of the slaves in New York has been gradual.
In the city's notarial records, the enslaved manumissions were classified as cartas de libertad, literally "letters of liberty".
40) Furthermore, the reported ages for this tiny minority of free Africans confirms the idea that enslavement required a considerable degree of creolization and legal acumen in order to fight for their manumissions.
The topics include metropolitan Spain and the Canaries in the 15th and 16th centuries, the limits of manumission
for enslaved Africans in 18th-century British West Indian sugar society, sex and gender in Surinamese manumissions
, the struggle of liberated Africans for final emancipation in Brazil from the 1840s to the 1860s, and the slave owner's family and manumission
in the post-revolutionary Chesapeake tidewater.
The book is based on a substantial body of primary documentation: manuscript censuses for 1775, 1798 and 1820, parish records of baptisms, marriages, and deaths, property inventories and wills over a two hundred year period, and town council records including registration of slave manumissions
Some are contracts about slavery, loans, manumissions
, the purchase of beer, or marriage agreements.
Study of statutes and local legislation (which Epstein takes as an "explicit" law, in contrast to the Latinate and learned law, although it is hard to see how that was not also explicit) yields a variety of rules about sales, manumissions
, learning trades, crimes, and more.
Bogger relies heavily on federal censuses and local records to craft a meticulous demographic reconstruction of the free African American population in Norfolk from 1790 through 1860, identifying already-familiar national patterns in his analysis of the localized historical record: the decline in manumissions
as the nineteenth century progressed; the persistence of self-purchase throughout the period; the surplus of free women over free men within the Norfolk population.
This is particularly the case in regard to Bogger's contention that African Americans were most responsible for the wave of manumissions
that expanded the free black class during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
ran well above the Southern, though perhaps not the Virginia, average.
While the Black Code of 1806 restricted manumissions
to slaves aged 30 or older, an 1831 amendment allowed slaves under 30 to be manumitted if they were natives of Louisiana.
In subsequent years, manumissions
would be exceedingly rare.