Since 1993 the Society of Ohio Archivists has been promoting awareness of the state’s archives and archival material through a week-long, later to become a month-long, celebration of Ohio’s historic and cultural resources. Archives throughout Ohio are invited to contribute to the promotion of Archives Month by mounting theme-related exhibits, displaying posters, and publicizing the month’s events through local government and organizations. This year’s theme is “Documenting the Path to Freedom: Abolition and Anti-Slavery in Ohio.”
The Archives and Rare Books Library has chosen to offer an exhibit highlighting two historic documents focusing on the cause of abolition. The first is a letter dated May 1, 1815 from Thomas Jefferson to Reverend David Barrow of Kentucky. The letter is in response to Barrow’s previous communication to Jefferson, in which he included some anti-slavery, pro-abolition pamphlets. The second document is a petition of the Kentucky Abolition Society, of which Barrow was president, to the United States Congress promoting the creation of a “Territory of Lands” where emancipated slaves could reside.
Each document is presented as a transcription and a scanned image of the original. Scanning and transcription was done by ARB’s student assistant, Kathleen Forste. The exhibit is available on the Archives and Rare Books webpage.
Written by Janice Schulz