The Piedmont area had long been inhabited by indigenous peoples. At the time of European encounter, mostly Siouan-speaking tribes lived in this area. Indications from our research are the Marshall offspring born and living there at the time of Lewis Marshall Martin's conception were likely descended from Native American and African slave unions. Possibly if not likely, Louis Marshall born abt.1878 was the biological father of Lewis Robinson Marshall Martin, born abt 1895 when his mother Sarah Robinson, born abt 1880 was about fifteen years of age. Our reasoning is that in the year 1894-1895, love likely existed and even common-law marriage by customs and traditions regardless of duration, ... during which Sarah made the decision to name her son Lewis Marshall.
We have checked the below list of free African Americans in Bedford County prior to the Civil War and did not find any surnamed Marshall. Therefore we suspect that Powhatan Marshall was likely the offspring of an enslaved woman of African heritage who perhaps named him after his father who may have been of Native American heritage.
It is critical to keep in mind that prior to the Civil War, many states led by Virginia had began the laws that reclassified all persons as either White, Black or Colored/Mulatto. Native Americans like African heritage slaves were routinely classified by law whether slave or free to be Black or Colored/Mulatto; and this custom and practice continued by census takers after the war.
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