Documents from Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861–1867

Editorial Method and Copyright

The following are sample documents from the volumes of Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation. Like all the documents in Freedom, they are transcriptions (or, in some cases, images) of originals housed in the National Archives of the United States. They have been transcribed exactly as written, with no correction of spelling, punctuation, or syntax. Extra space marks the end of sentences that lack terminal punctuation or are punctuated unconventionally. Inferential readings of illegible or mutilated passages appear in brackets and roman type, [like this]; additions and corrections by the editors appear in brackets and italics, [like this]. Omission of material is indicated by a four-dot ellipsis centered on the line. Place and date lines appear at the top of each document, regardless of their placement in the manuscript. Inside addresses are omitted. Salutations and complimentary closings are run into the text of the documents. A full discussion of the editorial method appears in every volume of Freedom.

Because of the limitations of HTML and variations among web browsers, the documents presented here will not appear exactly as they do in the volumes of Freedom. (For example, paragraphs are not indented.) Certain graphical elements that cannot be reliably rendered online have been omitted. In some documents, minor revision of annotation has been made.

Following each document is a citation to the original in the National Archives, as well as to the transcription published in Freedom.

Material from Freedom and other publications of the Freedmen and Southern Society Project is under copyright. It may be used without permission for teaching, research, and other noncommercial purposes. It may not be used for profit without permission from the publisher.

Sample Documents

(Arranged Chronologically)