Trove of Civil War-Era Cases Released

ST. LOUIS (CN) – Thousands of St. Louis court cases from the Civil Car era have been restored and released to the public. The lawsuits include those of a slave owner who sued a steamboat that took his slave to freedom; general store owners who sued Confederate officials after their stores were looted; and a property owner who claimed he didn’t owe property taxes for the four years Union troops used his farm as a camp.

     More than 11,200 court cases from 1866 to 1868 were preserved and archived with the help of a $330,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The cases were found in the vaults of City of St. Louis courts and it took experts almost a decade to sort, clean and index them.
     The documents are available for review at the state archives St. Louis office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
     They eventually will be scanned and uploaded onto the state’s Missouri Digital Heritage Initiative Web site. They should be available on the site by 2011. The site already has thousands of historical documents available, including the Dred Scott case and the Lewis and Clark papers.

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