Guide to the Cordelia Jones free papers issued by the Loudoun County, Virginia court, March 12, 1829

Cordelia Jones free papers issued by the Loudoun County, Virginia court C0379


Published by George Mason University Libraries

Contact Information:

Fenwick Library (2FL)

George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444

USA

Phone: (703) 993-2220

Fax: (703) 993-8911

Email: speccoll@gmu.edu

URL: http://sca.gmu.edu

Descriptive Summary

Repository George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections Research Center.
Creator Binns, Charles, 1763-1837
Title Cordelia Jones free papers issued by the Loudoun County, Virginia court
Date March 12, 1829
Physical Characteristics .01 Linear Feet
Abstract Free papers for Cordelia Jones, a free Black woman, from the Loudoun County Court.
Collection Number C0379
Language English .

Historical Note

Before the emancipation of enslaved people in the 1860s, Loudoun County, Virginia (like many parts of the United States, particularly states where slavery was legal) forced free Black residents to prove that they were not enslaved with documents provided by the county court. As noted by Bronwen Souders of the Loudoun County Heritage Commission, "Each individual was required to carry a 'freedom paper' as legal proof of his or her status at any time they were away from home" ("Enslavement, Freedom, and the Courthouse (1757-1861)," 19). Without these papers, white slavecatchers or government officials could have abducted Cordelia Jones and enslaved her (see Robert Hill, "Explore the Newly Discovered Papers"). In 1830, the year after the Loudoun County Court issued Cordelia Jones these free papers, there were 1079 free Black residents in Loudoun County, 5% of the population (Souders, 15).

Return to the Table of Contents

Content Description

Free papers for Cordelia Jones, a free Black woman, in Loudoun County, Virginia. The paper declares that she is "free born" and the daughter of Mary Jones, register no. 548. The paper gives a detailed physical description of Cordelia, including her height and scars. The papers are signed and sealed by Charles Binns, the Clerk of the Court.

Return to the Table of Contents

Arrangement

This collection consists of a single item.

Return to the Table of Contents

Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Public domain. There are no known restrictions.

Return to the Table of Contents

Related Material

The Loudoun County Clerk of the Circuit Court maintains indexes of records naming free Black people before 1865, as well as indexes of records associated with enslaved people before 1865.

Return to the Table of Contents

Index Terms

Persons:

Binns, Charles, 1763-1837
Jones, Cordelia

Corporate Names:

Virginia. Circuit Court (Loudoun County)

Geographical Names:

Loudoun County (Va.)

Subjects:

African Americans -- Virginia
Free African Americans

Return to the Table of Contents

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cordelia Jones free papers issued by the Loudoun County, Virginia, court, C0379, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University

Acquisition Information

Purchased by Lynn Eaton from Jerry Showalter in August 2019.

Processing Information

Processed by Liz Beckman in December 2020. EAD markup by Liz Beckman in December 2020.

Return to the Table of Contents

Bibliography

Souders, Bronwen, 'Enslavement, Freedom, and the Courthouse (1757-1861).' In 'The History of the Loudoun County Courthouse and Its Role in the Path to Freedom, Justice, and Racial Equality in Loudoun County,' 14-21. Loudoun County Heritage Commission, March 1, 2019.

Hill, Robert. 'Explore the Newly Discovered Papers.' In 'The Freedom Papers,' part of 'Free at Last? Slavery in Pittsburgh in the 18th and 19th Centuries.' University Library System, University of Pittsburgh, 2009, http://exhibit.library.pitt.edu/freeatlast/papers_listing.html, accessed December 11, 2020.

Return to the Table of Contents

Return to the Table of Contents