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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Manumission:
  • Write a stub on modern manumission, such as in the US
  • Mention the legal status of manumission (for instance some US states banned or taxed the practice to discourage freeing slaves)
  • Write a stub on experiences in the Caribbean and, specifically, in Brazil, the country which received more African slaves than anywhere else and where largescale manumission contributed to the myth of racial democracy that's perpetuated today.


I've deleted the picture of freed slaves voting in New Orleans in 1867.

The reason is that these people would have presumably been freed by the abolition of slavery at the end of the Civil War in 1865, rather than manumitted (freed by an individual owner while the instituation of slavery still existed). Apeloverage (talk) 11:39, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

I added some new material. Entry is now out of balance and proabably needs restructuring and elaborating. Flounderer 23:43, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Current article says:

In Rome former slaves... did not gain all the rights of a Roman citizen.

And yet in it says:

It was the exceptional feature of ancient Rome that almost all slaves freed by Roman owners automatically received Roman citizenship.

This disparity needs to be corrected or better explained.

Richard Ford, in his novel "The Lay of the Land," uses the term in a novel fashion to mean something quite different but literally correct ("to send off by hand"), when he writes of his protagonist's morning routine including "a manumitting interlude in the men's room."Jjoffe 14:01, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Slaves in Modern Times?[edit]

Shouldn't this article have something on manumission of slaves in America in the early 19th century? Some were freed contingent on them going to Africa, esp. Liberia, or to Haiti, I think. According to D. W. Meinig, The Shaping of America, Vol. II, p. 305 ff., this was a thinly-disguised deportation project. Most of the freed slaves didn't want to go to Africa, with which they retained little affinity. 20:25, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree that this article should not just be about manumission in ancient Rome and Greece--if anyone feels like writing sections about other contexts, that would be great. --Brian Z 15:05, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

I came here via a search on the meaning of the word "manumitted" as used in the non-fictional book "Modern Medea", Steven Weisenburger, 1998, being chiefly an account of the attempted escape of a family of Kentucky slaves in 1856, the subsequent murder of the youngest child by her mother,

and the resulting ramifications in press and legal circles throughout the country, and which contains many, many references, most garnered through original research by the author. In particular the issue of male slaveowners siring children by female slaves is one where "everybody knows but nobody says anything", or certainly, ever wrote such stuff down, so it is particularly challenging to handle in a scholarly, objective fashion without appearing to have one's own bias. Denying it happened because of a lack of references may not be a wise policy. User:John Tucker August 18, 2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:07, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

There are issues here of both content and reference, in particular with the US history of Manumission. According to the sources I have read, manumission was a legal status bounded by both Common Law and Statute that varied by state: see Thomas Morris,"Southern Slavery and The Law: 1619-1860", 1996. See an abstract of the book with the link below.


Also manumission was complicated over time by issues of debt belonging to slave owners. For example, Dolly Madison sold Paul Jennings (James Madison's personal servant) to Daniel Webster largely to remove him from the court proceedings surrounding the family debt (Webster had Jennings pay a monthly fee to cover the $180 payment, but clearly this was a mechanism to manumit him outside of Virginia). [2] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:04, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Delphi and tobacco?[edit]

The "Motivations" section mentions "Manumission contracts found in... Delphi specify... the prerequisites for liberation. For instance, in the early years of slavery (before 1865)..." and goes on to give an example involving tobacco and rice. This is entirely inconsistent and connects two very distant timeframes in almost the same context. (Pre-1865 are hardly "early" years of anything in relation to Delphi.) These statements really should be clearly separated, and ideally more detailed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:23, 22 November 2008 (UTC)


Since this article is found in a catagory for "surfdom," shouldn't manumission of mideval surfs be discussed? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chamberlian (talkcontribs) 23:05, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

It should, and probably in a separate article. The Polish Wikipedia corresponding article focuses primarily on serfdom instead of slavery. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 04:08, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

pecunium vs pecuniam vs peculium?[edit]

This article uses the word "pecunium"; is it correct, or should it be either "pecuniam" or "peculium"? I'm having trouble finding a definition for pecunium. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:51, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Slavery in Islamic countries and manumission[edit]

References are given, but no content related to this. Parkwells (talk) 13:19, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Comparative practices[edit]

Not sure of the value of including content on ancient and nineteenth-century societies. More to the point, at least for comparison, would be inclusion of material for how France and Spain handled manumission of slaves in their colonies. The planters of the South liked to compare themselves to the ancient slave societies, but do not appear to have adopted much from them. Parkwells (talk) 13:19, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Jewish manumission[edit]

The article is misleading and needs an expert. While not always rigorously practiced, rabbinical Judaism actually made it a sin to manumit a non-Jewish slave and it was held to be one of the 613 mitzvot to hold a non-Jewish slave indefinitely. The article overlooks the fact that Judaism traditionally had a negative outlook toward the manumission of non-Jewish slaves and arbitrary manumission as practiced by the Greeks or the Romans was technically prohibited in rabbinical Judaism. It's against this backdrop that certain allowances for manumission were permitted. Slaves could gain their freedom if they were seriously maimed (with various Talmudic restrictions imposed by the rabbis of the Talmud regarding intentionality and the extent of injuries) or if freeing a slave would allow for the performance of a significant mitzvah that would benefit more than a single Jew. (Freeing a slave for the purposes of holding a minyan when short the required number of free Jewish men being the classic example). It was sometimes ruled that if there was a risk of illicit intercourse between a Jewish man and a non-Jewish slave woman, then the non-Jewish woman could be freed so that she would automatically be considered a ger (convert) and have the ability to accept or reject a marriage contract. Finally, the Talmud discusses circumstances under which a slave could purchase his or her freedom (and, among other things, discusses about the need for a trusted third party to hold the money as the slave couldn't own property), but it was understood that the slave owner was still violating a mitzvah in permitting this, and this was discouraged even if allowances were made for the event it occurred. (talk) 18:15, 5 September 2012 (UTC) R

Pulling MERGE banner[edit]

After nearly a year, it's clear that proposed merger to Freedman has no juice. I'm bolding pulling down the banner. Carrite (talk) 17:21, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Correct date of law[edit]

There's a statement:

However, as population of free negroes increased, the state passed laws forbidding free negroes from moving into the state (1793) and requiring newly freed slaves to leave within one year unless they had special permission (1806)

It is sourced to:

Wilson, Black Codes (1965), p. 16

That book isn't listed in the bibliography. I can find reference to a book The Black Codes of the South by Theodore Brantner Wilson but that book is 1967, not 1965. Different date, different title, but is it the same book?

My concern is that it is used to support the date of 1793 for laws ""forbidding free negroes from moving into the state"". In contrast Taylor (location 598 in Kindle) refers to laws in Virginia but in 1778. How do we sort this out? Does any one have a copy of Wilson?--S Philbrick(Talk) 21:25, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

I changed the date to 1778 which is clearly supported by Taylor.--S Philbrick(Talk) 15:38, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

prohibition of private manumission in 1820[edit]

Apparently private manumission was prohibited in 1820 in the US. I will post the source when i find it again, but even this source only mentioned it and provided no further information. --Espoo (talk) 07:44, 14 July 2016 (UTC)