Digital Library on American Slavery

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Within the Digital Library on American Slavery

Race and Slavery Petitions Project

The Race and Slavery Petitions Project contains detailed information on about 150,000 individuals, including slaves, free people of color, and whites, extracted from 2,975 legislative petitions and 14,512 county court petitions, as well as from a wide range of related documents, including wills, inventories, deeds, bills of sale, depositions, court proceedings, amended petitions, among others. Buried in these documents are the names and other data on roughly 80,000 slaves, 8,000 free people of color, and 62,000 whites, both slave owners and non-slave owners.

NC Runaway Slave Advertisements

The North Carolina Runaway Slave Advertisements project provides online access to all known runaway slave advertisements (more than 2300 items) published in North Carolina newspapers from 1751 to 1840. These brief ads provide a glimpse into the social, economic, and cultural world of the American slave system and the specific experience within North Carolina. The NCRSA website includes digital scans of the ads, contextual essays to address their historical research value, full text transcripts, an annotated bibliography to aid researchers, and a searchable database.

Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

The Digital Library on American Slavery includes 34,946 voyages from Emory University's The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, including 86,689 slave names and 34,551 captain names.

Voyages features information on more than 35,000 slave voyages that forcibly embarked over 12 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. It offers researchers, students and the general public a chance to rediscover the reality of one of the largest forced movements of peoples in world history.

Slave Deeds of North Carolina

The Digital Library on American Slavery brings together over 5000 slave deed records from different counties across North Carolina, including Buncombe, Guilford, Iredell, New Hanover, and Surry.

More information on each of these local efforts may be found on the About DLAS page.

Slavery Era Insurance Registries

A number of insurance companies, many of whom do business to this day, wrote policies insuring slave owners against the loss, damage, or death of their slaves. On September 30, 2000 Governor Gray Davis of California signed two bills relating to slave insurance, with other states later following suit. Included here are 670 distinct records as made available by the California Department of Insurance.

Please note that the data is not exclusive to a single state, but cross into many, if not all, slave-holding states.

More information on each of these local efforts may be found on the About DLAS page.

A black family at the Hermitage Plantation, Savannah, Georgia, USA, about 1907 © John Tewell; John Brown's Farmhouse © Tony Fischer.
Licensed via Creative Commons 2.0

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