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WHILBR - Western Maryland's Historical Library

About this collection

Many of the existing documents which deal with slavery in Washington County, Maryland are the wills of slave owners, passing on their property after their deaths or making a gift of a slave to a favored grandson. Others deal with the sale or purchase of a slave.  Unusual in this collection is a note giving permission for "my negro man Lorenzo" to marry, and countersigned by another local slave owner, presumably the owner of the bride. Stories written by the enslaved persons themselves have not survived.

For newspaper accounts of slaves and free African Americans in the Western Maryland papers, see Slaves and Free African Americans, Reports and opinions from the newspapers of Hagerstown, Washington County, and Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland, 1790 to 1864

Western Maryland Regional Library is grateful to Roberta Annan Waltersdorf and to Robert Violet for sharing their family documents, to the Western Maryland Room of the Washington County Free Library, and to Emily Myers for scanning and transcribing most of the documents. 

 
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