Virginia Room Digital Collection


The Virginia Room Digital Collection includes photographs, oral histories, books, pamphlets and finding aids to items in the Virginia Room. Continue to check back for new additions.

Roanoke County Register of Free Negroes, 1838-1865

Dublin Core


Roanoke County Register of Free Negroes, 1838-1865




In 1793, the Virginia General Assembly passed a law requiring that all free Black and multiracial individuals of Black descent in the state of Virginia be registered in a book recording various details about their identity, physical appearance, and free status. These individuals were declared “free” on paper when in fact their lives were surveilled and recorded by white officials, which restricted their mobility, autonomy, and humanity. These register books provide just glimpses of their experiences. This collection contains the registers of Roanoke County from 1838-1865.


Library of Virginia



Collection Items

Roanoke County Register of Free Negroes, 1838-1865
This register includes those individuals who registered as free persons of color in Roanoke County, Virginia from 1838-1865. Two versions are included; one captured from microfilm of the records from the Library of Virginia; the other a…
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