Author Archives: historylive

Slaveholder Roundup #1: New Haven

Even moderately perceptive readers (which I’m sure is all 5 of you) will have noticed that I’ve been avoiding naming the slaveholders who issued these various manumissions. The point of that is simply to center the enslaved people in their … Continue reading

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New Haven: Peter (1793)

On June 11, 1793, a man named Peter apparently did not pay a cent to the slaveholder who filed this manumission – at any rate, the document does not mention any compensation. Its wording is likewise a bit different from … Continue reading

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New Haven: Phyllis and Sharper (1785/1793)

What should we think of slaveholders who freed enslaved people in their wills? On the one hand, I suppose it’s great that they did that. On the other hand, what kept them from doing the right thing while they were … Continue reading

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New Haven: Ceaser, Rose, and Cato (1777)

On May 31, 1777, the administrators of the estate of a New Haven slaveholder received, in consideration for two enslaved people, sixty pounds (the British pound was still the currency of the rebellious colonies). As in the manumission discussed just … Continue reading

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New Haven: Pompey Panchard and Leah (1778)

On March 23, 1778, a slaveholder of New Haven declared on record that: I … for the consideration of Twenty six shillings lawfull money rec[eive]d to my full satisfaction of Pompey of sd Newhaven a free Negro man late Slave … Continue reading

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New Haven: Gad (1777)

On May 28, 1777, a man named Gad agreed to serve in the Revolutionary War in exchange for his freedom. The entry in the land record book simply says, This may Certify that Gad my Negro Servant just purchased … … Continue reading

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New Haven: Amasa and Silva (1772)

Amasa, “a negro” about nineteen years old, was freed on September 21, 1772, as was Silva, a “negro girl” about seventeen years old. These manumissions, by the same slaveholder (a widowed woman), took place under a different legal situation than … Continue reading

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