54. A Bill Declaring What Persons Shall Be Deemed Mulattoes
Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that every person, of whose grandfathers or grandmothers any one is, or shall have been, a negro, although all his other progenitors, except that descending from the negro, shall have been white persons, shall be deemed a mulatto; and so every person, who shall have one fourth part or more of negro blood, shall, in like manner be deemed a mulatto.
Report description begins Report of the Committee of Revisors Appointed by the General Assembly of Virginia in MDCCLXXVI, Richmond, 1784 description ends , p. 41. MS (ViU); clerk’s copy. Text of Act as adopted is in Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends xii, 184.
Bill was presented by Madison 31 Oct. 1785, passed by House 2 Dec., and approved by Senate 5 Dec. (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , Oct. 1785, 1828 edn., p. 12–15, 64, 69, 71, 132). Text of Act as adopted is identical with Bill as proposed, save in the addition of a final clause putting it into effect 1 Jan. 1787. See Act of 1705 on the subject of eligibility for office (Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends iii, 252).