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.
A payment receipt and affidavit drafted by Thomas Wright Jr, justice of the peace, regarding an enslaved man named Moses. The document states that Robert M. Callip of Essex county apprehended Moses, property of Edward Rouzee of Essex County, two and one-half (2 1/2) miles away from the Rouzee plantation. The one page, single-sided document is handwritten in black ink. Below the text to the right is the ornate signature of Thomas Wright, Jr. Below the text to the left is the calculation of the money owed, five dollars ($5.00) for the apprehension plus twenty-five cents ($0.25) for the distance, totaling five dollars and twenty-five cents ($5.25). The paper has a small notch torn at the top left. The paper has been folded twice vertically and once horizontally. On the reverse is written "Magistrate Certificate respecting Moses a Runaway."
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.