Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Kentucky Slavery Archive, containing over thirty-five legal documents regarding slaves and freedpersons dating between 1814 and 1860. The various documents, most of which are from Adair County, Kentucky, include affidavits, summonses to court, and several deeds of emancipation. One such deed absolves a slave owner's "Servant Mary from all responsibility to me as a servant" for $50. Another grants that his "servant man James for the consideration of one hundred dollars . . . is hereby emancipated as a slave for ever."

    Over fifteen documents in the archive rule that certain slaves had been emancipated by their owners' wills, such as an 1846 ruling allowing "Henry and John (free men of Colour)" to be emancipated according to the last will and testament of their owner as long as they work "by their honest industry [and] support themselves and not become at any time chargeable to the County of Adair."

    One document, regarding marriage of former slaves, is post-Civil War (1868) and one document is from North Carolina (this document is partly-printed and dated 1821 stating that "one Negroe boy" had been seized by the county sheriff and was sold at auction for $415 to pay a debt owed by the youngster's owner). All documents in the archive have been well-preserved; a few have been repaired by tape.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 749

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 May 22 Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    This was my first time dealing with an auction house, and I am 100% completely impressed with Heritage. There is not an aspect of this process that I have a critique for.
    Darryl S.,
    Stuart, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,022,424