Married at 80
While many slave couples formed lasting bonds during their enslavement, slave marriages had no legal foundation or protection. The abolishment of slavery not only meant citizenship but the ability to have legally recognized marriages without fear of the loss of a spouse through sale. The Bureau helped facilitate and record marriages. This is an 1865 register of marriages among freemen in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. The register contains information about the couple’s former relationships and family while enslaved. Listed on September 10th is the oldest man on the register, John Barter age 80 and his wife Rachel Lee, age 52.
Register of Marriages Among Freedmen During 1865, 08/09/1865