VCU Libraries Gallery

Legal Passport


Title: Legal Passport
Creator: Unknown
Date: 1835
Source: Alice Atwell Jackson and Henry Colson Jackson Papers
Rights: This material is in the public domain in the United States and thus is free of any copyright restriction. Acknowledgement of Virginia State University Library Special Collections and Archives as a source is requested.
Description: A request for legal passage for African Americans out of the United States.


United States of America

Department of State

To all to whom these presents shall come - Greeting -

Stature 5 feet - 11 ½ Inches
Forehead Ordinary
Eyes Grey
Nose Medium
Mouth Small
Chin Round
Hair Black
Complexion Dark
Face Long

Signature of the Bearer?
William. N. Colson

I the undersigned acting Secretary of State of the United States of America, hereby request all whom it may concern to permit safely and freely to paf William N Colson, a free person of colour, born in the United States, and in case of need to give him all lawful aid and protection __

Given under my hand and the seal of the Department of State at the City of Wash=
=ington this 8th day of July A.D. 1833-, in the Sixtieth year of the Independence of the United States
Subject: African Americans; Passports -- United States -- History
Contributor: Virginia State University, Special Collections and Archives
Language: Eng
Type: Text
Unknown, “Legal Passport,” VCU Libraries Gallery, accessed December 3, 2023,