Alexandria Library -- Special Collections

Document of the Month

April 2004

Slave Manifest Including Captives from the Pearl, May 2, 1848

This document is a photocopy of a slave manifest. The human cargo is outbound from Alexandria to New Orleans via the slave trading company of Bruin & Hill located at 1707 Duke Street.

A few weeks earlier, 77 enslaved people had boarded a schooner docked in the nation's capital. A search party captured the Pearl near Point Lookout. Many of the runaways were to be sold south. The event generated national attention.

With the support of Northern abolitionists, the father of the Edmondson sisters went on a national fundraising campaign to purchase their liberty. The two teenagers were to be sold as "fancy women" in Louisiana.

Slave Manifest
The original document is in the collection of the New-York Historical Society

Related Resources
  • Vertical File: African-Americans -- The Pearl Incident
  • Vertical File: Slavery -- Slave Pen
  • A Remarkable and Courageous Journey: A Guide to Alexandria's African American History
  • Stanley W. Campbell. The Slave Catchers: Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law, 1850-1860
  • Ralph Clayton. Cash for Blood: The Baltimore to New Orleans Domestic Slave Trade
  • Stanley Harrold. Subversives: Antislavery Community in Washington, DC, 1828-1865
  • Michael A. Ridgeway. A Peculiar Business: Slave Trading in Alexandria, Virginia, 1825-1861
  • Wendell Holmes Stephenson. Isaac Franklin, Slave Trader and Planter of the Old South, With Plantation Records


Document of the Month Archives


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