Hugh Adams (1793-1858) was a landowner, farmer, and slaveholder in the vicinity of Brownsburg, Rockbridge County, Virginia. He was a member and proponent of the American Colonization Society, the national organization promoting the emigration of free African Americans to Liberia.

The Hugh Adams Papers are approximately 75 documents concerning the manumission of nineteen slaves of the Adams estate and their emigration to Careysburg, Liberia. Adams was involved for many years with the American Colonization Society ( A.C.S.) which promoted the return of free African-Americans to Africa. Included in the archive is an original handwritten copy of the will of Hugh Adams. Within the will, Adams settles his estate and specifically outlines his plan for emancipating his slaves and for funding their imposed emigration. The archive also contains account documents for living expenses of nine of the nineteen freed slaves, whose surnames are Adams, Miles, Halliburton, Lewis, and Johnston or Johnson, during the interim period between their emancipation and their voyage to Liberia in May 1860. Other noteworthy contents include an official Rockbridge County slave manumission document and two manuscript agreements documenting the purchase of enslaved husbands by their wives who were emancipated and funded by Adams' will. Other individuals whose names are found on documents within this archive include Rockbridge County lawyers Greenlee Davidson and David P. Curry, lawyers 'Gilkeson and McNutt', possibly of Augusta County, Virginia, Rockbridge County officials Samuel McDowell Reid, Charles Chapin, and David J. Whipple, estate executors A.M. Carson and Robert Hutcheson, and A.C.S. secretary Reverend William McLain.

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Preferred citation: [Identification of item], Hugh Adams Papers, Coll. 0373, Special Collections and Archives, James G. Leyburn Library, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA

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