PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY
COMMISSIONER OF SLAVE STATISTICS
Register of slaves owned as of November 1, 1864, when the
Constitution of 1864 took effect. In the hope that the federal
government would compensate former slaveholders, the General
Assembly in 1867 authorized the compilation of records
establishing who had owned slaves and how much the slave property
had been worth. The governor appointed a commissioner of slave
statistics for each county, who remained in office for two years.
Former slaveowners furnished the commissioner with descriptive
information on each slave. The commissioners then filed the
records with the clerk of the circuit court of his county. (Ch.
189, Acts of 1867; Ch. 385, Acts of 1868). Entries give date of
registration, name of the owner, and, if applicable, name of
person acting for the owner. For each slave the records show his
or her name, sex, age, physical condition, term of servitude,
date of emancipation, and, if applicable, information on and
compensation for military service.
The series for Prince George's County consists of two volumes.
The first volume contains most of the entries, and an index of
the names of the owners or agents. The second volume contains
only seventeen documents, but no index. Several pages are
difficult to read because the script is faint. In 1971 Louise
Joyner Hienton created a card index of all names, including
former slaves, in the records. This index is found in (Freedom
Records, PG, Index) in series S1411. Most of the original lists
filed with the commissioner have survived for Prince George's
County and are found in (Slave Statistics, Original) in series
C1308. A comparison of the originals and the recorded copies
reveals that all originals are recorded, but not all originals