List of slaves

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This and three other statues of chained slaves, placed at the base of the Monument of the Four Moors at Livorno, Italy, might have been made with actual slaves as models, whose names and circumstances remain unknown

Slavery is a social-economic system under which persons are enslaved: deprived of personal freedom and forced to perform labor or services without compensation. These people are referred to as slaves.

The following is a list of historical people who were enslaved at some point during their lives, in alphabetical order by first name. Several names have been added under the letter representing the person's last name.


Portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo by William Hoare (1733)
  • Abdul-Rahman ibn Ibrahima Sori (1762–1829), a prince from West Africa and a slave in the United States for 40 years until President John Quincy Adams freed him.
  • Abraham, a black slave who carried messages between the frontier and Charles Town during wars with the Cherokee, for which he was freed.[1]
  • Abram Petrovich Gannibal (1696–1781), adopted by Russian czar Peter the Great, governor of Tallinn (Reval) (1742–52), general-en-chef (1759–62) for building of sea forts and canals in Russia; great-grandfather of Pushkin. See The Slave in European Art for portraits.
  • Absalom Jones (1746 – February 13, 1818), former slave who purchased his freedom, abolitionist and clergyman – first ordained black priest of the Episcopal Church.
  • Aelfsige, a male cook in Anglo-Saxon England, property of Wynflaed, who left him to her granddaughter Eadgifu in her will.[2][3]
  • Aelius Perseus, a freedman of the late Roman Empire, whom T. Aelius Dionysius included by name on a stela for him, his wife, their freedman and those who came after them.[4]
  • Aelstan, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England freed with his wife and all their children (born and unborn) by Geatflæd "for the love of God and the good of her soul".[5]
  • Aesop (c. 620 – 564 BCE), Greek poet and author or transcriber of Aesop's Fables.
  • Afak, a Kipchak slave girl who was given by Fakhr al-Din Bahramshah, the ruler of Darband, to the poet Nizami Ganjavi (1141-1209). She became the dearly beloved wife of Ganjavi, considered the greatest romantic epic poet in Persian literature, and the mother of his only son Mohammad. His grief at her premature death was expressed in still widely read poems. It is disputed whether "Afak" (Horison) was her real name or a nickname. In the later case, her name remains unknown.
  • Agathoclia (d. ~230), a martyr and patron saint of the town of Mequinenza in Spain.[6]
  • Alam al-Malika (died 1130), slave singer who was promoted to become the de facto prime minister, adviser and ruler of the principality of Zubayd in present-day Yemen.
  • Alexina Morrison, a fugitive slave in Louisiana who claimed to be a kidnapped white girl and sued her master for her freedom on that ground, arousing such popular feeling against him that a mob threatened to lynch him.[7]
  • Alfred "Teen" Blackburn (1842–1951), one of the last living survivors of slavery in the United States who had a clear recollection of it.
  • Alice Clifton (c. 1772 – unknown), as an enslaved teenager, she was a defendant in an infanticide trial in 1787.
  • Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca (c. 1490 – c. 1558), a Spanish explorer who was enslaved by Native Americans on the Gulf Coast of what is now the United States after surviving the collapse of the Narváez expedition in 1527.[8]
  • Al-Khayzuran bint Atta (died 789), a Yemenite slave girl who became the wife of the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mahdi and mother of both Caliphs Al-Hadi and Harun al-Rashid, the most famous of the Abbasids.
  • Amanda America Dickson, the daughter of white planter David Dickson and slave Julia Frances Lewis, who belonged to his mother. Although technically a slave until emancipation after the American Civil War, Amanda Dickson was raised as her father's favorite. At his death in 1885, she inherited his estate of $500,000.[9]
Aesop in a Hellenistic statue claimed to be him, Art Collection of Villa Albani, Rome
  • Archibald Grimké (1849–1930), born into slavery, the son of a white father, became an American lawyer, intellectual, journalist, diplomat and community leader.
  • Arkil, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England freed by Geatflæd "for the love of God and the good of her soul".[5]
  • Arthur Crumpler (c. 1835 – 1910), escaped slavery in Virginia, second husband of Dr. Rebecca Davis Lee Crumpler.[15]
  • Augustine Tolton (1854–1897), the first black priest in the United States.[16]
  • Aurelia Philematium, a freedwoman whose tombstone glorifies her marriage with her fellow freedman, Lucius Aurelius Hermia.[17]
  • Ayuba Suleiman Diallo (1701–1773), also known as Job ben Solomon, a Muslim of the Bundu state in West Africa who was enslaved for two years in Maryland, freed in 1734, and later wrote memoirs that were published as one of the earliest slave narratives.


  • Blaesus and Blaesia, whose late Republican Rome tomb inscription names them as the freedman of Caius and the freedwoman of Aulus.[21]
  • Blandina (c. 162 – 177), a slave and Christian martyr in Roman Gaul.[22]
  • Boga, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England, and all his family, were freed by his mistress Æthelgifu's will.[5]
  • Booker T. Washington (1856–1915), born into slavery, became an American educator, author and leader of the African-American community after the Civil War.
  • Maria Boguslavka (17th-century), Ukrainian woman enslaved in a harem, and became a heroine of assisting the escape of 30 Cossacks from slavery.
  • Nathaniel Booth (1826–1901), escaped slavery in Virginia and settled in Lowell, Massachusetts. In 1851, the citizens of Lowell purchased his freedom from slave hunters.
  • Brigitta Scherzenfeldt (1698–1733), Swedish memoirist and weaving teacher who was captured during the Great Northern War and lived as a slave in the kingdom of the Kalmyk in Central Asia.
  • Bussa, born a free man in West Africa of possible Igbo descent and was captured by African slave merchants, sold to the British, and transported to Barbados (where slavery had been legal since 1661) in the late 18th century as a slave.[23]


  • Caenis, a former slave and secretary of Antonia Minor (mother of the emperor Claudius) and the mistress of the Roman emperor Vespasian in the 1st century CE.
  • Pope Callixtus I (died 223), a former slave, pope from about 218 to about 223, during the reigns of the Roman Emperors Heliogabalus and Alexander Severus. He was martyred for his Christian faith and is a canonized saint of the Roman Catholic Church.[24]
  • Callistratus, an Athenian slave and banker.[25]
  • Carlota (died 1844), led a slave rebellion on Cuba in 1843–1844.
  • Castus a Gallic slave and one of the leaders of rebellious slaves during the Third Servile War
  • Cato, an African-American slave who served as an American Black Patriot spy and courier gathering intelligence with his owner, Hercules Mulligan.
  • Cato (died 1803) a slave in Charlestown, NY, who murdered twelve-year-old Mary Akins after an attempted rape. His confession was published in the murder literature of the time.[26]
  • Cevri Kalfa, a Georgian slave girl at the Sultan's harem in Istanbul, who saved Mahmud II's life and was rewarded for her bravery and loyalty by being appointed haznedar usta, the chief treasurer of the imperial Harem.
  • Charles Ayres Brown, mixed-raced slave born in Buckingham County, Virginia around 1820 or 1821 and was a part of the contraband camp during the American Civil War in Corinth, Mississippi. He was in Company E. He was legally married to Minerva Brown in 1867 and they had six children.
  • Charles Deslondes, Haitian mulatto tasked with overseeing other slaves on the André plantation and leader of the 1811 German Coast Uprising in present-day Louisiana. He was brutally killed by the "militia" which put down the slave revolt.
  • Charles Taylor, a slave freed by General Benjamin F. Butler in New Orleans, was described in a Harper's Weekly article as appearing white and having come to a school for emancipated slaves in Philadelphia.[27]
  • Charlotte Dupuy (c. 1787–1790 – c. 1866), also called Lottie, filed a freedom suit in 1829 against her master, Henry Clay, then Secretary of State, and lost.
  • Chica da Silva (c. 1732–1796), also known as Xica da Silva, Brazilian courtesan who became famous for becoming rich and powerful despite having been born into slavery.
  • Christopher Shields (born 1774), owned by George Washington and enslaved at Mount Vernon. The location and year in which he died is unknown.
  • Claudia Prepontis, a freedwoman who erected a funerary altar to her freedman husband T. Claudius Dionysius; their clasped hands, depicted on it, show the legitimacy of their marriage, possible only once they obtained their freedom.[28]
  • Clara Brown (c. 1800–1885), a former Virginian slave who became a community leader, philanthropist and aided settlement of former slaves during Colorado's Gold Rush.
  • Pope Clement I (died 100), the fourth Pope according to Catholic tradition. He may have been a freedman of Titus Flavius Clemens.[29]
  • Cesar Picton (c. 1765–1831), enslaved in Senegal, worked as a servant in England, and later became a wealthy coal merchant.
  • Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Pasha (1713–1790), a Georgian slave in the Ottoman Empire who rose to be grand vizier, Kapudan Pasha and an army commander.
  • Cole, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England freed by Geatflæd "for the love of God and the good of her soul".
  • Colonel Tye (1753–1780), also known as Titus Cornelius, a former slave, became a Black Loyalist soldier and guerrilla leader during the American Revolution.
  • Cooper, a black slave around 20 years old, fled to the Creek. He was captured for sale to the whites and killed after he wounded a warrior.[30]
  • Crixus, a Gallic gladiator and military leader in the Third Servile War.
  • Cudjoe Lewis (c. 1840–1935), considered the last person born in Africa to have been enslaved in the United States.
  • Cuffy (died 1763), was an Akan man who was captured in his native West Africa, taken to work in the plantations of the Dutch colony of Berbice in present-day Guyana, and in 1763 led a revolt of more than 2,500 slaves against the colonial regime. Today, he is a national hero in Guyana.[31]


Dred Scott, who lost a legal suit for his freedom in the United States Supreme Court in 1857
  • Danae, "the new maidservant of Capito", named in lead curse tablet from Republican Rome, which aimed to destroy Danae.[32]
  • Dave Drake (c. 1801–1876), also known as Dave the Potter
  • David George, a black man who fled a cruel Virginia master and was captured by Creeks and enslaved by Chief Blue Salt.[33]
  • Deborah Squash, with her husband Harvey escaped from George Washington's Mount Vernon, joined the British in New York during the American Revolutionary War, and were evacuated in 1783 as freedmen.[34]
  • Denmark Vesey (c. 1767–1822), an African-American slave and later a freeman who planned what would have been one of the largest slave rebellions in the United States had word of the plans not been leaked.[35]
  • Dido Elizabeth Belle (1761–1804), born into slavery as the natural daughter of Maria Belle, an enslaved African woman in the West Indies, and Sir John Lindsay, a British career naval officer. Lindsay took Belle with him when he returned to England in 1765, entrusting her raising to his uncle William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, and his wife Elizabeth Murray, Countess of Mansfield. The Murrays educated Belle, bringing her up as a free gentlewoman at their Kenwood House, together with their niece, Lady Elizabeth Murray. Belle lived there for 30 years. In his will of 1793, Lord Mansfield confirmed her freedom and provided an outright sum and an annuity to her, making her an heiress.
  • Diogenes of Sinope (c. 412 – 323 BCE), Greek philosopher kidnapped by pirates and sold in Corinth.
  • Diondre Hammond, hailed from Africa, sent by British to colonial America, later escaped to what is now southern California.
  • Dincă, the half-Roma slave and illegitimate child of a Cantacuzino boyar in the 19th-century Danubian Principalities (present-day Romania). Well-educated, working as a cook but not allowed to marry his French mistress and go free, which had led him to murder his lover and kill himself. The affair shocked public opinion and was one of the factors contributing to the abolition of slavery in Romania (see [3]).
  • Diocletian (244–312), Emperor of Rome, was by some sources born as the slave of Senator Anullinus. By other sources, it was Diocletian's father (whose own name is unknown) who was a slave, and was freed prior to the birth of his son, the future emperor.[36]
  • Dred Scott (c. 1799 – 1858), an African-American slave in Missouri who attempted to sue for his freedom in a nationally publicized trial, Scott v. Sandford, that reached the United States Supreme Court in 1857.
  • Dufe the Old, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England, was freed by his mistress Æthelgifu's will.[37]


  • Ecceard the smith, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England freed by Geatflæd "for the love of God and the good of her soul".[37]
  • Ecgferð Aldun's daughter, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England freed by Geatflæd "for the love of God and the good of her soul".[37]
  • Edmond Flint, a black enslaved among the Choctaw Nation who later described it as very like slavery among the whites.[38]
  • Ediþ, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England who bought her freedom and that of her children.[39]
  • Elijah Abel (1808–1884), born in Maryland as a slave and believed to have escaped slavery on the Underground Railroad into Canada. He joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in its early days, was among the first blacks to receive its priesthood and the first black person to rise to the ranks of an elder and seventy.
  • Eliezer of Damascus, Abraham's slave and trusted manager of the Patriarch's household in the Hebrew Bible.
  • Eliza Hopewell, the slave of Confederate spy Isabella Maria Boyd ("Belle Boyd"). In 1862 she helped her mistress' espionage activities, carrying messages to the Confederate Army in a hollowed-out watch case.
  • Eliza Moore (1843 – January 21, 1948), one of the last proven African-American former slaves living in the United States.
  • Elias Polk (1806 – December 30, 1886), a conservative political activist of the 19th century.
  • Elizabeth Key Grinstead (1630 – after 1665), the first woman of African ancestry in the North American colonies to sue for her freedom and win. Key and her infant son, John Grinstead, were freed on July 21, 1656, in the colony of Virginia, based on the fact that her father was an Englishman and that she was a baptized Christian.
  • Elizabeth Freeman (c. 1742 – 1829), known as Bett and later Mum Bett, was among the first black slaves in Massachusetts to file a freedom suit and win in court under the 1780 constitution, with a ruling that slavery was illegal.
  • Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley (1818–1907), best known as the personal modiste and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln, the First Lady of the United States. Keckley wrote and published an autobiography, Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House (1868).
  • Elsey Thompson, a white captive enslaved by a Creek. When trader John O'Reilly attempted to ransom her and Nancy Caffrey, he was told they were not taken captive to be allowed to go back, but to work.[40]
  • Emiline (age 23); Nancy (20); Lewis, brother of Nancy (16); Edward, brother of Emiline (13); Lewis and Edward, sons of Nancy (7); Ann, daughter of Nancy (5); and Amanda, daughter of Emiline (2), were freed in the 1852 Lemmon v. New York court case after they were brought to New York by their Virginia slave owners.
  • Emily Edmonson (1835–1895), along with her sister Mary, joined an unsuccessful 1848 escape attempt known as the Pearl incident, but Henry Ward Beecher and his church raised the funds to free them.
  • Enrique of Malacca, also known as Henry the Black, slave and interpreter of Ferdinand Magellan and possibly the first man to circumnavigate the globe in Magellan's voyage of 1519–1521.
  • Epictetus (55 – c. 135), ancient Greek stoic philosopher.
  • Epunuel, a native of Chappaquidick who was taken captive by English explorers in the 1610s with twenty-nine others, and taken to London as a slave.[41]
  • Estevanico (1500–1539), also known as Esteban the Moor, one of only four survivors of the ill-fated Narváez expedition, later a guide in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Gold and possibly the first African person to arrive in Arizona and New Mexico.
  • Eucharis, freedwoman of Licinia, described in her epitath as fourteen when she died and a child actress.[42]
  • Eunus (died 132 BC) a Roman slave from Apamea in Syria, the leader of the slave uprising in the First Servile War
  • Euphraios, an Athenian slave and banker.[25]
  • Exuperius and Zoe (died 127), 2nd-century Christian martyrs. They were a married couple who were slaves of a pagan in Pamphylia. They were killed along with their sons, Cyriacus and Theodolus, for refusing to participate in pagan rites when their son was born.[43]


Frederick Douglass, the foremost African-American abolitionist of the 19th century
  • Felicitas (died 203), Christian martyr and saint.[44]
  • Fiddih, acquired by the Báb when she was no older than 7 years of age, Fiddih served the Báb's wife Khadíjih-Bagum.[45] Fiddih would die the same night as her master.[46]
  • Fountain Hughes (1848—1957), interviewed in June 1949 about his life by the Library of Congress as part of the Federal Writers' Project.
  • Francis Bok (born 1979), Dinka slave from South Sudan, now an abolitionist and author in the United States.
  • Francisco Menendez, a slave from South Carolina who escaped to Florida, where he served in the Spanish militia, leading the garrison established in 1738 at Fort Mose. This site was the first legal free black community in what is now the United States.
  • François Mackandal (died 1758), Haitian Maroon leader.
  • Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), born into slavery in Maryland and escaped to the Northeast in 1838, where he became an internationally renowned abolitionist writer, speaker, and diplomat.
  • French John, a French fur trader captured by the Cherokee and enslaved by Old Hop, apparently making no effort for his freedom for many years, until he ran away when the British offered to buy him.[47]


Medical examination photo of Gordon showing his scourged back, widely distributed by abolitionists to expose the brutality of slavery



  • İbrahim Pasha (c. 1495 – 1536), Suleiman the Magnificent's first appointed Grand Vizier. Greek by birth, he was sold as a slave at the age of six to the Ottoman palace for future sultans; there he befriended Suleiman, who was of the same age.
  • Icelus Marcianus, a slave and later freedman of the Roman emperor Galba in the 1st century CE. He was one of three men said to completely control the emperor, increasing Galba's unpopularity.
  • Ida B. Wells (1862–1931), prominent African-American activist, born a slave, who in later life campaigned against and succeeded in abolishing lynching. She co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.
  • Imma, a Northumbrian aristocrat who was knocked unconscious in battle and later pretended to have been a peasant who brought them food, so that his captors did not kill him. His manners and bearing soon betrayed him, and he was sold into slavery.[55]
  • Isfandíyár, a servant in Bahá'u'lláh's house in Tehran,[56] Isfandíyár died in Mazandaran[57][58]
  • Israel Jefferson (c. 1800 – after 1873), known as Israel Gillette before 1844, was born a slave at Monticello, the estate of Thomas Jefferson, and worked as a domestic servant close to Jefferson for years.
  • Ivan Bolotnikov (1565–1608), a fugitive kholop (slave in Russia) and leader of the Bolotnikov rebellion in 1606–1607.


  • Jackey Wright, an American slave who sued for and won her freedom in the famous 1806 Virginia case of Hudgins v. Wright. However, the opinion of the Virginia Supreme Court relied on Wright appearing white and Native American, whereas the lower court under George Wythe had tried to establish a presumption of freedom for all people, of whatever race.
  • James Armistead Lafayette (1760–1830), an African-American slave who served the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War as a double agent.
  • James Baugh, an American slave who sued for his freedom on the grounds that his maternal grandmother had been an Indian.[59]
  • James Hemings (1765–1801), American mixed-race slave owned and freed by Thomas Jefferson. He was the older brother of Sally Hemings and a half-sibling of Jefferson's wife, Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson, through their father John Wayles.
  • James Leander Cathcart (1767–1843), a diplomat, slave, and sailor notable for his narrative as a slave in Algiers for eleven years and for his diplomatic accomplishments while in slavery.
  • James Somersett or Somerset, a slave in colonial America whose escape while in England in 1771, supported by notable British abolitionists, led to the milestone legal case Somerset v Stewart, which effectively ended slavery in Britain, though not in its colonies.
  • Jane Johnson (1814 or 1827 – 1872), gained freedom on July 18, 1855, with her two young sons while in Philadelphia with her master and his family. She was aided by William Still and Passmore Williamson, abolitionists of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society and its Vigilance Committee.
  • Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1758–1806), leader of the Haitian Revolution and first leader of independent Haiti.
  • Jean Saint Malo (died 1784), leader of runaway slaves (maroon colony) in Spanish Louisiana and namesake of Saint Malo, Louisiana.
  • Jean Parisot de Valette (1495–1568), a knight of the Order of Saint John was captured and made a galley slave in 1541 by Barbary pirates under the command of Turgut Reis. He was freed after about a year and later became Grandmaster of the Order.
  • Jeffrey Hudson (1619 – c. 1682), an English courtier who spent 25 years as a slave in North Africa.
  • Jehu Grant (c. 1752—December 28, 1840), Revolutionary War veteran.
  • Jerry – see William Henry
  • Jim Cuff or Jim Crow was a crippled African slave, variously claimed to have resided in St. Louis, Cincinnati, or Pittsburgh,[60][61] whose song and dance supposedly inspired the blackface song and dance "Jump Jim Crow" by white comedian Thomas D. Rice. The great popularity of Rice's creation soon led to Jim Crow becoming a pejorative name for blacks, and later to the name being used for the segregationist Jim Crow Laws, a highly unfair posthumous memory of the original crippled slave.
  • John Axouch (1087–1150), a Seljuk Turk captured as a child by the Byzantines, freed and raised in the imperial household as the companion of the future Emperor John II Komnenos, and on his accession given command of the Empire's armies and remained the Emperor's only close personal friend and confidant.
  • John "Lit" Fleming, born a slave in Virginia but later moved to Edmundson, Arkansas with his parents and siblings. He would then move to Memphis, Tennessee and was part-owner of the newspaper The Memphis Free Speech with activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett.
  • John Munroe Brazealle and his mother were the subjects of Hinds v. Brazealle (1838), a case in the Supreme Court of Mississippi which denied the legality and inheritance rights in Mississippi of deeds of manumission executed by Elisha Brazealle, a Mississippi resident, in Ohio to free the pair.
  • John Brown (c. 1810–1876), escaped and wrote of conditions in the Deep South of the United States.
  • John Casor, the first to be made a slave as the result of a civil case in the Thirteen Colonies (Virginia Colony, 1655).
  • John Ezzidio (c. 1810 – 1872), Nigerian slave who became a successful Sierra Leonean politician and businessman.
  • John Jea (born 1773), African-American slave best known for his 1811 autobiography, The Life, History, and Unparalleled Sufferings of John Jea, the African Preacher.
  • John Joyce born into slavery in Maryland, served in the United States Navy, held a variety of jobs after, and murdered a shopkeeper, Sarah Cross, his life and crime recounted in the murder literature of his day.[62]
  • John R. Jewitt (1783–1821), an English armourer who spent three years as a captive of Maquinna of the Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) people on the Pacific coast of what is now Canada.
  • John Punch (fl. 1630s, living 1640), an African slave in the Virginia Colony in the 17th century.[63][64] In July 1640, the Virginia Governor's Council sentenced him to serve for the remainder of his life as punishment for running away to Maryland. Many historians consider Punch the "first official slave in the English colonies,"[65] and his case as the "first legal sanctioning of lifelong slavery in the Chesapeake."[63] Historians also consider this to be one of the first legal distinctions between Europeans and Africans made in the colony,[66] and a key milestone in the development of the institution of slavery in the United States.[67]
  • John Smith (1580–1631), English soldier, sailor, and author best known for his role in the survival of the Jamestown colony in Virginia. Smith was captured by Turks in 1602 while fighting in Wallachia, but escaped and returned to England by 1604. As Smith described it: "we all sold for slaves, like beasts in a market-place."[68]
  • Jordan Anderson (1825–1907), best known for a letter sent to his former master in response to the latter's request that Jordan return to his service.
  • Jordan Winston Early (1814 – after 1894) was an American Methodist multiracial preacher who was the subject of a book about his life as a slave.
  • John White, an enslaved black boy who was captured by Creeks in 1797 and escaped back to New Orleans, where he told Spanish officials of his master's name, to be returned.[69]
  • Joseph, important figure in the Old Testament and the Quran.
  • Joseph Antonio Emidy (1775–1835), violinist and composer born in Africa, died in Cornwall.
  • Joseph Cinqué (1814–1879), also known as Sengbe Pieh, leader of a slave rebellion on the slave ship La Amistad and defendant in the subsequent Supreme Court case United States v. Amistad in 1839.
  • Joseph Jackson Fuller (1825–1908), one of the earliest slaves to be freed in Jamaica, initially under the partial freedoms of the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act.
  • Joseph Knight, successfully sought his freedom through a legal suit in Scotland in 1777, a case which established that Scots law would not uphold the institution of slavery.
  • Josephine Bakhita (c. 1869 – 1947), Sudanese-born Roman Catholic nun and saint.
  • Joshua Glover, fugitive slave saved by abolitionists at Racine, Wisconsin in 1854.
  • Juan Francisco Manzano (c. 1797 – 1854), Cuban poet.[70]
  • Juan Gros, a free black soldier captured near Pensacola by an Upper Creek, who sold him to a white trader who sold him to the Mitasuki chief Kinache, from whom Spaniards ransomed him.[71]
  • Juan Latino, called "el negro Juan Latino", from Ethiopia, brought to Spain as a child, received an education and rose to be professor of Latin at the University of Granada, in 16th-century Spain.
  • Juan Ortiz, a young Andalusian nobleman enslaved by Chief Ucita in Florida to avenge injuries he suffered at the hands of the expedition Ortiz belonged to.[72]
  • Julia Chinn, an octoroon slave and common-law wife of Richard Mentor Johnson, ninth Vice President of the United States.
  • Julia Frances Lewis, mother of Amanda American Dickson by the son of her owner.[73]
  • Jupiter Hammon (1711 – before 1806), in 1761 became the first African-American writer to be published in the present-day United States. Born into slavery, Hammon was never emancipated. He is considered one of the founders of African-American literature.


  • Kösem Sultan (1589–1651), an Ottoman slave, later extremely powerful as wife, then mother and later grandmother of the Ottoman sultan during the 130-year period known as the Sultanate of Women.
  • Kunta Kinte (c. 1750 – c. 1822), a character from the 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family whom author Alex Haley claimed was based on one of his actual ancestors. Kinte was supposedly a man of the Mandinka people who grew up in a small village called Juffure in what is now The Gambia and was raised as a Muslim before being captured and enslaved in Virginia.[74] The historical accuracy of Haley's story is disputed.[75]
  • Kizzy Kinte, the supposed daughter of Kunta Kinte.[76] As with her father, the existence of an historical Kizzy Kinte is disputed.
  • King Jaja of Opobo (1821–1891), sold at about the age of 12 as a slave in the Kingdom of Bonny in present-day Nigeria. Proving at an early age his aptitude for business, he not only earned his way out of slavery but also became a rich and powerful merchant prince and the founder of the Opobo city-state, his career eventually ended by the British colonizers whom he tried to defy.


  • Lamhatty, a Tawasa Indian captured and enslaved by Creek; he escaped.[77]
  • La Mulâtresse Solitude (1772–1802), a slave on the island of Guadeloupe freed in 1794 by the abolition of slavery during the French Revolution. She was executed after having fought for freedom when slavery was reintroduced by Napoleon in 1802.
  • Leo Africanus, (1494–1554), a Moor born in Granada who was taken by his family in 1498 to Morocco when expelled from Spain. As an adult he served on diplomatic missions. Captured by Crusaders while in the Middle East, he was enslaved in Rome and forced to convert to Christianity. He eventually regained his freedom and lived out his life in Tunis.
  • Leofgifu the dairy maid, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England, named in her manumission.[78]
  • Leoflaed, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England, whose freedom was bought by a man who described her as a "kinswoman."[79]
  • Leonor de Mendoza, a slave in colonial Mexico who tried to marry Tomás Ortega, a slave of another master; when her master imprisoned Tomás, she appealed to a church court for assistance, and it threatened excommunication for the master if he did not free Tomás.[80]
  • Lewis Adams (1842–1905), a former slave who co-founded the Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, in Alabama.
  • Lilliam Williams, a Tennessee settler who was captured by the Creek while pregnant. The Creek adopted her daughter (whom she named Molly and they named Esnahatchee,); they kept the girl when Williams' freedom was arranged.[81]
  • Jermain Wesley Loguen (1813–1872), an African-American escaped slave who became an abolitionist, a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and the author of a slave narrative.
  • Lovisa von Burghausen (1698–1733), Swedish writer who published an account of being enslaved in Russia after being taken prisoner during the Great Northern War.
  • Lucius Aurelius Hermia, a freedman butcher whose tombstone glorifies his marriage with his fellow freedwoman Aurelia Philematium.[82]
  • Lucius Cancrius Primigenius, a freedman of Clemens in an inscription praising him for breaking spells against the city.[83]
  • Lucius of Campione, who lost a lawsuit in the 8th century over a man Toto's claimed ownership of him.[84]
  • Lucy, the black slave of John Lang. She was taken captive by the Creek when 12 years old and kept as a slave in Creek territory, where she had slave children and grandchildren.[85]
  • Lucy Ann (Berry) Delaney (1830–1891), former slave and daughter of Polly Berry.
  • Lunsford Lane (1803 – after 1870), an African-American slave and entrepreneur from North Carolina who bought freedom for himself and his family. He also wrote a slave narrative.
  • Lydia, a slave shot and wounded by her owner when she struggled to escape a whipping. The action was ruled legal by the Supreme Court of North Carolina in 1830 (see North Carolina v. Mann).
  • Lydia Carter, the "Little Osage Captive," captured and enslaved among the Cherokee. She was ransomed by Lydia Carter, who made her her namesake. The Osage attempted to reclaim her, but she took ill and died.[86]
  • Lyde, a slavewoman freed by the Empress Livia.[87]


  • Madison Washington, leader of a slave revolt on board the slave ship Creole in 1841.
  • La Malinche (c. 1496 or c. 1501 – c. 1529), a Nahua woman given as a slave to Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés. She became his personal interpreter, advisor, and mistress during the Spanish conquest of Mexico.
  • Mammy Lou (1804 – after 1918), a former slave who lived to extreme old age and became an actress in the 1918 silent film The Glorious Adventure.
  • Manes, a slave of Diogenes of Sinope. He ran away shortly after his master arrived in Athens, and Diogenes failed to pursue him on the grounds that if Manes could live without him, it would be disgraceful if he could not equally live without Manes.
  • Mann, the name of two slaves in Anglo-Saxon England, one a goldsmith, who were both freed by their mistress Æthelgifu's will. The wife of the Mann not a goldsmith was also freed.[37]
  • Manjutakin (died 1007), a Turkish-born military slave (ghulam) and general of the Fatimids.
  • Marcos Xiorro, a Puerto Rican slave who, in 1821, planned and conspired to lead a slave revolt against the sugar plantation owners and the Spanish colonial government in Puerto Rico. Though the conspiracy was unsuccessful, Xiorro achieved legendary status among the slaves and is part of Puerto Rico's folklore.[88]
  • Marcius Agrippa, a slave of the late 2nd and early 3rd century who was not only freed but eventually elevated to senatorial rank by the Roman emperor Macrinus.
  • Marcus Tullius Tiro (c. 103 – 4 BCE), Roman author, slave, and secretary of the Roman politician Cicero, later freed. He invented a long-lasting system of shorthand and wrote books that are now lost.
  • Margaret Garner (1835–1858), a slave in pre-Civil War America infamous for killing her own daughter rather than see the child returned to slavery.
  • Margaret Himfi (before 1380 – after 1408), a Hungarian noblewoman who was abducted and enslaved by Ottoman marauders in the late 14th century. She later became a slave mistress of a wealthy Venetian citizen of Crete, with whom she had two daughters. Margaret returned to Hungary in 1405.
  • Margaret Morgan, involved in the Prigg v. Pennsylvania United States Supreme Court case in which the court held that the federal Fugitive Slave Act precluded a Pennsylvania state law that prohibited blacks from being taken out of Pennsylvania into slavery, and overturned the conviction of Edward Prigg as a result.
  • Marguerite Scypion (c. 1770s – after 1836), an African-Natchez woman born into slavery in St. Louis who sued for and eventually won her freedom.
  • Maria al-Qibtiyya (died 637), also known as "Maria the Copt" (Arabic: مارية القبطية‎) or, alternatively, Maria Qupthiya, a Coptic slave who was sent as a gift from Muqawqis, a Byzantine official, to the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 628, and became Muhammad's wife. She was the mother of Muhammad's son Ibrahim, who died in infancy. Her sister, Sirin, was also sent to Muhammad. Muhammad gave her to his follower Hassan ibn Thabit. Maria never remarried after Muhammad's death in 632, and died five years later.
  • Maria, (d. 1716), the leader of a slave rebellion on Curaçao.
  • Maria Perkins, a slave from Virginia who wrote a letter to her husband in 1852 about their son being sold away.[89]
  • Marie-Cessette Dumas, a slave of Marquis Antoine de la Pailleterie, mother of General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, and grandmother of famous author Alexandre Dumas, père.
  • Marie-Josèphe dite Angélique (died 1734), a black Portuguese slave who was tried and convicted, beaten and hanged for setting fire to her female owner's home, burning much of what is now referred to as Old Montreal.
  • Mark, Massachusetts slave of Captain John Codman.[90] Mark's body was displayed in chains publicly near Charleston, Massachusetts for twenty years. The gruesome display of his body was so well known at the time, the site where Mark's body was displayed is mentioned by Paul Revere as a landmark, in his 1798 account of Revere's 1775 midnight ride.[91]
  • Mary, mother of George Washington Carver.
  • Mary Black, one of three slaves charged with witchcraft during the Salem witch trials of 1692.
  • Mary Calhoun, white woman and cousin of John C. Calhoun who was kidnapped by Cherokee. She never returned home.[1]
  • Mary Edmonson (1832–1853), along with her sister Emily, joined an unsuccessful 1848 escape attempt known as the Pearl incident, but Henry Ward Beecher and his church raised the funds to free them.
  • Mary Prince (c. 1788 – after 1833), the account of her life galvanized the anti-slavery movement in England.
  • The Master of Morton and the eldest son of the Chief of Clan Oliphant, two Scottish nobles who were exiled from Scotland after being implicated in the 1582 Raid of Ruthven. The ship in which they sailed was lost at sea, and it was rumoured that they had been caught by a Dutch ship. The last report was that they were slaves on a Turkish ship in the Mediterranean. A plaque to their memory was raised in the church in Algiers.
  • Masúd, initially purchased as a youth by Khál-i Akbar, an uncle of the Báb, Masúd would serve Bahá'u'lláh in Acre.[92]
  • Mende Nazer (b. c. 1982), a Nuba woman captured in Darfur and transported from Sudan to London, where she eventually won refugee status and wrote the memoir Slave: My True Story (2002).
  • Hans Mergest, a participant in the Crusade of Varna who was captured by the Ottomans in the Battle of Varna (1444) and spent 16 years in captivity. He was the protagonist of a song by the minnesinger Michael Beheim.
  • Shadrach Minkins (1814–1875), a fugitive slave saved by abolitionists at Boston in 1850.
  • Michael Shiner (1805 -1880), enslaved laborer, painter entrepreneur, civic leader and diarist at the Washington Navy Yard.
  • Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616), author of Don Quixote de la Mancha, the first modern novel. He spent five years as a slave and property of the viceroy of Algiers after being captured by Barbary pirates.[93]
  • Miguel Perez was the Spanish name of a boy of the Yojuane people who was among 149 Yojuane women and children taken captive in 1759, during an attack on their camp by an expedition of Spaniards and Apaches along the Red River in what is now northern Texas.[94] Many of the captives died of smallpox while those who survived were made into slaves.[95] The boy was sold to a Spanish soldier who bestowed the Spanish name on him. Perez became a Hispanicized Indian of San Antonio but he continued to maintain contact with the Yojuanes. In 1786, Perez was recruited to convince the Yojuanes and their Tonkawa allies to go to war with the Lipan Apache, which he did successfully.[94]
  • Mingo, the slave of the Titsworth family in Tennessee, who was captured by Creeks in a raid on the house and kept as a slave by them.[96]
  • Minerva (Anderson) Breedlove, mother of Madam C.J. Walker.
  • Hájí Mubárak, purchased at the age of 5 years old by Hájí Mírzá Abú'l-Qásím, the great-grandfather of Shoghi Effendi and brother-in-law of the Báb, Hájí Mubárak was sold to the Báb in 1842 at the age of 19 for fourteen tomans.[97] Hájí Mubárak died at about the age of 40 and is buried in the grounds of the Imam Husayn Shrine in Karbala, Iraq.
  • Muyahid ibn Yusuf ibn Ali, 11th-century leader of the Saqaliba (slaves of supposed Slavic origin) in Dénia, Spain (then part of Muslim Al Andalus). Taking advantage of the crumbling of the Caliphate of Córdoba, he and his followers rebelled, freed themselves, seized control of the city and established the Taifa of Dénia, a city-state which at its peak extended its reach as far as the island of Majorca.


  • Nancy Caffrey, a white captive enslaved by a Creek. When trader John O'Reilly attempted to ransom her and Elsey Thompson, he was told they were not taken captive to be allowed to go back, but to work.[40]
  • Nanny of the Maroons, also known as Granny Nanny and Queen Nanny, Jamaican Maroons leader.
  • Nat Turner (1800–1831), escaped and led revolt in Southampton County, Virginia.[35]
  • Nathan McMillian, who as a freedman sued for the admission of his children to a local "Croatan Indian" school on the grounds that it was for all non-white children, and that his children had Croatan blood on their mother's side.[98]
  • Neaera, a former slave and prostitute whom the Athenian Stephanus married against the law, according to a speech of Demosthenes.[99]
  • Nero Hawley (1742–1817), a freed slave who served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and was buried in Trumbull, Connecticut.
  • Newport Gardner (1746–1826), a freed slave in colonial Newport, Rhode Island.
  • Ng Akew (died 1880), a Tanka slave in Hong Kong famed for a piracy scandal.
  • Saint Nino (c. 280 – c. 332), a 4th-century Roman woman from Constantinople who is greatly venerated for having brought Christianity to Georgia. By some of the accounts of her life, she originally came to Georgia as a slave kidnapped from her homeland.
  • Afife Nurbanu Sultan (c. 1525 – 1583), née Cecilia Venier-Baffo, an enslaved Venetian noblewoman who became the most favored wife of Ottoman Sultan Selim II and the highly influential mother of Sultan Murad III.


Omar ibn Said, a Senegalese Islamic scholar enslaved in North Carolina for more than 50 years, circa 1850
  • Oenomaus a Gallic gladiator and one of the leaders of rebellious slaves during the Third Servile War
  • Olaudah Equiano (c. 1745 – 1797), also known as Gustavus Vassa, a prominent African-British author and figure in the abolitionist cause whose birthplace is heavily contested.
  • Omar ibn Said (1770–1864), a writer and Islamic scholar from Senegal who was enslaved and transported to the United States in 1807, where he spent the rest of his life as a slave.
  • Onesimus, a slave of Philemon of Colossae who ran away and, having met St. Paul, was converted by him. Paul sent him back to the Christian Philemon with a letter, which is the Epistle to Philemon. Ignatius of Antioch mentions an Onesimus as Bishop of Ephesus in the early 2nd century, but it is not certain that these are the same men.
  • Oney Judge (1773–1848), enslaved by the family of Martha Washington, and then by the First Lady herself, Judge worked at Mount Vernon and elsewhere as a personal servant to Martha Washington until she escaped in 1796.
  • Owen Fitzpen, an English merchant who was taken captive by Barbary pirates in 1620 and subsequently escaped.
  • Owen Breedlove, father of Madam C.J. Walker.


  • Harriet Evans Paine, (c. 1822 – 1917), Texas slave and later oral historian and storyteller.
  • Pallas (freedman), secretary to the Roman emperor Claudius.
  • Juan de Pareja (1606–1670), a slave of Spanish artist Diego Velázquez. Velázquez trained him as a painter and freed him in 1650.
  • Pasion, an Athenian slave and banker.[25] Late in life, he received the rare honor for a freedman of citizenship.[100]
  • Saint Patrick, abducted from Britain, enslaved in Ireland, escaped to Britain, returned to Ireland as a missionary.[101]
  • Patsey (b. c. 1830), an African-American slave that lived in the mid-1800s in South Carolina.
  • Paul Jennings (1799–1874), personal servant and slave to President James Madison during and after his White House years, bought his freedom in 1845 from Daniel Webster. Noted for publishing the first White House memoir, 1865's A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison.[102]
  • Paul Smith, a free black who accused the Cherokee headman Doublehead of kidnapping him and forcing him into bondage.[103]
  • Peggy Titsworth, enslaved at 13 after a Creek raid on her Tennessee home.[96]
  • Pete and Hannah Byrne, freed slaves of the Napoleon Bonaparte Byrne family which traveled from Missouri to California overland (a six-month journey) in 1859, leaving the farm in Missouri and bringing six adults (including Pete & Hannah), the four Byrne children and a herd of cattle and settling in Berkeley, California. Pete and Hannah are considered the first blacks living in Berkeley and among the first African-Americans in California.[104][105]
  • Peter Salem (c. 1750–1816), African American born into slavery in Massachusetts, served as a soldier in the American Revolutionary War
  • Petronia Justa, a woman in Herculaneum who sued her master claiming to have been born after her mother's emanicipation; the records of the lawsuit were preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius.[106]
  • Phaedo of Elis, captured in war, enslaved in Athens and forced into prostitution,[107] became a pupil of Socrates who had him freed, gave his name to one of Plato's dialogues, Phaedo and became a famous philosopher in his own right.
  • Phaedrus (c. 15 BCE – c. 50 CE), Roman fabulist.
  • Phillis, a Massachusetts slave of Captain John Codman. Convicted in the successful plot to poison her master as she and her fellow slaves "found the rigid discipline of their master unendurable"[108], Phillis was burned to death in 1755.
  • Phillis Wheatley (1753–1784?), Colonial American poet, the second published African-American poet and first published African-American woman.
  • Phoebe, a slave who sued for her freedom in Tennessee, along with her sons Davy and Tom, claiming to be the descendants of an enslaved Indian woman whose sister and other relatives had proven that they were wrongly enslaved.[109]
  • Philocrates, slave of the 2nd-century BCE Roman reformer Gaius Gracchus. He remained at his master's side when Gracchus was fleeing from his enemies, forsaken by everybody else. Arriving at a grove sacred to the Furies, Philocrates first assisted Gracchus in his suicide before taking his own life, though some rumors held that Philocrates was only killed after he refused to let go of his master's body.
  • Phormion, an Athenian slave and banker.[25] Late in life, he received the rare honor for a freedman of citizenship.[100]
  • Piruz Nahavandi, killer of the Caliph Umar.
  • Pope Pius I, the Bishop of Rome from about 140 to about 154, during the reign of the Roman Emperor Antonius Pius. He was the brother of the freedman Hermas and therefore likely to have been a former slave himself, though that is not mentioned explicitly in the scant records of his life.
  • Polly, the subject of the 1820 Indiana Supreme Court case Polly v. Lasselle, which resulted in all slaves held within Indiana to be freed.
  • Polly Berry, also known as Polly Crockett and Polly Wash, won an 1843 freedom suit in St. Louis, Missouri and also gained the freedom of her daughter Lucy Ann Berry.
  • Politoria, the subject of a lead curse tablet in ancient Rome; it was a curse on Clodia Valeria Sophrone, that she should not get Politoria into her power. She appears to have been a slave-courtesan who feared being sent to the brothel.[110]
  • Prosper, a slave murdered by his owner Arthur William Hodge, for which Hodge was tried and executed, the first (and virtually only) such case ever recorded.
  • A pregnant Thrall whose name is not preserved, who was fleeing for her life in 11th-century Oslo, was given refuge on the boat of Hallvard Vebjørnsson, who tried to shield her but was killed together with her by the attackers' arrows, for which he was canonised and became the patron saint of Oslo.[111]
  • Publilius Syrus (fl. 85 – 43 BCE), a Latin writer best known for his sententiae. He was a Syrian who was brought as a slave to Italy.



Portrait of Roustam Raza, the mamluck of Napoleon by Horace Vernet (1810)
  • Rachel, the subject of the 1834 Rachel v. Walker case in the Supreme Court of Missouri which ruled that an Army officer forfeited his slave if he took the person to territory where slavery is prohibited.[112] This ruling was cited as precedent in 1856 in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case before the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Rachel of Kittery, Maine (died 1695), enslaved woman murdered by her master whose case set a legal precedent in New England.
  • Rachel Knight (died 1889), originally a slave owned by the grandfather of Newton Knight, the well-known Southern Unionist who during the American Civil War defied the Confederacy in the rebellion known as the Free State of Jones. After the war, Rachel was emancipated along with the other slaves. By the mid-1870s, Knight had separated from his wife, Serena, and married Rachel. In this period, Knight's grown son, Mat (from his first wife), married Rachel's grown daughter, Fannie, from a previous union. Knight's daughter, Molly, married Rachel's son, Jeff, making three interracial families in the community. Newton and Rachel Knight had several children before her death in 1889.
  • Rebecca Huger, a slave freed by General Benjamin F. Butler in New Orleans, and described in a Harper's Weekly article as being to all appearance white, and having come to a school for emancipated slaves in Philadelphia.[27]
  • Remigio Herrera (c. 1810s – 1905), a Cuban slave who became a revered priest in Regla.
  • Pleasant Richardson was an escaped slave who became a Union soldier and property owner in Fincastle, Virginia.
  • Robert Blake, earned the Medal of Honor as a sailor during the American Civil War, after becoming a "contraband" (i.e. a slave freed by Unionist forces) and enlisting.
  • Robert Drury (1687 – between 1743 and 1750), an English sailor who was shipwrecked on the island of Madagascar in 1702, and remained there as a slave until 1717.
  • Robert Smalls (1839–1915), led a boatload of slaves to freedom and was later a politician.
  • Robin and Polly Holmes, the plaintiffs in the 1853 Holmes v. Ford court case in the Oregon Territory that freed their children. The decision re-affirmed that slavery was illegal in the territory as outlined in the Organic Laws of Oregon that were continued once the region became a U.S. territory.
  • Rosina Downs, a slave freed by General Benjamin F. Butler in New Orleans, and described in a Harper's Weekly article as being to all appearance white, and having come to a school for emancipated slaves in Philadelphia.[27]
  • Roustam Raza (1783–1845), Napoleon Bonaparte's Armenian bodyguard.
  • Samson Rowlie, Chief Eunuch and Treasurer of Algiers.
  • Roxelana (c. 1502 – 1558), a concubine and later wife to the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and mother of Selim II.


Solomon Northup from Twelve Years a Slave
  • Sabuktigin (c. 942 – 997), full name Abu Mansur Sabuktigin, captured and sold into slavery at a young age, rose to become a general and eventually a king and the founder of the Ghaznavid Empire in Medieval Iran.
  • Safiye Sultan (c. 1550 – c. 1619), an enslaved Venetian woman who was placed in the harem of the Ottoman Sultan Murad III and became the mother of Sultan Mehmed III.
  • Salem Poor (1747–1802), an African-American slave who purchased his freedom, and a war hero during the American Revolutionary War.
  • Sally Hemings (1773–1835), a mixed-race slave of Thomas Jefferson believed by many to have had six children with him, four of whom survived to adulthood.
  • Sally Miller or Salomé Müller (b. c. 1814), an American slave whose freedom suit in Louisiana was based on her claimed status as a free German immigrant and indentured servant.[113]
  • Salvius, also known as Tryphon, leader of the 104 BCE slave rebellion in Sicily known as the Second Servile War.
  • Sambo, a black captive of Tiger King, a Lower Creek, who told the traveler William Bartram that Sambo was his family property.[114]
  • Samuel Green (c. 1802 – 1877), a slave who bought his freedom and freedom for his loved ones, was involved with the Underground Railroad, and was jailed in 1857 for carrying a copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
  • Sandy Jenkins, a slave who Frederick Douglass mentioned in his first autobiography.
  • Sara Forbes Bonetta (1843–1880), an Egbado princess of the Yoruba who was orphaned in intertribal warfare, sold into slavery as a child, was rescued by Captain Frederick E. Forbes of the Royal Navy and taken to the United Kingdom where she became a goddaughter to Queen Victoria.
  • Satrelanus, from Gaul, sold by Ermedruda to Toto in Milan in 725.[115]
  • Scipio Africanus (c. 1702 – 1720).
  • Scipio Moorhead, enslaved artist.
  • Scipio Vaughan (c. 1784 – c. 1840), was captured from his homeland in Africa at a young age and sold into slavery in the United States. He became a skilled artisan in Camden, South Carolina; gained his freedom and inspired a movement among some of his descendants.
  • Servius Tullius, ancient King of Rome said to have started life as a slave (though this was disputed, among both Romans and modern historians).
  • Seymour Burr (1754/1762–1837), fought for the Continental Army in the American Revolution.
  • Shaghab (died 933), mother and co-ruler of the eighteenth Abbasid Caliph al-Muqtadir.
  • Sojourner Truth (c. 1797 – 1883), an abolitionist and women's rights activist.
  • Solomon Bayley (1771–1839), wrote a book in 1825 about his life as a slave.
  • Solomon Northup (1807 – c. 1863),[116][117] a farmer, professional violinist, and free-born black man from New York who was lured to Washington, D.C., where slavery was legal, kidnapped, and sold in the South. He remained enslaved in Louisiana from 1841 until he was rescued and liberated in 1853. Author of Twelve Years a Slave.
  • Solomon Flores, slave from northern Alabama.
  • Sosias the Thracian, an Athenian slave, and later freedman, of Nicias, who later leased him a thousand slaves for his mining operation.[25]
  • Spartacus (c. 111 – 71 BCE), a gladiator and rebel leader during the Servile Revolt.
The Death of Spartacus by Hermann Vogel (1882)
  • Stephen Bishop (c. 1821 – 1857), a mixed-race slave in Kentucky known for being one of the first explorers and guides of Mammoth Cave.
  • Sue, a black slave of James Brown, who was captured along with several members of the Brown family and other slaves by Chickamaugas. When the warrior who had captured her threatened another captive, the other captor threatened to kill Sue in retribution.[118] James' son Joseph later kidnapped Sue and her children and grandchildren—eight in all—in retribution for his captivity.[119]
  • Suhayb ar-Rumi (b. c. 587), also known as Suhayb ibn Sinan, enslaved in childhood in the Byzantine Empire, escaped as a young man to Mecca and went on to become an esteemed companion of Muhammad and revered member of the early Muslim community.
  • Sumayyah bint Khayyat (550–615), a woman slave in Mecca and one of the first seven converts to Islam made by the Prophet Muhammad in his early career. She was tortured and killed by the new faith's enemies, becoming the first Muslim Shahid.
  • Squanto (1585–1622), also known as Tisquantum, a Native American of what is now coastal Massachusetts who was captured by English pirates and sold as a slave. He was later freed and returned to New England, where he met the Pilgrims of the Mayflower in 1621.
  • Subh of Cordoba (940–999), a slave concubine of a Caliph and mother and regent of the next Caliph of Cordoba in the 10th century.
  • Suk-bin Choe (1670–1718), consort of Sukjong of Joseon and mother of Yeongjo of Joseon.


Portrait of Thomas Peters, an African-American slave who escaped to Canada and later helped found the West African nation of Sierra Leone
  • Thomas Peters (1738–1792), born Thomas Potters, one of the founding fathers of Sierra Leone. A former slave who fled North Carolina during the American Revolutionary War, Peters was a Black Loyalist member of the British Black Company of Pioneers, became a sergeant, and settled and married in Nova Scotia. He recruited African settlers in Nova Scotia for the colonization of Sierra Leone and later became a leader in Freetown.
  • Thomas Sims (born 1834), an enslaved African American who escaped slavery in Georgia to Boston, Massachusetts, only to be recaptured under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and to escape to Boston once more.
  • Thomas-Alexandre Dumas (25 March 1762 – 26 February 1806) French general and father of Alexandre_Dumas.
  • Thumal, administrator of justice to the eighteenth Abbasid Caliph al-Muqtadir.
  • T. Aelius Dionysius, a freedman of the late Roman Empire, who created a stela for himself, his wife, and Aelius Perseus, his fellow freedman, and their freedman and those who came after them.[120]
  • T. Claudius Dionysius, a freedman whose freedwoman wife Claudia Prepontis erected a funerary altar to him. Their clasped hands, depicted on it, show the legitimacy of their marriage, possible only once they obtained their freedom.[28]
  • Terence (c. 195/185 – c. 159 BCE), full name Publius Terentius Afer, Roman playwright and comic poet who wrote before and possibly after his freedom.
  • Tiberius Claudius Narcissus, freed slave who was secretary to the Roman emperor Claudius in the 1st century.
  • Tituba, a 17th-century Native American slave woman who was owned by Samuel Parris of Danvers, Massachusetts. She was the first person accused of practicing witchcraft during the 1692 Salem witch trials.[121]
  • Tomás Ortega, a slave in colonial Mexico who attempted to marry Leonor de Mendoza, a slave of another master. When her master imprisoned Tomás, Leonor appealed to a church court for assistance, and it threatened excommunication for the master if he did not free Tomás.[80]
  • Toussaint L'Ouverture (1743–1803), a freed slave who led the slave revolt that led to the independence of Haiti.
  • Tula (died 1795), a leader of the Curaçao Slave Revolt of 1795.
  • Turgut Reis (1485–1565), also known as Dragut, a well-known admiral of the Ottoman Navy of the 16th century who was captured by the Genoese at Corsica and forced to work as a galley slave for nearly four years. He was finally rescued by his fellow admiral Barbarossa, who laid siege to Genoa and secured Turgut Reis' release for the prodigious ransom of 3,500 gold ducats. Thereupon, Turgut Reis resumed his naval career (which included the enslavement of various other people).


  • Ukawsaw Gronniosaw (1705–1775), also known as James Albert, a freed slave turned writer whose autobiography is considered the first published by an African in Britain.


  • Venture Smith (1729–1805), an African captured as a child and transported to the American colonies as a slave. When an adult, he purchased his freedom and that of his family – his wife Meg and their children Hannah, Solomon and Cuff. His history was documented and published by a schoolteacher, to whom he talked in his old age.
  • The Vestmenn ("West Men" in Old Norse, referring to the Irish) were a group of Irish slaves brought to Iceland by Hjörleifr Hróðmarsson, one of the early Norse settlers there. He treated them badly, and they killed him and escaped to a group of offshore islands. Ingólfur Arnarson, Hjörleifur's blood brother, tracked the escaped slaves and killed them all. Though their individual names are unknown, their memory lives on in Icelandic geography, the islands where they sought refuge being known up to the present as "Vestmannaeyjar": "Islands of the West Men" (i.e. of the Irish).
  • Vincent de Paul (1581–1660), a French priest who is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. He was taken captive by Turkish pirates, sold into slavery, and freed in 1607.[122]
  • Vibia Calybeni, a freedwoman of the late Roman Empire who unusually named herself as a madam on her tombstone.[123]
  • Virginia Boyd, an American slave woman whose letter to R.C. Ballard, pleading not to be sold with her children among strangers, has been preserved. Ballard had undertaken to have her sold at the request of Judge Samuel Boyd, the children's father, to hide her existence from his family.
  • Violet Ludlow, an American woman sold as a slave several times despite her claims to be a free white woman.[27]
  • Volumnia Cytheris, a slave and later freedwoman in ancient Rome. An actress and courtesan, her lovers included Brutus, Mark Antony, and Cornelius Gallus; her rejection of Gallus provided the theme for Virgil's tenth Eclogue.[124]


Photograph of Wes Brady, ex-slave, taken in Marshall, Texas, in 1937 as part of the Federal Writers' Project Slave Narrative Collection
  • Wes Brady (1849–?), of Marshall, Texas, was included in the Federal Writers' Project Slave Narrative Collection.
  • William Ellison (1790–1861), a slave of mixed race who, after gaining his freedom, became a slaveholder himself, producing cotton.
  • William (1824–1900) and Ellen Craft (1826–1891), a married slave couple from Macon, Georgia whose daring escape to the North in 1848 made them among the most famous fugitive slaves in the country.
  • William Harvey Carney (1840–1908), a soldier during the American Civil War who received the Medal of Honor after his escape from slavery.
  • William Henry, nicknamed "Jerry", a slave who escaped from Missouri but was arrested in Syracuse, New York in 1851 before being rescued by abolitionists from being extradited under the Fugitive Slave Law.
  • William Lee (1750–1828), personal servant to George Washington who served with him during the American Revolutionary War and was the only slave freed via Washington's will.
  • Wulfstan, a slave in Anglo-Saxon England, and his two sons and stepdaughter. They were freed by his mistress Æthelgifu's will.[37]
  • Wu Rui (吳瑞), a 15th-century enslaved eunuch in what is now Vietnam. He was the youngest of thirteen Chinese men from Wenchang whose ship was blown off course and who were subsequently enslaved by the Lê dynasty. As recorded in the Ming Shi-lu, his companions were made agricultural laborers while Wu Rui was castrated and became an attendant at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long. After years of service, he was promoted at the death of the Vietnamese ruler in 1497 to a military position in northern Vietnam. A soldier told him of an escape route back to China and Wu Rui escaped to Longzhou. The local chief planned to sell him back to the Vietnamese, but Wu was rescued by the Pingxiang magistrate and then was sent to Beijing to work as a eunuch in the palace.
  • Wyatt Lee (c. 1822 – 1863), the first husband of Dr. Rebecca Davis Lee Crumpler. He escaped slavery in Virginia.[125]


  • Xenon, an Athenian slave and banker.[25]


  • Yaqut al-Hamawi (1179–1229), an Arab biographer and geographer known for his encyclopedic writings on the Muslim world. He was sold into slavery in 12th-century Syria and taken to Baghdad, but was provided with a good education by an enlightened owner and later freed.
  • Yasār, a 7th Century Christian man who had been captured in a campaign of Khalid ibn al-Walid, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad. Yasār was taken to Medina and became the slave of Qays ibn Makhrama ibn al-Muṭṭalib ibn ʿAbd Manāf ibn Quṣayy. He accepted Islam, was manumitted and became his mawlā, thus acquiring the nisbat al-Muṭṭalibī. He had three sons – Mūsā, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, and Isḥāq. His grandson, Ibn Ishaq, became an important early Arab historian.
  • York (1770 – before 1832), an African-American slave of William Clark who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition.


  • Zalmoxis, a Dacian who was a slave of Pythagoras on the island of Samos, according to Herodotus. Zalmoxis learned philosophy from his master and other wise Greeks. Eventually he was liberated, gathered huge wealth and went back to his homeland, where he converted the Thracians to his beliefs, was greatly venerated for his wisdom and in later generations became worshiped as a god.
  • Zayd ibn Haritha (c. 581 – 629), given to Muhammad's wife Khadijah, freed, adopted, and became known as Zayd ibn Muhammad.
  • Ziryab (789–857), also known as Abul-Hasan Alí Ibn Nafí, a Muslim singer, musician, and polymath known for introducing the crop asparagus to Europe.
  • Zoe, a Christian martyr (see Exuperius and Zoe).
  • Zumbi (1655–1695), a slave in 17th-century Brazil who escaped and joined the Quilombo dos Palmares, the largest ever settlement of escaped slaves in colonial Brazil, becoming its last and most famous leader.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Christina Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country: The Changing Face of Captivity in Early America, p 141 ISBN 978-0-674-04890-4
  2. ^ Christine Fell, Women in Anglo-Saxon England: and the Impact of 1066, p 49, ISBN 0-7141-8057-2
  3. ^ Charter S 1539 at the Electronic Sawyer
  4. ^ Elaine Fantham, Helene Peet Foley, Natalie Boymel Kampen, Sarah B. Pomeroy, H. A. Shapiro, Women in the Classical World p 370 ISBN 0-19-509862-5
  5. ^ a b c Fell, Women in Anglo-Saxon England, p. 97
  6. ^ "St. Agathoclia", Catholic Saints
  7. ^ Gross (2008), What Blood Won't Tell, p. 1
  8. ^ Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, p 39
  9. ^ Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, pp. 201–202
  10. ^ Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, pp. 140–1
  11. ^ Timothy Hugh Barrett (1989). Singular listlessness: a short history of Chinese books and British scholars. Wellsweep. p. 33. ISBN 0-948454-04-0. Retrieved November 4, 2011. This man, who as far as we know was the first interpreter to try to impart a knowledge of Chinese to Englishman, was one of a number of black slaves from Macao who managed to escape into Chinese territory2. Presumably Antonio and Mundy(the University of Michigan)
  12. ^ Ariela J. Gross (2008), What Blood Won't Tell: A History of Race on Trial in America, p 31 ISBN 978-0-674-03130-2
  13. ^ "Who was Aqualtune?
  14. ^ Maria Aparecida Schumaher, Erico teixeira Vital Brazil, Dicionário Mulheres do Brasil: de 1500 até a atualidade, ISBN 9788571105737
  15. ^ Arthur Crumpler at Find a Grave
  16. ^ ""Augustine Tolton: From slavery to being the first black priest"[permanent dead link], Catholic Church
  17. ^ Fantham, et al.,Women in the Classical World pp. 319–20
  18. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainFournet, Pierre August (1907). "St. Bathilde". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. 2. New York: Robert Appleton.
  19. ^ Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, p. 185
  20. ^ Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, p 168
  21. ^ Fantham et al., Women in the Classical World, p. 268
  22. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainKirsch, Johan Peter (1907). "St. Blandina". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. 2. New York: Robert Appleton.
  23. ^ Williams, Emily Allen (2004). The Critical Response to Kamau Brathwaite. Praeger Publishers. p. 235. ISBN 0-275-97957-1.
  24. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChapman, Henry Palmer (1908). "Pope Callistus I". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. 3. New York: Robert Appleton.
  25. ^ a b c d e f Yvon Garlan, Slavery in Ancient Greece, p 67 ISBN 0-8014-9504-0
  26. ^ Karen Halttunen, Murder Most Foul, p175 ISBN 0-674-58855-X
  27. ^ a b c d Tenzer, Lawrence R. (October 2001). "White Slaves". The Multiracial Activist. Archived from the original on November 9, 2011.
  28. ^ a b Elaine Fantham, Helene Peet Foley, Natalie Boymel Kampen, Sarah B. Pomeroy, H. A. Shapiro, Women in the Classical World pp 320–1 ISBN 0-19-509862-5
  29. ^ Wikisource Grieve, Alexander James; Robinson, Joseph Armitage (1911). "Clement I". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 482–483.
  30. ^ Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, p 196
  31. ^ David Granger (1992). "Guyana coins". El Dorado, 2nd Issue, p.20-22. Retrieved 6 July 2008.
  32. ^ Elaine Fantham, Helene Peet Foley, Natalie Boymel Kampen, Sarah B. Pomeroy, H. A. Shapiro, Women in the Classical World p 268 ISBN 0-19-509862-5
  33. ^ Christina Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country: The Changing Face of Captivity in Early America, p 133 ISBN 978-0-674-04890-4
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  39. ^ Christine Fell, Women in Anglo-Saxon England: and the impact of 1066, p 86, ISBN 0-7141-8057-2
  40. ^ a b Christina Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country: The Changing Face of Captivity in Early America, p 130 ISBN 978-0-674-04890-4
  41. ^ Daniel K. Richter, Facing East from Indian Country, p 243, ISBN 0-674-00638-0
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