American Slavery Documents

Legal and personal documents related to the institution of slavery in the United States from 1757-1860s.More »

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Certifications of the freedom of seven men:... asdsi001034
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Documents detailing the prices of Betts and... asdsi002036

About the Digital Collection

The American Slavery Documents Collection contains an assortment of legal and personal documents related to slavery in the United States. Nearly all of the documents are singular and otherwise unrelated to the other, but as a composite, the collection brings to light the details of the lives and deaths of free and enslaved African Americans during the Antebellum and early Reconstruction Eras. The type of materials include bills of sale, manumission papers, emancipation notes, bonds, auction notices and other assorted items. The documents represent nearly all of the states of the American south including: North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi, but a few documents are from northern states like New York and New Jersey.

Source Collection

This digital collection comprises selected materials from the following archival collection at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library:

American slavery documents collection 1757-1924 and undated

Collection #RL.11093 | 2.0 Linear Feet; 2 boxes; 1 oversize folder

Collection of manuscript items relating to American slavery assembled over a number of decades by the staff of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University. Collection contains items documenting the sales, escapes, and emancipations of enslaved people from colonial times through the Civil War, and to a lesser extent, materials relating to slavery in the United States dating from the post-emancipation period.

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The preservation of the Duke University Libraries Digital Collections and the Duke Digital Repository programs are supported in part by the Lowell and Eileen Aptman Digital Preservation Fund