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Maryland Digital Cultural Heritage

About this collection

A collection of manumissions, indentures, bills of sale, and other documents related to slavery primarily in Howard County, Maryland in the decades before and just after the Civil War, including several manumissions of slaves who entered military service during the War.

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Deed of manumission (top) and slave bill of sale (bottom)

Collection Location: Howard County Historical Society

Collection Overview: This collection of 168 items from the Howard County Historical Society contains manumissions, indentures, bills of sale, and other documents related to slavery in Howard County, Maryland in the decades before and just after the Civil War, including several manumissions of slaves who had entered military service during the War.

By the middle of the 19th century, slavery had become an integral part of life in rural Howard County. Slaves were considered property, and laws governing the ownership, treatment, and movement (freedom) of that property had been created to govern its trade. These documents show just how pervasive and insidious the practice of slavery had become.

Related Material:

A Guide to the History of Slavery in Maryland. Annapolis, MD: Maryland State Archives; [College Park,] MD: University of Maryland College Park, 2007. http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/intromsa/pdf/slavery_pamphlet.pdf

"African American Research in Maryland." Genealogy Trails. http://genealogytrails.com/mary/afameresearch.html

 
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