1787, Lambert, Manumission


1787, Lambert, Manumission
Event Description
William Livingston manumitted Bell and her son Lambert in October 1787. The manumission took place in Elizabeth, NJ. Livingston, who increasingly embraced abolitionist ideas after the Revolution, noted that he made the decision to manumit Bell and Lambert due to his "regard for the natural liberties of mankind" and that he aimed to "set the example" for other enslavers in the hopes that his "voluntary manumission of Slaves, may have any influence on others."

The following is a transcript of the Bill of Manumission signed by William Livingston in October 1787:

"October [1 – 31] 1787

Know all Men by these presents that I William Livingston of the Borough of Elizabeth in the County of Essex & State of New Jersey, in consideration of my regard for the natural liberties of mankind, & in order to set the example as far as my voluntary manumission of Slaves, may have any influence on others have manumitted emancipated and set at Liberty & Do by these presents manumit emancipate & set at Liberty a certain Negro woman slave called Bell and also her male child called Lambert both born in my family in a state of slavery & do hereby release acquit & discharge the said Bell and her child from any services to me or my representatives as fully & effectually to the extent & purposes whatsoever as if they had been born first free. It witness thereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this [ ] day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & eighty seven."
Action Status
October 1787
Related Event
1787, Bell, Manumission
Primary Participant
Lambert [son of Bell]
Freedom Status
Enslaver of Primary Event Participant
William Livingston (1723-1790)
Additional Participant
Manumission of Bell and Lambert, by Governor William Livingston
Manumission of Bell and Lambert, by Governor William Livingston, October 1, 1787. In Prince, Carl E., Mary Lou Lustig, and David William Voorhees, eds. The Papers of William Livingston. Vol. 5. New Brunswick: Published for the New Jersey Historical Commission by Rutgers University Press, 1979. See p. 302, "Bill of Manumission for His Slaves."
Record Contributor
Jesse Bayker

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Title Class
1787, Bell, Manumission Event