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The French were also more tolerant of racial mixing, especially in sparsely settled frontier societies like Louisiana, where there were significantly fewer white women than men.At the same time, they developed elaborate color categories to define the results of that mixing.
The fact that free people of color, particularly in the South, never made it into the mainstream narrative of American history is extraordinary considering their status was one of the most talked about issues of the first half of the nineteenth century.The first man killed in the Boston Massacre of 1770 was Crispus Attucks, a free mixed-race sailor.Four African Americans fought at the Battle of Lexington in the American Revolution, and some historians have estimated that as much as one-fifth of the rebel army that recaptured Boston from the British was black.Introduction Contexts: Free People of Color in the Americas, 1492-1830 Early Days: Colonial Louisiana, 1718-1803 Transition: Louisiana's Territorial Period, 1803-1812 Golden Age: The Early Antebellum Era, 1812-1830 Decline and Civil War, 1830-1865 Legacies: Louisiana's "Creoles of Color" after the Civil War For more than five hundred years, America has been a land where people have sought, if not always found, freedom.Those who were successful in their search have come to be seen as quintessential American heroes.
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Many histories of America have failed to tell the story of these resilient and fascinating people.