In this legal document, signed on August 1, 1791, and presented in Northumberland District Court on September 5, Robert Carter III establishes the terms and schedule by which he will free his hundreds of slaves.
Author: Robert Carter IIITranscription Source: Robert Carter’s Deed of Gift, August 1, 1791, 232-236.
List of slaves the property of Robert Carter of Westmoreland County taken from returns made the first day of January seventeen hundred ninety one, who were then living at the following plantations—Nomony Hall—Aries—Old Ordinary, Taurus, Gemini, Forrest Quarter, Coles point in Westmoreland County—Cancer in Richmond County, Aquarius, Scorpio, Capricorn, Libra, Virgo, Sagitarius in Frederick County, Leo in Loudoun County, Cancer in Pri[n]ce William County—& Mr. John Peck’s & Mr. Robert Mitchell’s both living in Richmond County.
Nomony Hall denoted thus I Scorpio denoted thus X Aries denoted thus II Capricorn denoted thus XI Old Ordinary denod thus III Libra denoted thus XII Taurus denoted thus IV Virgo denoted thus XIII Gemini denoted thus V Sagitarius denod thus XIV Forrest quarter denod thus VI Leo denoted thus XV Coles point denoted thus VII Cancer in Prince Willm County XVI Cancer in Richmd Count dd thus VIII Mr. John Perks dendthus XVII Aqu[a]rius denoted thus IX Mr. Robert Mitchell dend thus XVIII
Names of Males years old place of abode Names of Females years old place of abode Oliver son of Rose ¾ I Polly daughter of Eve ½ I Bob single son of Betty ¼ Same Dorcas daughter of Sarah ¼ Same Jefferson son of Phillis 1. Same Henny daughter of Lucy ¼ Same Oliver son of Little Juddy 1. Same Henny daughter of Rose ¾ Same Dean son of Lucy ¼ II Jemima daughtr of Suckey 1. Same Sam son of Beckey ¼ Same Milly daughtr of Jemima[?] ¼ II David son of Sally ¼ Same Nancy daughtr Ariana 1/3. Same Billy son of Sarah 1. III Silvy daughtr 1. Same Tom son of Jenny 1. IV [Levina] daughtr Henny 1. III Sam son of Mima 1. V Nancy daughtr Alice 1. Same David son of Ciller 1. VI Hannah daughtr Mima 1. V Tom son of Mary 1. Same Winny daughtr Mary 1. VIII Daniel son of Betty ¼ VII Sarah daughtr black Judith ¾ X James son of Rachel 1. XII Patt daughtr Sarah ½ XI Anthony son of Rachel 1/6 XIII [Louisa] daughtr Charlotte 1. Same Billy son of Fanny 2/3 Same Betty daughtr Betty 1. XII Abraham son of Milly ½ XIV Sally daughtr Aggy ¼ XIII James son of Winney 2/3 XV Beckey daughtr Sarah ¼ Same Harry son of Winney 2/3 Same Nanny daughtr Dorcas ½ XIV Tom son of Judith 1/6 XVIII Martha daughtr Mary 1. XVII Appollo son of Kitty 2. I Cordelia daughtr Beckey 2. II Addison son of Sally 2. II Levina daughtr Bettsy 2. Same James son of Patt 2. III Teanor daughtr Ariana 2. Same Timothy son of Jenny 2. IV Betty daughtr Mary 2. VI
Thaddeus son of Kate 2. Same Mima daughtr Mary 2. VII Elijah son of Rose 2. IX Lucy daughtr black Judith 2. X Daniel son of Judith 2. X Beckey daughtr Sarah 2. Same Moses son of Molly 2. Same Ariana daughtr Kizziah 2. XI Aron son of Molly 2. Same Lydia daughtr Dina 2. XII Alexander son of Mary 2. XI Hester [?]daughtr Betty 2. XV George son Rachel 2. XIII Molly daughtr Judith 2. XVI Tom 2. XV Betty daughtr Judith 3. I George son of Mary 2. XVII Sarah daughtr Lucy 3. II Newman son Judith 2. XVIII Eliza daughtr Beckey 3. Same Solomon son Sukey 3. I Charlotte daug. Lett 3. III David son of Lucy 3. Same Polly daughtr Mima 3. V Cephas son Betty 3. Same Sally daughtr Ciller 3. VI Tom son of Phillis 3. I Kitty daughtr Mary 3. X Paul son of Tom 3. VII Hesse daughtr Nanny 3. XI George son of Mary 3. Same Margery daughtr Milly 3. XIV James son of Ciller 3. Same Rose daughtr of Milly 3. Same Adam son of Sukey 3. VIII Joannah daughtr Aggy 3. Same Reubin son of Kizziah 3. XI Molly 3. XVI Dick son of Rachel 3. XII Lucy daughtr little Judith 4. I Huchison son of Fanny 3. XIII Sally daughtr great Judith 4. Same John son of Sally 3. Same Lett daughtr Jemima 4. II Humphrey son Sarah 4. I Lydia daughtr Ariana 4. Same Sam[uel] son of Lucy 4. II Criss daughtr Dinah 4. III Emmanuel son of Betty 4. Same Faith daughtr Patt 4. Same George son of Ailce 4. Same Lett daughtr Mary 4. VI Lazarus son of Ailce 4. III Lett daughtr Kizziah 4. XI Nelson son of Sarah 4. Same Nancy daughtr Frankey 4. XIV Johnson son of Jenny 4. IV Sally 4. XV Cornelius son of Kate 4. Same Dorcas daughtr Kate 4. Same Ralph son of Betty 4. VIII Nanny daughtr Winney 4. Same Lem son of Sarah 4. Same Sally daughtr Rose 5. I Glasgow son of Betty 4. XII Celia daughtr Lucy 5. Same John son of Milly 4. XIV Peggy daughtr Phillis 5. Same Dick son of Susannah 4. XVI Mary daughtr Jemimah 5. II Elijah son of Sukey 5. I Clare daughtr Lucy 5. Same Sam son of Teanor 5. Same Frances daughtr Kate 5. III David son of Betty 5. IV Phillis daughtr Ciller 5. VI Prince son of Mary 5. VII Aggy daughtr Mary 5. Same George son of Molly 5. XI Bett daughtr Nanny 5. XI Oliver son of Fanney 5. XIII Hesse daughtr Betty 5. XII Billy son of Betty 5. XV Flora daughtr Criss 5. Same John son of Judith 5. XVI Penelope daughtr Kate 5. XV Natt son of Sarah 6. III Nutty daughtr Suckey 6. I Daniel son Jemima 6. II Nancy daughtr Mary 6. X George Weldon son of Beckey 6. Same Leanna daughtr black Judith 6. Same Cassius son Ariana 6. Same Joan daughtr Rachel 6. XII James son of Betty 6. IX Polly 6. XV Sam son of Kizziah 6. XI Amelia daughtr great Judith 7. I Sam son of Phillis 7. I Frances daughtr Sarah 7. Same John son of Ailce 7. III Hannah daughtr Patt 7. III Richard son of Dinah 7. Same Dina daughtr Suckey 7. VIII David son of Fanny 7. XIII Babb daughtr Franky 7. XIV John son of Betty 7. XV Molly daughtr Suckey 8. VIII Isaac son of Judith 7. XVI Sylvia daughtr Sarah 8. X Thaddeus son Rose 8. I Henney daughtr Betty 8. XII Moses son of Sukey 8. Same Liousa [Louisa] daughtr Lucy 9. I Hutchison son Beckey 8. II Judith daughtr Minah 9. V Daniel son Betty 8. IV Dorcas daughtr Betty Banks 9. IX Felix son of Kate 8. Same Lett daughtr Sarah 9. XIII
Frederick son Jenny 8. Same Betty 9. XV Israel son Kizziah 8. XI Nelly daughtr Winney 9. Same Ralph son of Patt 8. XII Phillis 9. XV Berckly son of 8. XVI Rose daughtr Sarah 10. I Berckley son of great Judith 9. I Judith daughtr John Smith 10. II John son of Phillis 9. Same Lucy daughtr Mary 10. VI Anthony son Ailce 9. II Jenny daughtr Betty 10. XII Solomon son Patt 9. III Dorcas daughtr Fanny 10. XIII James son Ciller 9. VI Polly daughtr Patt 10. XVI Priamus son Mary 9. VII Mary daughtr Sarah 11. XIII Jesse son Suckey 9. VIII Charlotte daughtr Betty 11. XV Sam Jones son Judith 9. X Nancy grand daughter Baptist Billy 11. Same Joe son of Kate 10. III Rose 11. XVI George son of Jenny 10. IV Betty daughtr Rose 12. I Harry son of Pegg 10. V Frances daughtr Jenny 12. IV Isaac son of Mary 10. VII Tilla daughtr Nancy 12. XI Henry son of great Judith 11. I Henny daughtr Criss 12. XII Dennis son of Patt 11. III Polly 12. XV Harry son of Dinah 11. Same Joannah orphan 13. I John son of Betty 11. IV Lucy daughtr Mary 13. III Jack son of Molly 11. XIII Pegg daughter Kate 13. Same John 11. XIV Teanor daughtr Kate 13. IV Natt son of Rachel 11. XV Rose daughtr Nancy 13. VII Tom son of Sarah 12. I Kate daughtr Betty Bauks 13. IX John son of Barbary 12. II Patt daughtr Molly 13. X Jacob son of Molly 12. X Clara daughtr great Judith 14. I Boatswain son of Sarah 12. XII Nancy daughter Phillis 14. Same Pompey an orphan 12. Same Betty from Old Ordinary 14. IX James 12. XV Judith from Old Ordinary 14. Same Cajah grandson of Baptist Billy 12. Same Hannah daughtr Rachel 14. XI Enoch son of Winney 12. Same Nancy daughtr Patt 14. XII Alexander son of Rose 13. I Patt daughtr Sarah 14. XIII Francis son of Criss 13. Same Mima daughtr Molly 14. Same Billy son of Suckey 13. Same Jemima 14. XV Tom son of Lucy 13. Same Fanny daughtr Suckey 15. I John son of Patt 13. III Bett daughter Sarah 15. III Sam son of Sarah 13. Same Sarah daughtr Joan 15. VI Edmond son of Sarah 13. Same Dorcas 15. XIV George son of Sarah 13. VII Frances 15. XVI Tom son of Molly 13. Same Nanny 15. XVI George 13. XV Henny daughtr Price 16. I Adam 13. XVI Bett nursery maid 16. Same Cupid 13. XVI Bridget daughtr Criss 16. Same George son of Teanor 14. I Nelly daughtr Betty 16. IV Edmond son of Rose 14. Same Mima daughtr of Pegg 16. V Horice son James Thomas 14. Same Dilsa 16. VI Dick son of Patt 15. III Sally daughtr of Sarah De Beau 16. VII Aron Son of Pegg 15. V Frankey 16. X John son of Pegg 15. VI Barbary daughter of Joan 17. III Ben son of Nancy 15. VII Polly daughtr Miller Solomon 17. IV Ned son of Molly at Virgo 15. IX Judith 17. X James 15. XI Abby 17. Same Beverly son of great Judith 16. I Sarah daughtr Gloster Billy 17. XI Stephen Scullion 16. Same Charlotte daughtr of Rachel 17. Same Watt an orphan 16. Same Dina wife of Jack 17. XII George son of Rachel at Virgo 16. IX Aggy sister of Sampson 17. XIII Charles son of Rachel 16. XIII Kizziah daughtr of Rachel 17. XV Thomas son of Molly 16. Same Mary sister of Jerry 18. XIII Titus 16. XV Rosse wife of Sampson 18. IX
Alexander son of Lucy 17. I Mary 18. X Hannabal 17. VI Judith 18. XVIII George 17. VII Pheby 18. XI Billy 17. Same Dorcas daughtr Sarah 19. III James son of Beck 17. IX Grace from Cancer 19. IX Jack 17. X Criss daughtr Teanor 20. I Billy 17. XI Eve wife of Bricklayer James 20. Same Sam 17. XIV Suckey wife of Priamus 20. VI Henry 17. XV Nanny 20. XI Sam Jones 18. I Lucy Sister of Sampson 20. XIII Harry son of Teanor 18. Same Henney daughtr Baptist Billy 20. XV Armistead 18. II Henney wife of Geo: Cary 21. III Jesse Carpenter 19. I Lett daughtr Sarah 21. Same Daniel 19. VI Hannah 21. X Sam 19. VIII Sally wife of Simon 21. XIII Priamus 20. VI Aggy 21. XIV Jerry 20. VIII Bett Spinster 22. II Sampson 20. IX Betty Spinster 22. Same James 20. XIV Mary 22. XI Anthony son of George and Rachel 20. XV Aggy 22. XV John Newman 21. I Ariana 23. II Simon Carpenter 21. Same Kate 23. XV Dennis 21. III Judith house maid commonly called little Judith 24. I Lewis 21. V Lucy wife of Guy Cooper 24. II Dick 21. XII Becky wife of George Weaver 24. Same Prestly 21. XV Fanny former wife of Billy 24. XIII Ben son of Betty 22. IV Milly wife of Abraham 24. XIV Billy Weaver 22. X Kitty daughtr of Lucy 25. I Nathaniel 22. XV Jemima wife of Simon 25. II George son of Rachel 22. Same Ciller wife of Sampson 25. VI Jesse son of Baptist Billy 22. Same Sarah wife of James 25. VII Ralph Weaver 23. II Rachel wife of Nelson 25. VII Harry 23. IV Susannah 25. XVI Glasgow 23. V Judith 25. Same James 23. X Pegg 25. Same Jack 23. XII Mary 25. VII Dennis 24. I Betty house maid 26. I Sampson 24. Same Mary wife of Prestly 26. VI Nelson 24. XII Betty wife of Ralph 26. VII Glasgow 24. XV Franky 26. XIV Natt Turner 25. I Ailce Spinster 27. II Vincent Carpenter 25. Same Kate wife Tom Walker 27. IV Bob Hatter 25. Same Ailce daughtr Harry 28. III Prestly 25. VI Mary wife of George 28. VII Frank Carpenter 26. I Black Judith 28 X Billy Postilion 26. Same Prue wife of Gloster Will 29. I Ben Chine 27. Same Sally Spinster 29. II Moses son of Molly 27. XI Sarah wife of Willoby 30. I Simon 27. XIII Jenny wife of Tom Butcher 30. IV Solomon Waiter 28. I Kizziah 30. XI Prince Weaver 28. II Jenny 30. XV George Cary 28. III Suckey wife of miller Solomon 31. I Ralph 28. VII Phillis wife of Sawny 31. Same John black smith 29. I Criss 31. XII George Weaver 29. II Winny daughter of baptist Billy 31. XV William son of Baptist Billy 29. XV Suckey wife of Robin 31. VIII Nacy Shoemaker 30. I Betty daughter of baptist Billy 32. XV Argy 30. XV Kate daughtr of Mary 33. III Patt wife of Jesse 33. Same
James 31. I Sarah wife of Geo: Cartman 33. III Toby 31. Same Nanny wife of Frank 33. VII Daniel, Carpenter 31. Same Patt of daughtr Pompey 33. XII Baker, gardener 31. Same Rachel wife of Billy 33. XIII James 31. XI Babb spinster 35. II Nelson James 32. I Hannah, weaver 35. XV James 32. VII Sary Da[i]ry maid 36. I George Cartman 33. III Rose wife of Tom postilion 37. Same. Tom 33. VII Betty Banks 37. IX George ditcher 33. Same Molly wife of Peter 37. X Abraham 33. XIV Betty widow of Glasgow 37. XII Jack 33. XVI Lucy, Seamstress 38. I Guy, cooper 34. I Sarah wife of George 38. XIII Oliver cooper 34. XV Dina wife of Tom Cary 43. III Sawny cooper 36. I Sarah wife of Sam Brutus 43. X James Thomas 37. Same Polly daughtr Mary 43. XV Willoby Carpenter 37. Same Nomony Hall first day August A. D.—1791 Robt Carter Tom Postilion 37. Same Tom Cary 37. III Billy from Cancer 37. XIII Jesse 38. III Tom fisherman 38. Same George Carpenter 39. I James bricklayer 39. Same Glouster Will 39. Same Joe 39. XVI Gabriel 41. V Tom, Weaver 42. IV Tom Butcher 44. I James, Carpenter 44. Same Daniel 44. V Robert 44. XVI Matt Cartman 45. I Nomony Hall first day August A. D. 1791—Robt Carter
Whereas I Robert Carter of Nomony Hall in the County of Westmoreland & Commonwealth of Virginia am poss[ess]ed as my absolute property off, in & to many negroes & mullatto slaves whose number, names, situations & ages will fully appear by a Schedule hereunto annexed: And whereas I have for some time past been convinced that to retain them in Slavery is contrary to the true principles of Religion & justice, & that therefore it was my duty to manumit them, if it could be accomplished without infringing the laws of my Country, & without being of disadvantage to my neighbours & the community at large: And whereas the General Assembly for the Commonwealth of Virginia did in the year seventeen hundred and eighty two enact a Law entitled “An Act to authorize the manumission of slaves” now be it remembered that said Robert do under the said Act for myself my heirs executors & administrators emancipate from slavery all such my slaves emancipated in the aforesaid Schedule (as are under the age of forty six years) but in a manner & form as hereafter particularly mentioned & set forth, that is to say: that for as much as I have with great Care & attention endeavoured to discover that mode of manumission from Slavery which can be effected consonant to law & with the least possible disadvantage to my fellow Citizens I have determined to discharge myself from this act of justice & duty by declaring that my Slaves not receive an immediate but a gradual Emancipation in the following manner—viz—Fifteen of my slaves under the age of forty six beginning at the oldest & descending according to their age are hereby emancipated & set free on the second day of January seventeen hundred & ninety two: And fifteen more of my slaves shall be liberated & set free on the first day of January seventeen hundred & ninety three & so annually in every year upon the first day of January (unless when that happens on a Sunday & then on the next succeeding day) until the year eighteen hundred & one inclusive
By which means one hundred & fifty of my slaves with the age restricted by the act aforesaid will be manumitted; Regard still being had in all the subsequent manumissions that the oldest of my slaves be the first emancipated:—And whereas it will be[ ]found from the Schedule aforesaid that a large number of my male & Female slaves are at present under the ages of twenty-one & eighteen years; I do hereby declare that such & every of the male negroes shall be emancipated & set free when he or they shall have attained the age of twenty one years & such & every of the Females when [s]he or they shall have attained the age of eighteen years respectively according to the said schedule, & the aforesaid act of assembly: In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & affixed my seal this first day of August in the year of our Lord seventeen hundred & ninety one
Sealed & delivered in presence of—
Robt Carter [Seal]
And whereas sundry female slaves mentioned in the annexed Schedule have been delivered of Children since the first day of January seventeen hundred & ninety one, which Children are considered as slaves in this commonwealth & to provide for the Children that may be so born I do now declare that all the males & females that may be born of the aforesaid women in the course of the present year seventeen hundred & ninety one shall be free—that is to say the males in the year eighteen hundred & twelve—females in the year eighteen hundred & nine or as many of them as may be then living—as witness my hand & seal the day & year written before—
Robt Carter [Seal]
At a district Court, [?] & held for the district of Richmond, Westmoreland, Lancaster & Northd at Northumberland Courthouse, on Monday the 5th day of September 1791. This deed of emancipation & the schedule hereto annexed were this day acknowledged in open Court & ordered to be recorded.
Carter III, Robert. Robert Carter III’s Deed of Gift (August 1, 1791). (2020, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia. https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/robert-carter-iiis-deed-of-gift-august-1-1791.
Carter III, Robert. "Robert Carter III’s Deed of Gift (August 1, 1791)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2020). Web. 27 Jan. 2023