A Guide to the Arlington County (Va.) Deeds of Emancipation, 1796-1853 Arlington County (Va.) Deeds of Emancipation, 1796-1853 0007770665

A Guide to the Arlington County (Va.) Deeds of Emancipation, 1796-1853

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Barcode numbers: 0007770665


Library of Virginia

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© 2020 By The Library of Virginia. All Rights Reserved.

Processed by: Ed Jordan

The Library of Virginia
Barcode number
Arlington County (Va.) Deeds of Emancipation, 1796-1853
Physical Characteristics
.45 cu.ft.
Arlington County (Va.) Circuit Court.
Library of Virginia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Arlington County (Va.) Deeds of Emancipation, 1796-1853. Local Government Records Collection, Arlington County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

These items came to the Library of Virginia in shipments of court papers from Arlington County.

Historical Information

Arlington County was originally named Alexandria County. It was formed from a portion of Fairfax County that Virginia in 1789 ceded to the federal government for use as the site of a new national capital. In 1801 the area officially became part of the District of Columbia, although Congress named it Alexandria County. By an act of 9 July 1846, Congress returned the county to Virginia, and the General Assembly extended the commonwealth's jurisdiction over the region effective 20 March 1847. By an act of assembly passed 16 March 1920, the county's name was changed to Arlington, the name of the Custis family mansion (the home of Robert E. Lee), which is located in the county. An urban county, Arlington contains no incorporated towns or cities. The county courthouse is in the county.

A law passed in 1782 by the state legislature made it lawful to emancipate slaves, and also stipulated that liberated slaves neglecting to pay tax levies might be hired out by the sheriff long enough to raise the taxes.

Scope and Content

Arlington County (Va.) Deeds of Emancipation, 1796-1853, include deeds of emancipation and manumission record the name of enslaver, the name of the enslaved person to be freed, the date the enslaved person shall achieve freedom, the date the manumission was proved or certified, and sometimes a reason why the enslaver decided to emancipate the enslaved person. The two methods of relinquishing ownership of an individual differ only in that enslavers directly freed their enslaved property by manumission. Deeds of emancipation could be generated after the enslaver’s death by those executing a last will and testament. This collection also includes court orders that record the date or age when enslaved persons were to be emancipated by deed as stipulated in an enslaver's will.

Related Material

Additional Arlington County Court Records can be found on microfilm at the Library of Virginia. Consult "A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm."

Index Terms

    Corporate Names:

  • Arlington County (Va.) Circuit Court.
  • Subjects:

  • African Americans--History.
  • Slaveholders--Virginia--Arlington County.
  • Slavery--Virginia--Arlington County.
  • Slaves--Virginia--Arlington County.
  • Geographical Names:

  • Arlington County (Va.)--History.
  • Genre and Form Terms:

  • Local government records--Virginia--Arlington County.