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This Day in Georgia History

March 17, 1866

Persons of Color Defined

Gov. Charles Jones Jenkins signed legislation declaring “persons of color” to be defined as “all negroes, mulattoes, mestizoes, and their descendants, having one-eight negro, or African blood, in their veins.” The act also authorized persons of color in Georgia the same rights as whites with respect to contracts,suits, inheritance, property, and punishments for violation of the law.