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Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Quakers were among the first white Americans to denounce slavery. Quakers in Germantown, Philadelphia, made the first recorded protest against slavery in 1688, although many Quakers, especially in the southern colonies, enslaved people at this time. William Penn himself was an enslaver during his four years in Pennsylvania (1682-1684 and 1696-1698), though they were later freed.

For much of the 18th century, there was a focus on eliminating slavery within the Quaker community. This was eventually achieved in 1774. Many Quakers freed their own enslaved people, and some bought enslaved people from one another in order to free them. By 1758, opinion amongst Quakers had moved to a point where a systematic program of visits to the remaining Quaker enslavers was agreed, in an endeavour to persuade them to free the enslaved people. Eventually, in 1774, Quakers who were still enslavers were expelled from the Society of Friends.

This collection is comprised of original and typed transcripts of manumissions of enslaved people.


Processed by Kara Flynn; completed February, 2016.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Kara Flynn
Finding Aid Date
February, 2016
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Collection Inventory

Manumissions, 1771-1780.
Box 28 Folder 1

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