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The Slave Experience: Freedom & Emancipation
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Original Documents Freedom & Emancipation

Manumission Paper of Samuel Barnett
Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society
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Photo of an excerpt from the Manumission Paper of Samuel Barnett
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Document Description
Motivated by a variety of considerations -- financial, religious, sentimental, moral and ethical -- caused some masters to voluntarily release their slaves from bondage even in the earliest days of slavery. In Samuel's case, the manumission paper indicates that in addition to unnamed "good and sufficient considerations," owner Robert Barnett released his young slave from bondage for the price of one dollar.

Pleas at the Court House in Cincinnati, in the County of Hamilton, and State of Ohio, of the Hamilton County Probate Court, within and for said County, at a session thereof
held at the place aforesaid, on the Second day of March in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine before the Hon. George H. Hilton sole Judge of said Court.

The State of Ohio, SS.
Hamilton County.

Be it Remembered, That at a session of the Probate Court, within and for said County, held at the Court House in Cincinnati, on the second day of March in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine before the Hon. George H. Hilton sole judge of said court, the following amongst other proceedings were then and there had, to wit: In the matter of the Emancipation of Sam Barnett

This day comes into open Court Robert Barnett, of the County of Lin- coln and the State of Kentucky, and brought with him into Court his slave Sam Barnett, and at the same time executed a deed of Emancipation to the said Sam Barnett, which is now found by the Court to be well executed: And the Court also finds from the testimoney of Green Barnett that said Robert Bar- nett was the legal owner of said Sam Barnett according to the laws of the State of Kentucky, - the Court therefore finds that said Sam Barnett is absolutely a free person of color in this State or elsewhere, and orders said deed to be recorded.

And now the said deed is here recorded, which is in the words and figure to wit: -

- Deed -

Know all Men that I Robert Barnett of the County of Lincoln in the State of Kentucky being now in the City of Cincinnati, State of Ohio, in consideration of one dollar to me paid and for other good and suffici- ent considerations, me there unto moving, do by these presents emancipate and set free my negro Sam Barnett aged ten years of balck color, and being four feet and ten inches high. In such manner that the said Sam Barnett and all issue which shall be born of his body shall forever hereafter be absolutely free.

In testimoney where of I have here unto set my hand and seal at Cincinnati this 2d March A.D. 1858

his Robert Barnett Seal mark

Signed and sealed
in presence of us
Green Barnett
Edw. Crapsey

The State of Ohio SS. Hamilton County

Personally appeared before
me Probate Judge within and for said County
Robert Barnett and acknowledged the signing
and sealing of the foregoing deed of Emancipation
to be his voluntary act and deed for the uses &
purposes therein expressed. -

In testimoney where of I have
hereunto set my hand and
the Seal of said Court at Cincin-
nati this 2d March A.D. 1858

Seal Geo. H. Hilton Probate Judge
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