Wade Hampton Borin -2

When I wrote about Wade before, it was in the context of how to find someone in a census when the surname is so mangled that it is hard to find.  This time I want to talk about a salient feature of the censuses that I did find that involved him and his family.  Namely, the 1850 census shows the family as Mutlatto.  Mutlatto can be used in several sorts of situations, but generally it means someone  of mixed racial heritage.  Some correspondents have wondered if Wade Borin could have been Black German, which might look like Mutlatto, but I have a photo (which I’ll try to add to this post) of Wade and Mary (Dardinger) Borin which makes him look somewhat dark complected, but not particularly German.  More importantly, his given names, “Wade Hampton” were well known in South Carolina in the 18th century and earlier .  Wade Hampton I was an officer in the Revolutionary War and also the War of 1812.  His son Wade Hampton II also served in the War of 1812 and Wade Hampton III was a colonel in the Confederate Army.  After the War Wade Hampton III was Governor and Senator from South Carolina.  Of particular interest is that according to Wikipedia (which see for more info on the Wade Hamptons) at his death Wade Hampton I was said to be the wealthist planter in the US with over 3000 slaves.  This brings up the question of whether the Burdens came from the Hampton line and were freed at some point before Wade Burden was born?  I don’t have any absolute answer, but it’s always possible it could be answered with a genetic test.  Wade and Mary had nine boys and a girl, so there are undoubtedly a lot of Borin males running around who could be tested.  Of course, since they don’t have the Hampton surname, it might mean that the connection was via a mutlatto daughter.

The other interesting question is why Wade Burden changed his surname to Borin and went white?  I read a book a number of years that pointed out that for the most part people with black blood in them identify with their black line even when and where there’s no necessary reason to do so.  I don’t know how modern blacks would respond to this question.  I had a black roommate for two years in college, but he was an Ibo from Nigeria and did not have any knowledge of black culture in the US.  Likewise I have some black friends now, but they’re also either recent immigrants or we haven’t actually talked about racial identification.  Anyway, I’d be interested in anyone’s input.

BTW, Mary was 18 and Wade 27 when they married in 1871.  But in the 1860 census, when he’s still with his family in what’s now West Virginia, he’s listed as Mutlatto while in 1870 when he’s working as a farm hand he’s  listed as Hampton Boran (white).  It may be he changed his racial classification so he could join the regular Union Army, and then stuck with it.


2 thoughts on “Wade Hampton Borin -2

  1. Wade Hampton Burden (later Borin) was the son of Oliver Burden and Caroline. Oliver Burden was a Mulatto and Caroline was listed in one census as Indian. Oliver Burden started out in South Carolina, but settled in Moundsville, Marshall Co, West Virginia. He and his family were Mulatto. However, his son George R. Burden was listed Mulatto in 1880 census, however by 1900 he was in Ohio and listed as White and his children were all listed as White, and in fact did look White. George was the younger brother of Wade Hampton Burden (Borin). George and Wade married White women and lived their adult life as White men, and moved away from the family area. It is a fact that the descendants of Thomas Burden and Priscilla Timbers are both Black and White. It all depends of who you marry, and they next generation will look either more White or more Black. In the case of Wade and George they both went White. George and Wade are the sons of Oliver Burden, the son of Moses Burden, the son of David Burden and the son of Thomas Burden and Priscilla Timbers. Priscilla was half White, her mother was a White servant named Sarah Timbers. Priscilla’s father was Black, but because her mother was White, Priscilla was born a FREE woman of color. Priscilla’s husband Thomas Burden was Black, but her children were all born FREE. This is all documented in court. Her children all owned land and lived as free persons of color.

    • Lilly,

      I don’t know how I missed this message when you sent it, though since I only occasionally look through and approve messages, it must been in my spam bin. Anyway, thanks for the additional information. I’ll go and check to see what is new… Hmmm. Nothing new factually, though everything you have matches what I have. Have we communicated before when I was researching the West Virginia Dardingers? I didn’t have Priscilla as a servant, but it certainly does make sense. You can contact me directly at dedmod@msn.com if you’d like.

      Dave Dardinger

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