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quadroon

a one fourth black-ancestry person

TRANSLATION

quadroon = jemand, der (seiner Abstammung nach) zu einem Viertel schwarz ist

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“Born in France in 1802, Dumas was the son of General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, one of the highest-ranking men of African descent to lead a European army. Dumas’s paternal grandparents were a French nobleman and an enslaved Haitian woman. He was a ‘QUADROON,’ or someone who was a 1/4th black.”

Valarie D’Amico – ‘How Race Played a Role in the Life and Work of Alexandre Dumas’ - Bookstr dot com (27 February 2021)

Did you
know?

quadroon
noun

- a person of one-quarter Black ancestry

Merriam-Webster


WORD ORIGIN

The first known use of quadroon in the meaning defined above, was in 1707. It was borrowed from the French quarteron and the Spanish cuarterón, both of which have their root in the Latin quartus, meaning “a quarter”.

In the colonial societies of the Americas and Australia, a "quadroon" or "quarteron" was a person with one quarter African/Aboriginal and three quarters European ancestry.

Similar classifications were “octoroon” for one-eighth black and “hexadecaroon” for one-sixteenth black.


DUMAS’ BRILLIANT REPLY

A reporter once asked Alexandre Dumas whether it was true that he was a quadroon. Dumas replied that he was. “So your father was a mulatto?” “Yes.” “And your grandfather was a negro?” “Yes.” “And your great-grandfather was…” “A baboon, sir!” Dumas roared impatiently. “A baboon! Which means that my family begins where yours ends!”


SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“Discussions about racial ancestry inevitably involve descriptors like ‘QUADROON’, ‘octoroon’, and ‘hexadecaroon’."


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and,

Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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