Manumission Book

Manumissions, 1772-1786

This Manumissions Book, updated from 1772 to 1786, comes from the Quaker organization, the Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia’s records. “Manumission” is defined as freeing from slavery. The front section of the book contains a handwritten list of released slaves broken up by the district they belong to. It is alphabetically organized by the last name of the former slave-owner. To facilitate the search for specific people, the sides of the pages of this section have tabs with the letters of the alphabet in red and black lettering. The ‘T’, ‘W’, and ‘X’ pages also contain lists of freed slaves from people outside of the Quaker community (Image 1). The remaining pages are mostly filled with handwritten copies of official legal documents from the Monthly Meeting of Philadelphia (Image 2). Some pages include stories of released slaves from other areas, especially from Maryland.

The book is overall in good condition. The cover is damaged suede leather with an indistinguishable design. It is possible that there was water damage on some of the pages, but few are torn. There are several loose slips of paper inside with handwritten notes. 

 

Macy Brooks, Class of 2022