The Civil War in Missouri

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Manumission of Nicene Clark, Negro Woman and Wife of Henry Clark, Free Negro, by Taylor Blow

1854
MHM Archives

In pre-war Missouri, slavery was legal but there were also a number of free African-Americans living in the state, especially in St. Louis. This document is the legal papers of Mrs. Nicene Clark in which she was set free from slavery by Mr. Taylor Blow of St. Louis County. They also reference her husband, Mr. Henry Clark, as a free man of color. Freedom in a slave state, however, was not without its own difficulties. Both Nicene and Henry Clark would have been required to carry documentation to prove their freedom and they would have been required to register in any county in which they may have moved.