1900 interracial dating laws

In 1662, the General Assembly articulated the key concept that a child followed the condition of the mother no matter the status of the father, both providing incentive for slaveholders to increase their slave property by impregnating enslaved women and also contributing to the concept that whiteness would be defined by the absence of blackness.

In 1705, the General Assembly articulated specific racial groups and restricted the rights of African Americans, Indians, and mulattoes, defining the latter as anyone who was the child of an Indian or the child, grandchild, or great-grandchild of an African American.

However, that number dropped drastically in 1920, to 164,171.

Some white people wondered whether this change, along with a longer, more gradual decline in the number of black Virginians, was the result of African Americans "passing" as white.

"Aimed at those mixed-race persons who were no longer clearly identifiable as black," he argued, "the proposed statute did not affect directly the vast majority of black Virginians who had no desire to pass as white." In fact, in a letter to the , of Roanoke, called it an "insult to the white people of the state," largely because of its requirement that all Virginians register their race.

The Senate eventually amended the bill to make such certificates voluntary for all people born before June 14, 1912, or when the Bureau of Vital Statistics was established.

The Racial Integrity Act went a step further and attempted a first for Virginia: defining a white person.

According to the proposed law, to be white a person must have "no trace whatsoever of any blood other than Caucasian"—in other words, the standard already being applied by Walter Plecker.

He did, however, note the ways in which the case suggested problems with the Racial Integrity Act.However, people who had less than one sixty-fourth part Indian and no African American heritage would still be considered white.This exception catered to those elite Virginians who counted themselves as descendants of Pocahontas and John Rolfe. Douglas Smith has noted that the African American press "remained relatively quiet" about the bill.They also argued that African Americans, Indians, poor people, criminals, prostitutes, and alcoholics all suffered from inferior genes.For this reason, many eugenicists maintained, it was critically important that whites not mix with supposedly inferior races.

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Testifying before Judge , and Silas Coleman, a resident of Amherst County, provided anecdotal corroboration.

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