Feb 25, 2010 - Sale 2204

Sale 2204 - Lot 66

Price Realized: $ 2,400
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
A CHRISTMAS WEDDING (SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) RECONSTRUCTION. Marriage Certificate, Commonwealth of Kentucky. Partially printed document on pale blue paper, accomplished by hand; original revenue stamp intact; a few creases where folded. Gallatin County, 25 December, 1867

Additional Details

A fine example of an early Reconstruction combination marriage license and marriage certificate for "Osborne Edmon, Negro" and "Malvena Castleman, Negro," dated December 25th and December 26th, 1867. Formal marriage ceremonies for slave couples were generally reserved for house servants. Slave owners might have a white minister or a black plantation preacher perform the rite, and a large feast might take place in the "quarters." But for the most part, marriage was more a question of mutual agreement, and more often involved children. The official marriage licenses and certificates of Reconstruction were extremely important in restoring basic human rights to tens of thousands of couples who had been living together as man and wife under the "Peculiar Institution" of slavery. Without a legal instrument, the legitimacy of the children of ex-slaves and their right of inheritance were impossible to prove.