This document is from a collection of financial papers related to the plantation operations of several generations of the Rouzee Family in Essex County, Virginia. The papers date from the 1790s through 1860.
This document is an affidavit of capture of the enslaved men James and John, owned by Mrs. Harriot Rouzee of Essex County, Virginia. The men were apprehended by "S.Lang[illegible] Jones" in Caroline County, Virginia. At the bottom right is the signature of the justice of the peace for Caroline County, George J. Hord. The bottom left is the calculation of the fee to be paid to Jones, including the two (2) dollars for the apprehension and ten (10) cents for every mile of conveyance. The document consists of a single page, handwritten in black ink. The ink has bled and smudged heavily througout the document and there is a small loss to the page at the upper right corner.
To Visit Your Husband: Harriet Lawson’s Pass, 1832
Harriet Lawson carried this pass to visit her husband, Caleb, at work in a nearby town. As free blacks, the Lawsons could legally marry, but Maryland placed limits on their liberty. If they traveled without a pass, they could be fined $20 or sold into slavery.
The Back of Lawson’s Pass
If stopped, Lawson would face the humiliation of being physically inspected. This pass described her as: “Black, 29 yrs of age five feet high has a mole on the right side of her right eye no other perceptible mark.”
Source: Nancy Bercaw, Curator, Slavery and Freedom
A free woman's pass for a free African American woman, Harriet Lawson, to visit her husband Caleb Lawson, signed in Frederick County, Maryland, on May 21, 1832. Davis Richardson is listed as the witness. The pass is on a single sheet of paper. There is handwriting in ink on both recto and verso, handwriting in pencil on verso only. The proper right side has discoloration and abrasions with loss of paper along the edge but no apparent loss of text. The ink writing from the verso side is visible faintly through to the recto side. Creases remain from the pass having been folded twice, once lengthwise and once widthwise.