It seems hard to belive that anyone could have looked at iIish people and seen them as "not white." Many historians have argued that "white" is an invented catagory--that when people looked at each other in the 1800s, they saw many differences--of religion, nationality, ethnicity, language, class. They did not automatically see "white." Here is a final example.


This is the marriage certificate of Professor O'Malley's great great grandfather. He was born in Ireland, but married in 1884 in Virginia to a Virginia native. Look closely at his "race"--and hers.

Here is a picture of the happy couple

The State of Virginia, in 1884, regarded these two people as "colored." In popular perceptions, that man looked like this:

Not quite white, not quite fully human.