The Enslaved People Project

By Tubman Museum | in:

    310 Cherry Street
  • Date :

    July 1st to August 14, 2023
    Reception 23 July @ 3 PM
  • Time :

    Museum Hours
  • Price :

    Museum Admission

The Tubman Museum Exhibits Slave Records from the Office of Bibb County Superior Court Clerk, 1823 – 1865.

The Enslaved People Project exhibit of selected records from Bibb County Superior Court Clerk will be at the Tubman Museum through August 14, 2023.

On July 1, 2023, a very special exhibition opened at the Tubman Museum. The exhibition is titled The Enslaved People Project: Selected Records from Bibb County Superior Court Clerk, 1823 – 1865. It explores and celebrates the work of the Enslaved People Project. This project is a collaboration between the Bibb County Superior Court Clerk’s Office, Mercer University Department of Africana Studies, and Mercer University Libraries. Begun in 2018, the project is undertaking to research and catalogue documents recording legal transactions involving enslaved people in Macon and Bibb County between the years 1823 and 1865. The goal of the project is to compile all the information and records into a searchable database that will make these stories available to the public.

The Enslaved People Project Team, 2018

The project began by accident. In 2013 Superior Court Clerk Erica Woodford discovered records of slave transactions in old Bibb County deed books while conducting a routine inventory. The 17 volumes, containing 6,000 pages of hand-written records, are located in the mezzanine level of records storage in the Superior Court building. A Mercer alum, Woodford contacted Mercer University Professor Chester Fontenot, Jr., and a partnership between the Superior Court Clerk’s Office and Mercer University was soon formed.

A team of Superior Court Staff and Mercer University faculty, students, and staff worked together to digitize historical documents from 1823 to 1865 related to slavery in Middle Georgia this ongoing work will result in a searchable database that will make the stories of slavery in Macon and Middle Georgia available to the public.

The exhibition features copies of deeds that record the sales, loans and gifts of enslaved people, vintage maps that show the evolution of the city of Macon in the 19th century, and images of the Enslaved People Project team working on the project. One of the original deed books is on display in the gallery as a special feature of the exhibition.

The Enslaved People Project will be on exhibit at the Tubman Museum through August 14, 2023. The Tubman Museum will host a reception to celebrate this exhibition on Sunday, July 23rd at 3:00 PM. Erica Woodford, Bibb County Superior Court Clerk, and Professor Chester Fontenot, Jr., Director of Mercer’s African Studies program will be special guests at this event.

Contact the Tubman Museum (478-743-8544) for more information about this exhibition and special event.

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