Middlesex County Book of Manumissions and Removals (Manumission of Slaves, 1800-1825)


Middlesex County Book of Manumissions and Removals (Manumission of Slaves, 1800-1825)


Deare, William P.


Bound manuscript volume containing copies of legal documents pertaining to slaves in Middlesex County for the period 1800–1825. Legal and historical records often refer to this volume as the "Book of Manumissions." However, only 75% of the records contained in this book are copies of manumissions. The remaining 25% are copies of removal certificates, i.e. documents recording the removal of black children, women, and men out of the State of New Jersey, primarily destined for Louisiana.

The book contains an alphabetical index by first name of the black person being manumitted or removed. The index is in the front, followed by 438 pages of legal records. These records were maintained by the Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas for Middlesex County. The vast majority of the records are written in the hand of William P. Deare, who was the Clerk of the Court from 1801 to 1825, and who was also a long-time trustee of Queen's College.


Researchers searching for manumissions in New Jersey are encouraged to visit our new database New Jersey Slavery Records.

The Scarlet and Black research team has now scanned and indexed all pages of the Middlesex County Book of Manumissions. Hundreds of manumission records have been integrated into the New Jersey Slavery Records database. Additionally, all removal certificates found in this book have been digitized. See the guide to Middlesex County slavery records for more information about conducting research using these records.

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage




Original format

Bound manuscript volume


Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries

Archival collection

Middlesex County (N.J.). Records, 1688-1929 (MC 784.1)

Archival location

Vol. XI



Middlesex County Clerk, “Middlesex County Book of Manumissions and Removals (Manumission of Slaves, 1800-1825),” Scarlet and Black Digital Archive, Rutgers University, accessed July 16, 2024, https://scarletandblack.rutgers.edu/archive/items/show/12.