Official document requesting the release from prison for the crime of debt, filed in the State of Vermont in the year 1832.
12 x 8 inches
In the 19th century it was not uncommon for people who were unable to pay a debt to be sent to prison. Destitute persons who were unable to pay a court-ordered judgment would be incarcerated until they had worked off their debt via labour or secured outside funds to pay the balance. The product of their labour went towards both the costs of their incarceration and their accrued debt.