American history documents are stolenBy BRIANNA SADLER, Times Leader Staff Writer
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Approximately $7,000 worth of American history documents were stolen out of a truck last Sunday afternoon.
John S. Mattox, curator of the Underground Railroad Museum Foundation, Inc., in Flushing, said that he had parked his truck before going into the Flushing post of the American Legion to donate canned goods when someone entered his vehicle and took the brief case containing the documents.
“It happened sometime between a quarter to three and three o’clock on Nov. 4,” Mattox said.
The contents of the case included original sales receipts of purchased slaves, documented Fugitive Law, maps of the Underground Railroad in Ohio and West Virginia, and copies of currency used before the Civil War as well as after the Revolutionary War.
“We won’t be able to replace these documents,” Mattox said. “All of these things help in explaining American history.”
Mattox said that he had put the case in his truck on Saturday when he traveled to East Liverpool to give a presentation at a NAACP meeting there; he was on his way to the museum Sunday when it was taken.
An eye witnessed reported seeing a white Ford car pull up parallel to Mattox’s parked truck outside of the American Legion. Mattox said that the Bureau of Criminal Investigation had been alerted, a police report was filed and fingerprints were taken from the truck.
But Mattox doesn’t plan to press charges if the case is returned. He’s even offering a $500 reward for the case and all of its documents.
“If it was returned anonymously, I wouldn’t say anything,” Mattox said. “I just want them to return it.”
Anyone with information regarding the missing documents are asked to call the Underground Railroad Museum at (740) 968-2080 or to email Mattox at email@example.com.
Sadler may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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