In general this project has employed a mode of expanded transcription to convey the substance of the historical texts without too many cluttering editorial markings. We attempted to convert the text of the document as literally as possible, retaining misspellings, capitalization conventions, punctuation (dashes, hyphens, etc), paragraph breaks, original spellings. Punctuation has been made to conform to current practice by inserting space for missing terminal punctuation. Editorial [sic] is not employed. Illegible words that can be inferred are represented in brackets and when a character or word is uncertain, it has been indicated with a question mark in brackets: [?] .
Other retentions from the original manuscript include existing abbreviations (with explanatory annotation in first instance as needed), contractions, superscript and subscript, underlines, indicate double underline with double underline, deletions and insertions. Deletions are indicated with strikethrough text; insertions with arrows: ??insertion?. Marginalia are indicated with bracketed italics and ambiguous characters are made to conform to modern practice.
All editorial insertions are indicated in brackets. Ledgers are transcribed in table format to suggest but not completely replicate layout of original. Letters standardize date and place lines, provide to/from header. Items pasted in original are transcribed and indicated with a note in bracketed text
Annotations, in the form of footnotes, have been provided for
- Biographical identification for individuals at their first mention in the text. In the case of many fugitives, a reference to Still’s 1872 published account is provided in lieu of biography.
- Contextual information: historical background, fuller descriptions of events,
- Clarification of ambiguous passages, corrections of erroneous information in text.
- Fragmentary or uncommon literary or cultural references
- Slang or other unfamiliar period terms
- Geographical references, including local landmarks, transportation networks, and landscape features
For ease of reading in an online hypertext format, a simplified version of the documents -- without indicating insertions, deletions, pagination or page breaks -- has been provided. In addition, this version lacks some of the situating editorial notes that describe physical features of the text. All annotations have been preserved.