Emancipation record for Mathew Becks who was freed from slavery in Rockingham County, Virginia, on February 18, 1857. Becks later migrated to Weaver Settlement in Grant County, Indiana. Because of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, African Americans were vulnerable to capture even in the free state of Indiana. Becks, like other free blacks, relied upon emancipation documents to verify his status. Becks's emancipation paper provides a detailed physical description to make him easily identifiable - bald head, crooked finger, and small scar on his fingertip. This emancipation record is the only record of this type in our collection.Exhibited as part of "Treasures from the Collections - Celebrating 175 Years: 1830-2005." First rotation
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