Slaveholders: Letters, Sale Receipts, and Related Documents


This collection consists of letters and slave sale receipts that document slaveholding among Rutgers officers and benefactors. These manuscript documents come from various family papers housed at the Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives 

Of particular interest is a letter from the college's first president Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh to his father that briefly mentions an enslaved man. Other documents pertain to the Neilson family and document multiple generations of slaveholding from the Revolutionary War to the 1830s.

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Collection Items

Receipt issued to Colonel John Neilson recording the sale of an enslaved black man who was taken from the enemy in war
In this Revolutionary War era document, Thomas Bullman records that he received 55 pounds from Colonel John Neilson (1745-1833) for the sale of an enslaved black man. The name of this black man is not recorded here, but the receipt mentions that the…

Bill of sale for Flora, Phillis, and Ann, sold to John Neilson
Anthony L. Bleecker sells to John Neilson an enslaved woman named Flora and her two female children Phillis and Ann for 120 New York pounds.

Bill of Sale for Teunis, to James Neilson
Joseph Baldwin sold a 26 year old man named Teunis to James Neilson for $175.
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