About the Collection

The selected manuscripts date from as early as 1774 and contain evidence of the lives and experiences of enslaved persons in South Carolina. The items include bills of sale, plantation ledger lists, land plats, court records, family papers, correspondences, labor contracts, last will and testaments and estate records. These manuscripts have proven essential in genealogical research for African American families. Other sources provide insight into the material and living conditions, medical treatment, provisions, religious practices, culture, “hiring out,” and manumission of enslaved persons in South Carolina, as well as the interactions and lives of freedmen following the American Civil War.

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