Collection Location: Maryland Department, Enoch Pratt Free Library / State Library Resource Center
Collection Overview: Slavery, the "peculiar institution," generated a variety of documents chronicling daily activities that touched all strata of American society, free and enslaved. Each of the following documents offers a glimpse of what was unfortunately commonplace in a bygone era. The ordinary, matter-of-fact language is chilling in its portrayal of individuals as chattel or property to be dealt with as the custom of the day decreed. Handwritten or printed, the words recorded on fragile papers capture the poignancy of the moment and provide powerful reminders of those trapped in slavery and of others who dared to escape its bonds.