The Resource Rockbridge County (Va.) James Clark vs. J. P. Moore, Clerk of Court, 1876 December
- Rockbridge County (Va.) James Clark vs. J. P. Moore, Clerk of Court, 1876 December
- Inclusive dates
- 1876 December
- Legal correspondence -- Virginia | Rockbridge County
- African Americans -- Virginia | Rockbridge County
- Rockbridge County (Va.)
- Clarke family
- Interracial marriage. -- Virginia | Rockbridge County
- Clark family
- Civil court records -- Virginia | Rockbridge County
- Local government records -- Virginia | Rockbridge County
- Rockbridge County (Va.) -- History -- 19th century
- Interracial marriage. -- Law and legislation
- Rockbridge County (Va.) James Clark vs. J. P. Moore, Clerk of Court, 1876 December. This judgment consists of the petition of James Clark (alternately spelled Clarke in the documents) for a writ of mandamus to force the clerk to issue him a previously denied marriage license to marry Cerinda Robison, a whtie woman, on the grounds that he is a black man. Clark claims to be of mixed blood and less than the one fourth minimum negro or Indian blood that the law required. Included is a letter from the clerk of court of Amherst County to whom Moore had written to inquire about Clark's racial background and ancestry. Clark was successful in getting the court to order the clerk issue him a marriage license
- Clark was an ancestor of Atha Sorrells of Rockbridge who in 1924 also sued for a writ of mandamus after denied a marriage license under the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 that greatly narrowed racial definitions in Virginia
- Biographical or historical data
- Rockbridge County was named for Natural Bridge, an exceptional rock formation located in the county. The county was formed from Augusta and Botetourt counties in 1778, and another part of Botetourt was added later.
- Anti-miscegenation laws banning interracial marriage between whites and non-whites were first enacted in Virginia in 1691. As early as 1792, a person was legally a mulatto if they had one fourth or greater part of negro blood. The 1866 law decreed that every person having one-fourth or more Negro blood shall be deemed a colored person, and every person not a colored person having one-fourth or more Indian blood shall be deemed an Indian. In 1924, the Racial Integrity Law changed this to the so-called one drop rule that held that the term white shall apply only to the person who has no trace whatsoever of any blood other than Caucasian, but persons who have one-sixteenth or less of the blood of the American Indian, and no other non-Caucasic blood shall be deemed white persons. Every other combination was to be negro or colored.
- Cataloging source
- Location of other archival material
- See also Rockbridge County (Va.) Atha Sorrells by her next friend William Sorrells vs. A. T. Shields, Clerk of Circuit Court, 1925. Local government records collection, Rockbridge County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. 23219.
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