ecuits ctiue ticese, fcils i st sttes eetully welce the seice  aic
 aic p  iu ll.
3
c blck cui w llw li i Pi c, hy w quickly bb i ui h h
bee suei chic shtes  ecuitet ecits. n istictis
 w  i h py  buy   h blck cui.
4
Iiclly,  ly w cui, h rluiy W wul bh l aic cfic  ply i p. a h ii ipc, ll aic aic i i h Ui S
ility wul be elete t seete uits. nt util the Ke
 W,  Pi Hy S. u  h i  hUi S  c, wul h b i p i. Tiliy’ l ll-blck ui w cilly ib i 1954.
5
Opposite:
Secretary o the Interior Robert McClelland confrmed or Pension Commissioner Loren P.Waldo that marriages or ree blacks were legal in Virginia and that black soldiers had indeed servedin the Revolutionary War and were eligible or pensions.
Prologue
51The Rejection o Elizabeth Mason
 
african american serviceduring
the
american revolution
Te leel  aic aeic ileet i the
rlui p up h i, ,  u
 the ptetil blck ecuit. out  the sttes tht i l-lw blck pticipti, st esticte aic aeic
elistet t thse wh wee lelly ietie s “ee
blck.”
Sice the ee blcks epesete ly  liite seet
 h ll blck ppuli,  l pi  aic aic w uiclly xclu bcu  hiu  l. T   hihly p l lb  pli ci   b 
esistt t blck pticipti, whees sttes less epe-
  l lb   b  p. Ti i fc i h ub  blck ic h wcu i  c  iu  ui hlui.
Te new El sttes h the lest ttl  aic
 aic iliy picipi pi h c h h
ell blck ppulti ws sllest i tht ei.
6
 
Schl u h h ll blck ppuli i h
new El sttes et tht whites h less ppehe-
i  lucc   aic aic.
 at the ppsite extee wee the heily sle-bse
pltti scieties  Suth Cli  gei,
 wh b  h  lilu bu h -
ti  i blck tps. Sice es  thse tw
sttes ctie substtil blck jities, the e ptetil sle elt utweihe y cces  
Biih ii.
7
viii, myl,  nth Cli, hwee, i
 p h x pii hl by Suh Cli
 gei. outsie  new El, viii ecuite eliste e aic aeic seicee th y 
h . Lik   h h , viii -ic i blck cui  h wh w llly c-iz  “ blck  ul.” Lik ciiz  hpli , viii w   h i  cuii  i h l. n ly w hh pibiliy  l, bu l w l  
cstly ppety   iestet t luble t isk 
li huh ijuy  h.
despite these esetis,  siict iity  
viii’ blck cui ci  l blck wh w llw   i h plc  hi w. ay lhl wh uh   h   iliy 
seice cul he e  his sles see i his ste, te with the eeet tht the sle wul be ewe with
 w.
nth Cli’s plicies wee siil t viii’s,
 while myl ws the ly suthe stte t cpletely 
uthize uesticte aic aeic elistets—eless  whethe the ecuit ws esle  ee.
I ch  h , h blck cui—whh  cilly l— li  i h 
uits s thei white cptits. Such ws the cse  
T m, wh li i nh Cli; uh
i Pesyli, Suth Cli,  nth Cli
ui h w;  l i viii.
8
thomas
an
elizabeth mason
  fromthe
commonwealth
of  
virginia
m    Lui Cuy, viii, wh
he et  ie Elizbeth ailstck i 1791.
9
Te
ie ceey ws pee t  lcl Episcplchuch  pesie e by  reee duls. Temss lte e t Cpbell Cuty, whee they 
i   50 y.
Six chile wee b t the mss, but ly e
 the chile, Ts ms, J., ws lie whe
Elizbh l h pi cli. T l chil, h
mss’ 60-ye-l uhte, h ie ecetly, just
pi  h cli. iy--y-l T, J., wh w cib   uccul buch i h Lychbu
ket, see s e  the witesses  pie 
i  iyi hi h’ iy.
Elizbeth pie specic etils  he husb’sseice, stti tht he h see thee septe tus.
I h ,  ix-h u, h   h Bl   Whi mh  vlly  i Pyli  wi   “h cpy.”H lu  c i,  h h, “u- Cpi Wil  Cll m”
10
  g. Hi g’   C, Suh Cli.T’ hi  l ic w h h-hu i 1787, i u Cpi Wil  Cllm, ui which h   h bl  guilCu Hu i nh Cli. Elizbh i h 
ech  his thee tus, Ts ws hbly ische.
11
Elizbeth explie tht she kew these etils becuse
h h “quly h [hi]  c  ci-cuc which ccu ui hi ic”  lh “quly  hi ‘dich.’”
Opposite:
ElizabethMason’s 1854 pen-sion applicationbegins with hersworn declarationthat she was thewidow o ThomasMason, “a Freeman o color, anda Private” whoought in theRevolutionaryWar.
52
Prologue
Summer 2011

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