The High Point Museum in partnership with the International Civil Rights Center and Museum and the Guilford County Register of Deeds recently opened a new exhibit. “Bills of Sale: Slave Deeds of Guilford County,” will be open until April 15.
In 2015, the Register of Deeds made these slave deeds, dating from 1774 to 1826, available online. These deeds show transactions concerning men, women, and children of color. The records provide opportunities to reflect on the inhumanity of the trade in people, but they also open research avenues for those looking for family connections.
“We hope this exhibit will help people appreciate how much information these old documents convey,” Edith Brady, Museum Director, said. “They give us insight into some of the practical realities of slavery long ago, but they also hold keys for African Americans today trying to trace their genealogy.”
Nine deeds are on display and each one has been transcribed. The exhibit includes photos, books and other documents related to the Slave Deeds.
A section (listed under the Exhibits and Programs tab) on our website at www.highpointmuseum.org is devoted to this exhibit. Visitors can learn more about this exhibit, all of the programming, schedule a tour and find links to resources for individuals doing family research and for teachers doing class projects.
Many people and organizations contributed to the development of this exhibit at the High Point Museum
Staff of the Heritage Research Center at the High Point Public Library
Lance Wheeler - North Carolina Museums Council Student Intern
International Civil Rights Center & Museum staff
Jeff Thigpen, Guilford County Registrar of Deeds
Elise Allison, Archivist, Greensboro History Museum
Lucille Clauson & Mary Beth Jones
High Point Historical Society
City of High Point staff – Jeron Hollis, Ryan Ferguson, Fanta Dorley, and Worley Smith
Special thanks to our volunteer community advisers for their input and advice
Richard Cox, UNC-Greensboro Libraries
Dr. Adrienne Israel, Guilford College
Gwen Erikson, Friends Historical Collection, Guilford College
Dr. Anne E. Parsons, UNC-Greensboro
Paul Ringel, High Point University
Shawn Rogers, Director, Mendenhall Homeplace
Dr. Arwin D. Smallwood, NC A&T University
“We are so appreciative of the many individuals and organizations who contributed their time and expertise over many months to help get this exhibit right,” Brady said. “It’s impossible to include every relevant story or angle, but we’ve done the best we can with the time and resources available to us, and we hope people will be inspired to do more research on their own.”
The High Point Museum, a division of the High Point Public Library, is dedicated to sharing Greater High Point’s history, providing perspective for current issues, and strengthening the sense of community.
The City of High Point aims to serve as the catalyst for bringing together the community’s human, economic and civic resources for the purpose of creating the single most livable, safe and prosperous community in America. For more information on the City, visit www.highpointnc.gov