Howard County Historical Society

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  2. Marriage Licenses
  3. Yearbooks
  4. Manumissions, Indentures, Bills of Sale

Unlock Untold Stories in our Manumissions, Indentures, and Bills of Sale Collection

This collection of 168 items is located in the Howard County Historical Society’s Archives and Research Library and 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. This collection is available online thanks to the pro bono efforts of Digital Maryland (formerly Maryland Digital Cultural Heritage), which are very much appreciated.