World Archives Project: Slave Emancipation Records - Washington, DC, 1851-1863

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About this project This project consists of records relating to slavery in the District of Columbia kept by the U.S. Circuit Court. These records are primarily emancipation papers resulting from the Congressional act of April 16, 1862.  Also included are records relating to manumissions from 1857 - 1863 ; and fugitive slave case papers, 1851-1863.

Contents

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World Archives Keying Standards

Project-specific sample images and form field help:

Choose a sample image from below to see the corresponding form field examples.
Cover Jacket
Document

Cover Jacket

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Files in this project are separated by tall slender cover sheets or jacket covers.  These forms can be distinguished by appearance as an oblong, tall, slender image.

Event Day

Key the day of the event date as seen. The date will appear after the words "Filed" such as "Filed 17th May 1862"
See Example

Event Month

Key the Month in the event date using a dictionary if provided for assistance.  The date will appear after the words "Filed" such as "Filed 17th May 1862"
See Example

Event Year

Key the two or four digit number designated as the year in the event date.  The date will appear after the words "Filed" such as "Filed 17th May 1862"
See Example

Record Type

The Record Type field only exists for the Cover Jacket form type. Enter the word "Cover" in this field.  
See Example

Document

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Immediately following a cover sheet a document form will follow.  If you can't see the previous image, then key the image as a document form.  These records contain information regarding manumission, emacipation, and fugitive slaves.  Please create a new record for each individual mentioned in the document except for the Court Clerks and Justices of the Peace.  For each record created be sure to use the Person Type filed to indicate whether the person in the record is an Owner/Master, a Slave, or "Other".  Use "Other" for witnesses and others mentioned in the form except as specified above.

Prefix

Key any titles before the Given name, such as "Dr", "Rev", "Mr" or "Mrs", using a dictionary if provided for assistance. If a prefix does not appear in a dictionary then key the prefix as seen.
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Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the primary person to whom the record pertains using a dictionary if provided for assistance. If a name does not appear in the dictionary then key the name as seen. Do not key names of Court Clerks or Justices of the Peace.
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Surname

The Surname is the last name of the primary person to whom the record applies. Capture the Surname using the dictionary provided for assistance. If the surname does not appear in the dictionary then key the surname as seen. Do not key names of Court Clerks or Justices of the Peace.
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Suffix

Key all titles, such as "Jr" or "III", following the surname of the primary person to whom the record applies using a dictionary if provided for assistance. If a suffix does not appear in a dictionary then key the suffix as seen. Do not key names of Court Clerks or Justices of the Peace. 
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Alias Given

Occasionally an alternate name may be recorded for a given individual. This name may be denoted by parentheses, quotation marks, or may be preceded by the word "nee". Key the first name or initial and any middle names using a dictionary if provided for assistance. If an alias given name does not appear in the dictionary then key the alias given name as seen. Do not key names of Court Clerks or Justices of the Peace.
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Alias Surname

Key any Alias Surname which appears. Occasionally an alternate name may be recorded for a given individual. This name may be denoted by parentheses, quotation marks, or may be preceded by the abbreviation "for" or the words "nee" or "formerly". All the rules for keying a primary name should also be followed for keying any alias name. Do not key names of Court Clerks or Justices of the Peace.
See Example

Gender

Key the gender of the individual when given. The gender will only be listed for slaves. It may be given as "girl", "boy", "man", or "woman". Please key the appropriate corresponding gender for these words. Key the gender as "Female", "Male", or "Unknown."
See Example

Age

Enter the person's age when given. The age will generally only be present for slaves. · If an Age includes years, months, and/or days then key only the years. For example, if an Age appears as 10 years, 7 months then key the Age as 10. · If an Age appears in months only, such as 10 months, then key the Age as a fraction of twelfths – 10/12.· If an Age includes a fraction, such as 3 3/8, key only the whole number – 3.· If the Age is written as a range, such as "6 to 7 years", only key the first number - 6. 
See Example

Person Type

Key the relationship the person in each record regarding their role in the record using the drop-down menu to assist.  Possiblities are: Master, Slave or Other.  Do not include the Court Clerks or Justices of the Peace.
See Example

Residence

Key the Residence of each individual record, which may be written on the form as "Residence" or as seen. Key this field only when the residence of the individual is NOT "District of Columbia," or "Washington, DC". Key the City, County and State when given.
See Example

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