Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Creator:
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Collector:
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Title:
Princeton University Library Collection on Slavery in the Americas
Repository:
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/zw12z533x
Dates:
1700-1888, bulk 1790/1863
Size:
4 boxes and 6.1 linear feet
Storage Note:

This collection is stored onsite at Firestone Library.

Abstract

Consists of a closed collection of documents related to slavery, the trade of enslaved persons, and the colonial plantation economy, particularly in the United States, the Caribbean, and Brazil in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Description:

Consists of a closed collection of documents related to slavery, the trade of enslaved persons, and the colonial plantation economy, particularly in the United States, the Caribbean, and Brazil in the 18th and 19th centuries. This miscellaneous collection provides a way of locating small accessions of slavery-related material acquired by the Library from various sources.

The majority of the collection consists of bills of sale, plantation inventories, and other records created by European colonists documenting the sale and valuation of enslaved men, women, and children in the United States, including New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi; the Three Mile River Estate in Westmoreland, Jamaica; the Mount Charles (Middleton) Plantation in Saint Thomas Parish, Jamaica, which was owned by Sir Henry Clinton (1738?-1795); and the plantation estate of John Lavicount in Antigua. Also present is a document containing statistics on enslaved populations for each state copied from the United States Census of 1790, as well as a 1820 deed of freedom for a formerly enslaved man in Brazil.

There are also several indentures for domestic apprenticeship or enslavement of African American and multiracial children in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, which date from the 1790s through the 1820s, including for two children apprenticed to United States Representative Killian K. Van Rensselaer (1763-1845) of New York.

Materials related to ships involved in the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans include a price list taken from the log of the English merchant ship Daniel and Henry, which was employed along the Gold Coast of West Africa (1700); an account book for the French privateer ship Républicaine (1798-1799); and a sales agreement and invoice for the cargo of the American ship Favourite (1804).

Additional letters and documents pertain to efforts to extend slavery throughout the Americas, including copied documents regarding the status of enslaved and free people of color following the British capture of Martinique from French colonial rule in 1794; a letter between French generals working to suppress revolutionary efforts during the Haitian Revolution; and a letter between United States politicians regarding congressional debates over the expansion of slavery into the California and New Mexico territories in the late 1840s.

The Documents on Slavery in Brazil file group consists of 77 miscellaneous legal and other documents, as well as one book, dating from 1758 to 1888, pertaining to the history of the history of slavery in Brazil as a Portuguese colony and later as the Empire of Brazil, until the abolition of slavery in 1887. Titles and description are transcribed exactly as they are on the dealer's inventory received with the materials. The folder numbers correspond with the item number in the dealer's inventory.

This collection was formerly referred to as the "Miscellaneous Slavery Collection." No additions will be made to this collection. Accessions relating to this topic will be added to the General Manuscripts Miscellaneous Collection (C0140).

Arrangement:

Materials are grouped by accession.

Collection History

Acquisition:

This collection was formed in 2007 as a result of a departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject. Materials have been acquired through multiple purchases and gifts.

Archival Appraisal Information:

No material was removed from the collection during 2017-2019 processing.

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Dina Britain on August 20, 2007. Finding aid written by Traci Ballou-Broadnax on September 5, 2007.

Finding aid revised by Kelly Bolding in 2017 to improve description of enslaved people and separate materials that did not fit within the collection scope. Finding updated with new material by Kelly Bolding in February 2018, September 2018, October 2018, April 2019, June 2019, August 2019, September 2019, and January 2020.

Finding aid updated with new acquisition by Armando Suarez in January 2019.

No additions will be made to this collection. Accessions relating to this topic will be added to the General Manuscripts Miscellaneous Collection (C0140).

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

Open for research.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Princeton University Library Collection on Slavery in the Americas; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/zw12z533x
Location:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184

Find More

Separated Material:

During 2017 processing, materials that did not fit into the topical scope of slavery in the Americas were separated and placed into different collections. Simeon Johnson materials (AM 16859) were separated and made into a collection: Simeon Johnson Papers (C1589). Two Frederick Douglass letters (AM 12182), a William Ellery manuscript (AM 2013-59), and military correspondence regarding African American soldiers in Tennessee after the Civil War (AM 12182) were separated and placed into the General Manuscripts Miscellaneous Collection (C0140).

Subject Terms:
African Americans -- Social conditions -- 19th century -- Sources.
Indentured servants -- Delaware -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Indentured servants -- Massachusetts -- History -- 18th century -- Sources.
Indentured servants -- New York (State) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Plantation owners -- Caribbean Area -- History -- 18th century -- Sources.
Plantation owners -- Caribbean Area -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Plantation owners -- United States -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Prices -- Guinea -- 18th century -- Sources.
Privateering -- France -- History -- 18th century -- Sources.
Slave bills of sale -- Georgia -- 19th century.
Slave bills of sale -- Kentucky -- 19th century.
Slave bills of sale -- Louisiana -- 19th century.
Slave bills of sale -- New Jersey -- 19th century.
Slave bills of sale -- New York (State) -- 19th century.
Slave bills of sale -- South Carolina -- 19th century.
Slave bills of sale -- Tennessee -- 19th century.
Slave records -- Brazil -- 18th century.
Slave records -- Jamaica -- 18th century.
Slave records -- Jamaica -- 19th century.
Slave records -- Kentucky -- 19th century.
Slave trade -- Africa, West -- History -- 18th century -- Sources.
Slave trade -- United States -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Slave traders -- Rhode Island -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Slaveholders -- Caribbean Area -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Slaveholders -- United States -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Slavery -- Antigua -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Slavery -- Brazil -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Slavery -- Jamaica -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Slavery -- United States -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Slaves -- Emancipation -- Brazil -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Slaves -- United States -- Census, 1790.
Genre Terms:
Account books -- 18th century.
Bills of sale -- 19th century.
Deeds -- 19th century.
Estate records -- 19th century.
Financial records -- 19th century.
Free papers -- 19th century.
Indentures -- 19th century.
Legal documents -- 19th century.
Price lists -- 18th century.
Names:
Clinton, Henry, Sir
Van Rensselaer, K. K. (Killian Killian), 1763-1845
Places:
Brazil -- History -- 18th century -- Sources.
England -- Commerce -- Guinea -- 18th century.
Guinea -- Commerce -- England -- 18th century.
Haiti -- History -- Revolution, 1791-1804 -- Sources.
Jamaica -- History -- 18th century -- Sources.
Martinique -- History -- 18th century -- Sources.
United States -- History -- 1783-1865 -- Sources.