Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Scheide, John Hinsdale, 1875-1942
John H. Scheide Collection on Slavery in North America
Rare Book Division
Permanent URL:
1688-1865 (mostly 1766-1865)
1 box and 1.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • whs: Box 1


Consists of a group of around forty documents, primarily from the 18th and 19th centuries, that were assembled by collector John H. Scheide on the topic of slavery in North America.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of a group of around forty documents, primarily from the 18th and 19th centuries, that were assembled by collector John H. Scheide on the topic of slavery. Most materials were created by European colonists in regions of North America that were or later became part of the United States, but there is also one document pertaining to a plantation in Antigua. States represented include New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Louisiana, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Documents consist of financial and legal documents pertaining to enslaved and formerly enslaved people, and to a lesser extent, to free people of color. Bills of sale, estate appraisals and inventories, tax receipts, advertisements, legal complaints, an insurance policy, a ship manifest, and other materials document the enslavement of African American and Afro-descendent people. There are also several manumissions or deeds of emancipation, as well as legal documents certifying the free status of two Black men living in New York City in the early 19th century. Of note is a document pertaining to Lilpha, a free Black woman living in Connecticut who purchased her own daughter from her former enslaver as a means of extracting her family from slavery. Also present are manuscript copies of the Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's "An Act for the gradual Abolition of Slavery" (1780) and a 1788 amendment.

Materials were acquired by collector John H. Scheide from various sources. Many original documents are accompanied by description cards created by manuscript dealers. This collection was formerly referred to within the Scheide Library as "Slavery Documents" (Scheide 68.7).

Collection Creator Biography:

Scheide, John Hinsdale, 1875-1942

John Hinsdale Scheide (Princeton Class of 1896) was an American businessman and collector.

Collection History


This collection forms part of the Scheide Library, which was bequeathed by William H. Scheide to Princeton University in 2015 .


No material was removed from the collection during 2020 processing.

Processing Information

A previous catalog record and inventory were updated and converted into a finding aid by Kelly Bolding in September 2020. At this time, descriptions were enhanced to improve the description of enslaved people. Item numbers correspond to a scheme specific to the Scheide Library; materials with no item numbers listed in this finding aid are those that did not have existing item numbers at the time of 2020 descriptive work.

Finding aid updated by Faith Charlton in 2023 to correct information regarding the collection creator.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Credit this material:

John H. Scheide Collection on Slavery in North America; Rare Book Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • whs: Box 1