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The Legal Documents Concerning Slavery digital collection contains various papers relating to the slave trade in the United States and territories, mostly prior to the Civil War. These documents consist of bills of sale, complaints, issues of warrant for criminal offenses, wills, inventories of goods and chattels, property appraisals, emancipation deeds, and registers of freed slaves for census purposes. The date range is from 1703-1862, with the bulk of the documents from 1780-1860. They are from the territories or states of Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Missouri. The documents provide some understanding of the legal foundation of slavery as it was practiced in the American colonies and later in the United States.
Finding Aid to Legal Documents Concerning Slavery