The Buncombe County Register of Deeds Office has opened an exhibit to commemorate the 150-year anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and to remember those who were enslaved and their immeasurable contributions to our community. The exhibit, located in the lobby of 35 Woodfin Street in Downtown Asheville, will be on display through April 30. The exhibit will move to the NC Collection of the Pack Memorial Library from May 1 – July 31. In every county in North Carolina, the Register of Deeds played a role in cataloging the transactions of slavery in handwritten books. Contained in these handwritten files from the early 1800s are deeds documenting the trading of slaves as property. One of the stories highlighted in the Slave Deed exhibit is of a slave named Sarah Gudger. Ms. Gudger was born into slavery in Old Fort, North Carolina but spent the majority of her life in Reems Creek. Her story is one of the only first-hand accounts that we have of slavery in Buncombe County. Buncombe County displays this documentation for the purpose of historical research, family genealogy, education, and to acknowledge that slavery was a part of our County’s history. For more information please go to www.buncombecounty.org/slavedeeds.

Forever Free-Slave Deeds of Buncombe County

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