Massachusetts Archives


Office of the Secretary of State: Application certificates for travel to the South

Part of: Massachusetts Office of the Secretary of State

Application certificates for travel to the South, 1842-1845.

1 file folder (partial document box)
Call no.: SC1/127X

Scope and Content: The Massachusetts state secretary provided certificates of citizenship and passports for seamen and travelers. Although an act of Congress, Aug. 18, 1856, prohibited nonfederal officials from issuing passports, Massachusetts continued to authorize passports per St 185, c 224, because federal law made no provision for citizens or seamen of color. When this exclusion was corrected after the Civil War, St 1869, c 365 repealed the issuing of state passports, at the request of the U.S. secretary of state and the Massachusetts attorney general. These two application certificates “of colored going south” are certified statements of identity and citizenship regarding African-Americans traveling to the south of the United States.
Arrangement: Arranged chronologically
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