1863 - Custis to Eleanor Harris, et al - Robert E. Lee executor - Richmond, VA

Dublin Core


1863 - Custis to Eleanor Harris, et al - Robert E. Lee executor - Richmond, VA


Manumission of about 200 slaves belonging to the estate of George W. P. Custis by his executor General Robert E. Lee


Manumission Item Data Item Type Metadata





Number of Persons



Robert E. Lee

Text of Freedom Document

Know all men by these presents, that I, Robert E. Lee, executor of the last will and testament of George W. P. Custis deceased, acting by and under the authority and direction of the provisions of the said will, do hereby manumit, emancipate and forever set free from slavery the following named slaves belonging to the Arlington estate, viz: Eleanor Harris, Ephraim Demicks, George Clarke, Charles Syphax; Selena Grey and Thornton Grey and their six children Emma, Sarah, Harry, Anise, Ada and Thornton; Margaret Taylor, and her four children Dandridge, Jhon, Billy and Quincy; Lawrence Parks and his nine children- Perry, George, Amanda, Martha, Lawrence, James, Magdalena, Leano and William; Julia Ann Check and three children Catharine, Louis and Henry and infant of the said Catharine, Sally Norris and Len Norris and their three children Mary, Sally and Wesley; Old Shaack Check; Austin Bingham and Louisa Bingham and their twelve children Harrison, Parks, Reuben, Henry, Edward, Austin, Lucius, Leantche, Louisa, Caroline, Jem and an infant; Obadiah Grey, Austin Banham, Michael Merriday, Catharine Burk and her child; Marianne Burke and Agnes Burke: Also the following slaves belonging the White House estate, viz: Robert Crider and Desiah his wife, Locky. Zack Young and two children, Fleming Randolph and child; Maria Meredith and Henry her husband, and their three children Nelson, Henry and Austin, Lorenzo Webb, Old Daniel, Calvert Dandridge, Claiborne Johnson, Mary and John Stewart, Harrison, Jeff, Pat and Gadsby, Dick, Joe, Robert, Anthony, Davy, Bill Crump, Peyton, Dandridge, Old Davy and Eloy his wife, Milly and her two children, Leanth and her five children; Jasper, Elijah and Rachel his wife Lavinia and her two children, Major, Phill, Miles, Mike and Scilla his wife and their five children Lavinia, Israel, Isaiah, Lobsey and Delphy; old Fanny and her husband, Patsey, little Daniel, and Cloe, James Henry, Milly, Ailsey and her two children, Susan Pollard Armistead and Molly his wife, Airy, Jane Peter Bob, Polly, Beetsy and her child, Molly, Charity, John, Reuben, George Crump, Minny, Grace, Martha and Matilda: Also the following slaves belonging to Romancoke estate, viz: Louis, Jem, Edmond, Kitty and her children Mary, Dandridge and an infant; Nancy, Dolly, Esther, Seneca, Macon and Louisa his wife, Walker, Peggy, Ebbee, Fanny, Chloe Custis, and her child Julia Anne, Elvey Young, and her child Charles, Amy Johnson, Anne Johnson, William and Sarah Johnson and their children Ailsey Crump, Molly and George, James Henry and Anderson Crump, Major Custis and Lucy Custis, Nelson Meredith and Phoebe his wife, and their children Robert, Elisha, Nat, Rose and Sally, Ebee Macon, Martha Jones & her children Davy & Austin; Patsey Braxton, Susan Smith and Mildred her child, Anne Brown, Jack Johnson, Maxwell Bingham and Henry Baker

And I do hereby release the aforesaid slaves from all and every claim which I may have upon their services as executor as aforesaid.

Witness my hand and seal, this 29th day of December in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred & sixty two

R E Lee (Seal)
Exr of G. W. P. Custis

State of Virginia; County of Spottsylvania to wit

I, Benjn S. Cason, Justice of the Peace in and for said County, do hereby certify that Robert E. Lee, executor of the last will and testament of George W. P. Custis, a party to the foregoing deed of emancipation, this day personally appeared before me, and acknowledge the same to be his act and deed. Given under my hand this 29 day of Decr 1862
Benjn L. Cason (JP)

City of Richmond, to wit,
In the Office of the Court of Hustings for the said City, the 2d day of January 1863.
This deed was presented and with Certificate annexed, admitted to record at twelve o’clock N. Teste Ro Howard, Clk. (Endorsed)

Record Location

Richmond Deed Book 79B, page 42-43

Document Type

Deed implementing Last Will & Testament

Secondary Source

National Park Service: https://www.nps.gov/arho/learn/historyculture/lee-manumission-document.htm


Additional information on the multi-year process of Lee manumitting these individuals during wartime can be found in the book "Robert E. Lee : A Life" by Allen C. Guelzo 2021


1863_Richmond_Lee-Custis to Eleanor et al_DB 79B_42-43.jpg


“1863 - Custis to Eleanor Harris, et al - Robert E. Lee executor - Richmond, VA,” Manumission Project, accessed July 16, 2024, https://manumissionproject.omeka.net/items/show/1449.