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slavery in pennsylvania
Adams County 1800 septennial census

listing of enslaved persons

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took an enumeration of taxable inhabitants every seven years. Known as the Septennial Census, this enumeration also listed slaves in each county, by township, for some of the years. The amount of information on the slaves varies greatly. Some Adams County townships list slaveholder names, others list the slave's name. None of them list both together.  Some of the slaveholders in this list were also listed in the county slave registration (A-Z) lists, and we have added links to those listings for those persons.

Few slaves younger than 20 are listed, indicating that only the slaves born before November 1780 were enumerated, they being considered "Slaves for Life." Children of slaves born after that date were to be freed upon their 28th birthday, according to the Gradual Emancipation Act of 1780. These children, although held in bondage for 28 years, were officially called "servants," and often not counted in tax and census listings as slaves. There are some exceptions.

townships listed

Berwick | Germany | Hamilton Bann & Liberty
Heidelberg & Manheim | Reading | Mount Joy
Cumberland | Franklin | Straban
Mount Pleasant
Statistics | Source

extracted slavery data

"Enumeration of the Taxable Inhabitants and Slaves of Adams County, Dec. 16, 1800."

Berwick Township

  • Slaveholders
    • Bettinger, Nicholas
      1. Male slave, aged 28
    • Brugle, Peter
      1. Male slave, aged 33
    • Slagle, David
      1. Male slave, aged 23
    • German, John
      1. Female slave, aged 36
  • Free Negroes
    1. Butler, Charles, aged 40
    2. Joseph, aged 23

Germany Township

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"List of Slaves in Hamilton Bann & Liberty Twps."

  • Males:

    Benn, aged 22 - Charley, aged 22 - Charley, aged 30 - Darby, aged 21
    Dick, aged 45 - Jacob, aged 28 - T__, aged 49 - Tom, aged 30
    Peter, aged 40 - Tom, aged 35 - Phillip, aged 30 - Danne, aged 21
    Seth, aged 31

  • Females:

    Beck, aged 28 - Ester, aged 22 - Mask, aged 45 - Dinah, aged 40
    Jinne, aged 50 - Phebe, aged 24 - Debb, aged 41 - Jude, aged 28 - Pegg, aged 22
    Dinah, aged 21 - Kate, aged 35 - Phebe, aged 22 - Doll, aged 35
    Lette, aged 26 - Rose, aged 22 - Doll, aged 38 - Mint, aged 44
    Rachel, aged 22

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Heidleberg & Manheim Townships

  • Slaveholders
    • Leitzmiller, George
      1. Female Slave, aged 48
      2. Male Slave, aged 28
      3. Male Slave, aged 21
    • Shriver, Widow
      1. Female Slave, aged 40

Reading Township

Mount Joy Township

  • Slaves
    1. Dick, male, aged 50
    2. Isaac, male, aged 25
    3. Lilly, female, aged 34
    4. Judah, female, aged 52

Cumberland Township

  • Slaves
    1. Brookins, male, aged 24
    2. Till, male, aged 38
    3. Jack, male, aged 27
    4. Micky, male, aged 36
    5. Tom, male, aged 25
    6. Doll, female, aged 45
    7. Dina, female, aged 21
    8. Lemon, female, aged 57
    9. Fety, female, aged 30
    10. Nancy, female, aged 49
    11. Rachel, female, aged 29
    12. Saff, female, aged 27
    13. Sall, female, aged 28
    14. Vilet, female, aged 30

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Franklin Township

  • Slaveholders
    • Cobean, Samuel  (see listing for Samuel Cobean in the A-Z list)
      1. Male Slave, above age 45
      2. Female Slave, aged 30
    • McMurdie, Robert
      1. Female Slave, above age 45  (note:  McMurdie is not assessed for a slave in 1799)
    • Fletcher, John
      1. Female Slave, aged 35
    • Russel, Joshua
      1. Female Slave, above age 45  (note:  Russell is not assessed for a slave in 1799)
    • Cross, Samuel
      1. Female Slave, above age 45

Straban Township

  • Slaves
    1. Sambo, male, aged 47
    2. Nicholas, male, aged 45
    3. Poll, female, aged 43
    4. Jean, female, aged 50
    5. Febe, female, aged 25
    6. Tab, female, aged 70
    7. Jack, male, aged 50
    8. Dinah, female, aged 26
    9. Grace, female, aged 36
    10. Peet, male, aged 23
    11. Sam, male, aged 26
    12. Barbara, female, aged 60
    13. Ann, female, aged 26
    14. Forton, male, aged 44
    15. Lid, female, aged 26
    16. Rue, female, aged 24

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Mount Pleasant Township

  • Slaveholders
    • Brinkerhoff, Gilbert
      1. Male Slave, aged 30
    • Degrofs, Margaret
      1. Male Slave, aged 30
    • Lochtalen, Hezekiah
      1. Male Slave, aged 50
    • Lilly, Samuel  (see listing for Samuel Lilly in the A-Z listings)
      1. Female Slave, aged 19
    • Molfort, Peter
      1. Male Slave, aged 20

Statistics and Source

Total slaves enumerated in this list: 94
Total taxable heads of households enumerated in this census: 2,568
Average age of slaves in this census: 33.9 Years
Oldest slave enumerated in this census: Tab, a female slave, aged 70 years, in Straban Township
Enumeration dated: December 16, 1800
Source: Septennial Census Returns, 1779-1863; Roll No. 1, Adams County, 1800-Cumberland County, 1800. Reel No. 0242. Microfilm in the Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg Pennsylvania.

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This page was updated on October 16, 2005.