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Series Information
(Slave Statistics)

Series Description
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 are extant.

Related Series
COMMISSIONER OF SLAVE STATISTICS (Slave Statistics) CE157, 1867-1869

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