Get our newsletters

Books containing Bucks County slave information restored

Sixty-one miscellaneous books sent to preservation specialists Kofile in February, recently were returned to Bucks County.
The books hold a special place in Bucks County history, as they contain slave records, said the county’s Recorder of Deeds Robin Robinson.
Linda Salley, president of the African American Museum of Bucks County, was there in February to see the books off.
“It’s exciting; this is what we’ve been searching for, the true history of Bucks County,” Salley said. “And now it will be revealed. I’m grateful to be a part of this, to share this history with all of Bucks County and the world.”
It wasn’t until Robinson went to a Pennsylvania Recorder of Deeds conference in 2018 that anyone in the office knew these records existed.
The miscellaneous books contain many recordings, such as powers of attorney, sales of cattle and other goods. Staff in the office were able to find slave records in these books dating before the Civil War. The records include bills of sale and manumissions, which is the emancipation of slavery.
Preservation of the books was made possible with the help of a $125,000 federal grant. The grant, called Save America’s Treasures, funds preservation on nationally significant historic collections.
It was administered by the National Park Service in conjunction with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and was received in the fall of 2019.
To contact the Bucks County Recorder of Deeds office, call 215-348-6209 or visit