Thomas Newby's Manumission Paper
Thomas Newby, who owned fourteen slaves, was one of the wealthiest men in Perquimans County in 1775. When Newby freed ten of his slaves on 3 March 1776, he had been contemplating the move for two years. His yearly, quarterly, and monthly meetings had deliberated long before offering Newby practical help in freeing his slaves. The terms of the manumission underscore how tentative and experimental this first step was for conscience-stricken Friends. He did not free the slaves absolutely and unconditionally but bound the freedmen to a yearly payment to him.
Keywords: Thomas Newby, monthly meetings, manumission, Friends, slaves