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Notable Manumitters

Notable Manumitters

It is estimated that ten thousand manumissions occurred across Virginia between 1782 and 1865. Many were individual slaves freed by individuals whose names are lost to history. However, there were also very notable historical figures who freed their slaves, some in large numbers, through wills or through deeds, often making financial provision for the formerly enslaved peoples. These examples show that the manumission movement was not limited to a specific class, religious persuasion, or geographic area in Virginia.

George Washington (Fairfax Co.) - freed 123 slaves through his will

Robert Carter III (Westmoreland Co.) - freedĀ  over 450 slaves through deed

Thomas Jefferson (Albemarle Co.) - freed three slaves by deed and five slaves through his will

Richard Randolph (Prince Edward Co.) - freed 90 slaves through his will

John Randolph of Roanoke (Charlotte Co.) - freed 383 slaves through his will

John Pleasants (Henrico Co.) - freed 400 slaves through his will following famous court battle

Robert Pleasants (Henrico Co.) - freed 80 slaves through deed

Samuel Gist (Hanover Co.) - freed over 350 slaves through his will

John Ward Sr. (Pittsylvania Co.) - freed 134 slaves through his will

Col. Charles Lynch (Campbell Co.) - freed five slaves through several deeds

John Lynch (Campbell Co.) - freed 22 slaves through several deeds

Abner Early (Bedford Co.) - freed 18 slaves through deed

Timothy Rogers (Bedford Co.) - freed 32 slaves though his will

Charles Lambert (Bedford Co.) - freed 36 slaves through his will

Nicholas Davies (Bedford Co.) - freed 51 slaves through deeds