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Petitions to Southern Legislatures and County Courts, 1775-1867

Race, Slavery, and Free Blacks: Petitions to Southern Legislatures and County Courts, 1775-1867 is a collection of court petitions offering immediate testimony on a broad range of subjects involving African Americans from 1775-1867.  These documents include rare biographical and genealogical information involving people of color.  The guides to each microfilm include information alphabetically listed on all of the petitioners and defendants.  

As a collection, these petitions reveal the incredible influence market factors had on the soul of America as it entered into an economic period where it became completely dependent on slaves for the success of its economy. 


The second half of the nineteenth century was the era of railroad land grants and transportation. Between 1850 and 1872 extensive cessions of public lands were made to states and to railroad companies to promote railroad construction.   Usually companies would receive their land from the federal government, in twenty- or fifty-mile strips.  These were in alternate sections of public land allotted for each mile of railroad track that was built. Responsibility for surveying and mapping the grants fell to the U.S.

Frequently used by land speculators to advertise railroad lands for sale to the public, these land grant maps were used as early as 1868 by most western railroads to establish profitable land departments.  Speculators also used these maps to establish bureaus of immigration, [at home and abroad], and to sell and promote foreign settlement in the western portion of the U.S. 


By Val Greenwood

The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy is six hundred and seventy-six pages of must-read, cant-live-without, got-to-have-it genealogy tips.  Published in 2000 by Val Greenwood, the Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy is an industry standard and has been deemed arguably the best book written on American genealogy.  


Roots web is an information colossus.  It contains hundreds of gigabytes of information updated daily by its users.  A great source for accessing Pre-Civil War data, it provides a beginner's guide that teaches researchers how to locate, transcribe and share newly found research data.

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