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Posted on: January 30, 2017

Clerk of the Circuit Court Hosts Black History Month Open House Saturday, Feb. 11

Image of 1852 freedom certificate
In honor of Black History Month, Loudoun County Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary M. Clemens invites the public to attend the clerk’s Historic Records Division open house from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m., Saturday, February 11, 2017, at the Loudoun County Courthouse, 18 East Market Street in Leesburg. 

The exhibition, “From Slavery to Desegregation: Exhibition of African American Documents from the Historic Court and Board of Supervisors Records,” will display documents related to the history of African Americans in Loudoun from the time of slavery to the desegregation of Loudoun’s public schools. This exhibition will include historic court documents and minute books of the Board of Supervisors.  Many of the documents and minute books will be on display for the first time.   

In advance of Black History Month, the Clerk’s Historic Records Division has added the complete index of the Record of Free Negroes 1844-1861 to the Loudoun County website. The index provides information about free blacks in Loudoun, including names, ages, freedom certificate numbers, physical characteristics, who they were emancipated by, and more. The indexing and checking all entries for accuracy took more than six months. 

One of the certificates referred to in the record - that of Joseph Trammell - has received national attention. The metal box that Trammell used to carry his freedom papers is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The certificate, which was entered by the court on May 10, 1852, will be on exhibit at the February 11 open house. 

More information about the Clerk’s Historic Records Division is online at www.loudoun.gov/clerk/archives.

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