Special Collections and Archives is pleased to partner with the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio, by providing a rare item from its collections to be featured in their new exhibit, Freed Will: The Randolph Freedpeople From Slavery to Settlement. This exhibit, researched and created by recent WSU Public History graduate, Hadley Drodge, explores the origins and life of an early settlement of African Americans in the Piqua, Ohio, area.
The item to be loaned is a small bound volume from the Miami County Clerk of Courts that lists the names of the Randolph slaves, the subject of the new exhibit. In 1804, the Ohio General Assembly enacted the Ohio Black Codes to govern black and mulatto people living in the state. Under these Codes, free blacks and mulattos were required to register at their local court, proving they were free by providing emancipation papers or witnesses who could prove their “free” status and guarantee their good behavior with a monetary surety. You can see a name index of the Register by visiting our Emancipation Index for Miami County.
A member of the Ohio Network of American History Research Centers, Special Collections and Archives at WSU holds local government records of eleven counties in west central Ohio and the complete listing can be found here.
Be sure to visit the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center to see this rare item and learn more about the Randolph slaves. The exhibit runs from May 20, 2017 through November 25, 2017.