New Jersey Slavery Records aims to document the history of slavery in our communities through digital archival sources and linked open data.
At the core of our database are records of EVENTS in the lives of enslaved people, such as labor, sales, manumissions, and running for freedom.
You can explore PERSON records to identify persons of African descent, enslavers, and Rutgers affiliates and namesakes with documented links to slavery. Person records provide biographical notes and link each individual to relevant events, places, and other people in the database.
Start with PLACES to see events and persons related to different localities.
Each and every event is documented with a SOURCE. Many sources have been digitized, and you will see links to the digital facsimiles of the original documents. If a digital facsimile is not available, then the source information is displayed as a plain text bibliographic citation near the bottom of the event record.
To learn about the types of records we have indexed to date, see Database Scope.
Middlesex County Slavery Records
We have scanned and indexed bound volumes of manumission certificates, removal certificates, and birth records from Middlesex County.
Check out the guide to Middlesex County Slavery Records for details.
Interstate Slave Trade and Kidnapping Documents
We have published a collection of removal certificates and newspaper articles that document kidnappings and human trafficking in New Jersey in the early 19th century. These records highlight the machinations of Judge Jacob Van Wickle's slave trading ring in Middlesex County and the practice of kidnapping Black people in New Jersey for sale to the Southerns states.
Check out Understanding Interstate Slave Trade & Kidnapping Documents for details.