Gerald D. and Rachel N. Norwood Collection on Slavery, Anti-Slavery and Emancipation

Collection Summary

Title: Gerald D. and Rachel N. Norwood Collection on Slavery, Anti-Slavery and Emancipation
Call Number: MS 2014-03
Size: 4 linear feet (4 boxes) and 2 oversized folders (OS)
Acquisition: Purchased from Gerald D. Norwood in 10-2006 and 7-2007
Processed by: LBW, 12-2013
Restrictions: None
Note: Related digital collection: Slavery, Anti-Slavery and Emancipation

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher, to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

This collection is comprised of artifacts, financial documents, legal records, magazines, and newspapers documenting the practice of slavery as it evolved in the American colonies and the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries. Of note are the legal records detailing contracts for the sale of slaves, inventories of slaves, and an emancipation deed. Also of note is the South Carolina revenue bond scrip from the Reconstruction Era printed with images of slaves and former slaves working in the fields and serving their masters.

Administrative History

Slavery, in the United States, influenced all levels of society in both the North and South throughout Colonial America, the Revolutionary Era, Civil War, Reconstruction, and beyond. Central to the economic and social fabric of this nation, slavery was no less important, even if it was less visible, to the economies of the North than it was to those in the South. Slavery’s reach encompassed not only the slaves, slave owners, and those who worked in the slave trade, but it also directly impacted ordinary people who made and consumed the finished goods derived from products slaves grew, such as cotton, rice, and tobacco.

Even after the end of slavery, in 1865, whites of all classes continued to benefit from the low paid work of black sharecroppers. During Reconstruction, freedmen were, in large numbers, forced into sharecropping as a means of survival because they had no money or land. In this system, sharecroppers rented a plot of land from a white landowner, and, at harvest time, gave the landowner a portion of their crop. The rest of their crop was sold to pay off expenses from the past year. This inherently unfair system of sharing labor and land developed after the Civil War, and it kept black sharecroppers indebted to landowners and merchants well into the 20th century.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 3-4 Artifacts. This series contains a city badge worn by a slave hired out as a servant in Charleston, South Carolina, and shackles.
Series 2 Box 1 FF 3-4 Financial. This series includes Confederate States of America currency, Reconstruction Era South Carolina revenue bond scrip, and a receipt for the purchase of a slave in Richmond, Virginia.
Series 3 Box 1 FF 4-6, Box 2 FF 1, OS 1 Legal. This series is comprised of a bill of sale and a contract for the sale of slaves, inventories of personal effects and slaves, and an emancipation deed for freed slaves in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Series 4 Box 1 FF 7-8, Box 2 FF 2-4, OS 2 Press Clippings. This series houses magazines and newspapers with advertisements and articles about slavery in various publications. It also includes an advertisement from the Graniteville Company in Charleston, South Carolina, seeking to hire slaves and a letter in response from a slave owner.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ Artifacts

Box 3   City badge worn by a slave hired out as a servant in Charleston, South Carolina, 1815
Box 4   Shackles, n.d.

Series 2 ‒ Financial

Box 1 FF 1 Currency, Confederate States of America, 1862
Box 1 FF 2 Currency, South Carolina revenue bond scrip, 1872
Box 1 FF 3 Receipt, Slave purchase in Richmond, Virginia, 1861

Series 3 ‒ Legal

Box 1 FF 4 Bill of Sale for slaves in South Carolina, 1855
Box 1 FF 5 Contract for sale of slave in New York, 1757
Map case OS 1 Emancipation deed for Celia, Belle, and Flora Jane Allen and Flora Swope; freed by Robert Montgomery in Cincinnati, Ohio, 1859
Box 1 FF 6 Inventory of the Personal Effects belonging to the Estate of Godfrey Stephens late of Gadsden County in the Territory of Florida, 1836
Box 2 F 1 List of Mr. Chollet’s Negros Purchased of Mr. Pinman, n.d.

Series 4 ‒ Press Clippings

Box 2 FF 2 Magazines – Harper’s Weekly, 1860
Box 2 FF 3 Magazines – Illustrated London Times, 1848, 1861
Box 2 FF 4 Magazines – The Independent, 1879
Box 1 FF 7 Newspapers – Advertisement and response letter for hiring out slaves in Charleston, South Carolina, 1861
Box 1 FF 8 Newspapers – Anti-Slavery Bugle, 1845
Map case OS 2 Newspapers – Charleston Courier, 1805
Map case OS 2 Newspapers – New York Times, 1863, 1865